The Spirit Convicts of Judgment

Jesus also declared that the Spirit would convict the world “of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” John 16:11

Behind the play and counter play of history, supernatural forces, good and evil, have waged an unceasing warfare. At the cross, the great controversy between Christ and Satan became visible. Christ and Satan stood before an empanelled universe to be judged. One would be acquitted, the other condemned. The events that culminated in Christ’s crucifixion would expose to the universe the inner feelings of each. Would Christ in the hour of test and trial accept some attitude of Satan and be brought under his dominion? When reviled, would He revile back? When outraged, would He strike back? When abused, insulted, tortured, and tormented, would Jesus become vindictive.

Behold the Lord of glory in shame. The Light of the world stands in the midst of darkness, but the darkness cannot put out the light of God’s love. The Prince of life, seized with paroxysms of pain, chooses to die rather than be disloyal to God. The Sinless One is robed in sin, but His righteousness shines through. The universe stands amazed at the spectacle of the Creator in the hands of His creatures. Satan sits in the judgment seat ready to pronounce the death sentence. The world unseen sees it all: the rigged court, the false witnesses, the timeserving judge intimidated by the Jerusalem rabble.

Satan condemned the innocent One to the cruelest of deaths. A being lacking God’s Spirit demonstrated what all who lack that Spirit when unrestrained would do. When unrestrained by the Spirit of God, the unconverted man inspired by him who “was a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44) will act out all the evil that is in his carnal nature, even to perpetrating unprovoked murder.

Satan stood unmasked. Christ’s death exonerated God and proved that He was in no way responsible for sin. John pulled the curtain back so that all might see what then took place in heaven. “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” Revelation 12:10. Shortly before, Jesus had foretold Satan’s eviction: “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” John 12:31.

A court higher than any that Satan could convene witnessed the innocent One suffer death at the hands of Satan. God acted as Chief Justice, and every heavenly intelligence formed a part of the grand jury. This court, having examined Jesus under the searchlight of God’s law, reversed the rigged verdicts of those courts that Satan had dominated. Heaven completely absolved our Lord and decreed that He should not be held in Satan’s prison house of death. Death must not have dominion over Him who Heaven judged innocent of any sin. Of the Hero of Calvary, Peter declared, “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” Acts 2:24. And how was Christ raised from the dead? He was “quickened by the Spirit.” (1 Peter 3:18.)

However, though Satan stood unmasked and guilty at Calvary, man’s judgment had not yet come. The awful fact remained that men had shared in this monstrous crime. We are all guilty; for we have all displayed the same, evil traits toward on another and God that ran riot there.

Thank God, the accuser of the brethren is cast down. This would-be judge has been judged and but awaits the execution of the sentence. In heaven’s verdict, all who follow Satan on earth can read their own doom. The Holy Spirit works to keep this before our minds, for as Satan was judged guilty of Christ’s blood, so all his followers will ultimately be judged guilty as partakers with him in his reprehensible deed. And as Jesus stood exonerated before the universe, so all His followers will someday stand completely absolved, for their acceptance of Jesus will have shown that they deserve to turn from the attributes of character that impelled Satan to perpetrate the diabolical outrage.

The Holy Spirit, then, not only convinces that the prince of this world has been judged but that every member of the human family will also be judged. Man has two appointments both of which he will inevitable meet: death and judgment. “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27.  “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:10. Moreover, there will be nothing haphazard about these judgment-no favoritisms of any kind. God declares, “Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet.” Isaiah 28:17.

The Spirit of God desires that every soul make preparation. All who respond to the Spirit’s promptings will confess their sins and thus send them beforehand to judgment. “Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment, and by the spirit of burning” (Isaiah 4:4).

As the Spirit impresses the exceeding sinfulness of sin upon the soul, a sense of condemnation and guilt rests heavily upon us and we long to have this load lifted. Then the Spirit points us to Calvary, as we pour our souls in repentance and confession, the condemnation rolls away. We experience the freedom Paul, the wretched, felt when he found deliverance in Christ Jesus. (Romans 7:24,25.) That this sense of condemnation might not return, we are to “walk in the Spirit.” There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1.

Though God has provided a way whereby the righteous may be delivered in the judgment, He also “knoweth how… to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” (2 Peter 2:9.) The Holy Spirit earnestly and often pleads with sinners to forsake their evil ways and accept salvation. The Holy Ghost saith, to day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” Hebrews 3:7,8. The Pentecostal appeal of the Spirit sounds across the centuries. Would that it might reach the lost of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people: “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” Acts 2:40.

Memory Verse:

2 Corinthians 5:10.   “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

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