I’m grateful for our schools and for dedicated teachers, but there are some things no teacher or professor can impart to you. God created us with a body, soul and spirit. You can’t learn spiritual truth from those who don’t understand it. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to convict and convince the world of three vital truths: Sin, righteousness, and judgment. When you humble yourself before God, He opens your heart to understand truth. You'll never learn them anywhere else, for only the Spirit can impart spiritual truths and they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).
The Truth About Sin
Sin is a clenched fist in the face of God, refusing to bow the knee to the one who died on the cross foe you. Only the Holy Spirit can teach you that. When you see it, then you’ll understand why the Bible calls you a sinner.
You won’t hear this from your college professor, and we don’t like to believe it, but we are born with a sin nature. That’s Lesson #1 from the Holy Spirit (Romans 3:23). We’re sinners for three reasons:
Because of what we are—sinners by nature (Ephesians 2:3). We do what we do because of what we are (Romans 3:10). We have a problem, and it’s on the inside (Jeremiah 17:9). We’re sinners not foremost because of what we do but what we are. Our sin nature is the poisoned well.
Because of what we do.
The sins we commit come out of that well. Since Adam’s fall, our thoughts and actions reveal our lostness every day. God destroyed a civilization with a flood because of the imaginations of men’s hearts (Genesis 6:5). We must admit our sin, so the Holy Spirit convicts us of it.
Because of what we’ve not done.
We’ve refused to accept God’s offer of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ, who paid our penalty for sin by His death on the cross. Failure to believe in His atoning death is the ultimate sin (John 3:18), from which all other sins grow.
The Truth About Righteousness
The Holy Spirit explains that only the righteousness of Christ can save us. People think they become righteous by “being good.” But Paul demolished that idea (Romans 10:3).
Our own righteousness is useless for salvation. It counts for absolutely nothing. Isaiah shockingly compares our self-made righteousness to “filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). If there were any way to be saved other than Jesus’ death on the cross, then Calvary was the blunder of the ages. God would never allow His Son to die in agony and blood if we could be saved by “doing good” (Galatians 2:21). Jesus would never leave His Father in Heaven, take our sin upon Himself, and die in agony, if our righteousness would suffice. Jesus bought our redemption with His own righteousness. We have none on our own.
The Holy Spirit
—changes who we are,
—forgives what we’ve done,
—and gives what we need, Jesus’ righteousness.
He took our sin that we might take His righteousness (Romans 4:5-6). That’s Lesson #2 from the Holy Spirit.
The Truth About Judgment
The Holy Spirit will teach you that judgment awaits each of us if we die in our sin. Don’t imagine your sin will slip past God, even if you don’t repent and receive His righteousness. That’s not true. The only way to escape judgment is through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Satan is already judged (John 12:31, John 16:11). He sails a sinking ship; he rules a doomed domain. One day he’ll be thrown into the lake of fire, prepared for him. God didn’t prepare Hell for you, but He doesn’t overlook sin. If you go to Hell—which you will if you refuse to repent and receive His righteousness—you’ll be an intruder!
These three truths—Sin, Righteousness, and Judgment— are vital for salvation. The Holy Spirit wants to teach them to you. Will you let Him?
The Battle for the Soul of America contains timeless, foundational principles about human government, all rooted in biblical truth. Real truth never changes, and the truth about government is that it is God who ordains it, leaders who are responsible for it, and citizens who are accountable to it. In this book, pastor, teacher, and author Adrian Rogers reminds us that the privilege of being called Americans comes with significant responsibilities—to God, to each other, and to the world.