When I was thinking about the question “Why do I need the Holy Spirit?” I felt very strongly the following come to me…and I’m going to risk saying that it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me…and maybe what He said to me might be helpful to you…

There are 2 reasons why I need the Holy Spirit present in my life:

Without Him I am – LONELY

Without Him I am – LIMITED

In this first of 2 linked sessions, I am going to focus on the first reason:

Without the Holy Spirit in my life, I will always be lonely…

Jesus tells His disciples as He prepares them for His death, resurrection, and the time to come, that they WILL receive the Holy Spirit and why they NEED the Holy Spirit:

12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

15 ‘If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate* to help you and be with you for ever – 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. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14: 12-18)

the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you (John 14: 26)

‘When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father – the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – he will testify about me (John 15: 26)

13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.’ (John 16: 13-15)

*(NB: “advocate” in the Greek is παράκλητος [paraklētos] and is translated in various ways – the Amplified Bible puts them all together –

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever—

The word is also translated, in modern parlance as “companion” [CEB] or even “friend” [Message])

  • Jesus calls the Spirit “another advocate” – one called or sent for to assist another; an advocate, one who pleads the cause of another. The use of the word “another” is not insignificant. It is the Greek word “allos” which means another of equal quality – therefore Jesus here designates the Holy Spirit as equal with Himself. One who is going to speak for them and to them – for them when they mess up, and to them about the Truth of God. He will teach us all we need to know about God – through the Word and into our hearts. The use of the Greek word “parakletos” infers that He acts as Christ’s substitute on earth
  • Jesus states that the Spirit will “testify about me” – this hints strongly that the Spirit will work through those who are full of the Spirit (that’s you and me) to convince others of the Gospel – indeed in v 27 of John 15 Jesus declares that we must testify about Him.
  • The Spirit will be our “guide” into all that we need to know about now and what is yet to come.

Ok – enough of the technical stuff…what’s most important about these words of Jesus is this:

  • He will not “leave you as orphans” – a person feels a great emptiness when they lose someone they love – whether it is a mother, or a father, or a sibling or a spouse. Jesus recognises how they would feel if He left them alone when He returned to Heaven…so He reassures them that they will never be alone again. He, the Spirit, “lives with you” and will be “in you”. That’s intimacy.


  1. We were made to be in fellowship with God.

This is how it was in the beginning (see Genesis 1-3) and this is how it shall be in the end (see Revelation 20-21). In the here-and-now His physical presence is not normal – but His presence with us is how it was always meant to be and how it shall be in time to come. The story of the Bible between these two “bookends” is that of God’s unstoppable, relentless, efforts to be with His people…you and me. At first His intimate presence was with individuals such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As the nation of Israel grew in number, His presence was seen in the Tabernacle and its successor, the Temple. But the intimacy of His presence was only experienced by a few – such as the High Priest once a year, or a king, like David. And then, at the time of the Exile, due to our unfaithfulness, God made an incredible promise. One of the places this is most clearly seen is in the “vision of dry bones” that He gave to the prophet Ezekiel (in chapter 37 of his book). In verse 14 of this chapter, and speaking of His individual people, God promises:

I will put my Spirit in you and you will live

This is new! This is the promise of God’s Presence, through the Person of the Holy Spirit (the “Ruach” the wind or breath of God – equivalent to “Pneuma” in the New Testament), with the ordinary child of God!

  • We seek to fill the need with human relationships

there’s nothing wrong with that – we were also made to be in relationship with one another from work colleagues, to “mates”, to close friends, to an intimate partner – but these are all fickle and come-and-go on our “train journey of life” – the only relationship we can truly be secure in is that with the Spirit and without this relationship we will never feel truly satisfied. It is well-said that we were created with a “God-shaped hole” deep inside of us. Only the Holy Spirit can fill this.

  • With Him I will become all I was meant to be

It is rightly said that when we are really close to someone whom we not only love but also admire, that we begin to change, we begin to be like them…when I am full of the Holy Spirit, I am changed to be the person that I was always meant to be – bearing the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit – Galatians 5: 19-25 tells me:

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

I want to BE this person. It’s only with the Presence of the Person of the Holy Spirit and with His Power in me that I CAN be this person. And notice that when the Spirit is in us we bear, naturally, this “fruit” – not “fruits”…Oh! One person can say “I am a very kind person – but I am definitely NOT patient!” This is natural. When I’m rooted in the right spot with the Holy Spirit then I will be changed down to the very core of my being. This “fruit” is the “whole deal”! I will be ALL of these things. I want this! This is why I need the Holy Spirit!

This passage comes at the end of a chapter, written by Paul, which begins with the “why” I want this…

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5: 1)

Culturally, “freedom” is seen to be “doing what I want to do, when I want, and to whom I want!” The Holy Spirit redefines “freedom” as being freed to become the person we were always meant to be. This “fruit” of the Holy Spirit is what my spirit tells me that I want to have. Only then am I truly free. And Paul tells us exactly how we are to bear the “fruit” of the Holy Spirit:

“Be [being] filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5: 18)

When we abide in Him, spend time with Him, delight in Him, wait on Him…then we will be filled with Him and bear the “fruit” that will fulfil us.

  • With Him I am fulfilled in purpose

It is rightly said that when we are really close to someone whom we not only love but also admire that we begin to do the things they do and long to be the person that they want us to be…when I am full of the Holy Spirit, I am brought into the place of service that I was always meant to be – in the MINISTRY of the Holy Spirit – Romans 12: 3-8 and Ephesians 4: 1-16

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (Romans 12: 3-8)

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: ‘When he ascended on high,
    he took many captives
    and gave gifts to his people.’ (What does ‘he ascended’ mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4: 1-16)

God has gifted us with abilities and ministries to fulfil in the Church. The Holy Spirit hones those ministries and giftings. I want to BE this person! It’s only with the Presence of the Person of the Holy Spirit and with His Power in me that I CAN be this person.

(Now…you might say that I am looking at the FRUIT and the MINISTRY in a very shallow way…no! Not shallow! “Broad brush strokes” to show that without these we are unfulfilled and so “lonely”. We’ve already looked at the FRUIT of the Spirit in a really deep manner and I refer you back to the sermon series on “The Fruit of the Spirit” between September 2018 and the end of January 2019.)


Yes! He has promised that He IS coming “soon” (Revelation 22: 20) but in the meantime He has promised, as we have seen above, that His Presence shall be with us through the Person of the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit I will never be truly lonely, I will become the person, free in Christ, that I have always wanted to be, and I will find the purposes in life to which I have been called.

Without His presence in our life this need can never be filled.

Without His Spirit in my life, I will always be racked with loneliness.

I need the Holy Spirit!