THE THIRD PERSON OF THE TRINITY (JOHN 14:16-18)
There was once a lady attending one of those cold-dead churches that we all dread. While the preacher was preaching, she stood up and proclaimed, “I found the Holy Spirit! I have found the Holy Spirit!”
Immediately, a grumpy old deacon stood up and yelled even louder, “Sit down and be quiet, because you didn't find Him here!” (Shane Pruitt)
Another illustration: a pastor once noticed a bumper sticker: “I found the Holy Spirit.” To which he replied, “No, I didn’t find Holy Spirit. He found me.” (Carol Baldridge)
The Holy Spirit has not been given His rightful coverage or credit. The Christian God is three in one person, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, not just Father and Son. Jews, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses do not acknowledge the deity of the Holy Spirit. One Pentecostal group, Oneness Pentecostalism, as with other modalist groups, teach that the Holy Spirit is a mode of God, rather than a distinct or separate person in the godhead, and that the Holy Spirit is another name for God the Father. According to Oneness theology, the Holy Spirit is the Father operating in a certain capacity or manifestation. The United Pentecostal Church teaches that there is no personal distinction between God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Wikipedia).
Who is the Spirit? What is His role in the Trinity and in our lives? Why is the Spirit an important and indispensable part of our lives?
The Spirit is Our Close Companion
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—
The pastor was greeting folks at the door after the service. A woman said, “Pastor, that was a very good sermon.” The pastor says, “Oh, I have to give the credit to the Holy Spirit.” “It wasn't THAT good!” she says.
The Comforter makes His debut in this passage in the Bible. The noun occurs five times in the Bible, all in the writings of John, four from the gospel of John (John 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7) and once from the epistle of John (1 John 2:1). The Greek rendition “parakletos” is derived from the preposition “para,” as in “parallel” or “alongside,” and “kaleo” or “call.” The preposition “para” means (a person) besides, nearby, adjacent. So the Comforter is a person who is by you, with you and near you, whereas the function is the verb “call” (kaleo) – to invite you, to intreat you and implore you. One (para) is “close to you” and the other (kaleo) is “call to you.”
Another translation for the Comforter is “advocate” (1 John 2:1). He’s not all soft, sentimental or silent. The Spirit can be friendly to console you, calm you and comfort you, but He can be forceful to convict you, chastise and correct you. On the soothing end He can pacify you, but on the stronger side He can persuade you; if needed to subject you, He will press you. So the Comforter is not docile, indifferent or passive agent. He works on your heart, your mind and your conscience. He is an intercessor - an auditor, an advocate and an activist – all in one.
Jesus’ grand purpose (hina subjunctive) of asking the Father for a Comforter is for the Comforter to “be” (eimi) in you. The Spirit’s role is not what Christ intended to do – be with us forever. Christ’s earthly ministry was around three years, not forever. The Spirit, however, is not just for us or with us, but in us, forever. When you accept Christ into your life, the Spirit indwells you, inhabits you. The Father and Son are dear to us but distinct from us. The Spirit, while not the same as us, resides in us, remains in us, reigns and rules in us.
The Spirit is Our Command Center
17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
On the day after I finished writing this chapter, a new believer texted our men’s group (June 19, 2017), saying: “I have read the Bible for ten months continually now. I enjoy reading the Bible very much. At least I feel the Lord is with me when I read the Bible. On some days when I do not read the Bible for one day I feel I miss something!”
I exclaimed, “The Spirit is at work.”
Victor Yap: ????
Apart from the divine nature to describe the Spirit – the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of the Lord – the Spirit is identified by His attributes, of the which the most repeated is the Spirit of truth (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13), followed by the Spirit of life (Rom 8:2), the Spirit of grace (Heb 10:29) and the