"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, so that He may be with you forever ..." (John 14:16)
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." (John 14:26)
This lesson explains 1) Who is the Helper?, 2) Why did Jesus ask the Father to send his disciples another Helper?, and 3) How does the Helper -- the Holy Spirit -- aid us as believers in Christ today?
The scripture references in this lesson are taken from the English Standard Version (ESV) and the New American Standard Bible (NASB) (Ref. 1, Ref. 2).
Consider. How have you experienced the Holy Spirit helping you in your life? How would you like the Holy Spirit to help you in your life going forward?
On the night before his crucifixion and death, Jesus spoke with his remaining disciples to prepare them for his departure (John 13:33, 14:1-2). Judas Iscariot had already left to betray Jesus and was not the beneficiary of these promises (John13:26-30). Jesus told his disciples, "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, so that He may be with you forever ..." (John 14:16).
Who is the Helper?
In John 14:16, the Greek word for "Helper" is paraklétos (pronounced par-ak'-lay-tos), and means one who is called to the aid of another (Ref. 3, Ref. 4). Paraklétos signifies "an advocate in a court of law, but more widely a helper in any form whatsoever" (Ref. 4). The ESV, NIV, and KJV translate paraklétos as "Helper," "Advocate," and "Comforter" respectively. Jesus identifies the Helper as the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). Jesus also describes the Helper as the "Spirit of truth" in John 14:17, 15:26, and 16:13.
Why did Jesus ask the Father to send his disciples another Helper?
Jesus was about to leave his disciples through his suffering and death on a cross (John 19:1-3, 19:15-19). After his resurrection, Jesus would go to the Father (John 14:2, 16:28; 20:17, Acts 1:8-9). Jesus' disciples would need another Helper -- someone to be the strong continuer of Jesus' presence, to be their permanent companion (Ref.4). The Helper would teach them all things and would guide them into all the truth (John 14:26, 16:13).
The Helper would "be with" and "be in" (after Pentecost) Jesus' disciples permanently. Whereas Jesus during his earthly ministry was with them for three years, the Helper -- the Holy Spirit -- would be with them (and is with us as Jesus' disciples) to the end of time (John 14:16-17, Ref.4).
Jesus' disciples also need to be strengthened and power-filled by the Holy Spirit to accomplish the mission Jesus sends us to in an unfriendly world (Mark 13:9-11, Mark 16:15-16, Acts 1:8).
What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives as believers in Christ?
How does the Holy Spirit help us?
The following scriptures describe the many ways the Holy Spirit helps us as people who believe in and trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
The Holy Spirit is with us and dwells in us permanently. John 14:16-17
The Holy Spirit strengthens us and is our spiritual companion forever.
The Holy Spirit teaches us all things and calls to our remembrance all that Jesus has said to us. John 14:26
The Holy Spirit especially is our teacher for helping us to understand God's word.
The Holy Spirit bears witness to us about Jesus and helps us bear witness about Jesus to others. John 15:26-27
The Spirit of truth guides us into all the truth. John 16:13
The Greek word for truth in the New Testament is alétheia, pronounced phonetically as "al-ay'-thi-a." In ancient Greek culture, alétheia was synonymous for "reality" as the opposite of illusion, i.e., fact (Ref. 5). Jesus not only taught the truth but also is the truth (John 14:6).
The Holy Spirit gives us power to be Jesus' witnesses wherever God sends us at home or abroad in the world. Acts 1:8, 1 Thessalonians 1:5
The Holy Spirit gives us the words to speak when we face trials, persecution, and suffering for our faith in Christ. Mark 13:9-11
The Holy Spirit guides us in what to do (Acts 10:19-20) and where to go (Acts 16:6-10).
The Holy Spirit helps us to put to death the deeds of the flesh. Romans 8:13-14
The Holy Spirit helps us to know that we are the adopted children of our heavenly Father. Romans 8:16, Galatians 4:6, Ephesians 1:3-5
The Holy Spirit intercedes for us and helps us to pray. Romans 8:26
The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts for the purpose of serving others and building up the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:4-12
The Holy Spirit's work in us helps us to bear spiritual fruit that benefits ourselves as well as others. Galatians 5:22-23
The Holy Spirit strengthens us with power in our inner being whether we are men, women, or children. Ephesians 3:14-16
The Holy Spirit fills us with rivers of living water so we can be a spiritual blessing that refreshes and comforts others. John 7:38-39
The presence, companionship, and strengthening of the indwelling Holy Spirit is Jesus' gift to all who put their faith and trust in him. Thanks be to God for such a precious gift!
Apply. If you are not yet a believer in Jesus Christ, confess your sins to him, yield control of your life fully to him, and he will fill you with the Holy Spirit. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, thank God each day for the presence of the Holy Spirit with you and for helping you to understand and apply God's word to your life. Thank God for the Holy Spirit guiding you in making godly decisions and for strengthening you through the challenges -- and for some of you, persecution -- you are going through. Thank God for the Holy Spirit helping you to discern, to prepare for, and to do boldly the life work that God reveals to you to do in Jesus' name.
"The Spirit of Truth" - John 16:13
"Jesus is the Truth" - John 14:6
"Adoption as Sons" - Ephesians 1:4-5
"Characteristics of a Child of God - Part 1" - Matthew 7:16
"What is Living Water in the Bible?" - John 4:10
MacLaren Expositions of Holy Scripture - John 14:16-17
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