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Forgotten persons (05/19/2013)

From: T.M. Schoewe

It’s a given that many people plod along daily, faithfully performing their tasks unnoticed by the crowd, seldom getting a word of thanks or praise. Last week we celebrated Mother’s Day. That was good, but who remembered to thank single mothers? Many men and women work hard each day and together add a great deal to keep the machinery of life functioning smoothly, so much so that many take it for granted. Often they’re only appreciated after they are gone. Personnel in our Armed Forces are often so treated. We are reminded of the 243 Marines that died in their sleep in Lebanon or those sailors suddenly swept out of the land of the living on the USS Iowa, to give a couple examples. And it seems like some would like to just be forgotten after what happened in Benghazi with our Ambassador and Navy Seals.

This weekend is Pentecost, which in Greek means 50th, the fiftieth day after Easter, when the Holy Spirit came in a visible way. Read about this great wonder in the 2nd chapter of Acts. It is this person of the Godhead who is sadly often forgotten among us, and He is the One that gathers and enlightens the whole Christian church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. By bringing us to faith in Christ He gives us the blessing of the cross. This is necessary because by nature we are spiritually dead and cannot by our reason believe in Christ or come to Him. So He always accompanies the gospel whenever it is used to create faith and bestow the forgiveness of sins to us, to all who believe. At the end of time this often forgotten Holy Spirit will raise us up from the dead.

In preparing His disciples for His departure (you might read the whole chapter of John 16) Jesus called this forgotten person, the Comforter. He said He had to go away in order to send Him and when He would come He would remind the world of three things. He will convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.

“Of sin because they believe not on me,” the world has come to have a superficial idea of sin. Although it recognizes coarse outbursts and we have policemen and prisons, it falls far short of the measure of a God that is so holy, any thought, word or deed contrary to His commandments is a transgression. Disobeying your parents is as bad as Eve’s or Cain’s sin, or some thieves stealing and going to jail. What is serious is that it puts us out of a right relationship with God. And to satisfy His justice against sin God sent His son to the cross for all man’s sin. All sin, the greatest and least, has been paid for on the cross. Again, this is not understood by the world!

Now there is one sin that is unpardonable and becomes the greatest of all, because it makes a person accountable for all his other transgressions; that is the sin of “unbelief.” It condemns because it refuses to accept the pardon that exists for all men. Now if you believe this and you find you believe in the Christ who pardoned you, this is a conviction that the Holy Spirit has worked in you, so be grateful!

Second, this Comforter the Lord sent will convince us of true righteousness, “because I go to the Father.” Man likes to think righteousness is within himself, that it is something we must produce ourselves. By our egocentric nature we all think this way. But the Lord is saying when the Holy Spirit comes He will convince you and show you there is only one righteousness that avails before God; it is not in you or me but in Jesus Christ, Who sits at the right hand of God. If you are convinced of this and that His perfect life and death credits you with His righteousness, then the forgotten person of the Godhead has been working in your heart.

Finally, the Comforter convinces us that judgment must come because Satan has been judged. Satan who brought the curse of sin on mankind was conquered by the cross. His evils of sin, death and hell are removed by the cross. The day is coming when you will witness the final judgment.

In the meantime, resist Satan and do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Enjoy Pentecost and always remember the Lord’s Word, if earthly fathers give good gifts to their children how much more will the heavenly Father give you the Holy Spirit! Do not forget to ask!  

 

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