And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter….
— John 14:16
In yesterday’s Sparkling Gem, we began our study of the word “Comforter,” which Jesus uses four times in the space of three chapters (see John 14:16, John 14:26, John 15:26, and John 16:7) to describe the ministry of the Holy Spirit. We saw that the word “Comforter” is the Greek word parakletos, a compound of the Greek words para and kaleo, and by looking at the word para, we saw that the Holy Spirit is sent to come alongside us and help us navigate through our lives. Today we are going to look at the second half of parakletos — the Greek word kaleo — in order to discern how it fits with the word para and how we can glean an even deeper insight into the word “Comforter.”
The word kaleo is a Greek term that means to beckon or to call. Paul used this word in Romans 1:1 when he said he was “called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ.” This kaleo kind of calling carries a sense of strategic purpose, specific intent, and concrete direction. For example, God calls us to fellowship with Him, and He calls unbelievers to repentance and salvation (see Matthew 9:13). Likewise, both Paul and Peter used the word kaleo to describe God’s call to salvation and ministry for themselves and others (see Romans 1:1; 8:30; 9:11,24; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 7:15; Ephesians 4:1,4; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; Hebrews 9:15; 1 Peter 1:15; 2:9).
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The apostle Paul also used the word kaleo to describe his call to apostolic ministry (see 1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:15; 2 Timothy 1:9). When Paul heard this divine call on the road to Damascus, he was instantly imbued with a powerful sense of direction, purpose, and destiny and received a concrete direction for his life. Thus, we see that the word kaleo carries the idea of summoning forth an individual to do something very specific. We are called to salvation; we are called to the ministry; we are called to service in the local church, and so on. Simply put, the call is to something.
Returning to Jesus’ message in John 14:16, we see that since kaleo forms the second part of the word parakletos (“Comforter”), God has called the Holy Spirit to do a specific work, and this calling has given the Holy Spirit purpose and direction. You might say it has given Him a job description.
What is the calling our Heavenly Father has given to the Holy Spirit? He is called to be our Helper in this world. This is His chief purpose and responsibility. This is His calling.
Now that we’ve seen this important aspect of the Holy Spirit’s ministry, let’s take a step back for a moment and review what we’ve learned about the Holy Spirit thus far:
1. The Holy Spirit is close by us.
We have seen that the Holy Spirit indwells and seals every believer at the moment of salvation (see Ephesians 1:13). But when Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as the “Comforter” in John 14:16, He was specifically referring to a practical relationship with the Holy Spirit that we can experience on a daily basis. We do not need to plead or beg for the Holy Spirit to come near because He is always alongside us.
2. The Holy Spirit has a calling.
Just as men and women are called to the ministry, the Holy Spirit received a specific calling from God the Father to fulfill a specific assignment in this world. Just as I, for example, am specifically called to write and to teach for the Christian community, the Holy Spirit is specifically “called” (kaleo) to come “alongside” (para) each believer at all times.
This means the Holy Spirit is with you when you are in the lowest pits of despair, and He is with you when things are going well. He is with you when you to go bed at night, and He is with you when you get up in the morning. He is with you throughout your entire day. He is with you when you pray, and He is with you when you don’t pray. He is with you when you behave maturely, and He is with you through your moments of immaturity. He is with you when you go to work, to the movies, or to church. Everywhere you go, the Holy Spirit goes too.
3. The Holy Spirit has a job assignment.
The Holy Spirit’s job is to help us! That may include convicting us of sin, empowering us for works of ministry, imparting spiritual gifts, healing other people through us, and so on. The Holy Spirit is responsible for carrying out this heavenly mission — not according to our own fleshly demands and desires, but according to the will of God, the One who called and sent Him to us. This means you and I can be assured that the Holy Spirit will never fail at His job of helping us because He knows that He will answer to the Father for the way He performs in His role of staying alongside to help us. We may fail to recognize Him, but He will not fail at the task the Father has given to Him.
You are probably very aware of your defects and all the areas where you need to grow. Can you imagine someone who is called specifically to be with you? That is the ministry of the Holy Spirit! His primary task is to be the Parakletos — called to be alongside you.
So today I ask you receive the Holy Spirit as your Partner. Simply tell Him, “I am receiving you as my Partner. You were sent to be alongside me. You’ve been here all along, and I have not fully received You as I should. So today I open myself to You and embrace You, Holy Spirit. I thank You for coming alongside me and for accepting such an amazing call to be my Helper!”
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, my eyes are being opened to the wonderful ministry of the Holy Spirit. I am shocked that I never really understood what profound help You sent to me in the Person of the Holy Spirit as my divine Partner. My heart is simply overflowing with thankfulness that You have sent the Holy Spirit into my life to assist me wherever I am and in whatever I am doing. Now I understand that He is called by YOU to be with me all the time. Please help me to be more cognizant of His presence and to honor His holiness as He comes to assist me in life!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I declare that I receive the Holy Spirit as my Partner. I choose to acknowledge Him and to cooperate with His counsel and direction. I listen to Him; I pay attention to Him; and I obediently follow when He leads or prompts me to take action. For a long time, I didn’t understand the power of this gift God gave me. But now I understand, and I will honor the Holy Spirit and His role as senior Partner in my life.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Of all that you read in today’s Sparkling Gem, what truth stood out and meant the most to you? Why did it impact you more than anything else?
- From what you read today, can you verbalize what is the primary “calling” of the Holy Spirit in this world? Try to put it into your own words to see if you really understood the teaching today — and if it blessed you, why not share it with someone else?
- Can you think of moments when you were made especially aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence at your side to help you? What was one of the most memorable of those experiences, and what was the outcome?