Here is a lesson Jesus taught His followers about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a resident counselor. The Greek word here is interesting: parakletos––“para” (beside), “kletos” (call)––one who is called alongside to help. There isn’t a single thing needed in the Christian life that He isn’t there to provide. Note the difference in the prepositions that are found in the passages before us today. Jesus said the Spirit was “with” them, but later would be “in” them and “upon” them. I take these prepositions to mean that the Holy Spirit was “with” them prior to Pentecost. Prior to Pentecost their lives lacked character and consistency. They cast out devils, but on other occasions they seemed to be somewhat influenced by them.
Simon Peter is a case in point (Matthew 16:23). The disciples were loud in their assertions of loyalty, and loud in their blunderings and misunderstanding. The Spirit was most certainly “with” them––helping, encouraging, and revealing–– but He was most certainly not “in” them or “upon” them. When the Spirit came “in” and “upon” them at a later date, then their fitful living became faithful living, and their erratic loyalty became everlasting loyalty.
Today in the lives of many Christians, the Holy Spirit seems to be working on the outside rather than on the inside. Actually, of course, the Holy Spirit is resident “in” every Christian, but He wants more than just to be resident––He wants also to be president! How is it in your life and experience? Is the Spirit a passing guest or a permanent guest?
What is the Holy Spirit saying to me?
• Think about the ways the Holy Spirit comes alongside you to help you.
• Think about what it means to have the Holy Spirit living inside you, and what it means for the Holy Spirit to “come upon” you.
• Thank God for the power and life that He gives you through His Holy Spirit.
FURTHER STUDY 2 Peter 1:3–4; Romans 8:11; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Acts 10:44–45
Pastor Larry & Pat Downing
Foothills Community Church
Collections of thoughts from varied sources
Scripture verses from KJV or NIV unless specified