Sunday, 25 May 2014

The Advocate. What Advocate?

John 14:15-17
‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, because He abides with you, and He will be in you.'

Who is this Advocate? Some might ask.

Jesus here is speaking of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God, and Jesus Himself, who will come down from Heaven at Pentecost and be within the disciples.

There's often confusion in people's minds about the Holy Spirit. Who is He exactly?

We are taught about God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit … He doesn’t seem to have a title or description.

St Hilary of Poitiers, a Bishop in the 3rd Century AD, described the Holy Spirit as “the Gift”.

He is the gift given to us by God after Jesus ascended into Heaven.

He is the very Spirit of God, God Himself, come back to us on earth to dwell within us and to help us in our Christian life.

That’s why He is sometimes referred to as the Helper, the Counselor, God’s own Being living within us.

The Holy Spirit didn't just descend on the disciples at Pentecost and that's it. A once in a lifetime event. He is present here and now today and is within some people who ask for His presence within them.

Now that last fact itself, God's own Being living within us, causes even more confusion amongst Christians and non-Christians alike.

Sure, Christians believe the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples at Pentecost teaching them what to say in various languages and how to proclaim the Good News to all. But now? Today? Does the Holy Spirit enter our very souls today?

Can you imagine that?

God. Living within us. Guiding us. Helping us. Teaching us. Advising us when to speak and when to remain silent. What to say and what to do.

Isn’t that wonderful? Or is it too difficult to imagine or believe?

If you were to say to a non-Christian that God is living within you in the form of the Holy Spirit they would most probably scoff, or smile politely or perhaps think you've lost your mind.

The very concept is difficult for many Christians to believe; never mind those who don't believe at all.

And yet ... Isn’t it a tragedy that in this day and age, when many are too willing to believe that the devil can possess an individual unwillingly and reap havoc in their lives; many people find it difficult to understand that the Spirit of God is willing to abide within us and lead us to an eternal better life in Heaven.

But only if we ask Him.

Unlike the devil, the Holy Spirit will not abide in a person unless He is asked. Unless He is invited.

All we have to do is to believe and to invite the Holy Spirit to be within us.

12 comments:

  1. Brilliant post.

    I have tried to get better at inviting the Spirit to guide me, but like most, it does not come natural to me. Thanks for the reminder and thought provoking post.

    God Bless you.

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    1. Thank you Michael for your generous support and encouragement. Much appreciated.

      May the Holy Spirit be with you. God bless.

      Delete
  2. I don't think I paid much attention to the Holy Spirit until I attended a charismatic prayer group. There I learned a lot about the Spirit and was able to relate to him more. In my ministry as a spiritual director it is crucial that I listen to the Holy Spirit as he is the real director. I am so glad I have a better relationship with this Person of the Trinity. Pentecost will be here soon!
    God bless!

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    1. You're right Colleen. We often don't pay attention to the Holy Spirit. He is not taught enough in our churches, and Sunday sermons.

      Thank you for visiting me again. God bless you.

      Delete
    2. Victor #1 Great post on "The Advocate"

      I don't want to go off again in a circle talking about your excellent post so I'll just Marrow these words that were uttered below by many a "Jesus" followers and leave "IT" at that for now... :)

      Daily Reading: Saint John 15,26-27.16,1-4

      When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth that proceeds from the Father, He will testify to me.
      And you also testify, because you have been with Me from The Beginning...

      I have told you this so that you may not fall away...
      They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God...
      They will do this because they have not known either the Father or Me...
      I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you... “I did not tell you this from The Beginning, because I was with you...


      God Bless Peace

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    3. Thank you for this passage. May God bless you and yours always.

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  3. The Holy Spirit first appeared to mankind "visibly" in the form of a dove; when John the Baptist baptized Christ. The Holy Spirit also comes to us in the "rush of wind" and the "tongue of fire". I was taught that each form represents how the Holy Spirit works in our souls...Gentleness, Strength & Zeal (or fervor).
    Thank you for this beautiful post and reminder, Victor. I certainly need to pray to the Holy Spirit more often.

    "Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful..."

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    1. You're right in that the Holy Spirit appeared in different forms. It is sad that today people don't perhaps understand about the Holy Spirit.

      Thank you for visiting me Hand-Maid. God bless you and yours.

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  4. What great point about God vs the devil. The devil just barges right in, while God waits for an invitation. Love that insight! Come Holy Spirit!
    Oh, and get lost devil!!
    Ceil

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    1. That's right Ceil. The devil does possess people without an invitation. Did you know that two Popes ago, the Pope asked that every diocese should have an exorcist priest; such is the threat from the devil these days.

      God bless.

      Delete
  5. INTERCESSION? BY STEVE FINNELL

    Question. Can dead Christians intercede for Christians who are living? Is it possible for deceased Popes, the Virgin Mary, and other dead saints to hear prayers and intercede for men who are alive?

    THE FOLLOWING QUOTE IS FROM THE "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA" NEW ADVENT. SEE: Intercession.

    Prayer is offered to a person in two ways: one as though to be granted by himself, another as to be obtained through him. In the first way we prayto God alone, because all our prayers ought to be directed to obtaining grace and glory which God alone gives, according to those words of thePsalm (lxxxiii, 12): 'The Lord will give grace and glory.' But in the second way we pray to the holy angels and to men not that God may learn ourpetition through them, but that by their prayers and merits our prayers may be efficacious. Wherefore it is said in the Apocalypse (viii, 4): 'And the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel' (Summ. Theol., II-II, Q. lxxxiii, a. 4).

    There are no Scriptures that instruct men to pray to men, dead or alive. Where in Bible does it say pray to angels? There is no verse in the Bible that would indicate that dead Christians can hear our prayers. Even if they could hear our prayers there is no Scripture that states they could intercede between us and God. There is no Scripture that says dead men can be an advocate for us to God the Father.


    THE HOLY SPIRIT

    Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (NKJV)

    JESUS THE CHRIST

    Romans 8:34 Who is he condemns? It is Christ who died, and futhermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercessions for us. (NKJV)

    Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit make intercessions for Christians.

    Can Christians who are alive pray for other living Christians, of course they can and should. Praying, for, is not the same as praying to someone.

    Christians should not pray "to" other Christians. That would be worship. Men are to worship Jehovah God alone.

    Praying to dead Popes, the Virgin Mary and other dead saints is worship. God is a jealous God.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http//:steve-finnell.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Steve for taking the time to write in.

      God bless.

      Delete

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God bless you.

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