"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so." -Acts 17:11

This is a study outline that will direct you, but it will not do your thinking for you. The purpose of this style is to encourage you to do a good deal of leg work in your own bible. Read the passage and the opening statement. Understand the text and its context. Read each question, then look at the lettered (A, B, C, etc.) thought. Look at each of the numbered, supporting references to get the full meaning of the thought. Follow the logic yourself before reading the concluding statement. Finally, give this study legs of its own by putting it into practice in your life.

"The Spirit is Sent"    John 16:5-11 (KJV)

"(5) But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? (6) But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. (7) 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. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged."
The Lord Jesus told the apostles that he was going away and they reacted with grief. He corrected them saying that His leaving would be advantageous for them. Not until Christ returned to glory could the Holy Spirit be sent. Not until the Spirit came could the Gospel go into all of the world. When our Lord was in His earthly body He could work in only one place at a time. Only Christ could bring salvation to the world, and only the Spirit can bring the world to salvation.
  1. Where is the Holy Spirit Working?
    1. The Spirit comes to the Church, not to the World.
      1. v. 7 - He comes to you
      2. Acts 1:8 - Said to come upon you
      3. Acts 2:37-38 - Peter said: repent, believe, receive
    2. The Church is the enabling, ministering body of the Spirit
      1. Acts 2:14 - Peter preached after receiving the Spirit
      2. Eph. 4:1-4 - There is one Church and one Spirit
      3. Acts 8:5-8 - Philip performed Christ's works in the Spirit
  2. What is the Holy Spirit Doing? (The courtroom scene)
    1. He brings an indictment
      1. v. 8 - The word reprove = confute; to convict of error by argument or proof
      2. Tit. 1:9 - The word convince = confute, also
    2. His charge is unbelief
      1. v. 9 - the sin is unbelief
      2. Heb 3:7-12 - evil heart of unbelief
    3. He prosecutes unbelief
      1. Rom 11:20 - broken off
    4. He calls the Believer as a witness
      1. Acts 2:37 - pricked (run through the heart) when Peter witnessed
      2. 1 John 5:8 - we received the Spirit, and the water, and the blood
    5. He obtains a verdict: Guilty of unbelief; the sentence is death
      1. v. 9 - sin, singular. The one sin unto death is unbelief
      2. Heb 3:19 - could not enter in, kept out by unbelief
  3. How is the Holy Spirit Saving?
    1. The Spirit convicts the sinner of Christ's righteousness (v. 10).
      1. Phil. 3:9 - our own righteousness is filthy rags
      2. 2 Pet 1:1 - His righteousness must be our claim
    2. The Spirit convicts the sinner of the judgment upon Satan.
      1. v. 11 - Satan has been defeated and judged
      2. Matt 25:41 - unbelievers belong with Satan
    3. The Spirit converts the heart.
      1. Rom 10:9-10 - with the heart man believeth
      2. Tit 3:5 - renewing of the Holy Spirit
The work of the Holy Spirit today is done through the church: as believers, you and I give the Spirit a body to work through. The work of the Spirit is to convict the lost of their unbelief. Our belief, our testimony, our love and obedience to Christ is the witness that gives rise to an obvious contrast between us and the unbeliever. We must live out our faith and be witnesses against unbelief. The Spirit will convict the unbeliever, we cannot. The Word of God will convince sinners of their sinfulness, we cannot. The church as a whole and every believer individually must take their Faith and the Word to the World with unceasing Prayer so that the Spirit can bring them to salvation.