Steve Ellison: 2 Advocates

Friday, February 10, 2017 - by Steve Ellison
The marvelous, unbelievable, matchless grace of God is manifested in many ways.  Not the least of which is the fact that there are two Advocates (Paracletes) dispensing the unmerited and undeserved favor of God toward mankind.  Jesus said relatively early in His earthly ministry that there is another Being who gives true testimony about Him (John 5:32). It is generally understood that the Holy Spirit was in view.  However, 1 John 2:1-2 identifies Jesus as our Advocate before the Father.
 Jesus has paid the penalty for all of our sins, past, present, and future.  Jesus currently resides in heaven interceding and advocating on our behalf.  That is a fantastic, comforting, and hope-inducing truth.

Four times on the evening of Jesus’ arrest, He spoke of the coming of another Advocate.  John 14:26 makes it very clear that this Advocate will be of the “same kind” as Jesus.   Jesus told his puzzled disciples in John 16:7 that this Advocate will not come until after Jesus departs.  According to John 14:16-17 this coming Advocate will be with those who believe in Christ but will not be available to unbelievers except in the following way.   John 16:8-11 describes this Advocate’s relationship to unbelievers, "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;  concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;  and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;   and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.” (NASU)  This Advocate will prepare the heart of the unbeliever for the good news about the Savior.  This Advocate will declare that the whole world is guilty.  This Advocate will reveal to lost persons that the Only Righteous One in all human history was unjustly executed.  This Advocate will proclaim the defeat and judging of the Adversary.  This Advocate will predict the ultimate punishing of the Adversary.

John 14:26 tells us that this Advocate will teach believers and remind believers of the things Jesus taught.  Jesus said in John 15:26-27,  "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,  and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” (NASU) This Advocate is the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father.  This Advocate testifies about Jesus and enables us to testify about Jesus.  Romans 8:26-27 tells us that the Holy Spirit resides in our hearts praying for us when we do not know how.

It seems to me that Jesus is our Advocate living in heaven, interceding on our behalf and the Holy Spirit is another Advocate living in our hearts, interceding on behalf of Christ.  It seems to me that Jesus is directly advocating for me while the Holy Spirit is indirectly advocating for me because of His direct advocacy for Jesus.  The term “Advocate” includes the idea of a defense attorney or protector.  Jesus protects His “client”, me, from the wrath of God which I deserve because I am a sinner.  The Holy Spirit protects the reputation of His “client”, Jesus, by teaching me, promoting purity in me, pointing out my sin to me, etc.  Thus, as the Holy Spirit advocates for Jesus, I am also indirectly benefitting.  I would do well to remember that the goal is never my comfort but rather the guarding of Christ’s reputation which surely takes a hit each time I sin.  When my life seems to be upside down, I must remember that the Holy Spirit is defending Christ not me.

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