He Simply Opens Our Eyes
The Holy Spirit does not do it with smoke and mirrors. He is nothing like the Wizard of Oz. He just shows us the truth, the full reality of what is really there. That is what the Holy Spirit did as he spoke through the words of Peter on the Day of Pentecost. He was right there in the hearts of Peter’s congregation, opening the eyes of those sinners who had crucified the Lord. The Holy Spirit was showing them the reality of what they had done in crucifying Jesus so that they could turn in faith and repentance to the reality of Christ as Savior and Lord.
Opposing the Holy Spirit is one whom the Apostle Paul called, “…the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” Eph. 2:2. This dark prince, identified here by Paul, is none other than the Devil and we should recognize his enormous power to blind sinful men. On the Day of Pentecost that dark prince had blinded Peter’s entire congregation. It is a wonderful fact, however, that on that same day the Holy Spirit stepped into human history and opened the eyes and hearts of those 3000 who were listening to Peter.
Yes! This was a miracle! A wonderful supernatural work of the living God, the Holy Spirit! But the Holy Spirit accomplished this awesome miracle by simply enabling people to see some plain facts of history. The Holy Spirit did not lead these people into some kind of dreamy mysticism or into some peculiar unearthly spirituality . He simply showed them the two plain historic facts of the gospel: (1) who Jesus was and (2) what Jesus had done to redeem them from their sins. Because the Devil had been able to blind Peter’s congregation, none of them could see/understand those simple facts. That is why it was absolutely necessary for the Holy Spirit to do his miraculous work in the hearts of those people through Peter’s words.
Satan, that “dark prince” of Ephesians 2, is still working powerfully among us. He began his wicked work in the Garden of Eden, calling God a liar. He is still doing that. He is telling us and the whole world that the gospel itself is a lie and is inventing many lies of his own to lead people away from the simple truth of the gospel. Dr. Al Mohler has identified four great liars that Satan is using for this evil purpose in our present age: Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Friedrick Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud. Mohler likens these men to the “FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYSPSE” showing how their lies effectively deny the gospel and lead lost sinners into a ‘brave new world’ that could never exist.
It is good news for us that the Holy Spirit is more powerful than the Devil. I John 4:4 informs us that “…the one who is in you [the Holy Spirit] is greater than the one who is in the world [the Devil].” The wonderful fact is that the Holy Spirit shows us the gospel as truth that is so beautiful to us that we are compelled to believe it, repent of our Sin and turn in faith to Jesus as our Savior. The lies which the Darwins and Freuds of this world invent are attractive to us because they appeal to our pride. They create the myth that we can save ourselves, that we do not need God or a Savior in any form. We are quite sufficient without the gospel. What dreadful lies! The dark prince never tires of inventing them.
The historic facts of scripture are the Holy Spirit’s means of convincing us of the simple facts of the gospel. For centuries God was inspiring his prophets to promise salvation to his people. When those promises were finally fulfilled in the coming of Jesus and in his mighty acts of redemption, God’s people could be satisfied with full salvation. But it was the absolutely indispensable work of the Holy Spirit that enabled God’s people to see/understand this gospel and believe it.
I need to say that a bit more forcefully!! The Holy Spirit miraculously broke through the web of Satanic lies that held lost sinners in a death grip. He broke into the hearts of those sinners by displaying the saving love of Christ with such irresistible grace and power that the death grip of Satan was broken. The captivating wonder of eternal salvation now holds us fast and forever.
This is the gospel, the most wonderful reality that could ever dawn on mankind.