John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Who is this Comforter?
He is the Holy Ghost, or the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity. He is very God, just as the Father and the Son are God. Likewise He possesses all of the attributes of the Godhead. He is all knowing, all powerful, and everywhere present. He is equal with the Father and the Son in His holiness (thus He is called the Holy Spirit), in authority in power, in mercy, love and grace.
What will the Comforter do in behalf of the children of God?
We want to consider 3 functions of the Comforter this morning in relationship to the children of God.
The Greek word for Comforter is “paracletos”, which is rendered advocate and comforter in the New Testament. The word may also be defined as “teacher”. Therefore we want to consider these three functions of the Holy Ghost in the lives of God’s people; Teacher, Advocate and Comforter.
1. He is our Teacher:
John 14:26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
The Holy Spirit is the Teacher of all spiritual truth.
Do we know any spiritual truth this morning? (We know nothing as we ought to know! (1 Cor. 8:2)). Albeit, whatever we know, we know by the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Some aspects of spiritual truth the Holy Spirit teaches us include:
-The knowledge of salvation in Christ; of the gospel, of justification by grace
through faith, of the forgiveness of sins, and of eternal life.
-The knowledge of God’s sovereignty over all things to His creation
-The knowledge of God’s glorious Person and His wonderful attributes
-The knowledge of God’s amazing sovereign grace to unworthy sinners
-The knowledge of the Lord’s church, the most glorious institution on earth.
The Holy Spirit teaches nothing new, but only the eternal, revealed Word of God.
The cannon of scripture is complete and closed; there is no new revelation, but the Holy Spirit reveals those things which Jesus (the living Word) has already revealed in the written Word.
There is more truth and instruction in the Bible than any one man could ever learn in a hundred lifetimes. We need not another single word of new revelation; the old revelation is far more than we’ll ever begin to master. In the Bible is contained all the teaching and instruction we need:
-for service to the Lord
-for godliness and godly living
-for comfort and encouragement as we pass through this world
The Holy Spirit teaches us well.
-He writes the truth upon our hearts and souls with the indelible finger of God, whereby we are grounded
firm and deep in the Savior’s love and His teachings.
The Holy Spirit teaches us rightly and thoroughly.
-so that we can say that we were taught of God.
-so that we can say that we were taught the whole council of God; not just what
some church or preacher wanted us to know.
-so that we can say that we were taught the truth as it is in Jesus and not the errors
of men and the doctrines of devils.
2. The Holy Spirit is our Advocate:
The Holy Spirit is our judge advocate. The same greek word “paracletos” was used of Christ in first John, where Jesus is called our advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). Thus is the Holy Spirit our advocate also. We want to notice some ways the Holy Spirit is our advocate:
1. To the world He advocates the injustices to God’s people. Consider the following verse of Scripture:
Ecclesiastes 4:1 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of [such as were] oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors [there was] power; but they had no comforter.
Oh, beloved, where would the saints of God be in this old sinful world if it were not for the Spirit of God! Jesus said it is expedient that I go away that He might send the Comforter to advocate our cause in the world.
2. To the world He advocates the gospel by convincing the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
How many of us feel that we are able to advocate the world to Christ, to reconcile men’s souls to the Savior; to convince lost sinners of their need to repent and believe on Jesus for the pardon and remission of sins!!! No, beloved, we cannot do it. We are miserable advocates. We trip and fumble for words to speak; and when we have spoken well, we still have no power to change men’s hearts. But the Holy Ghost can change hearts. He can reach down into the very depths of the sinners soul and do a work that otherwise would be impossible to be done!!!
Yes, the Holy Spirit advocates the gospel to the elect of God in the world, through the human instrumentality of preaching and witnessing of the grace of God. He takes and uses our feeble efforts to accomplish the mighty work of salvation in the souls of the elect.
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
3. The Holy Spirit advocates our cause unto Father and the Son
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God.
Oh, beloved, it is good to know that the Holy Spirit advocates our cause to the throne of God. We don’t always know how to pray, or what to pray for. We are often confused. We often don’t know which way to go in life. But He knows. And if we trust in Him and look to Him, then He will direct us aright. He will make our prayers right and fit to present before the throne of Him. He is the editor of our prayers. He always knows the need and the intention of our prayers. He knows what is best for us, and what God’s will is even when we don’t. Yes beloved, the Holy Spirit, not Mary or some saint, but the Holy Spirit advocates our cause to the Godhead.
3. The Holy Spirit is our Comforter:
Oh, beloved, may we come to understand this wonderful, blessed truth of the Holy Spirit. Jesus has not left us comfortless. He has not left us alone. He has left us without an ever present help in time of need. But He has given us the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to look after us. I don’t mean to sound irreverent in any way, but the Holy Spirit is like a “baby sitter” to the children of God. He is always there, watching our every move. He moves things out of our way so that we don’t get hurt. He sometimes takes us up out of harms way. Sometimes He chastens or “scolds” us, if you will, to keep us from getting into something that will harm us. He instructs us and tutors us. And when we fall and scrape our knees or bump our heads, He is there to bind up our wounds and to console us with sweet words. He tells us that “it will be alright” and that “all things work together for our good”. He whispers to our soul “God still loves you and cares for you”.
-The Holy Spirit loves God’s children, just as the Father and the Son do
-He has loved us with and everlasting love; His love will never change for us
-He loves us in spite of who or what we are
-He loves us in spite of our sins that we commit against Him
-That is why He is grieved when we sin!
-He will comfort His people
-He will never leave them nor forsake them
-He will not let them out of the Father’s hand nor the Son’s hand
-He will seek them when they go astray
-He will comfort them when they will not be comforted
-He will comfort them in youth, and even down to old age
-He will continually in constantly go along side us (as “paracletos” means)
Oh, beloved, sometimes men are “miserable comforters”. Job said:
Job 16:2 I have heard many such things: miserable comforters [are] ye all.
Sometimes we are miserable comforters. We are so weak and frail. We are so blind and ignorant of the needs of others many times. But the Holy Spirit is the able comforter. He always knows the need of the heart and soul. He always knows just where to apply the knife, or the compress, or the bandage. And He is the able physician, Who not only knows, but is able to perform that which is needed to comfort the people of God.
-in seasons of sickness
-in times of death
-in seasons of sin and backsliding
-in times of loneliness
-in times of persecutions
-Do you know this comforter?
-You only have Him if you know Christ!
-He always testifies of Christ and of the gospel of salvation through Christ.
-(Discuss the gospel)
(Preached by Pastor Burke at Calvary Baptist Church. Taken from a sermon by C. H. Spurgeon)