Elim Blog

The Work of the Holy Spirit

The Work of the Holy Spirit

John 14:16-26


            When Jesus went to the cross, He let His disciples know that though He would be leaving, they would not be left on their own. “But the Advocate [parakletos], 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).[1] There are many thoughts in regards to the exact meaning of this term parakletos. Some have suggested Helper, Counselor, one who is called alongside, or Friend. James Strong defines it as intercessor, consoler, advocate, or comforter.[2] One of the difficulties in defining such a term is that the role of the coming Spirit is so multi-faceted; as His work comforts, convicts, encourages, corrects, and gives wisdom.

Andreas J. Köstenberger suggests that the best understanding of the word would be “helping Presence … as it captures the import of the term better than any other.”[3] John states that Christ would not leave them as orphans (vs 18) and that He would teach them all things and help them to remember what they have already been taught (vs 26). Luke also wrote, “[F]or the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (Luke 12:12).  In John 16:8, we are also told that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin (vs 8). In other words, the modern-day evangelist is not alone in trying to convince unbelievers of the truth. D. A. Carson adds that the Comforter which is to come is the Spirit of Truth which is mentioned in John 14:17, 15:26, and 16:13. This enables us to understand that the Spirit will guide us in truth, in a world that does not know the truth.[4]

However, the name of the Holy Spirit as Advocate, emphasizes His greatest role, as He performs the work of sanctification in the believer. If we need comforting, the Spirit comforts us; if we need correcting, the Spirit corrects us; and if we need challenging, the Spirit challenges us. The work of the Holy Spirit is so vital that Jesus said, “But I tell you the truth, 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” (John 16:7). Praise the Lord for the work of the Spirit!


[1] Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the Legacy Standard Bible (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 2021).


[2] Blue Letter Bible, accessed June 15, 2022, cfm?Strongs=G3875&t=KJV.

[3] Andreas J. Köstenberger, Encountering John: The Gospel in Historical Literacy, and the Theological Perspective, 2nd ed (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academics, 2013), 146.


[4] D. A. Carson, The Gospel According to John: The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1991), 500.