Holy Spirit at Work

Photo by Mike Lewis HeadSmart Media on Unsplash

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 go, I will send him to you.  John 16:7

There is an old sideboard in my parent’s house that sits in the dining room and displays pictures of family.  I remember when dad brought this antique into the house.  It was dirty and broken.  A cabinet was falling off its hinges, and dust filled the nooks and crannies.  Dad intended to refinish the piece and mom would put it in the dining room. 

It needed a lot of work and Dad got to it.  He spent a lot of time sanding and cleaning.  He even took some old, damaged wood off, and replaced it with new oak.  The old cabinet door now hung securely.  After he made these repairs, he applied a new coat of Jacobean stain followed by several coats of clear polyurethane for protection. 

This sideboard looked completely different.  It is a beautiful piece and has found a new purpose in mom’s dining room.  When I think of refinishing furniture I’m reminded of the work of the Holy Spirit in every Christian’s life.  The Holy Spirit is refinishing broken and dirty lives into beautiful displays of God’s glory. 

In John 16, Jesus is preparing the disciples for His departure, and the coming of the Helper, the Holy Spirit.  Jesus even says that it is to their advantage that He send the Holy Spirit to them.  Today the Holy Spirit continues to carry out the work of God (because He is God) in the lives of every believer and in the whole church.  So, what exactly is the Holy Spirit doing?

  1. The Holy Spirit convicts the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment. (John 16:8) Conviction is seeing things as they are and understanding how they should be.  When my dad saw this broken-down sideboard, he recognized its potential even as he saw its poor condition.  The Holy Spirit shows the world its problem – failure to believe in Jesus, the Son of God.  The Holy Spirit also shows the world the solution to our problem – the righteousness of Jesus.  Finally, the Holy Spirit convicts the world of judgment – our need to get it right.  Though we are broken and dirty in our sin we can be refinished by receiving Jesus as Lord by faith.    

  2. The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth. (John 16:13) When you’ve received Jesus by faith as Lord of your life, the Holy Spirit resides in you. He will lead you into all truth. The Holy Spirit is our teacher instructing us on what is good, right, and true.  When we are perplexed, confused, or distraught the Holy Spirit is our guide.  Just as it took days for my dad to restore the sideboard, the Holy Spirit takes time to teach us the truth day after day. 

    The Holy Spirit has a textbook – God’s Word.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”  The Spirit of Truth declares the truth of God’s Word to us.  When we read the Bible, the Holy Spirit will help us understand and live out the truth.  The Holy Spirit will not lead, teach, instruct, or guide contrary to the Word of God. 

  3. The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus. (John 16:14) In the end, the sideboard looks beautiful in the dining room displaying the pictures of family.  You too are becoming a beautiful display of God’s glory.  As the Holy Spirit continues to convict, teach, and guide you in all truth, the glory of God will shine more and more in your life.  As the Holy Spirit does His work, God is put on display.  You are no longer the same.  You are no longer a broken, dirty sideboard, but a refinished work of art by the Holy Spirit.   

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