The Advocate

Acts 16:22-34; John 16:5-11

We are grateful that Jesus has given us an Advocate, the Holy Spirit.  Like a good lawyer, the Spirit defends us and counsels us; and like a good lawyer, that same Spirit can also convict us (or get us to convict ourselves) and tell us those things we don’t want to hear.

Jesus told his disciples that the Holy Spirit would support them.  But he also promised that the Spirit would sometimes convict them.  When the Spirit works with our consciences, we are encouraged when we say do what is right.  We are also troubled when we do what is wrong.

The world sometimes promises us that sin means freedom.  Actually, it is the opposite.  Sin imprisons us.  It keeps us from being the persons that God has created us to be. For example, when I hold onto a resentment or another bad thought or feeling, it poisons me spiritually.  It becomes a distraction.  It causes me pain. 

Jesus promises us freedom, but we have to be willing to do the things that are necessary to be free.  Paul and Silas sang and prayed, but they also had to trust in the Holy Spirit and in the jailer who took them into his home.  Sometimes our personal foundations—memories, attitudes, etc.—also need to be shaken, like the jail was shaken by the earthquake. 

We trust in the Holy Spirit to help us.  We must also trust in the Holy Spirit to transform us.—JC