Sunday, May 24, 2020

A conviction of spirit

Sermon for the Sunday after the Ascension

When the Lord ascends into heaven, we find ourselves looking back to see what he has already told us to see if it makes sense after His Resurrection.

At the Last Supper, He tells us that He will send His Spirit and, lo and behold, He appears after His Resurrection breathing out His Spirit onto the Disciples. But what does He say at the Last Supper?

"And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged."

What does He mean?


The message of Our Lord has always been that we must repent from sin and to Him. Throughout His ministry, He battles the authorities of a world that has become spiritually bankrupt. He has preached against those who make up their own version of righteousness. He scolds those who call people out as sinners but without doing anything about their own sin. He exposes those who make up their own sins.

Is it any wonder that the Holy Ghost wi do exactly the same thing? 

The Holy Ghost will show that the world is wrong about sin because it refuses to believe Our Lord's clear statement that He and only He is the Way out of sin and death and into Life.

The Holy Ghost will show the world is wrong about righteousness because Jesus ascends into Heaven, so His followers must live by faith in Him who is unseen and that this faith is the beginning of our righteousness.

The Holy Ghost will show the world is wrong about judgment because the way the world makes judgments is based on a law of accusation and recrimination rather than the Law of God which seeks to make right rather than  condemn. This is why the prince of this world can only be Satan Himself. The Holy Ghost will reveal this fact to all of Our Lord's Church.


Often we are told that the Holy Ghost is working in the Church only by people speaking in tongues, or by excitable exhibitions of worship, or by miraculous healings. While He may certainly be present in any one of these ways, the fact remains that we know that the Holy Spirit is working in the world, in the Church and in our lives when we see people turn to Christ, when we see people repent of their sins and when they renounce evil.

Does that sound familiar?


This is what it means to be baptized in the Holy Ghost. At our Baptism, we make these promises either for ourselves or for our godchildren. It is a commitment to allowing the Holy Spirit to live in us and in our children. This is the grace that we are given at Baptism for we gain the conviction to reject the world in favour of the true worship of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

And the Holy Ghost will give us the courage of our convictions

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