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Question 45:

What did your Messiah whom you call God, say? How many Gods do you have? Who is it, this Messiah is God next to? The way you describe it, it is not clear whether he (the Messiah) is a lawyer or God. Who will condemn? It is Christ [Jesus] who died, rather, was raised, who is also at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us (Romans 8:34; see also Hebrews 7:25). "My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one" (1John 2:1).

 

Answer: In this slightly confusingly phrased question and the list of biblical quotations, I detect the following core questions: (a) "How many Gods do you have (in view to your belief in the Jesus Christ as the Son of God)? (b) and further: In which sense do you understand Jesus to be your "Advocate with the Father” at the same time as being one of the three divine persons in the mystery of the triune God?

Ad a)

Firstly, I would like to refer to the texts introducing the theme “The divinity of Jesus” and the theme “God the Three in One”, as well as to the relevant Questions and Answers.

In the following I shall merely cite sections 232-234 from the “Catechism of the Catholic Church”:

“232 Christians are baptized "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:29). Before receiving the sacrament, they respond to a three-part question when asked to confess the Father, the Son and the Spirit: "I do." "The faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity." (Caesarius of Arles, symb.)

233 Christians are baptized in the name (singular) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: not in their names (plural), for there is only one God, the almighty Father, his only Son and the Holy Spirit: the Most Holy Trinity.

234 The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the ‘hierarchy of the truths of faith’. The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men ‘and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin’.”

Ad b)

The word paraclete (gr. paraklêtos) is an expression of Johannine literature in the New Testament. It designs the function of something rather than its nature: one who is called to the side of, who plays the active role of assistant, advocate, supporter. This function is held also by Jesus Christ, who in heaven is our advocate with the Father, interceding on behalf of sinners (1 John 2:1); and here below on earth by the Holy Spirit, who actualizes the presence of Jesus, since He is, the revealer and the defender of Jesus (John 14,16f.26f; 15:26f; 16:7-11.13ff). The Advocate (=the Paraclete), the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name – he will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you" (John 14:26). That is to say that after Jesus departure the Holy Spirit will take His place as Paraclete among the believers, John 14:16-17; 16:7, see also 1:33.It is the Paraclete, the advocate, the helper, who intercedes with the Father or who acts as an advocate in worldly courts, 15:26, see also Luke 12:11-12; Matthew 10:19-20; Acts 5:32. It is the Spirit of Truth (8:32), who leads into the whole Truth because He leads the believers to understanding the mysterious person of Christ: how Christ fulfills the scriptures (5:39), what is the meaning of His words (2:19), His deeds, His signs (14:16; 16:13; 1 John 2:20 f; 27). The disciples had previously not understood any of this (2:22; 12:16; 13:7; 20:9). Thus the Spirit testifies to Jesus (5:26, 1 John 5:6-7) and "he will convict the world to sin and righteousness and condemnation", 16:8-11.

It is a grave misunderstanding to relate the quoted verses from St. Johns Gospel and the term paráklètos not to the Holy Spirit, but to Muhammad, the Son of Abdullah and Prophet of Islam, as seen, for example, in the commentary by Maulana Muhammad Ali, The Holy Quran, Lahore, 1951, n. 2496 to explain Sura 61:6. See also Adel Theodore Khoury, „Der Koran. Arabisch-Deutsch. Übersetzung und wissenschaftlicher Kommentar“, Band 12 (Gütersloh, 2001), P. 97. Anm. 3 zu Sure 61,6.

In the letter to the Hebrews, Jesus Christ is called "the mediator of a new covenant” (Hebrews 9:15; 12:24), “the new covenant which supersedes the old one” (Hebrews: 8:6). The people who come before God through Jesus are saved forever (Hebrews 7:25). Jesus is the mediator, the high priest. However, it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest, but rather the one who said to him: “you are my son; this day I have begotten you" (Hebrews 5:5) and he has come to do this will (Hebrews 10:7 ff). In 1 Timothy 2:5, Jesus is again called the mediator, who being fully human has been able to be the savior of all mankind (verse 4), through His death as a "ransom for them (verse 6). Thus Jesus Christ in his very person reconciles God and mankind.

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