If believers do not seek the Holy Spirit for His sake alone then He will seek to comfort, correct, and guide them.
Realize one of the names for the Holy Spirit is “Paraclete,” (2) which refers to one that renders aid. It was used during Biblical times in courts of law to describe one who pleads another’s cause before a judge, a counsel for the defense, or an advocate. In the broadest sense, it means a helper, a comforter, or one who aids another.
Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever– (John 14:16 NET)
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you. (John 14:26 NET)
When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father– the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father– he will testify about me, (John 15:26 NET)
But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:7 NET)
The Holy Spirit was sent by God the Father, upon Jesus’ request, to come to the aid of Christians for ministering to them in their spiritual lives. Furthermore, Jesus is also called a paraclete in that He pleads our cause before God our Father, the judge. This concerning sin in the Christian’s life, praying us back into fellowship with God by way of our confession and His cleansing blood. (1)
(My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.) But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One, and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world. (1 John 2:1-2 NET)
So, what did I mean about not seeking the Holy Spirit alone for Him to seek to comfort, correct, and guide Christians? Glad you asked!
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:13 NET)
In our Chrisitan usage of the word “fellowship”, it implies companionship, friendliness, and sociability which is enjoyed when we gather for a church function. Consequently, there is a danger of thinking that “fellowship of the Holy Spirit” means “companionship with the Holy Spirit.” In so doing, some have left the path of sound doctrine by seeking the Holy Spirit and His fulness for His sake alone. By seeking interpersonal communication with the Holy Spirit as an end in itself you open yourself up to the snares of Satan and the control of demons. (1) (2 Corinthians 11:14)
Realize, the Holy Spirit’s ministry is to glorify the Son (1), and in so doing, He always calls the believer’s attention to the Lord Jesus, never to Himself. The Lord Jesus must always be central in the life of the Christian. Jesus is the One with whom we have fellowship, and it is the Holy Spirit within us (1), making this possible.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come. He will glorify me, because he will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; that is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you. (John 16:13-15 NET)
“The safeguard against this is found in the words of Sir Robert Anderson, “In proportion therefore as mind and heart are fixed on Christ, we may count on the Spirit’s presence and power; but if we make the Holy Ghost Himself the object of our aspirations and worship, some false spirit may counterfeit the true and take us for a prey.”” (3)
“Therefore, when Paul speaks of a certain fellowship of the Holy Spirit that obtains in the lives of the saints, he refers to that relationship between the Spirit and the saint which involves a common interest and a mutual, active participation in that interest. That is, as the result of the Spirit’s work in regeneration and in His control over the saint as the saint is definitely subjected to Him, there has been brought about in the life of the saint, a joint-participation on the part of the believer with the Holy Spirit in an interest and a mutual and active participation in the things of God and the work of God in saving lost souls. It is a partnership, so to speak, between God and the believer. Paul speaks of this in the words, “We are laborers together with God” (I Cor. 3:9).” (1 Corinthians 3:9) (4)
“Another interest held in common is the Christian life and testimony of the believer. The Holy Spirit is desirous of producing the highest type of Christian experience in the life of the believer, and the believer has the same interest, and shows it by maintaining an attitude of dependence upon and trust in the Holy Spirit to produce that life in him. This fellowship is a co-operation on the part of the saint with the Holy Spirit in His work of sanctification. When Paul in his apostolic benediction prays that the communion of the Holy Ghost be with all the saints, he is asking that this mutual interest and activity may continue and become more rich and effective in the lives of the saints.” (5)
Consequently, seek to know God the Holy Spirit intimately, yielding to Him always, so that He will reveal Christ Jesus to and then through you. Remember that the Holy Spirit, the one that appeared like a Dove (1), will always point to Jesus and not to Himself. (6)
– Holy Spirit series:
- God the Holy Spirit (Part I): Introducing the Holy Spirit
- God the Holy Spirit (Part II): The Holy Spirit is God!
- God the Holy Spirit (Part III): Is the Holy Spirit equal to God the Father and Son?
- God the Holy Spirit (Part IV): Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Holy Spirit
- God the Holy Spirit (Part V): The Paradox of the Paraclete
(1) Left-click on the underlined phrase to open another article in a different tab with more explanation.
(2) Paraclete is the transliteration of the Koine Greek word παράκλητος (parakletos). “Advocate” is a translation of the same Koine Greek word parakletos which comes from the Koine Greek word parakaleo that is most frequently translated as “comfort” in the Bible. Furthermore, Parakaleo is composed of the verb kaleo which means “to call” and the preposition “para” which means “beside” with the combined meaning “to call alongside.” The word parakletos is only found in these verses in the Bible: John 14:16, 26. John 15:26. John 16:7. 1 John 2:1. In the three passages where it is used in the Gospel of John, it is the Holy Spirit that is the Comforter to the Saint, not that He comforts Him in the sense of simply consoling him, but that He is sent by God the Father, upon Jesus’ request, to be the one to come to the aid of the Christian in the sense of ministering to them in their spiritual life.
(3) Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 17, p. 108). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
(4) Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 20, pp. 100–101). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
(5) Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 20, p. 101). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
(6) This article informed by Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies – From the Greek New Testament, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Reprinted 1999, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49502, ISBN: 0-8028-2280-0