Who is the comforter in the Bible?

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By BibleAsk Team


Who is the comforter in the Bible?

In the Bible, the “Comforter” refers to the Holy Spirit, also known as the Advocate or Helper. This term is primarily found in the New Testament, particularly in the Gospel of John. Jesus promises His disciples that after His departure, He will send the Comforter to be with them forever (John 14:16). The Holy Spirit is described as the Spirit of truth who teaches, guides, and reminds believers of Jesus’ teachings (John 14:26, 16:13). The Comforter plays a crucial role in the Christian faith by providing spiritual support, strengthening believers, and helping them to understand and live out the teachings of Jesus.

Jesus’ Promise of the Comforter

The biblical narrative surrounding the Comforter begins with Jesus Christ’s promise to his disciples in the Gospel of John. In John 14:16-17 (NKJV), Jesus declares,

"And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you."

Here, the Comforter is referred to as the “Helper” and the “Spirit of truth.” This promise indicates a divine Person that will not only accompany believers but also dwell within them perpetually. He is, according to Jesus’ words, is distinctive in nature, beyond the comprehension of the world.

In subsequent verses, particularly John 14:26 (NKJV), Jesus identifies the Comforter as the Holy Spirit:

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." 

This confirmation establishes the Comforter as an integral aspect of the Godhead – the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is portrayed as the divine Teacher, guiding believers in their understanding of spiritual truths and recalling Jesus’ teachings. He, therefore, serves as a conduit between the earthly realm and the divine, leading to a deeper connection between believers and God.

Fulfillment of the Promise

The fulfillment of the Jesus’ promise occurs dramatically in the Book of Acts, particularly in Acts 2:1-4, commonly known as the Day of Pentecost. This event marks the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples, symbolized by tongues of fire as the showers of the early rain. The Holy Spirit, empowers the disciples to boldly proclaim the message of Jesus Christ.

There will be a final fulfillment to the falling of the Holy Spirit on God’s church just before the second coming of Christ in the form of latter rain in order to evangelize the world.

"Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month" (Joel 2:23 also Hosea 6:3).

The Comforter’s Role in Conviction and Revelation

The Holy Spirit’s role extends beyond providing solace; it includes convicting the world of sin and revealing divine truths. In John 16:7-8 (NKJV), Jesus explains,

"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."

Here, the Holy Spirit is depicted as the Agent of moral conviction, leading individuals toward righteousness and discernment. This transformative aspect highlights His profound impact on the spiritual journey of believers.

To comprehend the Comforter’s ongoing work in the lives of believers, we turn to Paul’s writings. In Romans 8:26-27 (NKJV), Paul articulates the His role in intercession:

"Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

This passage unveils the Comforter’s intimate involvement in the lives of believers, aiding them in times of weakness and interceding on their behalf. The Comforter’s presence becomes a source of strength and enlightenment in their journey of faith.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV) sheds light on the transformative impact of the Comforter in producing spiritual fruit within believers:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such, there is no law."

Here, the Comforter is depicted as the Cultivator of virtues, fostering to all, who submit to His convictions, the development of character traits that align with God’s Word. The presence of the Comforter is transformative, leading believers toward a life of love, joy, obedience, and moral excellence.

Conclusion

In the Bible, the Comforter is identified as the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead. The promise of the Comforter was made by Jesus to His disciples, assuring them that after His ascension, He would send the Holy Spirit to be with them and continue His work (John 14:16-17, 26). The initial fulfillment of this promise occurred on the Day of Pentecost, as described in Acts 2. This event is often referred to as the “early rain,” symbolizing the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the early church. On this day, the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, enabling them to speak in various languages and boldly proclaim the gospel, resulting in the conversion of thousands.

The Holy Spirit’s role as the Comforter is multifaceted. He guides believers into all truth, convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-13), and empowers them for service and witness. This empowerment is evident through the manifestation of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12) and the development of spiritual fruit in the lives of believers, such as love, joy, peace, patience, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Furthermore, the Holy Spirit intercedes for believers with groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:26-27), providing comfort and strength in times of weakness. His transformative impact is seen in the sanctification process, as He works within believers to conform them to the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).

The Comforter’s ongoing work will culminate in the “latter rain,” a term used to describe a future outpouring of the Holy Spirit before the second coming of Christ. This latter rain is anticipated to empower the church to spread the gospel message to all the world, preparing a people for the Lord’s return (Joel 2:28-29, James 5:7-8).

The Holy Spirit, as the Comforter, is integral to the Christian experience, providing guidance, conviction, empowerment, and transformation. His presence and work began with the early rain at Pentecost and will find their ultimate fulfillment in the latter rain, heralding the final proclamation of the gospel before Jesus’ return.

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