‘‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.’’ John 14:16-17
Additional reading: Jn. 15:26; 16:13; 20:22; Act. 2:4, 33; Rom. 8:15; 1Cor. 2:14
We did mention yesterday that the Holy Spirit is eternal, thus implying that the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ through the Spirit of God, (which is eternal) gave indefinite life—perpetual life to all believers. Today, we shall consider the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of truth and the Counsellor.
During His final days (before His crucifixion), Jesus made a remarkable promise to His disciples. He said: ‘‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.’’ The whole idea is to have someone live permanently with His children that are the believers. If you recall, we did say yesterday that the Holy Spirit is eternal. Here Jesus Himself underscores that fact that the Holy Spirit is eternal: ‘‘…that he may abide with you forever…’’
In full, Jesus said this: ‘‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter [parakletos … an intercessor, consoler: – advocate, comforter], that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth [aletheia … true, truly, truth, verity]; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.’’
There are two basic issues here: (1.) The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, i.e. intercessor, consoler, advocate. By this, the Holy Spirit is to help and strengthen believers (Matthew 14: 30-31), to comfort in difficult times, (Rom. 8: 26-27), and to work things out for the interest of believers (Rom. 8:34) as the advocate—intercessor of believers pleading their case before the Father.
The second issue is the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth: Jesus Himself is the Truth, therefore, whosoever He is to send to testify of Him or the Father must Himself be truth. Simply put, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus testifying to the truth, expose and enlighten believers about the truth
The following as pointed out earlier will help us understand this matter better. Please read this carefully: ‘‘Also, the Spirit helps us. We are very weak, but the Spirit helps us with our weaknesses. We don’t know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit himself speaks to God for us. He begs God for us, speaking to him with feelings too deep for words. God already knows our deepest thoughts. And he understands what the Spirit is saying, because the Spirit speaks for his people in the way that agrees with what God wants.’’ (Rom. 8: 26-27 ERV.)
In John 14: 16, Jesus did promise to send the Comforter in the person of the Holy Spirit. Of course, by His words, Jesus made clear the mandate of the Holy Spirit, which is to help, intercede, strengthen believers, etc. Then Paul in his letter to the Roman Church confirmed that indeed the Holy Spirit is present in the Church to help, strengthen and intercede for believers daily in the presence of God. According to him, as people living in the flesh, we have limitations (weak); our senses are limited and even when we go before God in the place of prayer we make requests for wants and not for needs. But because the Holy Spirit understands that our want is for the flesh, He begs God on our behalf to give us our need and not our want. He does this because He understands God more than we do and God understands Him. Interestingly, the Holy Spirit does this with deepest compassion for us — ‘‘He begs God for us, speaking to him with feelings too deep for words.’’ The fact is, whenever a believer speaks in tongues, he hands over his care to the Holy Spirit to align it with God’s plan and purpose for him as the Holy Spirit alone knows our need.
We do not know how to pray and even when we pray we do so out of the flesh: ‘‘When you pray for things, you don’t get them because you want them for the wrong reason-for your own pleasure.’’ (Jas.4:3 GW.) For this reason and many more, the Holy Spirit steps in to intercede the right way, to act as our advocate — plead our cause so that our desires as presented before God by the Holy Spirit will be granted.
Let me speak further on the subject of the Holy Spirit being the Spirit of truth: ‘‘The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit because they don’t see or know him. But you know the Spirit, who is with you and will keep on living in you.’’ (CEV.) The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth because He is the Spirit of Jesus, i.e. He proceeded from Jesus. He shall say (testify to) and do only the truth, show and guide all who believe in the truth and at the same time expose what is not the truth. All who worship the LORD must do so in Spirit and in truth. The Holy Spirit cannot dwell in unbelievers because they do not believe in the Truth (Jesus.) The Holy Spirit is a complete stranger to all who do not believe in Jesus Christ. Please follow this Bible trend: John 4:24, 15:26; 16:13; 18:37; 1John 4:6; 5:6.
In summary, therefore, the Holy Spirit is our Comforter — to help and strengthen us in our weaknesses — ensuring that in the place of pray, we make our requests according to God’s will through the Holy Spirit. And as the Spirit of truth, He testifies of Jesus Christ, who is the Truth and leads us in all truth and righteousness.
Meditation: The Holy Spirit is my strength, helper and guide to all truth. How much do I depend on Him?
Prayer: I am completely weak and covered in darkness without You. I surrender all to You that in my weakness I may find strength and in my darkness, I may find light.
Question: Why is the Holy Spirit described as the Comforter and the Spirit of truth?