Summary: Messages about symbols of the Holy Spirit and the comforter
Title: The Comforter
Theme: To get into the lives of people the importance of seeing the Holy Spirit as the comforter.
Text: John 14:15-17
John 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.
John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. "His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire." (Luke 3:16-17)
But John intervened: "I'm baptizing you here in the river. The main character in this drama, to whom I'm a mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He's going to clean house--make a clean sweep of your lives. He'll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he'll put out with the trash to be burned." Lk 3:16-17
The word comforter is from the Greek word (par-ak’-lay-tos). It is used four times in scripture all in the writings of John. Three times it is translated comforter (John 14:16,26; 15:26; 16:7). In 1 John 2:1 he translates the word advocate. This is important because it gives us a better understanding of the role that the Holy Spirit plays in our lives. First he is our Comforter and then he is our advocate. Let us look at these words.
The word comforter in this context means “called to one’s side”. It is as Jesus is saying there is going to be one who will be called to your side. We talked about this last time. We have the Holy Spirit who stands beside us in our darkest moments. This is important to us but as we discussed it was more important to the disciples who was about to lose the physical presence of Jesus. They were grieving and this promise of a Comforter was a promise of assurance that they would not have to face this world alone.
As the comforter we learn that he is our companion.
This is what Jesus meant in verse 17 when he spoke of the Holy Spirit as one who “dwelleth with you”. He is our companion. One whom we trust in and depend upon. He is one who walks with us. It was God intention from the beginning to walk with man. This is what He did with Adam, he walked with Adam at certain times during the day. He spoke with Adam as I am speaking to you. Yet Adam was perfect. This was broken after the fall. This relationship changed.
So he sent us Immanuel “God with us”. Jesus began to fulfill the desire to walk with man. Then he promises the Holy Spirit. For me it is a privilege to know that God walks with me. As the old song go, “And he walks with me, and he talks with me, and he tells me I am his own”.
He is our helper
The word comforter also gives us the idea of helper. Not only is he there beside us but he is helping us. This gives us the idea that not only do we not have to “do it alone” but we have someone who knows what they are doing and is willing to help. That is this “Holy Spirit” the comforter.
Oh how important this role is. He is our helper. He is the one who will lead us to make the right decision. He is the one who will guide us.
As the comforter we learn that he is always present.
"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever." John 14;16
The second characteristic that is shown as him being the comforter is that he is present with us and plays and active role in our lives. Now it is good to have a companion but the Holy Spirit is more than a companion he is active. He is active in our lives he is active in the church.
Holy Ghost active in the church.
This happened in the new testament church. As Peter was conducting a service in Jerusalem it appears that he is presiding over the service. In walks Ananias and Sapphria and Peter asks a interesting question “Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost?”. What he was saying is that when it comes to matters of God there is a higher power who is present. Our worship becomes a problem when we don’t see the work of the “higher power” the Holy Ghost. The wrong and sin seemed to be committed against the pastor or the church but it was actually committed against the Holy Ghost. You don’t want to offend the Holy Ghost.