And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to help you and be with you forever.
Someone once asked the famous preacher, C. H. Spurgeon, “Which is more important, Mr Spurgeon, reading the Bible or praying?” To which Spurgeon replied, “I’ll answer your question after you answer my question – which is more important, breathing in or breathing out!”
In chapters 13-16 of John’s Gospel we see the disciples fearful, confused, and sorrowful. To comfort and help the disciples the Lord Jesus Christ teaches them about the importance of the Holy Spirit. He uses two names for the Spirit, “Advocate” and ‘The Spirit of Truth’ which imply more than one role. The Greek word used here is ‘Paracletos’. Paracletos was a military rank in the army, and its purpose was to encourage other soldiers and spur them on to rise up and fight against the enemy. Thus, we see that the word ‘Advocate’ refers to one who stands with us by “interceding for us” (Romans 8:26) and by his role as Comforter who consoles and strengthens us.
At this anxious time, there is nothing more important than knowing and experiencing the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, as an encourager, an advocate, and a comforter. But how does he accomplish this?
John 14:16 – We know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the first Advocate but the word “another” implies that the Spirit shares the same nature – note how the Saviour talks about this Trinity – the Father, Son and another Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who work as one in helping Jesus Christ’s disciples. The word “another” also means that the company and comfort of the Spirit are constant and through the Spirit the Christian enjoys the company of the Saviour himself (14:18).
John 14:26 – The Spirit is given by the Father in the name of Jesus Christ and thus possesses the authority of Jesus. Based on his victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil, he teaches, reminds, and leads us in all truth (16:12-13). He comforts us by making the words of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God immediate, alive, and relevant to us. This means that we do not only read the bare facts, but that they come imbued with grace, strength and the blessing that comes to our souls in the Word of God – which is more valuable than gold and sweeter than honey (Psalm 19:9-10).
John 15:26 – The Spirit shines a light upon the Lord Jesus Christ and makes us look to him and bring glory to him (16:14). After all, the Lord Jesus Christ is at the centre of our faith and our life! The essence of the Christian life is to live for Jesus and enjoy his company in worship and thanksgiving for his love and mercy towards us in dying for us.
Today, remember to breath in (reading, meditating, and learning from the Word of God) and remember also to breath out (prayer, praise, and worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ).
Keep safe. Every blessing for today.
Dewi Tudur, Eglwys Efengylaidd Ardudwy