Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Conviction of the Spirit!

13.15 The conviction of the Holy Spirit in evangelism

When we share, we should be conscious of the fact that it is not our persuasiveness that convicts someone to receive the Lord. The battle is in the deepest part of the heart and thoughts of the person.

Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will convict the unbeliever of sin and the need for Jesus. As we share, we should rely on the Holy Spirit.

When the Holy Spirit convicts a person’s heart of sin, it becomes unbearable. When He convicts a person of righteousness in Christ, Jesus becomes irresistible (John 16:8-10).

John G. Lake – The Power of Conviction of the Holy Spirit

During a meeting among the Zulus in Africa, John G. Lake preached a message on real repentance – the complete separation from the world, its sin and its spirit, like Jesus had separated Himself unto all righteousness in the river Jordan. There was a quiet stillness that pervaded the meeting as the Holy Spirit convicted the people of their sin.

Suddenly, a man arose from the back of the audience and came towards the altar. Before he could reach the altar, the Holy Spirit struck him and he fell flat on his face. Another man arose and walked calmly and steadily to the front. When he came to where the first man had fallen, the Spirit struck him and he fell on top of the first man.

One after the other they came forward. Each one in turn fell at the same spot until 15 men were piled up, one on top of the other. Lake said that he had seen many manifestations of God before, but none like this.

Lake was bothered because he was afraid that the person on the bottom of the pile would be smothered. Soon his human sympathy overcame him and he tried to pull a few men off the pile. The Holy Spirit said, “If God has slain these, can you not trust Him to keep them from being smothered?” Lake promptly returned to his seat.

After 15 minutes, one of the prostrate men began to confess his sin at the top of his voice! After a short time, he arose with the light of God in his face and returned to his seat. All 15 men confessed one after another and returned to their seats.

When they interviewed the first man via the interpreter, he said that he saw Jesus remove all his sins and He made his heart white. The Holy Spirit had convicted the people of sin and they received Jesus.

(Reference: Adventures in God by John G. Lake, Harrison House)

13.13 Be led by the Spirit in witnessing

We should allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in witnessing because He has perfect knowledge of His lost sheep.

Let us study the divine principles of witnessing from the story of Philip the evangelist in Acts 8:26-38. Philip had just preached the gospel in Samaria where many received Christ. God gave him specific instructions on what to do next and he obeyed. This resulted in the salvation of the eunuch from Ethiopia, a high-ranking official.

From the passage, we can follow these truths on witnessing:

1) Be Led. Follow the leading of God. Philip followed the instructions of the angel to get to the right person at the right place.

2) Follow God’s Timing. At the right time, the Holy Spirit asked him to overtake the chariot and he heard the eunuch reading the Scriptures.

3) Be Invited. Philip flowed with the Spirit. As he heard the reading, he asked if the eunuch understood the Scriptures and received an invitation. Christians should seek consent to share without being imposing.

4) Share Jesus. When the eunuch’s heart was open, Philip opened his mouth and preached Jesus.

5) Administering Salvation. When the eunuch indicated his desire to receive the Lord, Philip led him to his confession of faith and baptized him.

Many Christians approach evangelism like a salesman doing their job, armed with fix processes and presentation materials. They go door to door and with great persistency, often putting people off.

That isn’t God’s way. We should be sharing the good news motivated by God’s unconditional love. We should be led by the Spirit to talk to the right person at the right time, just as Philip did. There should be dependence on the Holy Spirit.

13.10 Power to be witnesses

When the disciples were given the great commission, Jesus said that they had to first receive empowerment before they could share the gospel message (Acts 1:4-8). Today, we should not run off to fulfill the great commission without first receiving His empowerment.

Jesus tells us to receive power to be witnesses through the baptism in the Spirit (Acts 1:8). We need to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus wants us to “be witnesses” which is more than simply to “do witnessing”.

A sister was sharing in our meeting earlier about how she had struggled to “do witnessing” as a Christian because she didn’t feel like a victorious Christian. She didn’t feel empowered and God wasn’t real. The secret is not in “doing” but in “being”.

To be a witness, it has to be by the power of the Holy Spirit that transforms us from within through the reality of Jesus.

As a witness, our lives reflect Jesus and doing witnessing will flow naturally as part of our daily lives. Our lives speak louder than our words. We are an epistle of Christ for the world to read (2 Cor 3:2-3).

To be an effective witness, our lives should be a living testimony of the reality of Christ. The Bible says that our lives are an epistle of Christ for the world to read. We display His fruit and we experience His power. Our experiences can be shared as testimonies.

Personal testimonies are a powerful witness of Christ’s reality and love. When we share our testimonies, the devil will be defeated. Rev 12:11 says, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.”

Website: www.dailyrhema.blogspot.com

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