The Comforter, Spirit of Truth 


Nevertheless I 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 depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.  (John 16:7-13) 

Fr John Breck writing about the Church’s understanding of the Holy Spirit as one of the persons of the Holy Trinity says: 

“While a great many passages from both Testaments could be cited to support the Church’s traditional view, the most important are to be found in the Gospel of John.  These are passages that speak of the ‘Spirit of Truth,’ or ‘Paraclete’ (Advocate, Counselor, or Helper). In His final teaching to His disciples shortly before His arrest and crucifixion, Jesus depicts the Spirit as a divine being like Himself, originating with the Father and destined to appear within human history, to fulfill the work of salvation and sanctification that Jesus Himself had begun. As spirit of truth, he dwells within the faithful.


He receives the words of the risen Lord, in order to convey and interpret them to the church and the world, and thereby He glorifies Jesus and fulfills Jesus’ own ministry as Teacher and Prophet (Jn 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:13-15). As Paraclete, the Spirit defends the faithful against persecution by a hostile and unbelieving world, while He pronounces judgment on the world and on its archon, it’s ‘Ruler,’ the devil (16:7-11). While Christ serves as our heavenly Paraclete or Advocate before the Father (1 Jn 2:1-2), the Spirit acts as our earthly Paraclete or Defender (hence the common translation of parakletos as ‘Comforter’). In all of His presence and operation, the Spirit is as ‘personal’ a being as Christ himself.” (GOD WITH US, p 194)

The Holy Spirit, one of the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity comes to abide in us, God’s people, if we are receptive to having the Spirit abide in us. 


“For the dwelling place and the repose of the Spirit is humility, charity, and meekness and the other commandments of the Lord.”   (Pseudo-Macarius, THE FIFTY SPIRITUAL HOMILIES, pp 148-149) 

We make ourselves receptive to God through humility, love and by following Christ’s commandments to love God and neighbor.  God is revealed to us through those in whom the Spirit abides.  In God’s Holy Ones we find God’s holiness.  Humans are capable of being God-bearers, of being a light to the world as is our God. 

“The Lord is made known in the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit pervades the entire man – soul, mind and body.”   (ST SILOUAN THE ATHONITE, p 353)