11th February 2017 - Josh Mackay
Barabbas was a man who lived in Jerusalem, Judea, around AD29 during the time of the Roman Empire. Barabbas was a troublemaker, a thief and a murderer. The punishment for his crimes was that he had to be crucified; which was a common punishment. This meant that he was to be nailed to a wooden cross until he would die of exhaustion and suffocation. Beyond these details, the Bible does not tell us very much about Barabbas, so the story described below is a realistic interpretation of what may have taken place. Often the Romans would force a criminal to make the cross that they were going to die on. This may have been to cause the criminal some mental suffering to go with the […]
The conviction of the Holy Spirit
Jesus explained the role of the Holy Spirit in the work of bringing sons of men to birth as sons of God. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. Jesus said, ‘I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you’. When we receive Him, we become a temple of the Holy Spirit. He is given to us as the firstfruits of our sonship; that is, He is the expression of our sonship in a firstfruits measure. In this regard, it is the Holy Spirit who empowers and motivates us to live as Christians and preach the word.
The Holy Spirit is in us and revealing our sonship. Because of this, as we speak the word to others, He brings conviction and understanding to them through the words that we speak. In other words, conviction by the Holy Spirit is not a mystical phenomenon that a person experiences apart from the ministry of a disciple-messenger. The Holy Spirit is convicting our hearers as we preach the word by the capacity of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said to His disciples that it was to their advantage that He went away. This was because He would send the Helper (the Holy Spirit), who would convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgement. We remember, for example, the ministry of Stephen who was full of the Holy Spirit. Through Stephen’s preaching, his hearers experienced the conviction of the Spirit as Stephen brought the glory of God to their attention. He declared to them, ‘Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’