Most people have been led to believe that self-doubt, self-condemnation, feelings of unworthiness, and conviction for individual sins are the work of the Holy Spirit. But it's just not true!
Those of you who are familiar with this ministry know that I spend a great deal of time teaching on the unconditional love and grace of God. That is what changed my life. But I can tell by the questions and comments I get that many people still don't get it.
Because of that, years ago I asked the Lord to give me a way of expressing His grace that people can't miss. That is when He gave me one of the most important revelations I have ever had about the positive ministry of the Holy Spirit. Not everyone likes this, but they understand what I'm saying.
The devil's favorite tool, religion, has done a great job of convincing the body of Christ that the Holy Spirit is the source of negative feelings. He has believers convinced it's the Holy Spirit showing them they are unworthy and have to "clean up their acts" if they ever want to receive from the Lord.
The truth is, it's your heart or, more specifically, your conscience that is condemning you, not God. That is not the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is never the source of any of your guilt or condemnation. He is not the One that makes you feel bad when you sin.
Your conscience is the part of you that condemns you. And if you are feeling unworthy it's almost impossible to receive from God.
First John 3:19-21 says,
"And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God."
This verse makes it very clear: Your heart can condemn you even though God is not. What a radical truth, which comes as a complete shock to most Christians. We've just assumed that it is always the Holy Spirit who is condemning us.
Then John said in verse 21,
"Beloved if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God."
If you can reach the point where your conscience is not condemning you, judging you, and causing you to feel unworthy to receive, then you will have confidence toward God, which has great recompense of reward (Heb. 10:35).
Most Christians never reach that place. Most know that God can answer their prayer; they just don't have the confidence that He will, because they feel unworthy. They aren't willing to stand in faith, because feelings of guilt and unworthiness, which they believe are coming from the Holy Spirit, shipwreck their faith.
"Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck" (1 Tim. 1:19).
Our conscience is not something we can or should ignore; it can be trained for our benefit, but it is not the Holy Spirit. The best way to deal with the conscience is to, as much as possible, not give it any occasion against us. It can't condemn you if you aren't giving it a reason. However, no one lives a perfect life and ultimately you've got to purge your conscience from dead works.
Hebrews 9:14 says,
"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
In Hebrews 10:22, the Bible says,
"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience."
And in Hebrews 4:16, we read,
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
The ministry of Holy Spirit is just the opposite of what many Christians think. In John 14:16 read how Jesus describes the Holy Spirit:
"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever."
Notice that Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the "Comforter," not the afflicter. It also says that He will send "another" Comforter. "Another" means one of the same caliber, the same kind. Jesus was and still is a comforter; He didn't condemn people during His earthly ministry.
John 3:17-19 reads,
"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deed were evil."
John 14:26 says,
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my nameâ€¦"
In John 15:26, Jesus said,
"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Fatherâ€¦"
And in John 16:7, Jesus continues to say about the Holy Spirit,
"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you."
There can be no doubt that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is not one of condemnation; it's one of comfort. Jesus said that it was expedient for you that He go away and the Comforter comes. The word "expedient" means "to your advantage." Jesus is saying that it's better to have the Holy Spirit ministering to you than it is to have Him present in His physical body. What a statement!
I know someone is thinking, What about John 16:8:
"And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment."
Well, first of all, there is a huge difference between conviction and condemnation, but let's set that aside for now. Look at the next verse. Jesus knew people would impute things to the Holy Spirit that He wasn't doing. So, Jesus explained very clearly just which sin the Holy Spirit would convict us of. It is the singular sin of not believing on Jesus.
John 16:9 says,
"Of sin, because they believe not on me."
The Holy Spirit doesn't convict us of lying, stealing, adultery, murder, etc; He convicts us that we aren't trusting in Jesus. That's the root of every sin.
Technically, people don't go to hell for their individual sins; Jesus has already forgiven all of them (1 John 2:2). People go the hell for the single sin of not making Jesus their personal Savior, the complete and only payment for their sin.
Even after receiving salvation, it's not our actions (sins) that are the problem but the heart attitude of not trusting Jesus. That is the root of all sin. The reason people do dope and alcohol is because they are turning to something other than Jesus to dull the hurt inside.
When we lie, it's because we don't trust Jesus and feel we have to manipulate others. That's what all sin comes down to: not trusting Jesus. That's what the Holy Spirit convicts us about.
Most Christians have not truly understood this positive ministry of the Holy Spirit. We have made Him the source of our feelings of guilt, condemnation, and unworthiness. Because of that, we haven't really let Him do His job, and we are missing the benefits and power of a relationship with Him.
The Holy Spirit should be your best friend. He was sent here to encourage you and constantly assure you of God's love. He is the most important and most powerful person in your life. If you haven't been thinking correctly about the Holy Spirit, it's time to change your thinking.
You will never be able to relate to God correctly until you understand this positive ministry of the Holy Spirit. My new and expanded series, The Positive Ministry of the Holy Spirit, will help you make this change in your thinking. The Holy Spirit is the great Comforter, but His positive ministry goes far beyond that. If you want power in your life, you'll have to know and understand what I teach in this series.