Our Comforter and His work

by Mike Ratliff

25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 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 things that I said to you. John 14:25-26 (NKJV)

25 Ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν παρʼ ὑμῖν μένων· 26 * ὁ δὲ παράκλητος, τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, ὃ πέμψει ὁ πατὴρ ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου, ἐκεῖνος ὑμᾶς διδάξει πάντα καὶ ὑπομνήσει ὑμᾶς πάντα ἃ εἶπον ὑμῖν [ἐγώ]. John 14:25-26 (NA28)

On the night prior to our Lord’s crucifixion and death, He promised that He and the Father would send to His disciples the Helper, the παράκλητος, the Holy Spirit. This Greek word, translated as Helper, means a lawyer or assistant in a legal question. Its Biblical context, however, describes a person who provides encouragement, counsel, and strength. In John 16:7-11, which will be the focus of this post, our Lord promises to send “another” παράκλητος, One like Himself who will carry on after Him the teaching and testimony that He began. 

7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. John 16:7 (NKJV) 

7 ἀλλʼ ἐγὼ τὴν ἀλήθειαν λέγω ὑμῖν, συμφέρει ὑμῖν ἵνα ἐγὼ ἀπέλθω. ἐὰν γὰρ μὴ ἀπέλθω, ὁ παράκλητος οὐκ ἐλεύσεται πρὸς ὑμᾶς· ἐὰν δὲ πορευθῶ, πέμψω αὐτὸν πρὸς ὑμᾶς. John 16:7 (NA28)

7 But I speak to you the truth; it is advantageous to you that I go forth. For if I should not go forth, the comforter shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:7 AB)

Our Lord always spoke the truth, τὴν ἀλήθειαν. The word translated here as truth, ἀλήθειαν, is the unveiled reality lying at the basis of and agreeing with an appearance; the manifested, or the veritable essence of matter or the reality pertaining to  an appearance. I always am a bit taken aback when I use Sacred Scripture as τὴν ἀλήθειαν in a post, even directly quoting the Lord Himself, when some who have become deceived by the post-modern paradigm into thinking that absolute truth is unknowable attempt to disagree. These same people will say stupid things in protest to the narrow and fixed Biblical Gospel we hold to, such as, “Surely the Gospel is defined broadly enough to encompass all versions of those who are sincere in their beliefs!” Here, our Lord assures His Apostles that each of His disciples are promised something incredible, He will send ὁ παράκλητος, the Comforter to them. We defined the Greek word and Biblical usage of παράκλητος in the opening paragraph. Notice that He is sent by both the Father and the Son and that He will complete the mission.

8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. John 16:8-11 (NKJV)

8 καὶ ἐλθὼν ἐκεῖνος ἐλέγξει τὸν κόσμον περὶ ἁμαρτίας καὶ περὶ δικαιοσύνης καὶ περὶ κρίσεως· 9 περὶ ἁμαρτίας μέν, ὅτι οὐ πιστεύουσιν εἰς ἐμέ· 10 περὶ δικαιοσύνης δέ, ὅτι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα ὑπάγω καὶ οὐκέτι θεωρεῖτέ με· 11 περὶ δὲ κρίσεως, ὅτι ὁ ἄρχων τοῦ κόσμου τούτου κέκριται. John 16:8-11 (NA28)

8 And having come, that one will reprove the world concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment. 9 Concerning sin then, that they believe not in me. 10 And concerning righteousness, that to my father I go away, and no longer you view me. 11 And concerning judgment, for the ruler of this world has been judged. (John 16:8-11 AB)

The word translated in the NKJV as “convict” and “reprove” in the ABP, is the Greek word ἐλέγξει. This word has two meanings. It is the judicial act of conviction with a view toward sentencing. It is also the act of convincing, which is, I believe, the proper understanding in this context. The Holy Spirit, ὁ παράκλητος, convinces the elect in this lost and dying world concerning the specific sin of not believing in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God for this is ultimately the sin that damns people to hell. He convicts them of the foolishness of self-righteousness, which is hypocrisy. This is what our Lord did in His earthly ministry. He continually exposed the self-righteous and how useless that was in becoming justified before our Holy and Righteous God.

What about this judgment, κρίσεως? This is the conviction by the Holy Spirit against the unrighteous and false judgments made by the spiritually blind who are under Satan’s control. We see this all the time with apostate and heretical so-called Christian leaders making huge waves in the visible church with their unrighteous judgments about what is truth and what is not. Never forget my brethren, Satan is a liar and all those who are controlled by him are liars who teach nothing but lies. Never forget, that our enemy is already judged and that we are not to fear the terror he attempts to use to thwart our obedience to serve our Lord.

The Holy Spirit, ὁ παράκλητος, is vital to the Church, and to each disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ. He teaches us the truth from God’s Word. He convicts the elect of their sin, leads them into the truth, and, through the washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5), saving faith is born. Some professing Christians deny the doctrine of the Trinity in one manner or another. Many deny that the Holy Spirit is God. Others deny the deity of Christ. Others deny both. However, our Lord told us above in v7 that the Holy Spirit was coming to the Church after He was taken to Heaven. The Holy Spirit came on the first Day of Pentecost following our Lord’s Ascension (Acts 2).

Have you thanked God for the Holy Spirit? When we see professing Christian leaders take those who follow them down the wide paths of apostasy, we should understand that this is proof that the Holy Spirit is not in them or their ministries. Remember, the Holy Spirit teaches God’s people what the truth is and what it isn’t. The following is an excerpt from John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress The First Part. It takes place right after Christian has made it through the little wicket gate that stands at the head of the narrow way. He is talking with the keeper of the gate, Goodwill. Goodwill speaks first.

We make no objections against any, notwithstanding all that they have done before they come hither. They in no wise are cast out; and therefore, good Christian, come a little way with me, and I will teach thee about the way thou must go. Look before thee; dost thou see this narrow way? THAT is the way thou must go. It was cast up by the Patriarchs, Prophets, Christ and his Apostles, and it is as strait as a Rule can make it: This is the Way thou must go.

Christian replies: But. Said Christian, are there no turnings nor windings, by which a Stranger may lose his way?

Goodwill responds: Yes there are many ways butt down upon this; and they are crooked and wide: But thus thou mayst distinguish the right from the wrong, the Right only being strait and narrow.

Christians leaves Goodwill and proceeds down the narrow path to the house of the Interpreter. There he is given much wisdom. As he is leaving, the Interpreter said to Christian: “Hast thou considered all these things?”

Christian replies: Yes, and they put me in Hope and Fear.”

Then the Interpreter tells Christian: Well, keep all things so in thy mind, that they may be as a goad in thy sides, to prick thee forward in the Way thou must go. Then Christian began to gird up his loins and to address himself to his Journey. Then said the Interpreter, The Comforter be always with thee, good Christian; to guide thee in the Way that leads to the City.

Soli Deo Gloria!

AB is the symbol for the Apostolic Bible Polyglot Copyright 1996 by Charles Van der Pool. In this article I used only the English part of the Interlinear text.

One thought on “Our Comforter and His work

  1. That false religion of sincerity is what I call Great Pumpkin Theology, based on Linus in the Peanuts comic strip and his belief that the Great Pumpkin will come to the most sincere pumpkin patch. sigh

    People can be sincerely wrong. And the Great Pumpkin will never show up anyway.


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