The Role of the Holy Spirit in a Believer's Life


The subject of the Holy Spirit is a major topic of discussion between churches of this generation. Many great books have been written on this subject. My reason for writing this article is not to argue with the view or opinion of any denomination but to shed some light on the role of the Holy Spirit as our ‘Parakletos’. This is not a controversial subject but one with which I believe every Christian will agree with once they complete reading this article. This article is fully based upon scripture and I will give you biblical reference for every point I make. There are seven major roles of the Holy Spirit as our ‘Parakletos’ which I will list and discuss in more detail. So, without any further delay, let us begin this journey together!


The Greek Word: ‘Parakletos’

The Greek Word ‘Parakletos’ is a very interesting word. It appears only five times in the New Testament. Four times it appears in the Gospel of John where it is translated as ‘Comforter’ in the King James Version of the Bible. Please have a look at the four verses below:


John 14:16 KJV

[16] And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever....


John 14:26 KJV

[26] But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.


John 15:26 KJV

[26] But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me....


John 16:7 KJV

[7] Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.


I want you to notice that in all four verses the word ‘Comforter’ is a title assigned very specifically to the Holy Spirit. The Greek word translated as ‘Comforter’ here is ‘Parakletos’! This is what the Strong’s Concordance says about this word:


Strong's Number


Original Word


Transliterated Word


Phonetic Spelling


Parts of Speech

Noun Masculine

Strong's Definition

An intercessor consoler: - advocate comforter.

Thayer's Definition

  1. summoned, called to one's side, esp. called to one's aid
  • in the widest sense, a helper, succourer, aider, assistant

Usage by Word

comforter (4), advocate (1)

Usage by Book

John, 1 John


According to the Strong’s Concordance, the Greek Word ‘Parakletos’ is translated as ‘Comforter’ four times in the Gospel of John which I have already listed above and one time it is translated as advocate in The First Letter of John which we will look at very soon. For now, I want to focus upon the full in-depth meaning of the word ‘Parakletos’. In the Amplified Translation, we get a better more detailed meaning of this word ‘Parakletos’. Have a look at the following verse:


John 14:16 AMPC

[16] And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever--


Here we learn the seven functions or roles of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life. Please keep in mind that the ‘Parakletos’ came into the believer’s life only after Jesus ascended to heaven. Let’s look at the seven roles of the Holy Spirit in more detail.


  1. The Holy Spirit is our Comforter. I was thrilled to see that in two of the dictionaries I used, the word ‘comforter’ was defined as Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost. You see my friends; our God is a God of all Comfort (2 Cor 1:3). Jesus lives inside every believer through the person of the Holy Spirit. The comfort that we receive through the presence of the Holy Spirit is one of the most precious gifts God has given to mankind. According to the Apostle Paul, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19). God dwells in us; He lives inside us. The Holy Spirit lives inside our new born human spirit (2 Cor 5:17) which we received when we accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. We receive comfort directly from the spirit of God dwelling within our human spirit as we go through the turmoil of life. Isn’t that wonderful? God’s comfort is far greater than any human comfort. Learn to call upon the Holy Spirit for comfort and consolation when hard times wear you down! Hebrews 13:5 says that He will never leave you nor forsake you.
  2. The Holy Spirit is our Counselor. Who is a counselor? A counselor is a person who counsels or gives advice. This is a very interesting role. The Bible says in Romans 8:14 that as many are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God. How exactly does God lead us? He leads us by His Holy Spirit which is dwelling inside our human spirit. This is the major way God leads His children. This method of communication is called Inward Witness or Intuition. The Holy Spirit communicates with your human spirit which directs the information to the human mind. This is not authoritative. It is like a small whisper in your inner most being. If we train ourselves to wait upon the Lord in silence, we will surely hear His voice. His voice is clear and concise. That is how the role of the counselor is fulfilled. The Holy Spirit speaks to our spirit and gives us the guidance for whatever situation we need divine help with. There have been those moments in my life when I was confused and needed the wonderful counselor to take charge. The Holy Spirit is our best friend. He always seeks to direct us in the right path. So, friends, please seek guidance from the Holy Spirit. It is free and there is nothing to lose. It is win-win situation for all of God's beloved children.
  3. The Holy Spirit is our Helper. A helper is a person who assists or supports another person. The Holy Spirit is not the one who is going to do all the work. He will help you accomplish the task with which you need assistance. I want to clear up a misunderstanding some people have about the Holy Spirit's role as our helper. Please do not expect the Holy Spirit to do all the work while you sit around with your hands folded. It does not work this way. I read once about folks who had this idea in their mind that they did not need to pray because the Holy Spirit was praying on their behalf. It's amazing how folks interpret scripture to fit their selfish agenda. Please don't be one of them. Let me give you a very good example of how the Holy Spirit is our helper. Let's say you want to pray but you are not sure of what exactly you should be praying. In this situation, it would be okay to ask the Holy Spirit to help you in your prayer and bring into remembrance everyone and everything you should be praying for. Another very good example I can recall from my own life is when my washing machine broke down. I prayed and asked God to help me with taking it apart and fixing it. I was the one who took the tools and opened the washing machine, but the Holy Spirit helped me by manifesting His wisdom into my heart, so I would be able to do it without using a repair manual. I'm telling you friends; the Holy Spirit got all the knowledge there is. Feel free to ask Him for help since He is our great and awesome helper.
  4. The Holy Spirit is our Intercessor. I love the way the Oxford Dictionary of English defines this word. I really feel it grasps the true biblical meaning of the word. An intercessor is a person who intervenes on behalf of another, especially by prayer. In churches today, we have a ministry called, ‘Prayer Warriors’. Their job is to pray on behalf of other people. This is all good when folks pray in their mother tongue or in English for other folks. But according to scripture, the best intercessor is the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:26 says that we may not always know how to pray and what to pray for. But then Paul makes an astounding statement. He says the Holy Spirit knows exactly how to pray and what to pray for. If we as human vessels would allow the Holy Spirit to pray through us, a lot more will be accomplished. I know you may be wondering what kind of prayer I am talking about. Yes, I am talking about praying in tongues. This is a supernatural prayer language and will accomplish a lot more than our regular praying. You see angels can't pray. You must be a human being born on earth to pray. Prayer is specific to human beings. In 1 Cor 14:18, Paul says that he prayed in tongues more than the entire Church of Corinth did. This is a mind-boggling statement. But when and where did Paul pray in tongues? This is obvious. He did this in his own personal prayer life in the privacy of wherever he lived. It would be foolish to assume that Paul was praying in tongues that much in public. He would be classified as a maniac even by Christians if he did that. Before a person can pray in tongues, he/she should first seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is a gift and the simplest way of receiving this gift is by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Then declare that by faith you receive this gift of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Now open your mouth and start praising God. You may notice the words coming out suddenly cease to be in your regular language and switch into something you do not understand. Don't stop. This is normal. As you build up your prayer life, your praying in tongues will become more and more fluent. You will soon become a mighty vessel through which the Holy Spirit can pray on your behalf and on behalf of other people. I'm so glad the Holy Spirit is our intercessor.
  5. The Holy Spirit is our Advocate. An advocate is a person who puts a case on someone else's behalf. It is a legal term. We can justly call the Holy Spirit our defense lawyer. He presents us in the court of almighty God and pleads our case against our adversary, the devil who accuses God's children day and night. In the Old Testament, God's people did not have an advocate. I am happy that the New Testament believers have a personal attorney who fights and pleads on behalf of them day and night in the court of heaven. My friends, when guilt or sin starts hurting your conscience and destroying your spiritual life, remember that the Holy Spirit is your advocate. Call upon Him; cry out to Him. He will fight your case. He is the best lawyer you can ever have.
  6. The Holy Spirit is our Strengthener. Who exactly is a strengthener? A strengthener is a person who gives strength or support to another person. The Holy Spirit does not take all your burden upon Himself. But He gives you the strength and support you need to bear that burden. The burden can signify any weight you may have in any part of your life that is pushing down upon you making you weak or depleting your energy whether it be spiritual, physical or mental. My friends, you don’t have to go through it alone. Call upon the Holy Spirit as your strengthener and let Him strengthen you from within. Philippians 4:13 in the original Greek reads something like this: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me from within.” What a beautiful promise!
  7. The Holy Spirit is our Standby. Who or what is a standby? A standby is a person or thing ready to be deployed immediately, especially if needed as backup in an emergency. This definition reminds me of what we do in America when there is an emergency. We dial 911. That is our direct line to get immediate help whether it be a medical emergency, fire, accident, theft etc. What happens after is quite a scene. The police, fire brigade and ambulance come rushing within minutes of the call. This is like the role of the Holy Spirit as our standby. He is ready for any emergency you may face twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. He does not need any rest. Let me tell you something about the Holy Spirit. He responses faster than 911. How? Because He is always residing on the inside of you 24/7. In Psalm 50:15, God says, "And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." In Jeremiah 33:3, God says, "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." In Psalm 91:15, God says, "He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him." When the Bible says God will answer you, it is really talking about an immediate response. A problem arises here for most believers because they don't receive immediate response and think that God is not hearing them, or He does not want to answer them. My friends, the problem is not with God. It is with you. It is not on the giving end; it is on the receiving end. Because we have not trained ourselves to hear God's voice, we fail on receiving the emergency help when He provides it. You may ask: “Then Brother Raj, how do we receive emergency help of the Holy Spirit in time of desperate need when our world is falling apart?” In Psalm 46:10, God says, "Be still, and know that I am God." Learn to wait upon God and hear His small still voice in your heart. He will give you the answer to your urgent need. You can rest upon His promise to provide you immediate help as soon as you call upon Him. I want to complete point seven by quoting Isaiah 65:24 where God says, "And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear."


Jesus Christ is Our Parakletos

All this while, we have been talking about the Holy Spirit as our ‘Parakletos’. As I mentioned before, the word 'Parakletos' is used for the Holy Spirit four times. The fifth reference to the word 'Parakletos' is in The First Letter of John. Have a look at the following scripture:


1 John 2:1 King James Version (KJV)

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous......


The word translated 'Advocate' is the Greek word 'Parakletos'. Remember that the Holy Spirit is our advocate. It was very surprising for me to see that the Apostle John used the Greek word 'Parakletos' is reference to the Holy Spirit four times and then He switched his position in his first letter and assigned the same function to Jesus Christ. This puzzled me, so I did some research. What I discovered might surprise you as well. You see, the Holy Spirit is our 'Parakletos' on earth while Jesus Christ is our 'Parakletos' in heaven. The Holy Spirit lives inside us on earth while we are in Christ in heaven. Have a look at the following scripture:


Ephesians 1:3 King James Version (KJV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ...


Friends, Jesus Christ is representing all the believers in heaven. He is our personal attorney or defense lawyer in the court of heaven. We are being represented by God on earth and in heaven. According to Ephesians 1:3, all spiritual blessings belong to us because we are in Christ. This has nothing to do with our own identity but with what Christ has accomplished for us. When we receive Him, we also receive all the spiritual blessings in the heavenly place in Him. Isn’t that wonderful? Having the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ as our Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener and Standby is just too good to be true but it is a scripturally defined fact. So, you better believe it! And receive it! I always wondered how heaven could backup what we bind, loose and agree upon on earth. Have a look at the following scriptures:


Matthew 18:18-19 King James Version (KJV)

18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.


Notice that our actions on earth are being backed up by heaven. These are two totally different realms. As a matter of fact, the spiritual realm is more real than the physical realm. The physical realm came into being from the spiritual realm. For heaven to back up our petitions on earth, we need to have a representative in both the places. Now we can better understand how the principle of binding, loosing and agreeing work. We have the Holy Spirit as our 'Parakletos' on earth while Jesus is our 'Parakletos' in heaven. This is a win-win situation for all believers. We need to spend more time building up ourselves spiritually so that we can fully benefit from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Remember the seven roles of the Holy Spirit. It will only become a reality as you draw closer to God. There is a part you play and there is a part God plays. God has already done all He is ever going to do. Now the rest is up to you.


Thank you for reading this article. I hope you learnt some things here that will help you grow in your spiritual life. Have a blessed day!