We are facing the truth in these posts that some Christians overemphasize the Holy Spirit, but many overlook Him. Sometimes called the “Shy Member of the Trinity,” the Holy Spirit is personal and deserves to be treated as a Person! As fully divine, He can (and should) be worshiped!
My primary thesis in these posts is that we can have a personal relationship with God the Holy Spirit which includes praying to Him and worshiping Him. Directing our prayers to the respective member of the Godhead who is most intimately connected to a certain ministry in no way minimizes the absolute primacy of the Lord Jesus.
We saw in our last post that He indwells the believer and gives us the highest motivation to live sexually pure lives.
Let’s notice a further ministry of the Spirit of God to the believer: He comforts us! We read about His “comforting” ministry in John 14:
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
The expression “another advocate” (v. 16) means “another of the same kind called alongside (to help).” The Holy Spirit would continue the ministry of the Lord Jesus to His disciples. The word “advocate” is translated “Comforter” in some Bibles, and sometimes comfort is exactly what the Jesus-follower needs.
However, the word literally means “one called alongside of.” Sometimes I don’t need the Spirit of God to comfort me but to chastise me! He is both a Defender and Prosecutor to the disciple.
In the next chapter of John, we read —
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. (ch. 15)
Some in the Early Church argued about whether the Holy Spirit is sent by the Son or by the Father. Jesus clearly says that this “Advocate” will be One “whom I will send to you from the Father” (v. 26).
In John 16 we read further of the ministries of God the Holy Spirit:
7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
We learn that the Son needed to go away so that “the Advocate” would come. We also learn of His “proving” ministry of sin, righteousness and judgment in the world (vv. 8-11).
This “Spirit of truth” will guide the disciples into all the truth (v. 12), not speaking on his own, but delegated (by the Father and the Son) to “tell what is yet to come” (v. 13).
Someone has said, “The truth shall make ye free, but first it shall make ye miserable.” The Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, brings comfort to God’s people and conviction to a world enslaved by its wrongness. God often comforts His people by His people.
The Challenge: Be an instrument of the Comforting Holy Spirit today and bring some encouragement to another believer!