‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
‘I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.’
Who is this Advocate? Some might ask.
Jesus here is speaking of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God, and Jesus Himself, who will come down from Heaven at Pentecost and be within the disciples.
There's often confusion in people's minds about the Holy Spirit. Who is He exactly?
We are taught about God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit … He doesn’t seem to have a title or description.
St Hilary of Poitiers, a Bishop in the 3rd Century AD, described the Holy Spirit as “the Gift”.
He is the gift given to us by God after Jesus ascended into Heaven.
He is the very Spirit of God, God Himself, come back to us on earth to dwell within us and to help us in our Christian life.
That’s why He is sometimes referred to as the Helper, the Counselor, God’s own Being living within us.
The Holy Spirit didn't just descend on the disciples at Pentecost and that's it. A once in a lifetime event. He is present here and now today and is within some people who ask for His presence within them.
Now that last fact itself, God's own Being living within us, causes even more confusion amongst Christians and non-Christians alike.
Sure, Christians believe the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples at Pentecost teaching them what to say in various languages and how to proclaim the Good News to all. But now? Today? Does the Holy Spirit enter our very souls today?
Can you imagine that?
God. Living within us. Guiding us. Helping us. Teaching us. Advising us when to speak and when to remain silent. What to say and what to do.
Isn’t that wonderful? Or is it too difficult to imagine or believe?
If you were to say to a non-Christian that God is living within you in the form of the Holy Spirit they would most probably scoff, or smile politely or perhaps think you've lost your mind.
The very concept is difficult for many Christians to believe; never mind those who don't believe at all.
And yet ... Isn’t it a tragedy that in this day and age, when many are too willing to believe that the devil can possess an individual unwillingly and reap havoc in their lives; many people find it difficult to understand that the Spirit of God is willing to abide within us and lead us to an eternal better life in Heaven.
But only if we ask Him.
Unlike the devil, the Holy Spirit will not abide in a person unless He is asked. Unless He is invited.
All we have to do is to believe and to invite the Holy Spirit to be within us.