“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another “Paraclete” to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.” John 14: 15f
in the above scripture, i changed the word “advocate” to the older translation in greek since there are important layers that fall short in english. that word is “paraclete”
paraclete is like the two courtroom lawyers– the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney– at the same time. defending us and convicting us simultaneously. from this text, Jesus is one and the Holy Spirit is the other
the defense is under God’s infinite mercy on us because of God’s unconditional love. God’s justice is mercy and there is no better defense. defense can be seen in God’s providencial care for us too.
the conviction is reminding us of that which God requires and indeed mandates: love. the commandments help us unpack this call in many different ways. when we pray for God’s will to be done, we can better see our own plans/preoccupations that do not align to God’s desire and dream for us and our world. conviction shows us where our fears have paralyzed us into inaction. conviction shows us the lies we tell ourselves that er use to justify our selfishness/pride/sloth etc. conviction gets us pointed in the right direction to act and purify our intentions.
the world cannot see or know this type of dynamic of the paraclete. therefore it annot accept it. this is where our world gets itself in trouble. this is where anti-gospel forces of evil can advance: when we don’t know God’s foundation of love as our ultimate defense and when we live only in our sin and selfishness and cannot flourish in love. we will wallow in our fears and sin.
the good news? we only need to be reminded of what we already know. this love remains in us and will continue to be in us. why? it is a mysterious promise of Jesus and the Holy Spirit and their wonder-filled actions in our lives. this is grace at its best.