There are numerous references to the Holy Spirit throughout the Bible to the Holy Spirit. I have found over forty different variations of how He is described (e.g., Spirit of the Lord). These descriptions help us to see that He is a very multi-faceted person.
As we launch out into our study let me first say that the term “Holy Ghost” can be very misleading. The King James version will often translate “Spirit” as “Ghost”. The two words are translated usually from the same Greek word and so are interchangeable. People are often confused when Christians start talking about ghosts. “Ghost” is simply an old English translation of the Greek word “pneuma”. It is more accurately translated “spirit”.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Jesus said that He would pray (ask) to the Father and that the Father would give us another Comforter. He was the first Comforter and the Holy Spirit is the “other” Comforter that Jesus spoke of.
This statement was made shortly before Jesus’ death on the cross. It was made before the Holy Spirit fell on the day of Pentecost. Jesus said the the Holy Spirit would dwell “with us” and that He would be in us. He was looking forward to the day that we live in today. The Holy Spirit is with every single Christian and He has taken up residence in them. He is also “on” every Christian that has been filled with His presence. We will talk about these distinctions in more detail. There is only one Holy Spirit but each of us will have different levels of awareness of His presence in our lives.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
I cannot help but wander what was going through the disciples minds while Jesus was talking. They had traveled with Him for more than three years and and seen innumerable miracles. The disciples had sat through each of Jesus’ meetings and probably did not expect Him to say that He was leaving.
Jesus told them that it was expedient for Him to leave them. He was telling them not to worry because it was better for them to have Him leave! If He did not leave the Comforter could not come. By departing He opened the door for the Holy Spirit to come and dwell in their spirits.
I have heard people talk about how amazing it would have been to live while Jesus walked the earth. Jesus said that what we have today is better than what His disciple had while He was with them!
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter…
There are two words in this statement which stick out to me:
They had a Comforter in Jesus. He told them not to be sad about Him leaving because it was better for them that He go.
When Jesus left He sent the Holy Spirit whom He referred to as the other Comforter. This word literally means “one called to one’s side”, “to aid”, or “to help. The Amplified provides seven descriptive names:
But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you].
John 16:7 (AMP)
I like have the word “helper” come first in this list because that would be my word of choice about the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is our counselor. He will guide us and help us to make the right decisions. Unfortunately, it seems the majority turn to each or a minister for guidance. Every Christian has the Holy Spirit dwelling in their spirit. Every Christian can be led, guided, and directed by the Holy Spirit!
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