The issue on the nature of the Holy Spirit has always been debated and it looks like it would never end. Some people believe the Holy Spirit is merely the power of God — nothing more. On the other hand, some others believe the Holy Spirit is not just merely power but also a person — one of the persons of the Trinity. They claim the Holy Spirit is God. So what is the truth?
Well, that would really take some in depth study but in this blog, let me just focus on one point regarding the term “another Comforter” used by Jesus in the gospel of John.
Who is the Parakletos?
In both 1 John 2:1 and John 14:16, the word translated Comforter or Advocate comes from the Greek word, parakletos. Other Bible translations or versions render it also as Helper, Paraclete or Counselor. Let us just use the word Comforter for simplicity.
Both passages come from the same author, John. The context is quite clear in 1 John 2:1 that John is referring to the Lord Jesus Christ as the Comforter. This is not in doubt.
But on the other hand, it is also quite clear — very clear! — based on context in John 14:16-17, 26 and John 15:26 that the Comforter being referred to here by Jesus himself is the Holy Spirit and not himself. Jesus made a clear distinction between himself and the Holy Spirit. Who then is the Comforter?
Jesus is Our Comforter
Well, as I understand it, Jesus Christ is our Comforter. When Jesus said “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever” (KJV John 14:16-17, 26), I take it to mean that Jesus was referring to himself as the Comforter while he referred to the Holy Spirit as another Comforter. That is quite clear in this passage.
The Holy Spirit is Another Comforter
A Greek theologian, Dr. Kyriakos Stavrinides explained this very important word “another“ to the Worldwide Church of God ministers in the Philippines sometime in 1993-1994. He said that there are two Greek words that Jesus could have used for the word “another” namely, “allos” which means another of the same quality and status and “heteros“ which means another of a different quality and status.
It is interesting to note that Jesus (and the author, John) chose the Greek word, allos to mean that the Holy Spirit that he is sending is of the same quality and status just like him! Jesus (and author, John) could have used heteros but he did not! Jesus knew what he wanted to say and what he meant! And John wrote it that way! The Holy Spirit is God just like Jesus is God.
Jesus is the Comforter and the Holy Spirit is ANOTHER Comforter of the same quality and status whom Jesus sent when he went back up to heaven. They are one with the Father. The Father and the Son are in us because the Holy Spirit is in us to comfort us, guide us and lead us until Christ be formed in us.
There is no doubt in my mind — the Holy Spirit is God!