The Risen Christ and His Church: Advocate and Ekklēsia

Eric Costanzo

Next Sunday (6/7/2020) we resume public worship. In the last few months we’ve experienced an entirely new period of trial and testing. Thankfully, the words of Christ have been our guide – from “The Prayers of Jesus” leading up to Easter, to the words of the Risen Christ in “The 40 Days After.”

As we prepare for our next study of the Essential Church (Ekklēsia) in Acts 1-8, we first need to contemplate the role of both Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as they Advocate for us during this present age—The Church Age.

The Greek words for “advocate” (Paraclete/parakaleō) in the New Testament are a noun and a verb. Both Christ and the Spirit advocate for us, and also model our call to advocate for others. Consider two words to help us apply these wondrous things: Defender and Helper.

DEFENDER: Jesus Christ serves as our Advocate before the Father in terms of sin (1 John 2:1), so that we who have confessed His Lordship are judged by His righteousness, not our own unrighteousness.

As Christ’s ambassadors, our call is to advocate for Him and His love. When it comes to defending the dignity of every human life—both pre-born and born—we are called to stand in the gap for others in Christ’s name. We believe that every person, no matter their origin or station in this life, is made in the image of God and has value beyond estimation.

HELPER: The Holy Spirit is God’s personal presence with us in the Church. The Holy Spirit advocates on our behalf in prayer (Romans 8:26-27) and walks alongside (John 14:25-26) us as we navigate the difficulties of this present age.

As Christ’s ambassadors, our call is also to stand beside (or even in front of) others in their times of need, especially when we have plenty. The Holy Spirit models for us what it means to love, encourage, comfort, support, and give freely and generously.

Where is God calling you to be an active advocate for someone else – like Christ and the Spirit are doing for you? 

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