Sabbath, January 24, 2015
“It is through the mighty agency of the Holy Spirit that the government of Satan is to be subdued and subjected. It is the Holy Spirit that convinces of sin and expels it from the soul by the consent of the human agent…. Through the merits of Christ man may be able to exercise the noblest powers of his being and expel sin from his soul.” –My Life Today, p. 43.
The convicting Agent
1. According to Jesus’ promise, when the Spirit of truth comes, of what would people be convicted?
John 16:8-11 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and you see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
“The office of the Holy Spirit is distinctly specified in the words of Christ: ‘When He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.’ John 16:8. It is the Holy Spirit that convicts of sin. If the sinner responds to the quickening influence of the Spirit, he will be brought to repentance and aroused to the importance of obeying the divine requirements.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 52.
“The Holy Spirit brings power that enables man to overcome. It is through the agency of the Spirit that the government of Satan is to be subdued. It is the Spirit that convinces of sin, and, with the consent of the human being, expels sin from the heart. The mind is then brought under a new law–the royal law of liberty.” –Our High Calling, p. 152.
2. Through what wonderful work are the eyes of one’s understanding enlightened?
Ephesians 1:17, 18 The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.
“As the Comforter shall come, and reprove you of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, be careful lest you resist the Spirit of God…. Be willing to discern what It shall reveal to you. Yield up your self-will, the long idolized habits peculiar to yourself, that you may receive the principles of truth.” –Our High Calling, p. 152.
“The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating Agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 671.
3. What is the first result produced by the Holy Spirit’s action?
Zechariah 12:10, first part And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son,…
“Repentance for sin is the first fruits of the working of the Holy Spirit in the life. It is the only process by which infinite purity reflects the image of Christ in His redeemed subjects. In Christ all fullness dwells. Science that is not in harmony with Him is of no value. He teaches us to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. This knowledge is the highest science that any man can reach.” –(Manuscript 28, 1905) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1068.
“By the manifestation of His love, by the entreating of His Spirit, He woos men to repentance; for repentance is the gift of God, and whom He pardons He first makes penitent. The sweetest joy comes to man through his sincere repentance toward God for the transgression of His law, and through faith in Christ as the sinner’s Redeemer and Advocate.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 324.
4. What is the Lord doing constantly to bring man to repentance?
Hosea 11:4, first part I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love:…
John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
“It is the virtue that goes forth from Christ, that leads to genuine repentance…. We can no more repent without the Spirit of Christ to awaken the conscience than we can be pardoned without Christ.” –Steps to Christ, p. 26.
“Every soul who responds to this drawing will turn from iniquity. Christ is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. He who comes to Jesus is setting his feet upon a ladder that reaches from earth to heaven…. Those who believe in Christ shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of His hand.” –Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 181, 182.
5. How does God consider everyone who is drawn and led by the Spirit of truth?
Romans 8:13-16 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
“It is the Spirit that causes to shine into darkened minds the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness; that makes men’s hearts burn within them with an awakened realization of the truths of eternity; that presents before the mind the great standard of righteousness, and convinces of sin; that inspires faith in Him who alone can save from sin; that works to transform character by withdrawing the affections of men from those things which are temporal and perishable, and fixing them upon the eternal inheritance. The Spirit recreates, refines, and sanctifies human beings, fitting them to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King.” –Gospel Workers, pp. 286, 287.
“The work of the Holy Spirit is to convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. The world can only be warned by seeing those who believe the truth sanctified through the truth, acting upon high and holy principles, showing in a high, elevated sense, the line of demarcation between those who keep the commandments of God and those who trample them under their feet.” –Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 980.
6. What other great work does the Holy Spirit do in the human heart when permitted? What example of regeneration by the Holy Spirit is given in the Bible?
John 3:5, 6 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
“As Saul yielded himself fully to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, he saw the mistakes of his life and recognized the far-reaching claims of the law of God. He who had been a proud Pharisee, confident that he was justified by his good works, now bowed before God with the humility and simplicity of a little child, confessing his own unworthiness and pleading the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Saul longed to come into full harmony and communion with the Father and the Son; and in the intensity of his desire for pardon and acceptance he offered up fervent supplications to the throne of grace. The prayers of the penitent Pharisee were not in vain. The inmost thoughts and emotions of his heart were transformed by divine grace; and his nobler faculties were brought into harmony with the eternal purposes of God. Christ and His righteousness became to Saul more than the whole world. The conversion of Saul is a striking evidence of the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit to convict men of sin.” –The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 119, 120.
7. How does the enemy of souls react when one is transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit? How should this spiritual battle be viewed?
1 Peter 5:8-10 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
“It is the office of the Holy Spirit to reveal to the mind the character of the consecration that God will accept. Through the agency of the Holy Spirit, the soul is enlightened, and the character is renewed, sanctified, and uplifted.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 134.
“The greater the efforts of Satan to accomplish our destruction, the greater is the victory achieved in overcoming them. The world’s Redeemer presents the plan of the battle, with all the difficulties, and bids us count the cost. He does not wish His followers to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. They must know what they will have to meet, and the preparation they must make in order to counteract his devices. He shows them the vast confederacy of evil arrayed against Himself and His followers, but He makes it plain to them that they shall have the help of the Holy Spirit in the battle. Angels of God, unseen by mortal sight, will mingle in their ranks. As soldiers of Jesus they must put on the armor, for they ‘wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’ They could do nothing against such formidable foes without Christ to direct the warfare.” –Signs of the Times, December 21, 1891.
For personal study
“The preaching of the word will be of no avail without the continual presence and aid of the Holy Spirit. This is the only effectual teacher of divine truth. Only when the truth is accompanied to the heart by the Spirit will it quicken the conscience or transform the life. One might be able to present the letter of the word of God, he might be familiar with all its commands and promises; but unless the Holy Spirit sets home the truth, no souls will fall on the Rock and be broken. No amount of education, no advantages, however great, can make one a channel of light without the cooperation of the Spirit of God. The sowing of the gospel seed will not be a success unless the seed is quickened into life by the dew of heaven. Before one book of the New Testament was written, before one gospel sermon had been preached after Christ’s ascension, the Holy Spirit came upon the praying apostles. Then the testimony of their enemies was, ‘Ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine.’ Acts 5:28.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 671, 672.