The viggies—visually impaired guides—have struck again, and I was one of thousands of eyewitnesses. The names will be changed to protect those who think they’re innocent.
Pastor “Junior Jim” was filling in at the ol’ mega-church while Pastor “Big Bob” was away on Big Stuff. Junior delivered his message at four Sunday services, plus it was beamed to several satellite campuses. All told, the message was heard by the equivalent of the entire population of Caspar, Wyoming or Fort Dodge, Iowa. Drop one tainted apple in a barrel that big and you can do some real damage.
During an otherwise-uplifting sermon, Junior dropped this stealth bomb: “One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to convict you of sin.” He armed the bomb with an isotrip from John 16:8; “When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin.”
Really? I don’t think so. Limited space and limited attention spans will not allow a plunge into all the whys and wherefores, but any liberated layperson can and should take 45 seconds to put this pesky isotrip in context. That’s the only way to extract the good news, and good news, after all, is the whole enchilada.
Simply read the entire passage, from John 16:7 through John 16:11, and you’ll come away with the punch line: The Holy Spirit’s job is NOT to convict you of each and every sin. Constant accusation is the enemy’s job, not the Holy Spirit’s job.
If you’re a Christian, the Holy Spirit is working from the inside to build you up, not from the outside to beat you down. His “job” is to help you live holier by accident than you did on purpose before coming to Christ.
The one and only sin that the Holy Spirit convicts anybody of is the sin of rejecting Jesus. Once you come to Jesus, the Holy Spirit is a Comforter and Counselor, not an accuser and critic.
Here’s hoping you’ll put on your Good News Goggles today, read the passage for yourself, and disarm an awful isotrip once and for all. You’ll come away thinking, as Cajun comedian Jerry Clower used to put it, “Ain’t God good?”