The Holy Hound of Heaven
|John 16 (NKJV™)|
|5||"But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, 'Where are You going?'|
|6||"But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.|
|7||"Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.|
|8||"And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:|
|9||"of sin, because they do not believe in Me;|
|10||"of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;|
|11||"of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.|
New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.
Having understood Who the Holy Spirit is (Person not just power; Deity not just dignitary) we now find out what He does in the world of unbelieving people. Since the greatest gift God ever gave to the world was His only Son (John 3:16) it stands to reason that the greatest sin one can commit is to reject the Son (John 16:9). How does the Holy Spirit both sentence the world as prosecutor and lead people away from judgment? And what role do we play in all of this?
"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" John 20:31.
Believe:879 is an epic journey through the book of John led by Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary of Albuquerque. As we explore each of the 879 verses of this gospel, we'll grow in grace and in our knowledge of Jesus Christ. From His pre-incarnate existence, to His public ministry, through His death and His resurrection we'll traverse familiar territory and embark on new adventures of faith.
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Greek terms: Πληρόω; pléroó - filled to capacity
Figures Referenced: Jim Elliot, Jack Nicklaus, Gerald Ford, Billy Graham
Publications Referenced: "Important! Recall Notice," Unknown; "The Gospel According to You," Anonymous
Cross References: Isaiah 6:5; Matthew 5:20; Matthew 5:48; Mark 10:29-30; Mark 16:15; Luke 9:54; John 3:16; John 8:46; Acts 2:37; Acts 9:5; 1 Corinthians 1:27; Philippians 3:7-9
Topic: Holy Spirit
Keywords: Holy spirit, conviction, sin, righteousness, judgment
Let's pray. Lord we believe it is a big deal that you desired a fellowship with us to make yourself known to us. We think of the words of David who said, "What is man that you are mindful of Him or the son of man that you would visit Him?" And yet Lord, you have condescended to reveal yourself to human beings, those that you have created in your image. But how thankful we are that we are among those who have discovered your plan for humanity and we enjoy the salvation that comes to Jesus Christ. In the midst of the many voices that we hear all week long, we now want to tune in and hear your voice even beyond the voice of the one who is presenting the material. And pray that it would be your Holy Spirit alive and active through your word that would do the speaking, in Jesus name, Amen.
At my house I have a dog named Mack. This is Mack. Mack is a little Welsh Terrier. And this little dog has more energy than any pup I've ever owned. This dog is persistent and he loves to run. He doesn't really like to go on walks at least with me. I don't take him on a walk. He likes -- he goes on a gallop quite frankly. He loves to run at full speed. And so he thinks he is big enough where when I take him on the run, I'm sitting on a bicycle, he is on the leash. He pulls me. This little dog pulls me on my bicycle. He wouldn't have any other way neither would I. He can't keep up that pace. But he will for a long time and then he'll just happily gallop at full speed for a long period of time next to the bike.
Whenever I am home he'll follow me from room to room to room until he gets his run. He's all about the run, the chase. He's the hound of the height six. I really want to speak to you today about the hound of heaven. No disrespect to the Holy Spirit. There was a poem written in the 1800s called "The Hound of Heaven". It was written by Francis Thompson. Francis Thompson was a medical student. He was going to be a doctor. His dad wanted him to be a doctor. He didn't really want to be. But he was in medical school went through the motions.
But eventually, he dropped out. Hit the streets of London. Became a drug addict in the 1800, addicted to opium and became suicidal. Attempted taking his life a couple of occasions it was unsuccessful. But he eventually wrote a long poem, 182 lines called the "The Hound of Heaven". He speaks about how he ran from God and he ran for years and went here and went there. The God was always patience and faithful to draw him back and that God the Holy Spirit was the hound of heaven. That's what I want to focus on today. Last week, we looked at several verses in John chapter 15 and 16 to speak about the person of the Holy Spirit generally.
But now, I want us to look at something more specific and that is how the Holy Spirit works at large in this world. He's about doing one thing, drawing people, showing them, revealing to them the need that they have and the need is met in Jesus Christ. I suppose if we were to put that chase in a modern terminology, computer terminology, it would sound like this, the maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured regardless of the make for a year due to serious defect and the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction and the original prototype unit's code name Adam and Eve resulting in the reproduction of the same defect and all subsequent units.
This defect has been technically termed to get this sub-sequential internal non-morality or more commonly known by its initials SIN. Symptoms include loss of direction, foul vocal emissions, amnesia of origin, lack of peace and joy, selfish or violent behavior, depression or confusion in the mental component and rebellion. The manufacture is providing factory authorized repair and service, free of charge to correct the sin, S-I-N defect.
The repair technician Jesus has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cause of these repairs. There is no additional fee required. Call toll free the number P-R-A-Y-E-R. Once connected, please upload your sin through the repentance procedure. Next, download atonement from the repair technician into the heart component. As an added upgrade, the manufacture has made available to all repaired units, a facility enabling direct monitoring and assistance from a resident maintenance technician the Holy Spirit. Warning, it continues. Continuing to operate the human unit without correct, voids the manufacture's warranty, exposing the unit to dangers and problems to numerous a list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded.
The one who is doing the convincing that we need to recall is the Holy Spirit. Is the Holy Spirit who basically comes along and says, "There's something wrong with your unit, you need to do something about that." So we're going to look at that today and we're going to look at a few verses in particular. Honing in on what we look at last week. We begin in verse five where Jesus is speaking saying, "But now I go away to Him who sent me and none of you ask me where are you going? But because I have said these things to you, sorrow is filled your heart. Never the last I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away. For if I do not go away, the helper will not come to you. But if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin of righteousness and of judgement of sin because they do not believe in me of righteousness because I go to my father and you see me no more, of judgement because the ruler of this world is judged."
First of all, when it comes to have a Holy Spirit of God works in this world, his necessity is undeniable. Those disciples would need Him, would need the Holy Spirit in days they had. Did you notice when Jesus said, he said, "Sorrow has filled your heart. I told you these things and sorrow has filled your heart." The word fulfilled is the word in Greek plēroō and it means to feel something so full that you can't fit anything else in it. So imagine pouring water into a glass to the brim, it's completely filled up or putting gasoline in your car. So it's so fulled that it starts to bubble out a little bit. That's plēroō. That's filled to the max.
So the idea is that anxiety had so control their thought processes or to put in Jesus words sorrow has filled your heart. You can think about anything else, why? Because Jesus said He was leaving. He's leaving. Their best friend is leaving them the one that healed their families the one that calmed their storms, the one that turned water into wine, the one that gave them free lunch in Galilee. The one that said, "Go get that fish and you'll find a coin in its mouth and you can pay the IRS this year with the money you find there," handy guy to have around. He's going. And besides, all that he's done for them, they just loved Him and He's leaving them. And here's the big idea, they don't understand that this is now what they have expected.
As Jews living 2000 years ago and in around Israel, they had in their minds most did an idea of what would happen when the Messiah would come. The result of a 4-stage series of events or I'll call it Eschatology, an unfolding of end time events that they expected with the Messiah's arrival. Number one, they thought that before the Messiah actually comes, there will be a period of upheaval turmoil in the land which they saw is being fulfilled with the Roman occupation. Number two, prior to the Messiah's arrival and Elijah like forerunner would come on the scene announcing the coming of Messiah to them, that was John the Baptist that's why so many people were interested in John's baptism.
Number three, the Messiah would arrive. And when he arrived, he would defeat his enemies. He would establish his kingdom. And number four, scatter Jews from all over the world would return to Israel and Jerusalem would be established in peace. The disciples believe they where somewhere between stage two and stage three. John the Baptist had come. The Messiah had come. Next was the setting up of the kingdom. But Jesus said he was living, not staying, living. It didn't compute to them, that didn't make sense. So sorrow has filled their heart. This is not what they have expected.
But here's what I want you to notice, these disciples are focusing on what they're about to lose rather than what they're about to gain. They're so bumped out and so filled with sorrow because Jesus said, "He's going," but they're not even registering what he's told them in terms of what they're going to receive the Holy Spirit, the helper is coming. It's to you advantage that I go. If I go I'm going to send the spirit to you.
How many times do you meet people who do exactly that? They focus on what they're losing or have lost rather than that what they're gaining. I've met unbelievers who said, "Well, I can't get my life to Christ. I might lose my friends." Yeah, but you'll gain a friend who's that closer than a brother. I can't give my life to Christ, I'll lose my old life. Yeah, but you'll gain eternal life, everlasting life, abandon life. Think about what you're gaining.
Some of you have heard of Jim Elliot that legendary missionary to the Alka-Indians. Probably the most famous thing he ever said was a simple sentence. It goes like this, "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." I'm leaving boys, but the Holy Spirit the helper is going to come. And Jesus said, "He will abide with you forever."
By the way, if you do lose something, I believe God is in the business of replacing it with something better. You may not know one at a time. But Jesus put it this way, everyone who is left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands for my namesake will receive a hundred fulled and inherit eternal life. These disciples are going to need the Holy Spirit desperately in days to come to mitigate against the sorrow they're now feeling. But secondly because the task that Jesus sent to man is enormous. Right before Jesus leaves, he's going to say, "Go into all, the what? "Go into all the world," never thought about that go into all the world and praise the gospel to whom? Every creature, that's an enormous task. That's a big job.
In fact, let me put it in another way, it's an impossible task. It's like me telling you if you're standing in -- at a duct in front of a sailboat me saying, "Make that sailboat go forward by blowing Him into the sails." Go ahead, try it. You can do that all day along and that sailboat ain't going to move. You don't have what it takes to make that thing go. Go into all the world and preach the God with every creature. They don't have what it takes to do that on their own and that's the point. I'm living but another is coming and he has a job to do through you in the world. Sounds impossible, they can't do it without spirit. So his necessity is undeniable.
Second thing I want you to see is that his activity in the world in unmistakable. Verse 8, when he that is the spirit, when he has come, he will convict the world three things, of sin, of righteousness and of judgement. If you were to take out the word convict and replace it with the word "convince", that would be another way of looking at that verse. He's going to convince the world of sin, righteousness and judgement. Then he explains verse 9, "Of sin because they do not believe in me, of righteousness because I go to my father and you see me no more, of judgement because the ruler of this world is judged."
Now, we just breezed over those verses last week. I like to unpack them because right there is the kernel of the activity of the spirit of God in this world. First thing he does is convict the world of sin or here's another way of putting it, the Holy Spirit will convince people that they're sinners. Now why would he need to do that? Simple, no one will ever look for a savior until they think they need one.
And the only people that think they need a savior are people who know they're sinners. They have to be convinced, I need help. I'm a sinner who needs saving. So the Holy Spirit will convince people of their need for the savior by convincing them that they are sinners. Now, I discovered most people need convincing of that. Because most people don't admit that they're sinners. In fact they don't even like the term sin. They hate that word.
By enlarge the world denies that sin exist. I'm not a sinner. I might have a hang up. I might have few issues but I don't have sin. Or they will blame their behavior on something or someone else like their environment. I am the way I am because of what my parents said to me. They made me eat spinach when I was five years old. And I've never been the same since.
So there's a shifting of blame. Or they want to blame their genes. I don't mean their Levi's. I mean their genetics. I have a propensity to anger. It's part of my genetic structure. It's not my choice, it's who I am. There's an enormous amount of blame shifting and it takes the Holy Spirit to convince people of their need by convincing them that they're sinners.
I had a man to come up the other night, Wednesday night, sweet man. He's a big guy, strong. I'm glad he was sweet. He said that he'd been coming for a while but it was until recently that is God is just doing something really deep inside my life. It was a conviction of the Holy Spirit. He was describing. So I've been here. I've heard many messages before but recently I feel something much deeper. That is the conviction that only the Holy Spirit can bring.
And by the way, that is his job and not yours. Your job isn't to convict that they're sinners. And if you try to do that it's kind of just come off sounding like condemnation. There was a little 13-year-old girl named Elizabeth Brinton. She sold get this, 11,200 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. Boxes 11,200 and she broke the records. Somebody said "How did you manage to sell that many boxes to people?" She said "It's not that hard. You've got to look him in the eye and make him feel guilty."
And my work with Girl Scout cookies it doesn't work with the gospel. It's not your job. it's the job of the Holy Spirit to bring conviction. The case in point Peter filled with the Holy Spirit posed Holy Spirit coming on the day of Pentecost. He spoke to the crowd. And while he spoke listen to what it says. And when they heard these words, they were cut to the heart.
Another translation says they were convicted in their hearts. They weren't convicting their hearts because Peter was a masterful sermon maker. He was a fisherman. He was just kind of learning this stuff. They were cut to the heart because the Holy Spirit was convicting the world of sin and they said "Brother what must we do?" that day 3,000 people were saved. And I want to notice what it says in verse eight and verse nine. Notice it's saying in a singular, not in the plural. He will convict the world of sin, not sins and verse nine of sin, not sins because they do not believe in me.
Rather than just convicting the world of particular sins of bad behavior like murder or adultery or stealing or speeding, I've discovered the conscience if it's working correctly it does a good job of handling those things pretty well in most people. But rather the Holy Spirit will convict a person of sin, singular and especially the kind of sin that the conscience will never convict a person. And that is of unbelief.
Unbelief, the world doesn't think unbelief is a sin. If you ask a nonbeliever, do you think your unbelief was a sin against God? No. Do you think murder is a sin? I can agree that murder is bad but I don't think unbelief is bad. The world doesn't that as a sin. In fact many worldly people see unbelief is a badge of honor. You've heard it. You know I really like to belief like you because you're just so simple minded.
Me? I'm a little more intelligent than the average bear. I like to believe that. I really would love to believe that but I'm just too smart for that stuff. So they see their unbelief is something to be sort of enshrined. They're proud of it. But it's actually the worst of all sin because it's unbelief that prevents the forgiveness of all other sins.
Of sin because he said they do not believe in me. Only the Holy Spirit can convince a person that unbelief has to be dealt with. By the way, if you happen to live with anybody who's under conviction or work around or be around somebody in close proximity who's under the conviction of the holy spirit, be sure to let us know so that we can support you in prayer.
If you're around a person under the conviction of God and they're just stubbornly fighting him, they can act horribly and say hostile things to you. It's hard to live around those who are living under conviction. True story. There was a professional golfer who was playing at tournament with Jack Nicholas, president Gerald Ford and Dr. Billy Gram. This is year's ago.
They're playing a tournament. At the end of the tournament, somebody asked that professional golfer "hey what was it like playing golf with the president in billy Gram?" This man said "I don't need Billy Gram's stuff and religion down my throat." Well what was weird about that he's come to find out the entire golf game Billy Gram never brought up God or religion at all. But the fact that he was there playing and this man knew who Gram was and what he stood was just enough to bring that conviction to the surface.
I don't need stuff and religion down my throat. So the activity of the Holy Spirit in the world is to convince people that they're sinners number two, to convict the world of righteousness. And then it says of righteousness verse ten "because I go to my Father and you see me no more." Let's unpack that. The Holy Spirit is going to convince people that they're not good enough as they are that their own righteousness won't cut it before God.
The word has a relative righteousness their own brand. For most people, their righteousness is like a thermometer. You know the ascending degrees on a thermometer and they'll categorize everybody according to degrees. So in many people's minds and criminals, they'll be -- you know like way down low. They have maybe 20% righteousness. They're bad. They're convicts. They're in prison. Maybe they did something really bad. But you know there's a glimmer of hope in their life so let's give them 20%.
But then there's -- those were better than the convicts. They had a little bit better. We'll give them 40. Then there's still better man and better woman, maybe they're up to 60 or 80% then it's at very of the thermometer's God he is 100%. Nobody can match him. But this same people are banking the God in eternity is got great on a curve and that probably if you make 75% or above you passed. You go to heaven.
So this people who see relative righteousness, we'll say "we'll I'm not perfect. That's God. But I'm not as bad as those people." So their motto in life, even they're very religious is like -- it's like the Avis Rent A Car motto, we try harder. How do you get to heaven? We try harder. I'm going to righteous. I'm going to be good. It's a self righteousness. The Holy Spirit will convince the person. It's not enough.
That relative righteousness is not enough because here's the deal. When Jesus hit the scene when Jesus Christ came, he preached and presented -- demonstrated a whole different kind of righteousness. In fact, he even said "which of you can convict me of sin?" No one could. They tried, they couldn't. He preached the Sermon on the Mount. It's lovely sermon but boy there's enough in it to make one go.
I don't match up. This is what he said in the Sermon on the Mount. "Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes in the pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." And they would have thought "really?" Because the scribes in the pharisees are like the best. Unless my righteousness is better than theirs I don't go to heaven? Then in the Sermon on the Mount toward the end he said "therefore be perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect."
If I had heard that I would say "I'd lost hope. There is no hope." I cannot match that standard of righteousness. I feel now like how Isaiah felt when he saw the lord and said "Woah! It's me I am undone." Have you ever stood next to somebody who was an expert in something you're boasting about or practicing? Let's you're in conversation, you say "yeah I've been into this whole new thing lately" and then standing next to you is like the guy who invented it. Awfully embarrassing.
The closest thing I can think in my life is I was asked to speak at the Cove. the Billy Gram Training Center at some years ago and my topic was evangelism. I'm okay with that. I can talk about that. But not when Billy Gram is in the audience. And not afternoon I was at his house. he says "I'm coming to not hear you speak." And I thought "no, please, don't do that."
But he showed up. So it's a whole different feel to speak about how to do evangelism when the world's greatest evangelist is sitting with you. And to make it worse right before I spoke, the moderator that evening said "skip we believed that everybody here is saved necessarily because they come to the Cove." We'd like you to call people to faith to do ultra tone like really. So now transfer into what we're talking about.
We can't brag about our righteousness when you're standing next to the righteous one. Anymore than you can brag to NASA about "look I've made a paper airplane. Ain't that cool?" Then cut it. So it's a holy spirit's job that will convince a person, you're not good enough on your own. This righteousness won't cut it before God and the standard is the life of Christ.
So here's the deal. Jesus said of righteousness because I go to the Father and you see me no more. What does that mean? Jesus died on the cross for our sin, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. When he ascended into heaven at the right hand of the thrown of God, it is as if God was saying "this is righteousness I will accept." Here is standard. This is the righteousness I will receive under my presence.
So the holy spirit convinces people that they're sinners and needed a savior convinces people that their own righteousness isn't enough but the one that Jesus will provide for them is enough. And only the spirit of God can do that. He did it in the life of Paul. We're going to be taking a tour at the journeys of Paul the apostle. Paul the apostle, a very religious Jewish Zealot rabbi wrote these words in Philippians. "Everything that was dear to me, I count as lost for the excellence of the knowledge of Jesus Christ for whom I have suffered the lost of all things and counted as rubbish that I might be found in him, not having my own righteousness which is of the law but the righteousness that comes by faith in Jesus Christ." What's the idea here?
He was sinner and needed a savior that his righteousness wasn't good enough. He needed what Christ would provide for him. And number three notice how convince or convict the world of judgment and the verse 11 of judgement "Because the ruler of this world is a judge." So Holy Spirit's job to convince people that judgment is real and their liable for judgement.
That if they reject, the solution for their sin. If they reject the righteousness the God provides then the inevitable consequence will be the judgment of God. And that is proven to them by what happened to Satan when Jesus died on the cross when Jesus died on the cross, Satan tried to throw everything he could at him. He was unsuccessful. And when Jesus died on the cross effectively splitting or destroying Satan's hold on people, Satan's doom was sealed.
You say "it was?" Because for the last 2,000 years since the cross happened, Satan has done a pretty goo job at messing up our world. That's right. That's because he has been sentenced yet, that's coming. That's coming. But the point is just as Satan was destroyed effectively on the cross, everyone who follows him is going to end in the same way and that is the judgment of death. I always think it's healthy when a person gets a little worried about the coming judgement of God. Then he wants cavalier about -- I don't care what happens when I die.
I'm ready to face God. I've many questions to ask him. I get a little skitters. I'm going to go move five feet away. I just don't like lightning strikes. I've had an FBI agent on my office some time back and he's very interesting. He just said to me you know I'm on the SWAT Team and I've had guns pointed at my head a number of times. I've stood in the face of death in many occasions because it was until recently that I'm suddenly afraid of dying. I'm afraid of what's going to happen to me when I die. And then he quickly turned to me and says, "That's kind of weird, huh?"
And I said, "No, it's not weird." And he goes, "Wow. It makes me feel like a pansy." I said I think it's one of the best things I've heard. I think it's one of the healthiest things is to feel worried about what's going to happen to you when you die. I was able to talk him through that and through that let him to Christ, faith in Christ, to do something about that feeling of judgment because when a person pushes away the conviction of the Holy Spirit, "I don't care about that." It's not a good sign.
Did you know that before the Titanic sank that somebody wired the ship and warned them that they were huge iceberg masses, ice close in the area. The operator on the Titanic wired back this words, "Shut up! We're busy." Now think of those words for anyone on the Titanic "Shut up, we're busy." How many people today, you talk to them about God, "Shut up, I'm busy." Shut up, I want some fun, go away. So the Holy Spirit has a task to do. The disciples need him. That's undeniable. His activity is to convince the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. I want to close with this thought. His agency is unremarkable. You see the Holy Spirit is going to do the work of convicting but he's going to use normal, unremarkable people, you and I.
Look at verse 7 and verse 8 and we'll close with this. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth it's to your advantage that I go away for if I do not go away the helper will not come to you. But if I depart I will send him to you. Those 11 disciples gathered around him at that moment, you and then follow that up with verse 8, when he has come and the implication is come to you. I'm going to send him to you and when he's come to you then he'll convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment. In other words, it's the Holy Spirit doing the conviction but he's going to use us as the agents of that, our words, human channels it was always verdict you could do all this work in the world, you and I making ourselves available for him to do that in the conversation you have at Starbucks, at school, in the neighborhood, on the phone with relatives, that's how we'll do.
You know that every conversion in the Book of Acts that there's a human agent involved in bringing the gospel and bringing conviction. Think of Peter on the day of Pentecost. It says they heard what Peter spoke. Peter was the speaker. It was the word of God but Peter was the agent, simple Peter, the fisherman. It says they were cut to the heart. Now some of you might be thinking, "Yeah, what about Saul of Tarsus?" I mean he had a vision. That was in a human agent. That's true. He had a vision of Christ but remember what Jesus said. He said, "Saul, Saul, it's hard for you to kick against the goads." You know what goads are. Those are things that prick an animal. He was speaking of the goads of conviction. It was Saul of Tarsus who heard Steven give a testimony and he wants Steven and he heard Steven and he watched him die. And seeing that brought conviction.
Listen, look at this man die for Christ, for what he believes. That brought conviction to his heart, Jesus that it's hard for you to kick against those goads, isn't it? So on all of the cases in Acts we see the Holy Spirit working powerfully but through normal people. God has miracles. He always has and always will. He can send visions and dreams. I've heard of Muslims who have come to faith around the world. There hasn't been an evangelist but God has given them a vision or a dream and they receive Christ because of that. But normally the Holy Spirit will use human beings to bring the conviction of sin, and righteousness and judgment. That's the normal means through the believers of human channels.
Have you ever thought of what it was like or what it would have been like to receive Peter's resume? I mean because these guys were unimpressive, the Apostles. Oh what would Peter's resume read like? Let's say Peter says, "I want to join your mission group. Here's my application." Okay, let's see your resume. It says here Peter that you like to fish a lot and that you're pretty high strung and it says here by others who have written about you that you get angry very easily. In fact, it says here that one time you actually cut off a guy's ear trying to protect God. I don't think we can accept you on our team, Peter. Next, and let's say the next resume is James and John, they're brothers so they're together. Boy, this is very troubling. I read here that you once wanted to nuke an entire village in Israel. Do you remember the story they said about the Samaritan village? Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven and destroy them?
This doesn't look good. Do you guys have ties to Al-Qaeda? Are you terrorists? You wouldn't want to work on our team. Or what about Tomas' resume? Well, this does not look good, Tom? It says that you're the party pooper of the bunch. We do not want you. You're so negative. You get my point? All of these people that were gathered around Jesus at the time we're unremarkable. They were normal. You look inside the Holy Spirit's toolbox you may find a brilliant one here or there or an articulate one here or there, a talented one here or there but mostly you just find us. God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. What's their secret? The Holy Spirit, active daily, in those chance encounters you have but what you say and what you do.
Somebody once said, yeah there are four Gospels but there's actually five Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and you. And that author said, you are writing a gospel, a chapter each day by the things that you do and the words that you say. People hear what you say and they see what you do so what is the gospel according to you? according to your words, according to your life, a lot of people won't read the Bible. They're not going to like to pick up this book and start reading necessarily. But they're going to read your life. If the Holy Spirit is in you because you're filled not with sorrow but filled with the Spirit. You know if you bump a pitcher what comes out? Whatever is inside the pitcher? If people bump you in your life what comes out? Whatever you're filled with, if you're filled with anger that will come out, if you're filled with frustration that will come out, if you're filled with the Holy Spirit that will come out, Father made that be so.
May the spirit of the living God occupy that position where we so need him, so depend on him and you're so faithful to convict, to convince, to do what we can do, convince the world, worldly people, those apart from your covenant that their centers, the need of a savior, that their own, we try harder mentalities and enough to cut it. You need the righteousness that you give and then if not there is a certain judgment because the ruler of this world who lies to everyone his faith is sealed, his doom is secure. And like leader, like follower. We cannot do that, Lord, only you can. Would you do that? In Jesus name, amen.