Just a few hours before His crucifixion, Jesus and His disciples gathered in the upper room. Soon Jesus will be gone. Because the disciples had become increasingly fearful and confused, Jesus comforted them and said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, so that He may be with you forever” (John 14:16).
On the day of Pentecost, then, the Father poured out His Spirit on all believers. The promised Helper, who is the Holy Spirit, had finally come. The Spirit was meant to continue what Christ did in His earthly ministry, namely, to strengthen, encourage, guide, and teach the Christians.
The Greek word which is translated as Helper is paracletos. In the Greek world, a paracletos was usually a family attorney. What would such an attorney do? He would come alongside a family whenever they are going through difficulties. He would come along side and defend and protect the family. He would come alongside the weak and give them strength, encouragement, and support. How does this relate to the Christian faith? We are part of the family of God, and our family attorney is the Holy Spirit. In the same way, the Spirit comes along side us to strengthen us, encourage us, help us, and at times even to defend us. Why does He do that? Because the Christian walk is difficult in a hostile world.
It was the Spirit’s powerful ministry that enabled the church to grow in the midst of opposition. So that even when persecution broke out, Christianity kept growing and transforming millions of lives worldwide. Just as Jesus said, “I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matt. 16:18).