Dear Cornerstone family and friends,
Be thankful this day for the wonderful salvation we have in Christ. What amazing grace and love has our Lord showered upon us. As the apostle John writes, “Oh what manner of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God.” How incredible that we have been adopted into the very family of God – that we can cry to him in prayer and rest in him for protection. The apostle Paul writes, “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God” (Gal 4:6-7). Be uplifted by these truths this week.
Below are a few things going on in the life of our church this week:
Church Spring picnic at the McDonald’s home this Saturday at 3:00pm. Their address is 36914 Anglers Way, Pinehurst, TX, 77362. Please invite your friends and neighbors … this would be a wonderful opportunity to introduce people to our church body!!
Today’s devotional is a continuation of last week’s – considering the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian.
From the Pastor’s Desk
“Conviction of Sin”
John 16:8, “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”
As was discussed in last week’s devotion, the primary function of the Holy Spirit as the representative agent of Christ in the church is to glorify the Son (John 16:14). But the important question remains … how does the Spirit do this? How does the Spirit glorify the Son? Again, in John 16 Jesus himself tell us. He states, “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. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment (vv. 7-8).” In other words, one of the primary ways by which the Spirit glorifies the Son is by convicting the world of sin. Put simply, the Holy Spirit convicts us that we are helpless sinners in desperate need of a Savior! When we read our Bibles – when we listen to sermons – the Holy Spirit is at work in our hearts. He is softening our hard hearts; and He is showing us more of our sin. And as we see more of our sin, so we are driven to our knees before the cross. And so Christ is glorified!!
We are given a living illustration of this convicting work of the Spirit in Peter’s Pentecost sermon from Acts 2. After Christ ascends to the Father (Acts 1:6-11), he pours out His Spirit upon the church (Acts 2:1-13). Peter then stands and proclaims the glories of Christ as the long-awaited Messiah – Jesus is both “Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). Verse 37 is where I want to focus our attention: “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’” Peter preaches the Word and the people are cut to the heart! We must keep in mind, however, the Spirit’s New Covenant out-pouring in Acts 2:1-13. To summarize, we ought to think along these lines: as Peter preaches the word – or as any faithful minister preaches the word – the Spirit (who is powerfully present in the New Covenant, i.e. New Testament era) accompanies the Word convicting, molding, refining, and changing hearts and lives more into the image of Christ (2 Cor 3:18).
There is one brief application that we must take from this truth. Dear Christian, when you gather each Lord’s Day to hear the Word preached, pray that the Spirit would be at work. When you read your Bible for personal devotion, pray that the Spirit would be at work. For it is only as we hear the Word with receptive minds and we receive the Word with submissive hearts will our lives be changed! To put it another way, we must be bold in prayer that the Spirit would be at work preparing us to hear the Word of our great Shepherd – “O Spirit, open my eyes. Show me my sin. Shine into the deepest corners of my heart. Make me more like Christ. Help me to grow in holiness …” And the good news is that this is the very purpose for which the Spirit has come. The Spirit is at work – our hearts are convicted – we see more of our sin – we see more of the love and grace of Christ – and Christ is glorified!!