Paracletic approach part 1

Do you find yourself having a hard time with what you regard as the unrepentant sins of others? (If you think “gay Christian” is an oxymoron, then you have to answer yes.) Do you say things like, “We have to be mindful of what people do. We can’t overlook their sins?” Have you asked the Spirit to lead you on when to be mindful and when not to be mindful? Jesus was often not fussed about people’s sinfulness. He made a point of it (or the Pharisees made it a point for him). What seemed like deal-breaker sins to the religious leaders didn’t to Jesus. Jesus didn’t accuse. Quite the opposite. John highlighted this by calling Jesus a “Paraclete” and recorded Jesus calling the Spirit “another Paraclete” who was going to keep doing what Jesus did.

The word “Paraclete” meant a person who would show up in court and be on your side. They would serve as a character witness, ask the judge to go easy on you, give you friendly counsel (the way lawyers in our day whisper in the ear of their clients testifying before the Senate). There was a separate word in Greek for “prosecutor” – someone who accuses and focuses on what you did wrong. The Paraclete did not serve that function.

So in John 16.8-11, Jesus says the Spirit will come and try to convince the world to trust Jesus, the Spirit will try to convince followers of Jesus to keep following his example even though they don’t see him anymore, and the Spirit will try to convince people (especially those in authority) that the worldly ways of using power over other people have been condemned, that servant leadership is the only leadership that works.

Now, where in all that do you see that you being diligent about someone else’s sinfulness is something the Paraclete would empower you to do?

(Check out part 2 of this post here)

2 thoughts on “Paracletic approach part 1

  1. Great post. Let God (the Holy Spirit) be God, and let’s be about the business of being salt and light each day.

    A couple of scripture passages that come to mind in reference to your post are:

    Matt 7: 1-5: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (NASB)

    1 Cor 15:58: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” (NASB)

    1. Yes. Jesus commands us not to judge. One of those inconvenient commands we tend to ignore. Also reminds me of Naaman’s story. I read it Sunday and the end was a part I had forgotten. Working on another post around that.

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