The promise of God the Father in John 14. 26-27
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
This promise is the source of many blessings for the believer and the church. Here is what it is and how it determines our relationship with God our Father.Previously, Jesus had spoken with his disciples and said
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14.18 NIV.
What are the characteristics of an orphan?
This is a child who has lost his parents, or one of them, very early in his life.Early childhood specialists describe the reality of this disability and the suffering it generates in life, feelings of abandonment, rejection, frustration and anger, of loneliness too.
An orphan’s behavior contradicts the spirit of adoption given by God
In our Christian life, we sometimes adopt such an orphan’s behavior and experience the same feelings. Feelings which are in contradiction with the Spirit of adoption received from the Father.The Spirit you received is not a spirit that makes you a slave and fills you with fear.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.Romans 8.15.
The paths to the orphan’s behavior are those we by nature particularly like:
- the desire for independence, rebellion and finally disobedience against the guidelines of the Word of God,
- making vain efforts for salvation which are gradually replacing in our lives the work of Jesus Christ on the cross
- a knowledge of God which is confined to our intelligence and does not irrigate the totality of our being (the heart is then the great absent)
These behaviors lead us to the slave mentality and the orphan status.If we are aware of our being lost on such a path, it is essential that we repent, that we confess it and that we receive God’s forgiveness, perhaps by asking the accompaniment of an other Christian.
What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the Christian life?
Here are some words that describe his action: counsel, support, comforter, advocate. These are different facets of the same person.The Holy Spirit enables us to work together and to live together as a church. It bears witness to our spirit that we are sons and daughters of the King of Kings. What a feeling of security and peace from Christ who supports us against the accusations of Satan!He also teaches us to know the person of Jesus Christ, the only way to God the Father
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14.6 NIV.
Jesus Christ is set at the center.
The Spirit is always putting Jesus at the center, recalling his teaching and the importance of the salvation he accomplished on the cross.
The Holy Spirit equips us and assist us as a defender, but above all, he turns the spotlight on the person of Jesus Christ.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'” Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.John 1.14-18
This text, in connection with the birth of Jesus, bears very special accents.Long before the creation of the world Jesus Christ existed from all eternity.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.John 1.3 NIV.
He chose, in agreement with His Father, to leave the heavenly places and the intimacy of their relationship to dwell among us human beings.
It is said that he lived among us “full of grace and truth”
Exodus 34.6 is a declaration of God’s love for humanity
This recalls the statement of Exodus 34.6 in which God showed himself to Moses when he renewed the covenant and declared his love for humanity:
And the LORD passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.Exodus 34:6 NIV.
In this self identification of God, we can already see all the tireless love of God for humanity.
A better covenant sealed by Christ’s blood on the cross
Jesus inaugurated a more excellent alliance, sealed with his own blood on the cross.
It is God himself who offered himself through his beloved Son in whom he has put all his affection. Matthew 3:17.
Through Moses and the first covenant, God communicated his law. Through Jesus Christ, his beloved, he revealed his work of grace, all sufficient and perfect.We are no longer orphans because
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.John 14.16 NIV.
This is the peace he gives us for the year ahead.
So let us not be worried nor frightened but let us welcome this peace that God is giving us to live the new year.
Jesus Christ is no longer physically present among his people, but he is even more present by His Holy Spirit. Thus, we are not orphans but adopted, loved, cherished by our good heavenly Father.Jesus lived among his people, full of grace and truth. Let our words and our actions have the same flavor of “grace and truth”Let us put Jesus at the center of our teaching, our church life and our relationships, with the help of the Holy Spirit.