“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.”
Who is the Holy Spirit and how exactly does He help us? Sometimes, we refer to the Holy Spirit as some nebulous spirit being that just hovers around to lead us this way and that. But Jesus is very clear: the Spirit is so much more. He is our real and necessary helper and advocate, sent to assist us in living the Christian life.
In a recent staff devotional, we read the following quote from Tim Keller’s Encounters with Jesus on the role of the Holy Spirit:
Many people say that the Holy Spirit gives us power, and that’s true, but how does he do that? Does he merely zap us with higher energy levels? No—by calling him the other Advocate [or Helper], Jesus has given us the great clue to understanding how the empowering of the Holy Spirit works. The first Advocate [Jesus] is speaking to God for you, but the second Advocate [the Holy Spirit] is speaking to you for you.
In other words, the Holy Spirit was sent to remind us about Christ and empower us to live in light of the gospel. Here are a few ways that the Holy Spirit “speaks” to us both for our good and God’s glory:
He reminds us about all that Jesus has taught.
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit — the Father will send Him in My name — will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you” (John 14:26).
He is a personal witness to testify about Christ.
“When the Counselor comes, the One I will send to you from the Father — the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father — He will testify about Me” (John 15:26).
He convicts us of sin.
“When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment” (John 16:8).
He guides us to truth.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come” (John 16:13).
He brings glory to Jesus.
“He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:14).
So this is why Jesus tells His disciples that it is to their advantage that He left them (John 16:7). Because in His leaving, a new Helper was sent. And this Helper would be the most sturdy of lifelines to all those who believe upon the gospel.
To receive the Spirit is to receive a helper and advocate for the soul, One who will always point us to Jesus, our Redeemer and King. Will you listen to Him?