What Jesus says about the Holy Spirit
I occasionally talk to believers who find it hard to understand why the Holy Ghost, as well as the Father and the Son, is God - one of the three persons of the Trinity. I usually use examples from Scripture to show the qualities and actions that identify the Father and the Son as persons, and that the Holy Ghost is described in the same way as a person. Then I name the many titles used to refer to the Holy Spirit in the Bible. And finally, I'll talk about what Jesus taught about the Holy Spirit. In this letter, I will focus on his teachings.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus speaks about the Holy Spirit in three ways: the Holy Spirit, Spirit of Truth, and ParaklÄtos (a Greek word translated into various Bible translations with Advocates, Counselors, Helpers, and Comforters). Scripture shows that Jesus did not see the Holy Spirit as a source of power. The word paraklÄtos means "someone who stands by" and is commonly referred to in Greek literature as a person who represents and defends someone in a cause. In the writings of John, Jesus calls himself paraklÄtos and uses the same term in relation to the Holy Spirit.
The night before his execution, Jesus told his disciples that he would leave them (John 13,33) but promised not to leave them "as orphans" (John 14,18). In his place, he promised, he would ask the father to send "another consoler [ParaklÄtos]" to join them (John 14,16). By saying a "different one," Jesus indicated that there is a first (Himself), and that the coming one, like Himself, would be a divine person of the Trinity, not just a force. Jesus served them as paraklÄtos - in his presence (even in the midst of heavy storms) the disciples found the courage and the strength to leave their "comfort zones" to join his ministry for the benefit of all humanity. Now Jesus' departure was over and they were understandably deeply disturbed. Until then, Jesus was the ParaklÄtos of the disciples (see 1, John 2,1, where Jesus is referred to as the "advocate" [ParaklÄtos]). Thereafter (especially after Pentecost), the Holy Spirit would be its advocate - its ever-present counselor, comforter, helper and teacher. What Jesus promised to his disciples and what the Father sent was not just a force, but a person - the third person of the Trinity, whose ministry is to accompany and guide the disciples on the Christian path.
We see the personal action of the Holy Spirit throughout the Bible: in 1. Moses 1: he floats on the water; in the Gospel of Luke: he overshadowed Mary. He is mentioned 56 times in the four Gospels, 57 times in Acts, and 112 times in the Epistles of Paul. In these passages we recognize the working of the Holy Ghost as a person in many ways: comforting, teaching, guiding, warning; in the selection and bestowing of gifts, as assistance in helpless prayer; affirming us as adopted children, liberating ourselves to invoke God as our Abba (Father) as Jesus did. Take note of Jesus' guidance: but when he, the spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak of himself; but what he hears, he will speak, and what will come in the future, he will declare to you. He will glorify me; for he will take away from the meanings and announce them to you. Everything the Father has, that's mine. That is why I said, He will take it from the mean and announce it to you (John 16,13-15).
In communion with the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit has a special task. Instead of talking about himself, he points people to Jesus, who then brings them to the Father. Instead of doing his will, the Holy Spirit takes on the will of the Father according to what the Son announces. The divine will of the one, united, triune God proceeds from the Father through the Word (Jesus) and is carried out by the Holy Spirit. We can now rejoice and find help through the personal presence of God in the work of the Holy Spirit, our ParaklÄtos. Our ministry and our worship belong to the triune God, into three divine persons, one being in being, acting, wanting and aiming.
Thankful for the Holy Spirit and his work.
GRACE COMMUNION INTERNATIONAL
Title of the Holy Spirit in the Bible
Holy Spirit (Psalm 51,13, Ephesians 1,13)
Spirit of Advice and Strength (Isaiah 11,2)
Spirit of the Judgment (Isaiah 4,4)
Spirit of Knowledge and Fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11,2)
Spirit of Grace and Prayer [Zealous] (Zechariah 12,10)
Power of the Supreme (Luke 1,35)
Spirit of God (1, Corinthians 3,16)
Spirit of Christ (Romans 8,9)
Eternal Spirit of God (Hebrew 9,14)
Spirit of Truth (John 16,13)
Spirit of Grace (Hebrew 10,29)
Spirit of Glory (1, Peter 4,14)
Spirit of Life (Romans 8,2)
Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation (Ephesians 1,17)
The Comforter (John 14,26)
The Spirit of Promise (Acts 1,4-5)
Spirit of Childhood [adoption] (Romans 8,15)
Spirit of Holiness (Romans 1,4)
Spirit of Belief (2, Corinthians 4,13)