This is seen clearly in the always appealing vision of the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37. The prophet is set amid a valley floor covered in scattered dry bones. God asks: "Mortal, can these bones live?" The wise, humble, and faithful prophet admits, "O Sovereign Lord, only you know."
The prophet is commanded, "Prophesy!" i.e. command in the power and name of your God! Like the voice of God which alone caused creation in Genesis, the prophet's voice prophesies to the bones. They come together from scattered places to be re-formed. Then tendons, muscles, and flesh appear as they are made new and whole once again. But they do not live; there is no breath, no Spirit, no life.
The prophet is commanded again, "Prophesy!" The Spirit comes and life is given to the once scattered, dry, and lifeless bones. The world presented the dry bones as hopeless, as refuse on the trash heap, specters of death. God transforms what the world has declared as fact and true, bringing life out of death, turning trash into treasure. The key ingredient in the work of God was the summoning of the Holy Spirit by the one who was faithful and would prophesy in the name of the Lord God.
In John 16, Jesus is preparing for his imminent arrest, his ultimate departure from his disciples. He has prayed for them and now instructs them about the need for his departure so that the Holy Spirit can come, empowering their ministry in his name. Jesus cites three things which the Holy Spirit will reveal, confounding the worldly. The world has defined sin, justice, and judgment. Through the Holy Spirit, the world's definitions will be exposed as fraudulent. Jesus will redefine sin, justice, and judgment, and the Holy Spirit will show these things in truth, transforming what the world affirmed as good, true, and just.
It isn't a simple text , so you'll have to read the sermon text below to see how this works out.
SORRY, there is no sermon video this week. The camera shut off inexplicably one second after turning it on. Ugh.
The sermon text and the Fairfielder answers are downloadable below.