The Counselor

We’re going through the New Testament now talking about the doctrine of the Trinity. I got to speak at my church tonight on the topic. (We’re not SDA, but we’re starting a Saturday night service.) An absolute thrill! Talking about the Trinity is a joy. I hope some of that joy rubs off tonight and you readers enjoy this post as much as I enjoy talking about it. Tonight, we’re continuing the gospel of John and we’re going to be reading verses 26-27.

26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Jesus now states that while he will be absent, the Counselor will be there and the Father will send him in the name of the Son. Who is this Parakletos? The Spirit is the one who literally comes alongside us. In our struggles, he is the one who intervenes. It is the kind of terminology that we find in Romans 8:26-27.

This person is certainly a person and not a force as the Jehovah’s Witnesses would have us believe. He is spoken of as doing personal actions and as a counselor, and a force can certainly not be much of a counselor. As the text also shows, we see that he teaches and he calls to memory. He is an agent working on behalf of the Father, that much is certainly true, but this in no way denies his personality. It’s also noteworthy that neuter terminology is not used to describe the Spirit.

The Spirit will teach the apostles all things and remind them of what Christ has said. We do not know how this takes place, but I would wager it would come through the reading of the Scriptures whereby they would recall the words of Christ and see how those words related to what was said in Scripture.

Note also that this applies to the apostles. It is quite easy to take this and apply it to us. Now the Holy Spirit does teach us as other texts indicate, but Christ also speaks of calling to remembrance all that was said and we were not there to hear all that was said. Too many Christians today however speak in church believing the Holy Spirit has revealed something new to them. I believe that the Holy Spirit teaches us not in giving us new propositional truth, though he could, but in convicting us of what the text that we read in Scripture says. If we believe we could have something from the Spirit, let us be sure to study the Scriptures to make sure that is the source. Too many aberrant teachings have started off by people thinking they have had divine revelation.

Let’s look at the last part now. Peace. Jesus is going away and that had to be troubling. Jesus wanted the apostles to have peace. In this case, we are in the same boat as Jesus is away from us today. The call for peace is just as real and it is offered. What kind of peace? Assurance that God is in charge. The forgiveness of sins in Christ. There is no need to fear, and that is something many of us, myself definitely included, need to work on.

Tomorrow, we shall look at one of the “problem verses.”

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