At the Last Supper Jesus explained to His disciples that He was going away–He was going to be arrested and executed–and so He would send the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, to be with His disciples.
The Greek for Advocate is Paracletos or Paraclete, meaning “called alongside.” The term generally refers to a legal advocate, like an attorney who provides legal advice and defense for clients. In this verse Jesus says that the job or work of the Holy Spirit is to testify about Himself. In other words, the Holy Spirit, will bear witness to the reality of Jesus and His incarnation, sacrificial death, and resurrection to the followers of Jesus as well as other people.
In this farewell address to His disciples, Jesus actually promises the gift of the Holy Spirit five times in Chapters 14-16, each time identifying a different duty or assignment of the Spirit:
- “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth” (vs. 14:16-17). Just as Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (vs, 14:6), the Holy Spirit continues the work of Jesus to lead His followers to the truth of the reality of Jesus, the Son of God, and a way of life devoted to that reality/truth.
- “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you” (vs. 14:26). The Holy Spirit continues the work of Jesus in teaching His followers about God’s redemption. Jesus’ followers experience this work of the Holy Spirit when they read and study God’s Word, the Bible.
- “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me” (vs. 15:26). The Holy Spirit continues the work of Jesus to bear witness about the reality of God the Father and Jesus, the Son of God.
- “But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment” (vs. 16:7-8). As a human being, Jesus was subject to the limitations of a physical body. The Holy Spirit is not subject to human limitations and can be in all places at once. The Spirit is ubiquitous–anytime, anyplace, revealing God’s righteousness.
- “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me” (vs. 16:13-14). The Holy Spirit continues the work of Jesus to reveal to His followers the plans and purposes of God.
The Holy Spirit is the gift from God that keeps on giving!
The Holy Spirit dwells in us and His presence is just like having Jesus with us all the time–teaching us, leading us, advising us, and revealing Himself to us and through us.
“The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” (Ephesians 1:14, NLT)