In John, chapter 16, Jesus had these comforting words to say to His disciples as He saw that they were sorrowful over his soon to be departure: John 16:6-8 – NKJV – But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Who is this “Helper” that Jesus was referring to? To know this, let’s back up to chapter 14 where Jesus said the following: John 14:15-17 – NLT – “If you love me, obey my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.
The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. John 14:26 – NLT – But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. The “Helper”, or “Advocate” that Jesus was talking about is the Holy Spirit. He would be sent to us as Christ’s “representative”, according to the Scripture, who would dwell with us and even be “in” us after Christ’s ascension. But just who is the Holy Spirit and how does He effect our lives? How does He dwell with us and live inside of us? Part of God’s complex nature is that though He is One God, He expresses Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, known as the eternal Godhead, the Triune God or the “Trinity”.
When a person sincerely repents, and gives their lives to Jesus Christ, God will then send the Holy Spirit into their life. The Apostle Peter had this to say about it: Acts 2:38 – NLT – Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is given to all of those who have truly turned their lives and their hearts over to Jesus Christ and have been genuinely “saved”, having had a “born-again” experience according to John 3:3-5, being cleansed by the shed blood of Jesus Christ (1 John 1:7; Hebrews 9:14).
What a privilege it is to have the third Person of the Trinity come and dwell in our hearts and help us to live this Christian life! Yet, there are many Christians who attend church weekly, but know very little about the One whom Jesus sent to dwell “with” and “in” them. Some of the reasoning for that is many simply have not been taught about Him. Others have heard of some imbalances and extremes concerning other denominational churches and
spiritual movements which has caused them to shy away from it.
Another reason, which is mostly used by some pastors, is that they fear that teaching on the Holy Spirit will place more of an emphasis on the Holy Spirit instead of centering on Jesus Christ. But none of these should be valid reasons to shy away from learning as much as we can concerning the One who has come to take up residence with us. If anything, learning the proper way from the study of the Scriptures will only increase your love and appreciation for Jesus Christ and what God has done by sending His Son in the world for us, and the outpouring of His Spirit upon us. Just as a small sample, just look at what John says concerning the Holy Spirit. This is from the Amplified Classic Bible: John 15:26 – AMPC –
But when the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who comes (proceeds) from the Father, He [Himself] will testify regarding Me. The Holy Spirit here is described as a “Comforter” or “Helper” in other translations. It is the Greek word “parakletos” (pronounced para-kleet-os), which means “one called alongside of” or “called to ones aid”. It also means an “Advocate”, which means a legal supporter who makes the right judgment-call because of being close enough to the situation.
Also, it has the meaning of an Intercessor, Strengthener and Standby. With the exception of The Amplified Bible, the scholars who translated this portion of Scripture from the original manuscripts did not fit all of the meaning of this word into one sentence in most translations because the word had so many related definitions. That’s why some Bible translations have Comforter while others have Helper or still, others chose to just use Advocate.
They are all correct, it’s just that there is so much more meaning to the word than they wished to add, so some chose one or the other. (Thank God for the Amplified Bible or a good Bible Concordance like Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible) In the upcoming issues of the Chimney Rock, we are going to take a look at Scripture concerning the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives with the intent of strengthening our relationship with Jesus Christ. God Bless!