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  • Alan Salwei

John 14:15-17 - Another Advocate

The Trinity is hard to explain, but it's hugely beneficial to you!



 

John 14:15–17 (NIV)


15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

 

Listen to passage & devotional:


 

Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 8: The Trinity


In keeping with this truth and Word of God

we believe in one God,

who is one single essence,

in whom there are three persons,

really, truly, and eternally distinct

according to their incommunicable properties—

namely,

Father,

Son,

and Holy Spirit.


The Father

is the cause,

origin,

and source of all things,

visible as well as invisible.


The Son

is the Word,

the Wisdom,

and the image

of the Father.


The Holy Spirit

is the eternal power

and might,

proceeding from the Father and the Son.


Nevertheless,

this distinction does not divide God into three,

since Scripture teaches us

that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit

each has his own subsistence

distinguished by characteristics—

yet in such a way

that these three persons are

only one God.


It is evident then

that the Father is not the Son

and that the Son is not the Father,

and that likewise the Holy Spirit is

neither the Father nor the Son.


Nevertheless,

these persons,

thus distinct,

are neither divided

nor fused or mixed together.


For the Father did not take on flesh,

nor did the Spirit,

but only the Son.


The Father was never

without his Son,

nor without his Holy Spirit,

since all these are equal from eternity,

in one and the same essence.


There is neither a first nor a last,

for all three are one

in truth and power,

in goodness and mercy.

 

Summary


This section of John 14 speaks to the distinct persons of the Trinity. In verse 15, Jesus teaches on the proof of our love for him, which is not a verbal expression, but a matter of living in faithful obedience. In the following verses Jesus then promises another advocate, the Spirit of Truth. The promise Jesus gives to the disciples is that the Holy Spirit will be sent upon them.


In verse 16, we find mention of all three persons of the Trinity. “I”, which is Jesus, will ask “the Father” who will give another “advocate”. Notice how Jesus speaks of each as distinct, having their own duty in the sending of the Spirit. Jesus does the asking, the Father does the sending, and the advocate (who is the Spirit) is the one being sent.


Dig Deeper


    The doctrine of the Trinity can be challenging to grasp since there is no perfect way to describe it. Sometimes the example of an egg is used to describe the triune nature of God, but even that example falls short.


    The example of the egg is that it contains three parts: a shell, the egg white, and the yolk, which are compared to the three persons of the Trinity. Where the example of the egg falls short is that these three parts are not on their own an egg. An eggshell is not an egg in the same way that the yolk by itself is also not an egg. However, when we speak of the Trinity, the three persons are unique and fully God.


    Jesus is fully God, not merely a portion of who God is. Likewise, God does not transition between the persons of the Trinity, at one time being the Father and other times the Son or the Holy Spirit. All three persons of the Trinity exist at the same time, are fully God, yet we have one Triune God.


    If you find this to be a challenging concept to grasp, know that you're not alone! The truth is that there are aspects about our Triune God that are beyond the ability of our human minds to comprehend.


As much as you might want to solve the puzzle of God in the same way you might solve a Rubik’s Cube, our knowledge is limited to what He has revealed about himself. This is the mystery of faith, that while there is so much that God has revealed about himself (more than we'll ever be able to fully digest), there is also much that he has yet to reveal.


What we can be certain of is that which God has revealed through scripture. This includes that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct persons in and of themselves, but who are also fully God, so that there is only one God.



  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who has given us an advocate to help us and be with us forever;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God for giving you His Spirit, and pray that you will show your love for Christ by keeping His commands;

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:

 

Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Acts 28

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