Sermon – Another Advocate (John 14:15 – 14:31) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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John 2021

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The Book of John was authored by one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, John, who features in the gospel. John makes his mission for writing the book plain in 20:31; “that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” He details the many words and claims of Jesus, as well as the various responses from those listening; in either faith, amazement, caution or rejection. Listen as Cornerstone preachers unpack the narrative and invite us to reflect on our own response to Jesus.

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Sermon 46 of 58

Another Advocate

Ben Read, John 14:15 - 14:31, 20 November 2022

Ben continues our series in John’s gospel, preaching to us from John 14:15-31. In this passage we see Jesus comforting his disciples and his amazing claim that the Holy Spirit will live in them - what does this mean for us today?

John 14:15 - 14:31

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered 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 home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 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 have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

In the Lion King Simba is blamed for his father’s orchestrated death, and runs away ashamed at the encouragement of his evil uncle - Scar. In the wilderness he’s picked up by Timone and Pumba and shown a carefree way of life - Hakuna matata - which he learns to enjoy until one day he’s confronted with his childhood friend Nala.

She bursts his bubble and explains to him the situation at Pride Rock, which has seriously deteriorated since Scar has been in charge and she urges him to come back, but Simba tells her to put the past behind her and storms off when she tells him it's his duty to come back.

He ends up alone and shouting at the sky that Mufasa wasn’t there for him. He feels alone and abandoned, utterly helpless and unable to do what he needs to do, confused even about who he is.

But then he comes across the old baboon - Rafiki - who is singing “ASANTE SANA, SQUASH BANANA”

And Rafiki, to soothe Simba’s troubled heart and give him confidence in who he is and enable him to do what he has to do:

First of all tells him that he knows Mufasa - “Correction, I know your Father”
But then he leads him to a pool and gets him to look into it

At first Simba can’t see anything in the reflection and is disappointed, but then comes the famous line - “look harder”

And as he looks, Simba’s reflection turns into Mufasa’s and it is the eyes of his Father looking back at him.

“You see” Rafiki says “He lives in you”

Then the voice of Mufasa comes from the clouds and reminds Simba of who he is.

It’s a very powerful moment in the film.

And it’s this combination of:
remembering the words of his Father
and the comfort that his Father lived in him
That was all Simba needed to have confidence that he was not alone, to know who he was and have the ability to do what he needed to do.

So Simba goes back to challenge his uncle to take his place as king.

Now that is an amazingly Christian idea.

In fact, it’s very close to what we see here in today’s passage of scripture.

Because where we are in the gospel here is Jesus has just told his disciples that he is leaving them.

So, like Simba, they have all the questions and anxieties about:

Whether they will be alone after Jesus goes
Who they will be
Whether they will be able to do the job

And their hearts are troubled.

And it’s understandable really, because they don’t have a New Testament to turn to at this point. They don’t have a church they return to for support. They are not part of a denomination or association that offers training or guidance. All they have is Jesus.

And Jesus has been their everything for the last 3 years.

He called them by name
He taught them the very word of God
He enabled them to do mission
He defended them from the Pharisees
He corrected their mistakes
He performed miracles for them and in front of them
He walked the dusty roads with them
He ate with them
He prayed with them
He cried with them
He sang with them
He really and truly dwelt among them

And now he says he is leaving.

So Jesus takes his disciples to the Rafiki pool and shows us, if we have eyes to see it, that he lives in us by his Holy Spirit.

So for the troubled heart that:
Is afraid and just wants to be held by Jesus
Or the one who looks up at the night sky and cries out because they feel alone
Or the one who is unsure of who they are, what they are doing in life
Or who feels unable to live the life of a christian, maybe feels a failure, and can’t do what needs to be done
Then Jesus wants to speak comfort to you tonight. He wants to impart peace to you.

So let’s take a look into the pool and see what we see there.

Another Advocate

Take a look at verse 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

The word advocate here is “Paraklete” which is a legal word meaning someone who is called to come alongside to aid you.

In a courtroom if you stand accused of something a paraklete would come to your side and defend you. They would refute false claims and speak the truth on your behalf. They would advocate for you.
If you were under attack they would protect you
If you felt alone they would accompany you
If you you were unsure of something, they would advise you
And at all times they would be alongside you and for you

And that is why this word is translated as comforter in many translations of the bible.
Another comforter. Because that is what they bring. Comfort.

And notice Jesus says “another advocate”

That is because he has been their advocate all these years he has been with them.

He called them by name
He taught them the very word of God
He enabled them to do mission
He defended them from the Pharisees
He corrected their mistakes
He performed miracles for them and in front of them
He walked the dusty roads with them
He ate with them
He prayed with them
He cried with them
He sang with them
He has been their Paraklete.

And, as is clear now he has said he is leaving - he truly has been their comforter.

So Jesus speaks peace to them - I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever

I am going yes, but I will send another comforter - the Holy Spirit - to be everything you need and to help you. You will lack nothing that you had with me with this Advocate. He is another, just as I have been.

And whereas Jesus was only with them a short time, this advocate will never leave them. He will be with them forever.

So, disciples, are you going to be alone when Jesus leaves?
Are you going to be vulnerable to attack?
Is Satan going to stand up in the court of Heaven and accuse you with no defence?
Are you going to lose a sense of who you are and who you belong to?
Are you going to lack the capacity to follow Jesus when he’s not around?

No. There is going to be another Advocate.

He lives in you

Verse 25 “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.

So is this advocate going to be the same as Jesus? Is he going to be a human and walk and talk and eat and sleep and sing and cry?


He is the Spirit of truth and he lives IN you…

Now I have no idea how that works ontologically.
My mum freaked my little sister out when she was young by saying that.

This is a supernatural mystery. But it is true. The Holy Spirit lives and dwells inside believers.

Now let’s just stop and think about that for a minute.
Because to the first listeners this was utter blasphemy.

The Spirit of God had rested on people before - prophets and kings - The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha - or he had filled them to accomplish something - but never had he dwelled in people permanently in this sort of way.

The Spirit of God had only ever dwelled in the tabernacle and the temple before - in the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies was sacred and consecrated ground - only the high priest could enter through the thick, heavy curtain that separated God from his people, and only once a year - and only after he had made sacrifices for himself to make himself clean and when he was wearing the correct uniform.

God is holy. He cannot mix with defiled or sinful people.

And here is Jesus saying The Spirit of truth will live with you and will be in you

1 Corinthians 3:16 says “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

Think of the cleansing work of Jesus in you that you are declared to be a temple of God? And that the Spirit of God dwells in you!

Are you a sinner? Yes.

But are you so cleansed from your sin that even the Spirit of God can dwell in you as a temple of the living God? Yes.

He lives in you!


Now how on earth can believers appear to be so ordinary to the outside world if we have the Spirit of the living God in us? Why are people not bowing down in reverence to us?

Well Jesus tells us in verse 17 - 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.

They cannot see the Holy Spirit, and so they do not know him.
The world could see Jesus, and they didn’t accept him.
How much more so the Holy Spirit who the world cannot see…

But how is it you know him, if you are a believer?
Because he lives with you and in you.

You know the comfort the Advocate brings in times of trials. Reminding you of truths, bringing brothers and sisters around you to remind you of truths. Getting you along to church on days you felt like you would never make it.

You know the correction he gives when you have sinned. The deep ache of sorrow in you when you have grieved the holy spirit. When you have lived or treated your body as if it is not the temple of the living God. Or when you have treated others as if they are not the temple of the living God?

You know the way he warms your heart when you hear Jesus proclaimed faithfully. When we sing songs together about Jesus and our salvation?

Ephesians 1 says when you believed you were marked with a seal - the Holy Spirit. He is a seal from God that confirms and binds and guarantees our inheritance.

You know him says Jesus for he lives with you and will be in you.


Thirdly - The Spirit of Truth

He’s called the Spirit of Truth in verse 17 because he speaks truth to the believer.

Look at verse 25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

So just as Jesus would sit his disciples down and open their eyes to truths and help them understand the scriptures - so the Holy Spirit will continue to be their teacher.

In fact, there were many things Jesus said to his disciples that they simply could not understand until they had received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Only once the Spirit had come and been their teacher could they understand some of the things Jesus had taught them.

Flick back to John 2 and have a look at this - look at verse 19:

19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

At the time they had not understood what Jesus meant - but after Jesus had risen from the dead and he had sent the Spirit of Truth they recalled what Jesus had said and they believed the words that he had spoken.

So, notice the way the Spirit teaches is not to add anything new or on top of Jesus - Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

The Spirit of Truth simply reminds us of the words of The Truth - Jesus - and teaches us what he says.

Now flick forward to John 16:12

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.

He is the Spirit of Truth because he speaks on behalf of Christ, the Truth.

His work is Christ’s work.

And so closely linked are the Spirit and Christ that he is called The Spirit of Christ in other places in the New Testament.

Christ in us

Something else that Jesus shows us here is that, by the Spirit, Jesus himself will dwell in our hearts through faith.

Back to chapter 14:15 “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. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Jesus has just said the Spirit will live in you, and then he says “I will come to you”!

19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.

The world cannot see the Spirit, but we know him.
The world cannot see Jesus, but we see him.

Do you see the link?

Verse 20 On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

Jesus is in us also, by the Holy Spirit.

There’s comfort for the disciples, who love Jesus and don’t want to be apart from him. Jesus says he is in you.

And not only Jesus, but the Father too.

Look at verse 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

This gets more blasphemous by the minute!

And where it says “home” there - that is the same Greek word Jesus used in verse 2 for “room” - 2 My Father’s house has many rooms

So Jesus has gone to prepare a room for you in his Father’s house.
But while he does that he and the Father have come and made their room inside you by the Holy Spirit!

Somehow the Godhead lives in you if you believe!

That is a mystery isn’t it? And yet we know it’s true, for he lives with us and in us.

The Spirit of obedience

Look at verse 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

Now this sounds like legalism. It sounds like you need to obey the teaching in order to get the Spirit, in order to be acceptable to God, in order for him to live in you.

But do you see where Jesus starts?

Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.

Why is that? Why will love for Jesus result in obedience to his teaching?

Because you cannot love Jesus without the Holy Spirit.
And the Holy Spirit is the one who causes you to obey.

So if you have the spirit, you will obey Jesus' teaching.
If you love Jesus, you will obey Jesus’ teaching.

God said through the prophet Ezekiel I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

It’s the Spirit who causes us to be obedient.

What is the fruit of the Spirit in our lives?

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (there’s a cornerstone podcast about that)

What is the command of Jesus?

To love the Lord and one another - love
To rejoice in the Lord - joy
To be peacemakers - peace
To be patient in suffering - patience
To be kind to others - kindness
To be good to those who do not deserve it - goodness
To be faithful to him - faithfulness
To be gentle with the weak and the vulnerable - gentleness
To be put off the old self and battle sin - self control

The fruit of the Spirit is obedience to Christ.

Jesus said every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

If you want to obey Jesus - good fruit - you need to be a good tree: you need the Holy Spirit.

And Jesus went on to say: A good tree cannot bear bad fruit

So yes I am a work in progress. But the fruit of my life will be good, not bad, because of the Holy Spirit within me. That is why we can say confidently at the funeral of a christian - well done, good and faithful servant.

You were a good tree.

Were they good and faithful all the time? No!

But was the Spirit within them growing and cultivating and nurturing good fruit in their lives? Yes.

The one who lives in you is the Spirit of obedience.

The same Spirit in Jesus

Verse 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

When Jesus was baptised the Holy Spirit descended on him like a dove.

The Spirit then drove Jesus out into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. But the Spirit was Jesus’ comforter in the trial, reminding him of the scriptures and accompanying him so he was not alone.

As a result Jesus was able to resist the devil who departed until an opportune time.

Well now, as the cross approaches, the devil is coming back.

But the cross and its temptations for Jesus will demonstrate to the world that he loves the Father and that he perfectly obeys him.

How is he able to do this? Again, as in the wilderness, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

When all the disciples abandoned him, the comforter remained.
When Satan tempted him to shrink from the cross, the teacher reminded him the scriptures must be fulfilled.
When the crowd hurdled insults up at him on the cross, and said let’s see if God saves him, the Spirit of Truth reminded him of Psalm 22

Which begins “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

But then declares:
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honour him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
For he has not despised or scorned
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.
That was the truth he needed to be reminded of as he became the suffering, afflicted one.

And when death curled its fingers around Jesus, the Spirit of life raised him from the grave.

Romans 8 says 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

It’s the same Spirit in Jesus, who is in us.

This is why in verse 18 he says “Because I live, you also will live”

Peace I leave with you

Verse 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

When Simba looked into the pool, he needed to be reminded of what his Father had said, and he needed the comfort of knowing that his Father lived in him.

Then his heart was no longer troubled, and he was no longer afraid.

This is the peace that Jesus wants to leave with us.

That he lives in us by his Holy Spirit
That he is another Advocate who defends us
That the Spirit of Truth will remind us of his words and teach us all things
That we will know him and therefore know who we are with confidence
That we have all the tools we need to cultivate good fruit and live the life we have been called to

… So… Do you see those things in this pool?

I wonder, which anxiety do you carry?
Which of those do you need to look into the pool and be reminded of or learn to sooth your troubled heart?

Preached by Ben Read
Ben Read photo

Ben is a Trainee Pastor at Cornerstone and lives with his wife Ceri who is a youth leader and helps run the women’s ministry in the church.

Contact us if you have any questions.

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