The Pentecostal Community (1): The Advocate (John 16)
The Pentecostal Community (1): John 16:7-11
John 16:7–11 - “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the [Paraclete] will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 16:8 “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment . . .
What is the true character of the community of disciples of Jesus? We have antithesis against the unbelieving world system. We have access and empowerment before the Father. We have a Spirit who advocates for us who convinces and convicts through our testimony.
We are Promised Persecution. The community of disciples (with the Spirit) will witness to Christ (15:26-27). In doing so we should be prepared for persecution (16:1). “Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you” (15:19). Even more, “those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God” (16:2). The unbelieving world considers the persecution of true disciples a virtue and even service to “god.” Are you ashamed of the Gospel or are you prepared for rejection, ridicule and persecution?
We are Promised Pentecost. The disciples were to anticipate a new era of life that would be better than having Jesus incarnate with them. This comes when the Spirit is poured out at Pentecost. This is an astounding point, but Christ Himself makes it: “it is to your advantage that I go 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” (16:7). The new era was based on the completed work of Christ. The death and resurrection of Jesus made it possible for greater access to the Father through the Spirit, when “your pain will turn into joy” (16:20). Are you faithfully accessing the Father on the basis of the work of Christ, in the power of the Spirit?
We are Promised the Paraclete. The word referring to the Spirit, translated “Comforter/Helper/Advocate/Counselor” is “Paraclete.” As as the disciples obey the task of world mission (17:18), we are to be assured that the role and purpose of the Spirit includes judicial action. The “Advocate” will convince and convict the world a) of the sin of unbelief, b) of the righteousness of Jesus going to the Father and c) of the judgment of the ruler of this world (the devil). Not to believe in Jesus and His reign is not to receive Him and thus reject Him. Those who linger in unbelief do not remain “neutral” about Jesus. They must accept that He is the King, at God’s right hand and the devil has no authority. Are you believing or unbelieving, receiving or rejecting of Jesus being “with the Father” (at His right hand/reigning)?
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more