Yes and Amen: The Promise of the Holy Spirit

Yes and Amen: The Promise of the Holy Spirit

Yes and Amen: The Promise of the Holy Spirit.

In Christ is found the Yes! to all God’s promises, and therefore it is through Him that we answer Amen! to give praise to God. As His Yes! and our Amen! ascend to God, we bring Him glory.” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

YES: the answer in the affirmative.

AMEN: (Hebrew, related to the root word for truth); Yes! That’s right! We agree; This is absolutely truer; This is certain; This is trustworthy and assured; So be it; Let this be true; We heartily approve; We believe this with all our heart and soul.

The Father’s Promise. Yahweh God made an astounding promise through His prophet Joel, “I shall pour out my Spirit on all humanity. Your sons and daughters shall prophecy, your old people shall dream dreams, and your young people see visions. Even on the slaves, men and women, shall I pour out my Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-30; also in Acts 2:17-18). Similar to that promise was this one in Ezekiel 36:26-28“I shall give you a new heart, and put a new Spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. I shall put my Spirit in you, and make you to keep my teachings, and respect and practice my judgments.”  Jesus confirmed this promise Himself before His ascension in Luke 24:49, “Behold, I send the Promise of my Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”  And He also said the same thing in Acts 1:4 “And being assembled together with them, Jesus commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which you have heard from me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit…”  St. Peter confirmed this promise in his first sermon to the gathered at Pentecost, “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.” (Acts 2:33).

The Son’s Promise. Jesus said Yes! to the Father’s promise of the Holy Spirit by confirming it at His ascension, but also by teaching about the Spirit in the gospel of John. He tried to cheer up His sad disciples after telling them about His impending departure, by saying that it is actually to their benefit that He returns to the Father. The result of His absence is that the Spirit will be sent in Jesus’ place. Jesus ascends to the Father, and the Holy Spirit descends to continue God’s presence on earth. The Spirit of Jesus replaces the physically absent Jesus. He tells them in John 16:7, “Unless I go away, the Paraclete will not come to you.”

The Spirit’s Promise. Paraclete was Jesus’ descriptive name He gave to the Holy Spirit (in John 14 and 16). The Greek term means “called to come alongside of.” This rich term paraclete points to many different functions and personal ministries of the Holy Spirit after He comes alongside of us in love and friendship. The Spirit is the ultimate Helper to us as He lives out His personal character He shares with the Father and the Son. As Paraclete, the Spirit fulfills these roles in us as we grow in Christ. Jesus must have had a good reason to call the Spirit the Paraclete, of course. Unpacking the meaning of the term, we see that the Spirit’s helping style is fleshed out in ministering to us in these ways: The Spirit is called to come alongside us in order to point us to Jesus, advise and counsel us, remind us in order to understand, advocate for us, comfort us, listen to us, exhort us, teach us, and encourage us. That is the style, the method of influence that is intended for the benefit of every person being empowered by the Spirit.

A Team Project. The Father promised the gift of the Holy Spirit, but the Spirit was sent by both the Father and the Son, by Jesus who is seated in glory at the Father’s right hand, and by the Father right there along with Jesus.

(1.) John 14:16“And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Paraclete), that He may abide with you forever.”

(2.) John 14:26 = “But the Helper (Paraclete), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my Name...”

(3.)  John 15:26“But when the Helper (Paraclete) comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father…” 

(4.)  John 16:7“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Paraclete) will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” 

So it’s kind of like this… I might promise to my child that she will receive a Christmas present, but the gift will actually come from both parents. Father God promised us a gift of the Holy Spirit, but both the Father and the Son gave the gift. The giving of the present was a shared experience, even though the Father might have started the whole process. The Holy Spirit was promised by the Father, and given by the Father and Son.