Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Whose Spirit Do You Listen Too?

15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 7 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn't see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. ~ John 14:15-18 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
John’s study of the Holy Spirit may appear peculiar when compared to other New Testament writings. Say compared to Luke’s image of the Holy Spirit as extremely active in the lives and works of people from the very start of his Gospel through the end of Acts. John proclamation that the Holy Spirit will only come once Jesus returns to Heaven relies on Jesus specifying the Holy Spirit not as The Paraclete (παράκλητος, Holy Spirit), but as Another Paraclete (παράκλητος, Holy Spirit). Christ being the first for the Spirit to be active among them while Christ was there would have been unnecessary as they each serve the same significant appointment. As the news of Christ departure from their physical presence presented as horrible news to Christ disciples actually ended up being a true blessing for both the disciples and for all Christians.
When Christ walked among us here on this earth in this realm of being He could only be in one place at one time, He could only present Himself as one person. When Christ ascended to Heaven to be with His Father, Our Creator, the disciples now received the Holy Spirit, who resides in each one of us no longer restricted by space and time as we are. No longer apprentices but full mature revealers of God’s love, this gift of the Holy Spirit not only a benefit for the first of the disciples but for all of us who would come later. A benefit that we now have of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the question is not do we have the Holy Spirit but how much of us does the Holy Spirit have, how much do we release of ourselves to the prompting and encouraging of the Holy Spirit. A benefit for those of us who did not have the opportunity to see the Jesus, Son of Mary, the Messiah who walked among men, the historical Jesus of Scripture. We today have the same advantage in comparison to the first disciples, everything they learned, their experiences are available to us today to the same degree and with equal rich texture as experienced during the life of Christ with His first chosen disciples.
The word John uses here “parakletos” extremely difficult when translated do to the many different meanings assigned to it in Greek. Parakletos” various translations into English are Comforter, Advocate, Counselor, and Helper. For emphasis, we should maybe leave parakletos in its transliterated form of Paraclete allowing the hearers attention to reflect on the remarkableness of this word as it only appears five times in scripture, four times in John chapters 14 – 16 and one time in 1 John 2:1. We should not confine parakletos – Paraclete to just one meaning, the Holy Spirit reportedly is to teach, remind (John 14:26), abide (John 14:16), and to testify about Christ (John 15:26) and as Christ dealt in truth so does the Holy Spirit. Amen. <><

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