absolutes in life, because I go to the Father, convicted of righteousness, forgive me for being so ordinary while claming to know such an extraordinary God, Jesus, Jim Elliot quote, keeps Jesus before your eyes, righteous standard of behavior, sin, situational ethics, the beauty of holiness, the Holy Spirit, wrongs
When the Holy Spirit comes there will be a second form of conviction. Through the believer the world will be convicted of righteousness. Jesus said, “because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more.” (John 16:10) That is, when the world looks at the church, it ought to see a different way of life, a different standard of behavior. Only the believer can walk in righteousness. What the world once saw in Jesus it should now see in His followers. Christ in us is what convicts the world that there are absolutes in life.
Don’t be alarmed that secular writers and philosophers believe there are no absolutes and no standards. Without the Lord, men have always defaulted back to “doing whatever is right in their own eyes.” We are deluged today by “situational ethics“, the idea that the situation alone determines whether a thing is right or wrong. The world will continue to operate in this fashion until it sees in the church a righteous standard of behavior. Surveys have revealed time and time again that there is little difference between the moral and ethical standards of the church and the moral and ethical standards of the secular world.
Once again when the world looks at the believer, they should be convicted of righteousness. This occurs not so much by what you say with your mouth, but…
- by the life you lead;
- by the decisions you make;
- by the fundamental truths you believe in;
- by the peace and tranquility you possess; and
- by the fact of Christ living in you!
What the world ought to see when it looks at the church is beauty. The Old Testament calls this “the beauty of holiness“. When the Lord Jesus is reigning in an individual’s life, there is a beauty about that person’s life which captures people’s attention. Real righteousness is captivating.
Listen, I hear people praying all the time for God to send a Great Revival which brings conviction and causes people to repent. I have prayed for this. According to this verse, how and by what means will God send a revival? Real revival will only happen in you. The only way for the Holy Spirit to convict, reach, and touch the world around us is for God’s people to ask and allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with the righteousness of Christ. If you really want the Lord to move… then you must be willing to be moved by the Spirit first.
There are two ways to tell people they are wrong. One is you can convict them on everything they do wrong. Or, you can speak to them about what is right. Which approach do you think the Holy Spirit takes? When the Lord was convicting you, did He speak to you about all the sin in your life, or did He convict you because you were rejecting Christ.
This is the Holy Spirit’s job to tell people there is a better way… Jesus. The Holy Spirit keeps Jesus before our eyes. Yes, He keeps Jesus before the world’s eyes, but they usually do not listen.
- Since the world is going to pot (spiritually downhill), is the Holy Spirit failing in doing His job?
- Could He be doing a better job?
- Has the Holy Spirit left and are we on our own?
- This is the crux of the matter, isn’t it?
The Holy Spirit is doing His job and we should be doing ours by allowing the Holy Spirit to keep Jesus before our eyes twenty-four-seven. It is impossible to win people by telling them how wrong they are and at the same time lacking the presence of Christ in our life.
We have two approaches we can take. We can continue to tell people how bad they are and how bad their sin has become or we can tell them how good our Jesus is. We can follow the Holy Spirit’s approach and speak to people in the fashion which He is convicting them. Or, we can follow the devil’s lead and tell them how rotten they are.
In most cases, people understand they are sinners. What they need to know is the Good News of Jesus Christ, the impact of repentance and confession.
What has been happening in our world today from Christians and the Church? What has been the results? What do you think will be the future results?