With the Paraklete you are plural

In the previous devotional I highlighted that the Holy Spirit is our Helper. Jesus said: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever…” (John 14:16, ESV) 

In Greek, the word is Parakletos. It’s a word that is also translated as Counselor, Advocate and Comforter. J.I. Packer explains: “The thoughts of encouragement, support, assistance, care, and the shouldering of responsibility for another’s welfare, are all conveyed by this word.”*

Today let’s look at two of these ideas.

First, the Holy Spirit—our Paraklete—is our Helper. He helps us in a general sense. He also helps us in a redeeming sense. Without him we are spiritually dead.

Further, he also helps us to love Jesus’ and follow his commands. After all, he promises the Helper in the very same breath in which he told his disciples that they will keep his commands if they love him. 

Second, the Holy Spirit is our Counselor. He counsels us about the truth. Without him, we would not be able to understand anything about God, the Bible, light over darkness, or right over wrong. Without him we would be spiritually blind. John Calvin comments: “until we have been inwardly taught by Him all our minds are held by vanity and falsehood.”** Yikes.

When someone has been praying for you every day, and they later tell you about it, it’s so encouraging and uplifting. It’s also encouraging and uplifting when someone has been working for your good when you didn’t know they were doing so. It makes you realize that they really care and want to be there for you. 

How much more is this true of the Holy Spirit!

If you are a disciple of Jesus, the Holy Spirit—our Paraklete—is helping you do so, and he is counseling you in the wisdom and ways of God.

When God says he is with his people, he means it literally. 

In Christ, you are not alone. You are plural.


Notes:

–Sermon. “The Holy Spirit within you is helping you.” January 15, 2023. Click here to listen.

–*J.I. Packer, Knowing God (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1973), 68.

–**John Calvin, Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: The Gospel According to St. John, Part Two 11-21 and The First Epistle of John, trans. T.H.L. Parker (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company), 1959), 82.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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