[Replying to post 307 by JehovahsWitness
- â€œI tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to youâ€� (John 16:7).
The Greek word translated here as â€œHelperâ€� is parakletos. In its technical form, it has a legal dimension; it refers to one who would be an advocate. In its wider context, it speaks of comfort, of protection, of counsel, and of guidance. Jesus also spoke of the Spirit as the Helper in John 14 and introduced Him as â€œthe Spirit of truthâ€� (14:17; 16:13).
First, the Holy Spirit is a unique person and not simply a power or an influence. He is spoken of as â€œHe,â€� not as â€œit.â€� The Spirit of God, the third person of the Trinity, is personal.
As a person, He may be grieved (Eph. 4:30), He may be quenched in terms of the exercise of His will (1 Thess. 5:19), and He may be resisted (Acts 7:51).
Second, the Holy Spirit is one both with the Father and with the Son. In theological terms, He is both co-equal and co-eternal.
In reading the whole Upper Room Discourse, it is clearly evident that it was both the Father and the Son who would send the Spirit (John 14:16; 16:7), and the Spirit came and acted, as it were, for both of Them. So the activity of the Spirit is never given in Scripture in isolation from the person and work of Christ or in isolation from the eternal will of the Father. Any endeavor to think of the Spirit in terms that are entirely mystical and divorced from Scripture lead down all kinds of side streets and eventually to dead ends.
Third, the Holy Spirit was the agent of creation.
In the account of creation at the very beginning of the Bible, we are told: â€œIn the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the watersâ€� (Gen. 1:1-2). In reading Genesis 1, it is not difficult to see that we have in the second verse, certainly in light of all that has subsequently been revealed, a clear and distinct reference to the third person of the Trinity. And if we recognize the divine Spirit in Genesis 1:2, that provides what some refer to as the missing link in Genesis 1:26, where God said, â€œLet us make man in our image.â€� This is a clear antecedent reference to the Spirit of God who is at work in Genesis 1:1-2.
Fourth, the Holy Spirit is the agent not only of creation, but also of Godâ€™s new creation in Christ. He is the author of the new birth.
This is clear in John 3, in the classic encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus, where Jesus says, â€œTruly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of Godâ€� (v. 5). This truth, of course, is worked out in the rest of the Scriptures.
Fifth, the Spirit is the author of the Scriptures.
Second Timothy 3:16 famously says, â€œAll Scripture is breathed out by God...â€� The Greek word behind this phrase is theopneustos, which means â€œGod-breathed.â€� In creation, the Spirit breathes His energy, releasing the power of God in the act of creation. The same thing occurs in the act of redemption, and it occurs again in the divine act of giving to man the record in the Scriptures themselves. The doctrine of inspiration is entirely related to the work of God the Holy Spirit. Peter affirms this view, writing, â€œNo prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spiritâ€� (2 Peter 1:21). The men who wrote the biblical books were not inventing things. Neither were they automatons. â€œThey were real people in real historical times with real DNA writing according to their historical settings and their personalities. But the authorship of Scripture was dual. It was, for instance, both Jeremiah and God the Holy Spirit, because Jeremiah was picked up and carried along. Indeed, in Jeremiahâ€™s case, God said, â€œBehold, I have put my words in your mouthâ€� (1:9). He did so without violating Jeremiahâ€™s distinct personality, and he then wrote the very Word of God. This is why we study the Bible -- because this is a book that exists as a result of the out-breathing of the Holy Spirit.
Concerning the identity of the Helper, His identity is as â€œanother Helper.â€� The word translated as â€œanotherâ€� here is allos, not heteros. Jesus promised a Helper of the same kind rather than of a different kind. The Spirit is the parakletos, the one who comes alongside. Jesus said He would â€œbe with you forever... He dwells with you and will be in youâ€� (John 14:16-17). In other words, His ministry is both permanent and personal.