Summary: God cares in all types of situations. He is the God of encouragement. His nature is fully revealed in his Son, Jesus Christ, who also had a ministry of encouragement. And when Christ left the earth, he left his ministry of encouragement in the care of
The Who of Encouragement
John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26
Paul emphatically says in Romans 15:5, “God gives…encouragement.” First Peter 5:7 says, “He cares for you.” God cares in all types of situations. He is the God of encouragement. His nature is fully revealed in his Son, Jesus Christ, who also had a ministry of encouragement. And when Christ left the earth, he left his ministry of encouragement in the care of the Holy Spirit. Now, for believers, the Holy Spirit is the “who” of the ministry of encouragement. How does the Holy Spirit encourage us?
I. The Holy Spirit encourages us through his person (John 14:16-17, 26)
a. The Holy Spirit is a person, though some prefer to use the pronoun it as though he were a thing.
i. The word translated “spirit” is the Greek word pneuma.
ii. It is neither male nor female, but the personal pronoun he is always used to refer to the Spirit.
b. The Holy Spirit acts as a person
i. He does things a person does.
ii. He dwells, guides, speaks, and teaches.
iii. He witnesses, hears, and knows.
iv. He works, loves, glorifies, and gives.
v. All of these are personal acts.
1. The Holy Spirit reacts as a person.
2. He can be grieved, blasphemed, and sinned against.
3. People react to him as a person.
4. He may be received, resisted, insulted, glorified, and quenched.
c. Although the King James Version translates pneuma by the word “host,” that word today is not appropriate for an accurate translation of the Greek word.
i. The word ghost refers to the returning spirit of a dead person.
ii. The Holy Spirit is not a ghost, he is a person, the third person of the Trinity.
II. The Holy Spirit encourages us in his presence (John 14:16)
a. He is to us all Jesus was to his disciples in fellowship and service.
i. The presence of Jesus was powerful, stabilizing, and encouraging.
ii. In Mark 4:35-41, Jesus stilled the storm on the sea and the storm in his disciples’ hearts.
iii. In John 6:16-21, the disciples were frightened, and Jesus came walking on the sea, speaking words of encouragement: “Do not be afraid”
iv. Wherever we see the words, “do not fear” or “be not afraid”, they are powerful words of encouragement.
v. In John 21 the disciples fished all night and caught nothing.
vi. When Jesus came they made a great catch; his presence encouraged them greatly!
vii. Now we experience the presence and encouragement of Christ through the Holy Spirit.
b. John 14 is important for understanding the Holy Spirit.
i. In the New American Standard Bible the Holy Spirit is called “the Helper” (v. 16)
1. In the King James Version, he is called “the Comforter” (v. 16)
2. He is also called “the Spirit of truth” (16:13)
ii. Each word in these verses is important in understanding the Holy Spirit.
1. The personal pronoun “I” (John 14:16) is emphatic.
2. “I [myself] will ask the Father.”
3. He prayed, and the Father answered his prayer.
4. He sent the Holy on the day of Pentecost.
iii. In verse 17 “world” refers to those who disregard God.
1. They cannot receive the Holy Spirit, they do not know him by experience, not do they see him.
2. But the disciples knew him – form the moment they first believed in Jesus Christ.
3. We, as believers today, know him.
4. He dwells with us and in us.
5. We do not have to pray for him to come.
6. He has already come
7. We already have the Spirit.
8. We just need to surrender control of our lives to him
iv. The Greek word for “another” in verse 16 means “another of the same kind.”
1. So the Holy Spirit is another just like Jesus.
v. The word “comforter” is the Greek word paraclete, which means “one being called to one’s side, to one’s aid.”
1. It describes a lawyer who is called to stand with a client in court, especially a defense lawyer.
2. It is a word used in a court of justice to denote a counsel for the defense, an advocate.
c. We have two advocates – the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ
i. Christ intercedes in heaven before God, and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, sometimes with groanings too deep for words, according to the will of God.
d. Our response to their intercession is vital.
i. We cannot hinder or help Christ’s intercession for us, because his intercession continues without ceasing.
ii. We can facilitate or frustrate the Holy Spirit’s intercession in us by our cooperation or resistance.
iii. We are the object of Christ’s praying; we are the subject of the Holy Spirit’s praying, so that he can pray through us.