KNOWING THE HOLY SPIRIT AS COUNSELOR, COMFORTER, SPIRIT OF TRUTH AND SPIRIT OF
CHRIST – JOHN 14:16-18; 25
As we continue to look at the six promises and assurances Jesus gave the disciples
the night of His arrest let’s review the first three and note the last three:
1) the promise of heaven; 2) knowing the Father; 3) the promise of prayer; 4)
the promise of the Holy Spirit; 5) knowing the love of the Father (see last
week’s lesson); 6) the supernatural peace of Jesus. Notice the highly relational
aspect of all these promises. Heaven is not just a glorious place it is our
home where we will be face to face with the Lord and among a community of loving,
joyful friends. Knowing the Father and His love now in this life and the peace
He and Jesus give us through prayer, through relating, talking and sharing our
cares and our thanks and listening to His comforting and guiding words. And
how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit reveal a community of loving relationship
Who work together in relating to us. God is all about relationships and has
created us in His image to be in loving, truthful relationships with Him and
the people He brings into our lives.
Today we will focus on the fourth assurance Jesus gave to His disciples – the
Holy Spirit. John 14:16-18; 25 As Jesus will soon leave His disciples in His
physical body, He assures them that He will not leave them as orphans but will
send "another" Counselor (Advocate, Comforter, Helper – "Parakletos"
– called to come along side of). The word "another" (allos) "means
another of the same sort" i.e., one just like Jesus. As Jesus mediates
the presence of God so the Holy Spirit mediates the presence of the Father and
The term "Comforter" gets its meaning from a Latin phrase "comfortare
" which means "with (com) strength (fortare)". The Holy Spirit
makes God’s presence real to us (whereas God is not real to unbelievers -"the
world") and empowers (strengthens) us to live like "little Christs"
(Christians). Jesus said the Spirit would come after He ascended to the Father
and we would receive power to be His witnesses. (Acts 1:1-8) It is impossible
to live the Christian life without His power.
The Holy Spirit is also called the Spirit of truth. He, like Jesus, communicates
the truth about God. And since Jesus is the truth (John 14:6 – the Person of
Christ not just His words) the Holy Spirit duplicates and sustains the work
of Jesus as He communicates and defends the truth of Jesus. Relationships can
only grow and thrive in truth.
"He will be in you" – v. 17 At Pentecost the Holy Spirit
came and indwelt all believers "forever" – permanently. In
the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came on (but not in) some believers
for special enablement and could depart especially because of disobedience.
(e.g., Saul -1 Sam 16:14)
The Spirit of Christ – Scripture refers to the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of
Jesus as the same. Thus to experience the Spirit is to experience Jesus. God’s
Word says if we have not received the Holy Spirit or the "Spirit of Christ",
we are not Christians; we "do not belong to Christ." (Romans 8:9)
Mental assent to the gospel does not mean we have actually become a Christian.
We must believe and receive Jesus (John 1:12) and thus receive
the Holy Spirit (the baptism of the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:5; 1 Cor. 12:13) to
be united to the body of Christ. Jesus is the baptizer and the Holy Spirit is
what He baptizes us into. Water baptism symbolizes this inner reality.
The Scripture shows three distinct relationships with the Holy Spirit: 1) the
natural man, an unbeliever -"But the natural man does not receive the things
of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned.( ! Cor. 2:14); 2) a carnal Christian,
saved but living in the flesh – "And I, brethren, could not speak
to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ."
( ! Cor. 3:1); and 3) the Spirit-filled Christian – "And do not be drunk
with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking
to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody
in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear
of God." (Eph. 5:18-21) The Spirit-filled Christian is characterized by
high praise to God and humility toward others.
All Christians have the Holy Spirit but the question is, does the Holy Spirit
have you? In Ephesians 5:18-20 above, God’s Word commands believers to be "filled
with the Spirit". The verb tense makes this read, "be being filled
with the Spirit". Other meanings for "filled" are "controlled"
or "ruled". In other words we are called to be Spirit-controlled or
Spirit-ruled believers. To live a life like Christ we must be filled and empowered
by the Holy Spirit moment by moment. As we admit our need and submit to do God’s
will the Holy Spirit will empower us to live a life that is a witness to Jesus
as He promised in Acts 1:8. (See above)
Why is the Holy Spirit sometimes called the "Cinderella" of the Trinity?
Depending on the translation you use the Holy Spirit is called Counselor, Comforter,
Helper, Spirit of truth, Spirit of Christ. What do these descriptions mean to
you in your walk with God?
As Christians we all have the Holy Spirit but the question is, does the Holy
Spirit have us? See what Paul says about this in Eph. 5:18-20.
What is another word for "filled" to express the meaning of this
relationship with the Holy Spirit?
Why do we need to pray regularly ("be being filled with the Spirit"
is the actual translation) to be filled with the Spirit?
Is the Holy Spirit your "Resident Boss" as one man called Him?