In last month’s devotional, I wrote about the blessing of Jesus interceding on our behalf at the right hand of the Father (Rom. 8:34). This intercession of the Son for us is one guarantee that nothing can “separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39), that we are glorified (Rom. 8:30), and saved to the “uttermost” (Heb. 7:25). A second and equally encouraging truth is that not only is the Son interceding for us, but we also have the Spirit of God interceding on our behalf (Rom. 8: 26-27). The sealing of the “promised Holy Spirit” is “the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:13-14). Jesus had promised that the Holy Spirit would come and indwell the individual believer, and that the Spirit would be a “helper” (John 14:25) to us. The word “helper” can also be translated as “counselor” or “advocate.”
In the context of Romans 8, it seems the role of the Holy Spirit is one of advocating just as it is the role of the Son to intercede on our behalf. This advocating of the Spirit for us is a means of helping “us in our weakness” in reference to prayer (Rom. 8:26). As a result of sin and its polluting effect on both humanity and the physical creation, there is a “groaning” as we wait for the final redemption of our bodies and the cosmos (Rom. 8: 22-23). We wait patiently and this involves much suffering in this “present time,” but we have hope because there is a final glory that “is to be revealed to us” (Rom. 8:18; cf. 25).
When in our frustration and deep hurt we cannot even utter the prayers that are in the depths of our heart, it is the Spirit of God who intercedes for us “with groanings to deep for words” (Rom. 8:26). The Spirit always intercedes what is truly in our hearts and “according to the will of God” (Rom. 8:27). We are exhorted to pray “Thy will be done,” but many times we are praying for our will to be done. With the Spirit interceding, it is always the perfect will of God that is being communicated.
The Spirit intercedes not even having to use words because within the Trinity there is perfect acknowledgment and understanding. The Spirit’s intercession of the “will of God” confirms that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). We must rejoice, take comfort, and be strengthened knowing that both the Son and the Spirit are both perfectly interceding for us continually. Next month I want to present how we are to follow the example of the Son and Spirit in our ministry of intercession for each other.