Links Daily Devotional

A Most Able Advocate, Part 1

“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father…” (John 15:26, NIV)

You’ve probably heard the one about the golfer whose wayward ball struck an attorney on the adjacent fairway. “You hit me,” the lawyer bellowed from the ground, where he lay in pain. “I’ll sue you for $5,000!”

“But I yelled, ‘Fore!’” the golfer replied.

“I’ll take it!” said the attorney.

Somewhere along the cultural line, attorneys became the brunt of our most cutting humor. Some attorneys may deserve it, I suppose. But not those I have known. And certainly not the one I want to know best!

Who is this attorney I desire to know, this counselor, this advocate?

By now, you have surely figured out that it is the Holy Spirit. Or did all those lawyer’s labels throw you off?

When Jesus spoke of the coming Holy Spirit, it was the Lord Himself who chose these descriptors. The Greek parakletos can mean one who comforts or consoles, but it may also mean “one who intercedes on our behalf in court.” The Holy Spirit is our chief counsel, our trusted attorney.

But why should we need such an advocate? How much nicer the thought that we would have a treehouse buddy with whom to share our secrets, or a cookie-bearing Grandma to tell us how sweet we are! These are comforting roles and they, in theory, would remove us from the mess of legal battles. However, we know from Scripture that we must face—as any courtroom defendant does—an accuser and a judge.

The accuser is our enemy, Satan. He is the one who would remove the covering of Christ’s blood and grace from us, contending with our own spirit that we are still guilty denizens of his loveless kingdom. In those dark hours, when the enemy confronts us, we need the strength of our advocate; we need the truth of our salvation delivered to the ear of our heart by the Spirit of our Savior Himself.

And then there is our judge, the one who will rule on the case of our faith. It is easy to forget that God, the perfect sovereign of the universe, will also be the one seated on the bench for the trial of our lives (see 2 Timothy 4:1). In the face of such a moment, our own defense will sound much like Isaiah’s: “Woe to me! I am ruined! I am a man of unclean lips…” (Isaiah 6:5). We need one who can argue our case in that hour, who can rush to our defense—one with intellect, eloquence and full awareness of the judge’s inclinations. Only the Spirit of God fits this description. If Jesus has sent Him, then oh, we must have Him!

Jeff Hopper

July 7, 2011

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