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.
Why wouldn’t someone want to be a Christian? Why do they see Christianity as offensive or out of touch with reality? Why would someone who accepts the historical evidence of Christ, refuse to believe in God or His plan for the salvation for mankind? Why would anyone bow to another deity and reject the God of the Bible?
There’s a line from the hymn, Amazing Grace, that points to the answer. “I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now, I see.” And 2 Corinthians 4:4 gives the answer. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Of course, the god of this age is Satan. His days are numbered, but he is making the most of the time that remains to blind people to the good news of Jesus Christ.
But that doesn’t mean he has been given full reign nor does it mean Satan is deity. He is a created being, a fallen angel; powerful but not all-powerful. God is the ultimate power and authority, supreme above all things. And the Holy Spirit, the “advocate” and “Spirit of truth” is the resident authority available to all Christians.
Like the song says, “…was blind, but now, I see.” We were blinded by the evil one. And until we saw the light — scriptures lacked meaning, sin and its penalty were of no consequence, and we had no need for a Savior. We either didn’t know or didn’t care we were lost.
But then the Holy Spirit gave light and opened our eyes. We were awakened to the truth by the Spirit of truth.
For some, that awakening comes early in life, even in childhood. For others, that spiritual enlightenment doesn’t occur until the end of life.
My wife’s uncle Harold was 80 when he gave his life to Christ. I’ll never forget his excitement at hearing the good news that his sins had been forgiven and that his eternal destination was heaven.
He attended a local church, but still carried a heavy weight in his heart; things just weren’t right between him and God.
Attending or joining a church does not make you a Christian. One thing you learn early on as a pastor is that there are many lost people who attend church, some regularly. By appearances, they can seem more spiritual than some of the redeemed in the church. But there remains a darkness in their hearts because the Spirit has not yet given them the light.
On the day my wife and I sat down with Harold, the light of the Spirit moved swiftly and dramatically. I’ll never forget the way he clapped his hands and jumped to his feet in excitement.
It wasn’t the eloquence of our gospel presentation that helped him to see. It was the power of the Spirit that cured his blindness and opened his heart to the wonders of God’s promise.
On a human level, an advocate is a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy. However, on a spiritual level, the Advocate is the Holy Spirit who supports, directs, inspires, and reveals God’s truth. He opens our eyes to things the unredeemed of this world cannot see.
So don’t be confounded by others who can’t accept or comprehend Biblical truth. Fact is, they don’t get it because they can’t. They are blind and they will remain that way until the Holy Spirit opens their eyes.
As frustrating as it can be, we should be sympathetic to the spiritual blindness of others, and pray for their eyes to be opened to the gospel.
Pray for the lost and make yourself available to God that He might use you to share His good news with others.
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September)