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The Holy Spirit Glorifying Christ
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1904.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, APRIL 12, 1891.
"He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you." John 16:14.
THE needs of spiritual men are very great, but they cannot be greater than the power of the Divine Trinity is able to meet. We have one God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—One in Three and Three in One. And that blessed Trinity in Unity gives Himself to sinners that they may be saved. In the first place, every good thing that a sinner needs is in the Father. The prodigal son was wise when he said, "I will arise and go to my father." Every good and perfect gift comes from God the Father, the first Person in the blessed Trinity, because every good gift and every perfect gift can only be found in Him. But the needy soul says, "How shall I get to the Father? He is infinitely above me. How shall I reach up to Him?" In order that you might obtain the blessings of Grace, God was in Christ Jesus, the second ever-blessed Person of the Sacred Trinity. Let me read you part of the verse that follows my text—"All things that the Father has are Mine." So you see, everything is in the Father, first, and the Father puts all things into Christ. "It pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell." Now you can get to Christ because He is Man as well as God. He is "over all, God blessed forever," but He came into this world, was born of the Virgin Mary, lived a life of poverty, "suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried." He is the conduit conveying to us all blessings from the Father. In the Gospel of John we read, "Of His fullness have we all received and grace for grace." Thus you see the Father with every good thing in Himself putting all fullness into the Mediator, the Man Christ Jesus who is also the Son of God.
Now I hear a poor soul say, "But I cannot get to Christ. I am blind and lame. If I could get to Him, He would open my eyes, but I am so lame that I cannot run or even walk to Him. If I could get to Him, He would give me strength, but I lie as one dead. I cannot see Christ or tell where to find Him." Here comes in the work of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the blessed Unity! It is His office to take of the things of Christ and show them unto saints and sinners, too. We cannot see them, but we shall see them quickly enough when He shows them to us! Our sin puts a veil between us and Christ. The Holy Spirit comes and takes the veil away from our heart and then we see Christ. It is the Holy Spirit's office to come between us and Christ, to lead us to Christ, even as the Son of God comes between us and the Father, to lead us to the Father so that we have the whole Trinity uniting to save a sinner—the Triune God bowing down out of Heaven for the salvation of rebellious men! Every time we dismiss you from this House of Prayer, we pronounce upon you the blessing of the Sacred Trinity—"May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you!" And you need all that to make a sinner into a saint and to keep a saint from going back to being a sinner again! The whole blessed Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—must work upon every soul that is to be saved!
See how Divinely they work together—how the Father glorifies the Son, how the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus, how both the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus glorify the Father! These Three are One, sweetly uniting in the salvation of the chosen seed.
Tonight our work is to speak of the Holy Spirit. Oh, what a blessed Person He is! He is not merely a sacred influence, but a Divine Person—"very God of very God." He is the Spirit of holiness to be reverenced, to be spoken of with delight, yet with trembling, for, remember, there is a sin against the Holy Spirit. A word spoken against the Son of Man
may be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (whatever that may be, I know not) is put down as a sin beyond the line of Divine Forgiveness! Therefore reverence, honor and worship God the Holy Spirit, in whom lies the only hope that any of us can ever have of seeing Jesus and so of seeing God the Father!
First, tonight, I shall try to speak of what the Holy Spirit does. "He will receive of Mine and show it to you" Secondly I shall seek to set forth what the Holy Spirit aims at "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you." And, thirdly, I shall explain how in both these things He acts as the Comforter, for we read in the seventh verse, our Savior say, "If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you," and it is of the Comforter that He says, "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you."
I. First we are to consider WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT DOES. Jesus says, "He will receive of Mine and show it to you."
The Holy Spirit, then, deals with the things of Christ. How I wish that all Christ's ministers would imitate the Holy Spirit in this respect! When you are dealing with the things of Christ, you are on Holy Spirit ground—you are following the track of the Holy Spirit. Does the Holy Spirit deal with science? What is science? Another name for the ignorance of men. Does the Holy Spirit deal with politics? What are politics? Another name for every man getting as much as he can out of the nation. Does the Holy Spirit deal with these things? No, my Brothers, "He will receive of Mine." O my Brother, the Holy Spirit will leave you if you go gadding about after these insignificant trifles! He will leave you if you aim at magnifying yourself, your wisdom and your plans, for the Holy Spirit is taken up with the things of Christ! "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you." I like what Mr. Wesley said to his preachers. "Leave other things alone," he said, "you are called to win souls." So I believe it is with all true preachers. We may leave other things alone. The Holy Spirit, who is our Teacher, will acknowledge and bless us if we keep to His line of things. O preacher of the Gospel, what can you receive like the things of Christ? And what can you talk of so precious to the souls of men as the things of Christ? Therefore follow the Holy Spirit in dealing with the things of Christ.
Next, the Holy Spirit deals with feeble men. "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you." "To you." He is not above dealing with simple minds. He comes to those who have no training, no education and He takes the things of Christ and shows them to such minds. The greatest mind of man that was ever created was a poor puny thing compared with the infinite mind of God! We may boast about the great capacity of the human intellect, but what a narrow and contracted thing it is at its utmost width! So, for the Holy Spirit to come and teach the little mind of man is a great condescension. But we see the great condescension of the Holy Spirit even more when we read, "Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called." And when we hear the Savior say, "I thank You, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because You have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and has revealed them unto babes." The Holy Spirit takes of the things of Christ and shows them to those who are babes compared with the wise men of this world! The Lord Jesus might have selected princes to be His Apostles. He might have gathered together 12 of the greatest kings of the earth, or at least 12 senators from Rome—but he did not—He took fishermen and men belonging to that class to be the pioneers of His Kingdom! And God the Holy Spirit takes of the things of Christ, high and sublime as they are, and shows them to men like these Apostles were—men ready to follow where the Lord led them and to learn what the Lord taught them.
If you think of the condescension of the Holy Spirit in taking of the things of Christ and showing them to us, you will not talk any more about coming down to the level of children when you talk to them. I remember a young man who was a great fool, but did not know it and, therefore, was all the greater fool. Once, speaking to children, he said, "My dear children, it takes a great deal to bring a great mind down to your capacities." You cannot show me a word of Christ of that kind! Where does the Holy Spirit ever talk about its being a great come-down for Him to teach children, or to teach us? No, no! He glorifies Christ by taking of His things and showing them to us, even such poor ignorant scholars as we are.
If I understand what is meant here, I think that it means, first, that the Holy Spirit helps us to understand the words of Christ. If we will study the teaching of the Savior, it must be with the Holy Spirit as the Light of God to guide us. He will show us what Christ meant by the words He uttered. We shall not lose ourselves in the Savior's verbiage, but we shall get at the inner meaning of Christ's mind and be instructed therein, for the Lord Jesus says, "He will receive of Mine and show it to you." A sermon of Christ—even a single word of Christ—set in the Light of the Holy Spirit shines like a
diamond! No, like a fixed star, with light that is never dim! Happy men and happy women who read the words of Christ in the Light shed upon them by the Holy Spirit! But I do not think that this is all that the text means.
It means this—"Not only shall He reveal My words, but My things," for Christ says, "All things that the Father has are Mine: therefore said I that He shall take of Mine, and shall show it to you."
The Holy Spirit takes the Nature of Christ and shows it to us. It is easy to say, "I believe Him to be God and Man," but the point is to apprehend that He is God and, therefore, able to save and even to work impossibilities. And to believe that He is Man and, therefore, feels for you, sympathizes with you and, therefore, is a Brother born to help you in your adversities. May the Holy Spirit make you see the God-Man tonight! May He show you the Humanity and the Deity of Christ as they are most blessedly united in His adorable Person—and you will be greatly comforted thereby.
The Holy Spirit shows to us the offices of Christ. He is Prophet, Priest, King. Especially to you, Sinner, Christ is a Savior. Now, if you know that He takes up the work of saving sinners and that it is His business to save men, why then, dear Friend, surely you will have confidence in Him and not be afraid to come to Him! If I wanted my shoes mended, I would not take my hat off when I went into a cobbler's shop and say, "Please excuse me. May I beg you to be so good as to mend my shoes?" No, it is his trade! It is his business. He is glad to see me. "What do you need, Sir?" he asks and he is glad for the work. And when Christ puts over His door, "Savior," I, needing to be saved, go to Him, for I believe that He knows His calling and that He can carry it out and that He will be glad to see me—and that I shall not be more glad to be saved than He will be to save me! I want you to catch that idea. If the Holy Spirit will show you that, it will bring you very near to joy and peace this very night!
May the Holy Spirit also show you Christ's engagements! He has come into the world engaged to save sinners. He pledged Himself to the Father to bring many sons and daughters to Glory and He must do it. He has bound Himself to His Father, as the Surety of the Covenant, that He will bring sinners into reconciliation with God. May the Holy Spirit show that fact to you—and right gladly you will leap into the Savior's arms!
It is very sweet when the Holy Spirit shows us the love of Christ—how intensely He loves men! How He loved them of old, for His delights were with the sons of men—not because He had redeemed them, but He redeemed them because He loved them and delighted in them! Christ has had an eternal love to His people—
"His heart is made of tenderness, His heart melts with love."
It is His Heaven to bring men to Heaven! It is His Glory to bring sons and daughters to Glory! He is never so happy as when He is receiving sinners. And if the Holy Spirit will show you the depth and the height, the length and the breadth of the love of Christ to sinners, it will go a long way towards bringing all who are in this house, tonight, to accept the Savior.
And when the Holy Spirit shows you the mercy of Christ—how willingly He forgives, how He passes by iniquity, transgression and sin—how He casts your sins into the sea, throws them behind God's back, puts them away forever— ah, when you see this, then your hearts will be won to Him!
Specially I would desire the Holy Spirit to show you the blood of Christ. A Spirit-taught view of the blood of Christ is the most wonderful sight that ever weeping eyes beheld! There is your sin, your wicked, horrible, damnable sin—but Christ comes into the world and takes the sin and suffers in your place! And the blood of such an One as He, perfect Man and Infinite God—such blood as was poured out on Calvary's tree—must take away sin! Oh, for a sight of it! If any of you are now despairing and the Holy Spirit will take of the blood of Christ and show it to you, despair will have no place in you any longer! It will be gone, for "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin," and He that believes in Him is forgiven all His iniquities!
And if the Holy Spirit will also take of the prayers of Christ and show them to you, what a sight you will have! Christ on earth, praying till He gets into a bloody sweat! Christ in Heaven, praying with all His glorious vestments on, accepted by the Father, glorified at the Father's right hand and making intercession for transgressor—praying for you, praying for all who come to God by Him and able, therefore, to save them to the uttermost! This is the sight you will have! A knowledge of the intercession of Christ for guilty men is enough to make despair flee away once and for all! I can only tell you these things, but if the Holy Spirit will take of them and show them to you, oh, Beloved, you will have joy and peace tonight through believing!
One thing I must add, however, and then I will leave this point upon which we could dilate for six months. I want you to remember that whatever the Holy Spirit shows you, you may have. Do you see that? He takes of the things of Christ and shows them to us. But why? Not as a boy at school does to one of his companions when he is teasing him. I remember often seeing it done. He pulls out of his pocket a beautiful apple and shows it to his schoolmate. "There," he says, "do you see that apple?" Is he going to say, "Now I am going to give you a piece of it"? No, not he! He only shows him the apple to tantalize him. Now, it would be blasphemy to imagine that the Holy Spirit would show you the things of Christ and then say, "You cannot have them." No, whatever He shows you, you may have! Whatever you see in Christ, you may have! Whatever the Holy Spirit makes you to see in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus, you may have it! And He shows it to you on purpose that you may have it, for He is no Tantalus to mock us with the sight of a blessing beyond our reach. He waits to bless us. Lay that thought up in your heart—it may help you some day, if not now. You remember what God said to Jacob, "The land where you lie, to you will I give it." If you find any promise in this Book and you dare to lie down upon it, it is yours! If you can just lie down and rest on it, it is yours—for it was not put there for you to rest on it without its being fulfilled to you! Only stretch yourself on any Covenant blessing and it is yours forever. God help us to do so!
II. But now, secondly, and very briefly, let us consider WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT AIMS AT. Well, He aims at
this—Jesus says, "He shall glorify Me." When He shows us the things of Christ, His objective is to glorify Christ. The Holy Spirit's objective is to make Christ appear to be great and glorious to you and to me. The Lord Jesus Christ is infinitely glorious and even the Holy Spirit cannot make Him glorious except to our apprehension—but His desire is that we may see and know more of Christ—that we may honor Him more and glorify Him more.
Well, how does the Holy Spirit go about this work? In this simple way, by showing us the things of Christ. Is not this a blessedly simple fact that when even the Holy Spirit intends to glorify Christ, all that He does is to show us Christ? Well, but does He not put fine words together and weave a spell of eloquence? No. He simply shows us Christ. Now, if you wanted to praise Jesus Christ tonight, what would you have to do? Why, you would only have to speak of Him as He is—holy, blessed, glorious! You would show Him, as it were, in order to praise Him, for there is no glorifying Christ except by making Him to be seen. Then He has the Glory that rightly belongs to Him. No words are needed, no descriptions are needed. "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
And is it not strange that Christ should be glorified by His being shown to you? To you, my dear Friend! Perhaps you are saying, "I am a nobody." Yes, but Christ is glorified by being shown to you! "Oh, but I am very poor, very illiterate and besides, very wicked!" Yes, but Christ is glorified by being shown to you! Now a great king or a great queen would not be rendered much more illustrious by being shown to a little Sunday school girl, or exhibited to a crossing-sweeper boy. At least they would not think so—but Christ does not act as an earthly monarch might. He reckons it to be His Glory for the poorest pair of eyes that ever wept to look by faith upon Him. He reckons it to be His greatest honor for the poorest man, the poorest woman, or the poorest child that ever lived to see Him in the Light in which the Holy Spirit sets Him! Is not this a blessed Truth of God?
I put it very simply and briefly. The Holy Spirit, you see, glorifies Christ by showing Him to sinners. Therefore, if you want to glorify Christ, do the same! Do not go and write a ponderous book and put fine words together. Tell sinners, in simple language, what Christ is. "I cannot praise Him," says one. You do not need to praise Him. Say what He is. If a man says to me, "Show me the sun," do I say, "Well, you must wait till I strike a match and light a candle—and then I will show you the sun"? That would be ridiculous, would it not? And for our candles to be held up to show Christ is absurd. Tellwhat He is. Tellwhat He is to you. Tellwhat He did for you. Tell what He did for sinners. That is all. "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you."
I will not say more on this point except that if any of us are to glorify Christ, we must talk much of Him. We must tell what the Holy Spirit has told us and we must pray the Holy Spirit to bless to the minds of men the Truths of God we speak by enabling them to see Christ as the Spirit reveals Him.
III. But now, thirdly, in both of these things—showing to us the things of Christ and glorifying Christ—THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A COMFORTER. Gracious Spirit, be a Comforter now to some poor struggling ones in the Tabernacle by showing them the things of Christ and by glorifying Him in their salvation!
First, in showing to men the things of Christ, the Holy Spirit is a Comforter. There is no comfort like a sight of Christ. Sinner, your only comfort must lie in your Savior, in His precious blood and in His Resurrection from the dead. Look that way, man! If you look inside, you will never find any comfort there. Look where the Holy Spirit looks. "He will receive of Mine and show it to you." When a thing is shown to you, it is meant for you to look at it. If you want real comfort, I will tell you where to look, namely, to the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. "Oh," you say, "but I am a wretched sinner!" I know you are. You are a great deal worse than you think you are. "Oh, but I think myself the worst that ever lived." No, you are worse than that! You do not know half your depravity. You are worse than you ever dreamed you were! But that is not where to look for comfort. "I am brutish," one says. "I am proud. I am self-righteous. I am envious. I have everything in me that is bad, Sir, and if I have a little bit that is good, sometimes, it is gone before I can see it. I am just lost, ruined and undone!" That is quite true—but I never told you to look there. Your comfort lies in this, "He will receive of Mine"—that is, of Christ's—"and shall show it to you." Your hope of transformation, of gaining a new character altogether, of eternal life, lies in Christ who quickens the dead and makes all things new! Look away from self and look to Christ, for He alone can save you!
A sight of Christ is the destruction of despair. "Oh, but the devil tells me that I shall be cast into Hell! There is no hope for me." What does it matter what the devil tells you? He was a liar from the beginning. Let him say what he likes, but if you will look away to Christ, that will be the end of the devil's power over you! If the Holy Spirit shows you what Christ came to do on the Cross and what He is doing on His throne in Heaven, that will be the end of these troublous thoughts from Satan and you will be comforted.
Dear child of God, are you in sorrow tonight? May the Holy Spirit take of the things of Christ and show them to you! That is the end to sorrow when you see Jesus, for sorrow, itself, is so sweetly sanctified by the companionship of Christ which it brings you that you will be glad to drink of His cup and to be baptized with His Baptism!
Are you in need tonight, without even a place to lay your head? So, too, was He! "The Son of Man has not where to lay His head." Go to Him with your troubles. He will help you to bear your poverty. He will help you to get out of it for He is able to help you in temporal trials as well as in spiritual ones. Therefore go to Christ! All power is given unto Him in Heaven and in earth. Nothing is too hard for the Lord. Go your way to Him—and a sight of Him will give you comfort.
Are you persecuted? Well, a sight of the thorn-crowned brow will take the thorn out of persecution. Are you very, very low? I think that you have all heard the story I am about to tell you, but some of you have, perhaps, forgotten it. Many years ago when this great congregation first met in the Surrey Music Hall and the terrible tragedy occurred— when many persons were either killed or wounded in the panic—I did my best to hold the people together till I heard that some were dead. And then I broke down like a man stunned and for a fortnight or so I had little reason left. I felt so broken in heart that I thought that I would never be able to face a congregation again. And I went down to a friend's house, a few miles away, to be very quiet and still. I was walking round his garden and I well remember the spot and even the time when this passage came to me, "Him has God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior." And this thought came into my mind at once, "You are only a soldier in the great King's army and you may die in a ditch. But it does not matter what becomes of you as long as your King is exalted. He—HE is glorious! God has highly exalted Him." You have heard of the old French soldiers when they lay dying. If the emperor came by when they were ready to expire, they would raise themselves up and give one more cheer for their beloved leader. " Viva l'Empereurr would be their dying words. And so I thought, "He is exalted. What does it matters about me?"
And in a moment my reason was perfectly restored! I was as clear as possible. I went into the house, had family prayer and came back to preach to my congregation on the following Sabbath—restored only by having looked to Jesus and having seen that He was glorious! If He is to the front, what does it matter what happens to us? Rank on rank we will die in the battle if He wins the victory! Only let the Man on the White Horse win—Let the King who died for us and washed us in His precious blood be glorified—and it is enough for us!
But now, lastly, when Christ is glorified in the heart, He acts as a Comforter, too. I believe, Brothers and Sisters, that we would not have half the trouble that we have if we thought more of Christ. The fact is that we think so much of ourselves that we get troubled. But someone says, "But I have so many troubles." Why should you not have a great many troubles? Who are you that you should not have troubles? "Oh, but I have had loss after loss which you do not know of!"
Very likely, dear Friend, I do not know of your losses, but is it any wonder that you should have them? "Oh," says one, "I seem to be kicked about like a football." Why should you not be? What are you? "Oh," said one poor penitent to me the other night, "for me to come to Christ, Sir, after my past life, seems so mean." I said, "Yes, so it is. But then, you are mean. It was a mean business of the prodigal son to come home and eat his father's bread and the fatted calf after he had spent his substance in riotous living." It was a mean thing, was it not? But then, the father did not think it mean! He clasped him to his bosom and welcomed him home. Come along, you mean sinners, you that have served the devil and now want to run away from him! Steal away from Satan at once, for my Lord is ready to receive you! You have no idea how willing He is to welcome you! He is so ready to forgive that you have not yet guessed how much sin He can forgive! "All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men." Up to your necks in filth, in your very hearts saturated with the foulest iniquity—yet, if you come to Christ He will wash you whiter than snow! "Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Come along and try my Lord!
Have exalted ideas of Christ! Oh, if a man will but have great thoughts of Christ, he shall then find his troubles lessening and his sins disappearing! I see you have been putting Christ on a wrong scale altogether! Perhaps even you people of God have not thought of Christ as you ought to do. I have heard of a certain commander who had led his troops into a rather difficult position. He knew what he was doing, but the soldiers did not all know—and there would be a battle in the morning. So he thought that he would go round from tent to tent and listen to what the soldiers said. He listened and there was one of them saying to his fellows, "See what a mess we are in now! Do you see, we have only so many cavalry, and so many infantry, and we have only a small quantity of artillery. And on the other side there are so many thousands against us! So strong, so mighty, that we shall be cut to pieces in the morning." And the general drew aside the canvas, and there they saw him standing and he said, "How many do you count me for?" He had won every battle that he had ever engaged in! He was the conqueror of conquerors. "How many do you count me for?"
O Souls, you have never counted Christ for what He is! You have put down your sins, but you have never counted what kind of a Christ He is who has come to save you! Rather do like Luther, who said that when the devil came to him, he brought him a long sheet containing a list of his sins, or of a great number of them and Luther said to him, "Is that all?" "No," said the devil. "Well go and fetch some more, then." Away went Satan to bring him another long list, as long as your arm. Said Luther, "Is that all?" "Oh, no," said the devil, "I have yet more." "Well go and bring them all," said Luther. "Fetch them all out, the whole list of them." Then it was a very long black list. I think that I have heard that it would have gone round the world twice. I know that mine would. Well, what did Luther say when he saw them all? He said, "Write at the bottom of them, 'The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin!'" It does not matter how long the list is when you write those blessed words at the end of it! Then the sins are all gone!
Did you ever take up from your table a bill for a large sum? You felt a kind of flush coming over your face. You looked down the list. It was a rather long list of items, perhaps from a lawyer or a builder. But when you looked at it, you saw that there was a penny stamp at the bottom and that the account was receipted. "Oh," you said, "I do not care how long it is, for it is all paid." So, though your sins are many, if you have a receipt at the bottom—if you have trusted Jesus—your sins are all gone, drowned in the Red Sea of your Savior's blood and Christ is glorified in Your salvation! May God the Holy Spirit bring every unsaved one here tonight to repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord bless every one of you, for His name's sake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: JOHN 16.
Verse 1. These things have I spoken unto you, that you should not be offended. The temptation is when Christ is despised and rejected for our hearts to begin to sink and our faith to fail. Therefore did Christ warn His disciples that they "should not be offended."
2. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yes, the time comes that whoever kills you will think that he does God service. The best of men are but men at the best and they are very apt to fail when they find persecution hot against
them—especially when even religious men of a certain kind count it to be a religious duty to persecute the people of
3. And these things will they do unto you because they have not known the Father, nor Me. This verse reminds us of our Lord's prayer on the Cross, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Persecution of God's people usually arises from ignorance of God the Father and God the Son.
4. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning because I was with you. "I was your Protector. By My Presence I so sustained your hearts that it did not matter what trouble you fell into. But now I am going away and, therefore, I give you this warning."
5. 6. But now I go My way to Him that sent Me and none of you asks Me, Where are You going? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow has filled your hearts. We sometimes endure a needless sorrow for which the asking of a single question might remove it. Our Lord says to His disciples, "If you knew where I was going and understood My motive in going, your sorrow at My departure would be relieved."
7. Nevertheless I tell you the truth It is expedient for you that I go away. "It is for your profit to lose My Presence, precious as that has been to you."
7. For if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. The word, "Comforter," might just as well have been translated, "Advocate." The Holy Spirit is that Divine Advocate who pleads the cause of God in us and for us—and so comforts us. He it is who is now with us. If Jesus Christ were still upon earth in the flesh, He could only be in one place at one time. If He were in this assembly, He could not also be in Jerusalem or in New York. But the Comforter can be in all the gatherings of the Lord's people and with each individual Believer, the whole world over.
8-12. And when He is come, He willreprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment of sin, because they believe not on Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. Teachers, learn wisdom from Christ! He did not try to teach His disciples everything at once, but, by teaching them one Truth of God, He prepared them for another Truth. Let us do the same with those whom we try to teach. Let us dispense to them the simpler Truths of God, first, and afterwards those that are deeper and more mysterious.
13, 14. However when He the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all Truth: for He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. That spirit which does not glorify Christ is not the Spirit of God! Hereby shall you discern between the spirit of error and the Spirit of Truth!
15, 16. All things that the Father has are Mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall show it to you. A little while, and you shall not see Me: and again a little while, and you shall see Me, because I go to the Father This is what our whole life is—"a little while." But in that little while there are little whiles of sadness and little whiles of gladness—little whiles in which we have Christ with us and little whiles in which we see Him, but find Him not. Blessed be God, we are going away from the land of these changing little whiles up to the Place where the sun shines in its strength forever and ever!
17, 18. Then said some of His disciples among themselves, What is this that He says unto us, A little while, and you shall not see Me: and, again, a little while, and you shall see Me: and, Because I go to the Father? They said therefore, What is this that He says, A little while? We cannot tell what He says. Sometimes, when you are reading the Bible, you will come across a text of which you will say to yourselves, "What is this? We cannot tell what He says." But do not give up reading the Bible because you cannot understand it! There is a great deal that a father says which his child cannot comprehend, yet it is a part of the child's education to be with his father and to hear some things that he does not, at first, understand but, by-and-by, it all becomes clear. So, Believer, what you know not now you shall know hereafter.
19. Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask Him. They did not ask Him, but they desired to do so—and a desire is a prayer. Where our blessed Master is present, the very desires of His people are prayers, even though their lips remain closed.
19, 20. And said unto hem, Do you enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and you shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and you shall see Me? Verily, verily, I say unto you, That you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. Oh, what a blessed promise!
21-24. A woman when she is in travail has sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And you now, therefore, have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man takes from you. And in that day you shall ask Me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatever you shallask the Father in My name, Hie will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. They had asked very little and they had never asked even that little in Christ's name—and there are but few Christians who do so even now. They ask for Christ's sake, which is a good plea, but to ask in Christ's name is still better! When you feel conscious that you have Christ's authority to use His name, you can put the King's own signature at the bottom of your petitions! There are some prayers to which a man dares not set Christ's seal, but when the prayer is such that Christ Himself might have offered it, then we may present it in His name and we may be certain that we shall receive what we have asked.
25-28. These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time comes when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly of the Father. At that day you shall ask in My name. AndI say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you, for the Father Himself loves you because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. Here are four unfathomable depths—"I came forth from the Father"—there is Christ's eternal Pre-Existence. "And am come into the world"—there is His Incarnation. "Again, I leave the world,"—there is His death, Resurrection and Ascension into the Glory of God. "And go to the Father"—there is His exaltation to the Father's right hand."
29. His disciples said unto Him, Lo, now You speak plainly, and speak no proverb. Did you ever, when reading the Bible, come across a text that was opened up to you so sweetly that you cried out just as these disciples did "Lo, now You speak plainly, and speak no proverb"?
30, 31. Now are we sure that You know all things, and need not that any man should ask You: by this we believe that You came forth from God. Jesus answered them, Do you now believe?Listen you who imagine that you are so strong in faith and every Grace, that you think you are almost perfect—"Do you now believe?"
32. Behold, the hour comes, yes, is now come, that you shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone. Ah, me! These were the men who said they believed in Him, yet, in His time of trial they fled like cowardly unbelievers! God help us and sustain us, or we shall do as they did!
32, 33. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken unto you that in Me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world
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