Last week in Part 1 of the Role of the Holy Spirit we discussed the character of the third Person of the Trinity and some of His roles. In Part 2, we will be further discussing the role and function of the Holy Spirit in regards to daily life and with a special emphasis on biblical counseling.
Our Helper Through Life
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me, and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) *said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words, and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.” John 14:16-24.
Jesus promised that He would send us a Helper, which was the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity. He indwells in each believer and is a constant, personal helper. Some translations other words to describe the Holy Spirit. The NIV uses Advocate. The KJC uses Comforter. The NAB uses Helper. And the AMPC says Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby.) The Greek word used is Parakletos.
In John 14, Jesus teaches on the Holy Spirit and how He will direct us. The Holy Spirit is our Paraclete – He brings us assistance, support, relief. He is our guide and our advocate. Not only is He with us but He dwells in us. This indwelling of the Holy Spirit leads us onward in our journey of progressive sanctification. He convicts us of our sin and spurs us onward in a life of worship of the Father and adoration of the Son.
Take note that Jesus said that He would send us another Helper. The Greek word used here is allos, which means “another of the same kind.” For example, at Thanksgiving, you may say “that slice of pie was wonderful, I’ll take another!” You don’t mean you want a slice of a different kind of dessert – you wanted one of the same kind. So, Jesus said that He would send us another Helper of the same kind as Him. The Holy Spirit is a helper exactly like Jesus was to His disciples. Both the Holy Spirit and Jesus are called Parakletos.
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate (Parakletos) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1
The Holy Spirit in Counseling
“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 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. “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore, I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.” John 16:7-15
The Holy Spirit is continuing Jesus’ ministry in convicting others of sins and righteousness. We can see in this passage here that one of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to testify about Jesus. He does this since He is continuing the ministry of Jesus in convicting the world of sin and righteousness and judgement. This is why the Holy Spirit is a crucial aspect of Biblical Counseling. It is the Holy Spirit ALONE who convicts others of their sin – not me, not you. It is not our job.
If we attempt to counsel others apart from the Holy Spirit, we are quenching the Spirit. It is His job to lead us in counseling. It is His job to lead our counselee in conviction of righteousness. We must follow Him: we are participating in the work He has already started in the life of the counselee. It is never just counselee and counselor.
Jay E. Adams said, “Ignoring the Holy Spirit or avoiding the use of Scriptures in counseling is tantamount to an act of autonomous rebellion. Christians may not counsel apart from the Holy Spirit and his Word without grievously sinning against him and the counselee.”
It is only the Holy Spirit who regenerates hearts. A sinner is not saved unless the Holy Spirit draws him, nor does a convert produce Fruit of the Spirit unless the Holy Spirit cultivates it in him. Further, a believer cannot grow in holiness without the Holy Spirit.
“You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” Galatians 3:1-3
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
When the Holy Spirit convicts us, it does not cause us to flee from God with the urge to hide in our shame. The Holy Spirit conviction shows us what is sin, and it causes us to run to the Father who can cleanse us from such sin. Even though being reminded of our sin does sting – the end result is sweet and brings life.
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in worlds taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.” But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” 1 Corinthians 2:12-14
Those that do not have the Holy Spirit indwelling in them do not understand spiritual truths. They cannot comprehend it at all. This is because they are totally dead spiritually. Believers, those who have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit are taught spiritual truth by the very Spirit of God Himself.
“It is written in the prophets, ‘and they shall be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.” John 6:45
“Which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.” 1 Corinthians 2:13
It is the Holy Spirit who illuminates and clarifies the Word of God. No amount of explaining on our parts will make it clear to them. We cannot know ANY truth apart from what the Holy Spirit reveals to us. When we are counseling others, we must pray for the Holy Spirit to illuminate truth during the counseling session – as well as when we are preparing our sessions, and during our daily devotional time. We must always remember to counsel others not based on our own (worldly) wisdom, but on the wisdom found in the Truth of God’s Word; the wisdom that is only given to us by the Holy Spirit.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:26
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6