Sunday, 17 May 2020

The Advocate


John 14:15-21

‘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.

‘I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.’

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.

22 comments:

  1. I like your distinction, Victor, of the HS being asked/invited vs just taking over (Satan). I am a firm believer in the HS-Christ in you the hope of glory.

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    1. Thank you Bill for your comment. The sad thing is, there are many people these days who choose not to believe at all - God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit. Yet they go to cinemas to see films about people being possessed by the devil and believe it is true.

      In December 2007, the then Pope issued a directive to the Church to train and appoint priest exorcists in every Diocese to combat the spread of Satanism.

      God bless.

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  2. He is comforting and empowering - the best of all worlds:)
    Happy Sunday, Victor! You are such a blessing.

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    1. Best wishes to you now and always, Chris. Thank you for your kind words.

      God bless you and yours.

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  3. Hmmm. Good point about possession. Hmmm.

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  4. I like the Bishop's definition … the Gift. Too, I wonder if the Holy Spirit isn't what I refer to as my conscience.

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    1. I agree.

      Conscience is a feeling inside us that tells us whether what we are doing is right or not. I believe that is in fact the Holy Spirit speaking to our soul and saying, "if you do that, it is wrong, because it goes against God's teachings!" Some people, of course, choose not to listen to the Holy Spirit. Partly because they'd rather do their own thing regardless whether it's right or not, and partly because they don't believe in the Holy Spirit anyway. They live their lives according to their rules of what they consider right or wrong. We say that they have no conscience. What we mean is they're not listening to the Holy Spirit advising them how to act and behave.

      God bless, Mevely.

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  5. I cannot imagine trying to live a Godly lifestyle without relying on The Gift of God's Spirit within me to lead me, guide me, correct me, convict me...to rejoice through me, to pray through me...Oh, how I rely on Him. Beautiful post, Victor, thank you.

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  6. All we have to do is invite the Holy Spirit into our lives, and He will faithfully guide us every step of the way. Blessings, Victor!

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    1. I agree 100% Martha. The Holy Spirit is here right now ready to help us - if we ask.

      God bless you.

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  7. I may not understand it but I sure do believe it!!

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  8. It can't be any simplier than that, inviting the Holy Spirit in to our life. That is what I was told all those years ago. I still wonder why it seems more complicated than that. I guess it is the human element that does that.

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    1. Yes, Bill. It is the human element and also human scepticism and disbelief. I shall tackle this in tomorrow's post.

      God bless always.

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  9. Thank you Victor.
    This post is a big comfort to me.
    God is always welcome to live within me.
    As Happyone stated, I don't know how it works but to me God is light and and He is welcome anytime.

    God's Blessings Victor ✝

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    1. I agree, Jan. The human mind tends to complicate things rather than take comfort from and trust in the Lord.

      God bless.

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  10. You have me humming the song by Vertical Worship, Spirit of the Living G-d.

    Lord, live in us always!

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