June 15, 2016

The Holy Spirit as Counselor

John 14:15-21

"I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.”

—  John 14:16-17

As he shares a last meal with his disciples, just hours before his betrayal and death, Jesus drops a bombshell: he is going to leave his followers behind. Jesus assures them, however, that he will not abandon them but will provide them a counselor, or “advocate.”

Paraklete, the Greek word Jesus used here, referred to a person who came alongside during a time of legal difficulty. It has been variously translated as “counselor,” “advocate,” “comforter,” “intercessor,” “strengthener,” and “standby.” This promised advocate, or counselor, is the Holy Spirit.

Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit holds immense comfort. His followers are not alone. Though he is not physically present, Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to comfort and counsel his followers. Jesus also sends the Holy Spirit to lead them into truth. So when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, he was not on his own but was sent by the Father and the Son to live in Christ’s followers, helping them to serve the risen Lord Jesus. Jesus has also given the Holy Spirit with an important caveat: “If you love me, keep my commands.”

Are you obeying the words and commands of Jesus? If not, repent and turn to him. If so, lean on the power of the Counselor in your life today, rest in him, and be guided by him in your walk with Jesus.

Jesus, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit. May he work in our lives as counselor and comforter, as we seek to obey you today and always. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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