Calvary Road Baptist Church

“THE COMFORTER IS PROMISED”

John 16.7-15 

I review, beginning with a summation of John chapter 15. John 15 is arranged into three main sections of our Lord’s final discourse:

Verses 1-11 describe the believers’ relation to Christ using the idea of “Abide in me.” How appropriate following the Last Supper for the Lord to speak about the vine as a symbol of spiritual fruitfulness. He warned the remaining apostles not to follow Judas Iscariot’s example (without mentioning his name), but to remain in the vine, that is, in Christ, in His Word, and His love. He called Himself the True Vine, described His Father as the Husbandman, and designated all those who come into close contact with Him as branches, with the branches divided into two groups: those which bear fruit and those which do not bear fruit. To bear fruit, it is necessary to remain in the vine.

Some of the glorious results of abiding in Christ are: (a) an effective prayer life, (b) bearing much fruit to the glory of God, and (c) experiencing fulness of joy. Branches that do not bear fruit are thrown away, allowed to wither, later picked up, thrown into the fire, and burned.

The believers’ relation to each other is developed in verses 12-17, with the command “love one another.” Christ’s self-sacrificing love for His sheep is the pattern for mutual love among believers. This love shows itself in self-denial, to the point of being willing to lay down your life for your friends. Of course, the Lord Jesus was in the process of doing just that. It was for His friends that He offered His life. No longer were they to be termed servants but friends, for He had told them His secrets, and they are glad to please Him by keeping His precepts. This friendship is rooted in a sovereign, electing love, the kind of love that produces fruit-bearing and effective prayer. To love one another, it is necessary to abide in and meditate on that love of Christ for His friends continually.

Chapter 15 concludes, verses 18-27, with the believers’ relation to the world, in answer to the world’s attitude toward us. First, the world hates us. What are the reasons for this hatred? #1 Believers are not “of the world,” and #2 believers belong to Christ, whom the world hates. What is the inexcusable character of this hatred? Using His words and works, our Lord Jesus revealed Himself and His Father to the world to such an extent that the world’s hatred was without rational explanation: they hated Him without a cause. Thus, an ancient prophecy was being fulfilled.

The Comforter, the Spirit of truth, will testify concerning Him, and we must also bear witness, verses 26-27. The testimony of the Spirit, Who proceeds eternally from the Father, and Who is sent by the Lord Jesus from the Father, will bear testimony concerning the Son. The Spirit of God is qualified to do this because of His intimate relation to the Son of God, the two being one in essence. Linked to the Spirit’s witness is the testimony of the disciples. Who could be better qualified to bear witness than those who were eyewitnesses? Because from the very beginning of Christ’s ministry, these men have been eyewitnesses, they too must testify. Their testimony will serve as a means which the Holy Spirit employs to bring His testimony.[1] When you say true things about Jesus Christ, you are being used by God’s Holy Spirit.

The Lord then warned His men of coming persecutions and observed their response to His warning in John 16.1-6. If He had not alerted them of the coming storm, they would have been more shocked and dismayed by the ferocity of the opposition against them. They might have begun to question whether it was true that He was the master of every event, that the universe was in His grasp. Therefore, to prevent such grievous disappointment, which would tend to undermine their faith, the Lord told them of these things ahead of time. Eventually, they would come to understand in the betrayal of Judas Iscariot, the departure of their Lord via crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to heaven, and the hatred of the world, the Master of History’s perfect plan of the ages.

There is an item that will bring it all together in those men’s lives, the ministry to them, and in them of the Holy Spirit of God. Beginning with John 16.7, let us proceed in verse by verse fashion: 

JOHN 16.7: 

“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.” 

The Lord Jesus Christ directed His eleven apostles’ attention to the Person and ministry of the Holy Spirit of God, referring to Him by the descriptive Comforter.

Our Lord identified the Spirit of God as “another Comforter,” with the Greek word translated “another” being ἄllos, meaning another of the same kind, John 14.16. Thus, the Spirit’s ministry with those men and to those men would be very much like His Own involvement in their lives.

In John 14.26, the Lord identified the “Comforter” as “the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father.” The text now before us is the fourth time our Lord uses the term for the Holy Spirit, with “comforter” translating paraklήtoV, meaning the one who is called alongside as helper or intercessor.[2]

The verse begins with the words, 

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth.” 

The Lord Jesus Christ always spoke the truth since He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” This phrase heightened His men’s attentiveness, so they would appreciate the importance of what He was telling them. Profoundly important words are to follow, which will set those men free from their bondage of fear and dread concerning their future.

He continues, 

“It is expedient for you that I go away.” 

This is our Lord’s positive assertion, with the word “expedient” translating the Greek word sumphέroo, the verb meaning to bring together, to confer a benefit, and from which our word symphony is derived.[3] What is a symphony, but the coming together of musicians and instruments in beautiful harmony? So it is with these events unfolding, our Lord suggests. Let us also note the direction of our Lord’s positive assertion: 

“It is expedient for you that I go away.” 

He so much as says, “Men, it is best for you for me to depart from you at this time.” How gracious is our Savior to always do that which is best for His own.

We next come to the Lord’s negative assertion: 

“for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you.” 

As the Lord spoke of the perfect harmony of God’s plan for His apostles, so we must grant that the ministries of the three Persons of the Godhead also operate in perfect harmony. It cannot be otherwise. Thus, the Son must depart to make way for the Spirit, so the Second Person can provide atonement and then conduct His ministry from afar, while enthroned in heaven, and the Spirit can conduct His ministry in a profoundly intimate and personal way, as our indwelling Guide and Teacher and Intercessor.

Before our Lord clarifies the Spirit’s ministry, beginning in verse 8, He restates His assurance to His troubled and fearful men: 

“but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” 

Did the Lord keep His word? Yes, He did. In John 20.22, we read, 

“And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” 

What about Pentecost? The Day of Pentecost was not the occasion of the Savior giving the Spirit, but the event of the Savior baptizing in the Spirit in fulfillment of John the Baptist’s prediction in Matthew 3.11, where the Baptist said, 

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”  

JOHN 16.8: 

“And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” 

This verse does not mean what many Bible readers think it means.

In John 16.1-6, it is apparent that He was speaking to those men about those men, to them about them. Where most are mistaken is in verses 7-11. No one disputes that the Savior is still speaking to His men or that He is speaking to them about the Holy Spirit. But what about the Spirit of God? Most think our Lord said to His men about the Holy Spirit’s ministry to the unsaved. The majority of readers misunderstand this verse with regard to what the Holy Spirit is here declared by the Lord to be doing once He arrives on the scene. To be sure, the Spirit of God will minister to believers He indwells. To be sure, the Spirit of God will work in the lives of unsaved people to bring them to repentance and faith in Christ. The question is if that is what the Lord Jesus Christ was referring to here.

Leon Morris suggests this verse is the only place in Scripture where the Spirit is spoken of as performing a work in “the world.”[4] Every other passage referring to the Spirit speaks of His work in believers. Interesting, as well, is the Greek word for “comforter” in the previous verse, and its legal implications. “Normally, it denotes a person whose activities are in favor of the defendant, but here the meaning is that the Spirit will act as prosecutor and bring about the world’s conviction. This involves the threefold activity that is further developed in the succeeding verses. Apart from the Holy Spirit, people do not really know the truth about sin or righteousness or judgment.”[5] Crucial to understanding this verse and the passage it is nestled in is the meaning of the phrase translated “he will reprove,” which translates the single Greek future tense of the verb ἐlέnkoo. Ἐlέnkoo means “to expose, to convict, to cross-examine for convincing or refuting an opponent, esp. used of legal proceedings.”[6]

Imagine that you are in a court of law since that is the word picture our Lord painted. Does a prosecutor seek to make the defendant feel bad about his crime? No. A prosecutor seeks only to establish the objective fact of guilt. Feeling bad about wrongdoing is a whole other thing than guilt. This verse and the verses that immediately follow do not deal with how the accused feels about his criminality but the mounting objective evidence of his guilt. One of pundit Ben Shapiro’s most famous and oft-repeated declarations is “Facts don’t care about your feelings.” In a similar vein, this verse suggests the Spirit of God will not engage in a ministry to make the world feel bad about sin, righteousness, and judgment. Instead, this verse shows that the Spirit’s focus will be on piling up a mountain of evidence of guilt against the world, without this verse addressing how anyone feels.

Does the Spirit of God work to bring about a realization of guilt and sinfulness in the heart of a sinner? Yes. Acts 2.37 records the reaction of many to Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost: 

“they were pricked in their heart.” 

Thus, it is essential for a sinner to feel bad about his guilt in the sight of God. That said, John 16.8 refers to guilt and not to feeling guilty. 

JOHN 16.9: 

This verse is the first of three facets of the fact case the Spirit of God builds against “the world.” That facet of the Spirit’s fact case is said by the Lord to be, 

“Of sin, because they believe not on me.” 

Consider four parts of this very brief verse:

The first portion of this short verse is a single word, translated by our English word “of.” It translates, in verses 9, 10, and 11, the Greek preposition perί. It was a word the Greeks used to connect an action of some kind with what was being acted upon.[7] In this verse, the Spirit’s reproving in verse 8 is connected to the unbeliever’s sin in verse 9.

The second word, hἁmartίan, sin, is the word that refers to falling short of the glory of God, of failing to measure up, of missing the mark.[8] Our Lord suggests that the Spirit of God will take the whole world that is guilty in Adam due to the Fall and will pile up evidence of individual guilt that each sinner is personally responsible for.

Then the word “because,” which translates the Greek word ὄti. Ὄti is what is termed a marker.[9] The Lord is calling His listener’s attention to the phrase that follows. He does not want His men to miss this.

“Because they believe not on me.” One part of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in this era in which we live is the accumulation of evidence to establish the world’s guilt. You might have been born a child of Adam, but the Spirit of God works to establish that you, on your own, are guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors against the Lord Jesus Christ, principally the wicked crime of failing to believe on Him.

This is far more than a failure to believe what the Lord Jesus Christ has said and shown. This is more serious than the heinous crime of treating He who is truth as if He was a liar. This is the sin of refusing to act upon His truthfulness, His reliability, His competency, and His trustworthiness as a sufficient Savior by casting yourself upon Him as your Savior and your Lord. 

JOHN 16.10: 

“Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more.” 

The Spirit’s ministry involves working in the life of a sinner to make him or her feel bad about sin, to weigh the lost down by their guilt, and to press home an awareness of estrangement from God. The Spirit of God certainly does such things. However, that is not what our Lord is speaking of here.

As I said, the Spirit of God also functions in much the same way as a prosecutor, not by seeking to make the accused feel bad about their sins but to accumulate an abundance of objective evidence to establish the guilt of the accused in an objective and verifiable way.

You may have thought, “Fine and good,” until we look at John 16.9, 

“Of sin, because they believe not on me.” 

Folks tend to assume that pressing home a person’s sinfulness, piling up evidence of wrongdoing, for whatever reason, makes them feel bad. However, there is a difference between sinful sorrow and the godly sorrow that works repentance, according to Paul, in Second Corinthians 7.10.

In John 16.10, it is much easier to recognize what I am suggesting. Notice two parts of the verse, addressing the Spirit’s case against sinners, and predicting the Savior’s ascension after His resurrection. The Holy Spirit’s case against sinners turns on a single word, found in John’s Gospel only in verse 8 and here in verse 10: dikaiosύnay.[10] Meaning righteousness, just as translated in our English Bible, is significant that the Lord used the word righteousness and not unrighteousness. To persuade the world of righteousness shows the Spirit of God is focusing attention on the Savior. Had the word unrighteousness been used, the Spirit of God would have been focusing attention on sinners. Keep in mind that soon the Lord Jesus Christ would be taken into custody in the Garden of Gethsemane, unjustly and illegally tried three times, and then wrongly crucified by men seeking to show themselves righteous and the Lord Jesus Christ unrighteous. Of course, the opposite was true, but that was their design. Unknown to our Lord’s enemies, however, is that instead of establishing their righteousness and the Lord Jesus Christ’s unrighteousness, evidence of the very opposite would come to light. How so? If Christ was justly crucified, would God have raised Him up from the dead? No. Would angels have testified of the raising of someone who was unrighteous? No. And would someone who was unrighteous have been received up into glory to sit at God’s right hand on high? No.

All of this was alluded to by the Lord’s words, 

“because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more.” 

The Lord Jesus Christ did not mean by this that His men would never, ever, see Him again. He was referring to His impending ascension, not a permanent departure. Jesus is coming again! But until He comes again, the Spirit of God works to show that He is Jesus Christ the righteous and that those complicit in His crucifixion are the ones who are unrighteous, guilty in the court of heaven, and worthy of God’s severest punishment. 

JOHN 16.11: 

“Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” 

Again, this passage does not address how the Spirit of God will make sinners feel about their sins and guilt in the sight of God.

Arthur Pink properly understands this passage. He writes, 

Had our passage been describing the work of the Spirit in producing conversion this order had been reversed, the “judgment” would have preceded the (un) “righteousness.” Let this detail be carefully pondered. If the Spirit’s reproof of “sin” means His bringing the sinner to realize his lost condition, and His reproving of “righteousness” means making him feel his need of Christ’s righteousness, then wherein would be the need of still further convincing of “judgment”? It does not seem possible to furnish any satisfactory answer! But understanding the whole passage to treat of the objective consequences of the Spirit’s presence on earth, then 16:11 furnished a fitting conclusion.[11] 

He writes about John 16.11, 

“‘Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.’ This is the logical climax. The world stands guilty of refusing to believe in Christ: its condemnation is attested by the righteousness of Christ, exhibited in His going to the Father: therefore nothing awaits it but judgment. The Spirit’s presence here is the evidence that the Prince of this world has been judged - when He departs sentence is executed, both on the world and on Satan. “This, therefore, is the testimony of the Holy Spirit to the world. It is heaven’s reversal of the world’s treatment of Christ. It is the answer of the righteous Father to what the world has done to His Son, and must not be interpreted of Gospel conviction.” 

What, then, is the takeaway of these five verses? The Lord Jesus Christ told them He would dispatch the Holy Spirit to prosecute the unbelieving world, and He told them in advance what the outcome would be even before the forces of darkness brought about His illegal and unjust trial and execution beginning that night and concluding the next day on Calvary’s cross.

What is established in the courtroom of heaven, whether or not those who are dead in trespasses and sins, who are spiritually blind and deaf, and whose consciences are seared feel any sense of guiltiness? The Comforter, the Advocate, the Prosecuting Spirit of God presents evidence so as to convince beyond doubt that unbelief in Christ establishes sin, unrighteousness, and deserves judgment.

What does the Holy Spirit do according to John 16.8-11? He vindicates God. He vindicates the Lord Jesus Christ. He establishes beyond any possible doubt that sinners are sinful, that sinners are unrighteous in the sight of righteous God, and that the prince of this world is judged (meaning that not only he, but all with allegiance to him, will suffer in the lake of fire because of their undisputed guilt).

The Lord Jesus Christ is telling His terribly shaken, and soon to be so much more shaken, followers, “Men. You are on the right side of this situation. Wait it out. Stay faithful. Hang tough. I’ve got this.” 

JOHN 16.12: 

“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” 

I am aware of three reasons our Lord could not teach what He otherwise might have taught His men on another occasion:

First, the Lord was dealing with men who had physical limitations. There are limitations beyond which the human body cannot go. True, the Lord Jesus Christ would extend His humanity farther than humanity had ever been stretched before or since when He went to the cross. However, these eleven men did not know what the Savior knew, and they were dealing with experiences so troubling to them that the Savior recognized the futility of attempting to teach them more than He had to this point. They had been told minutes before that they were to be separated from their Master. They were troubled, confused, and would soon be jarred by a series of events that would rock them to their foundations. That is one reason He made no further attempt to teach them. Their distraction made further attempts to teach them pointless.

Next, the Lord Jesus Christ was dealing with men who had spiritual limitations. Picture a parent teaching a child about the birth of a baby. Most youngsters are not mature enough to handle facts that are more specific and detailed than to answer “Where did sister come from?” with a comment like, “Sister came from mommy’s tummy.” That is sufficiently detailed for a five-year-old while at the same time being truthful. However, later, when dealing with a teen, it is appropriate to be far more explicit. Those men were not ready for the truths they later learned about their future.

Finally, of course, there was this matter of the indwelling Spirit of God. The Lord will complete this thought in the next verse when He speaks of “the coming of the Spirit of truth.” His teaching perfectly reflected principles that are recognized today as absolutely vital. But when His apostles came to a place where teaching could not be accomplished, He stopped. 

JOHN 16.13: 

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” 

The Holy Spirit’s future ministry in those men’s lives would be revelatory and illuminating. We look at the verse a phrase at a time: 

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come” 

The Third Person of the Trinity is omnipresent, so there is no denying that the He is everywhere present. However, do not think this statement conflicts with that attribute of God’s Spirit. While omnipresent, His presence is not always the same everywhere, and with the same activity. Thus, what the Lord Jesus Christ meant is that the Holy Spirit will come in a manner He had not yet come, with activity He had not yet exhibited as He would in the future. The question, of course, is when that would be? The Lord Jesus did not, in this verse, indicate when that “coming” of the Spirit would take place. Let me just say to you, before you speculate about the timing of His coming. It would not be on the Day of Pentecost. 

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come” 

This is the third time in the space of a minute or two the Lord Jesus Christ referred to the Holy Spirit as “the Spirit of truth.” He did so previously in John 14.17 and 15.26. What do you think the Lord Jesus Christ wanted to emphasize about the Holy Spirit to His men on this occasion? He sought to emphasize that the Spirit of God, this other of the same kind Comforter who would come, is not only a spirit but that He is the Spirit of truth! Truth is profoundly essential to God because He is true. The apostles, therefore, should be excited to contemplate the arrival of the Spirit of truth in a new aspect of His ministry to God’s people. Were they so excited? I do not know. They were so soon caught up in other events. 

“he will guide you into all truth” 

Two things are interesting about this phrase: First, “he will guide” translates the future tense of odegeo found only here in John’s Gospel, and refers to “a guide who introduces the traveler into an unknown country.”[12] The Spirit will do this thing of introducing truth to those men, but He is not yet doing this thing. Next, He will guide them “into all truth.” In the Greek New Testament, we find “the Spirit of the truth” and “into all the truth,” definite articles present in both places but not translated into our English Bible. Thus, there are two things to pay attention to, with the first being the definite article before each use of the Greek word translated truth, and the second being that the word translated truth is singular and not plural. He is not the Spirit of truths but the Spirit of the truth. He will not guide into all truths but into all the truth. There is the truth, and the truth is the One who is speaking, Jesus Christ. When the Spirit begins this future ministry, He will guide the apostles into all the truth, which I take to be an ever-deepening and ever-broadening understanding of the limitless One standing in front of them, the King of all glory, the eternal Son of the living God, my Lord Jesus Christ. 

“for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak” 

This is not to suggest the Spirit of God will never refer to Himself, which is an absurdity. The Savior meant that the primary thrust of the Spirit’s teaching ministry of illuminating their understanding would not be Himself. The Spirit does not focus attention on the Spirit. Thus, those who profess to be Christians but whose lives are wrapped up in the Holy Spirit rather than the Savior are certainly not being instructed by the Holy Spirit. 

“and he will shew you things to come.” 

The Lord Jesus Christ revealed to His men the ministry of the Holy Spirit to report future events that would unfold. This prediction was not uniformly fulfilled with each of the eleven, but predominately with two of the eleven who were there that evening, Peter and, of course, John. John’s Revelation stands towering above the disclosures of future events revealed through the other apostles, including Peter and Paul. The source of truth regarding these future events would be the Holy Spirit of God. 

JOHN 16.14: 

“He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” 

A very simple verse, with profound implications, we take a phrase at a time: 

“He shall glorify me” 

Glorify, the Greek word doxάzoo, has to do with influencing someone’s opinion so that they appreciate the splendor, the fame, the majesty, the prestige, and the honor of someone. The Savior informs His apostles that the Spirit of God would make Him famous. Has He done that? Has the Spirit of God accomplished that in the 2,000 years since the Savior was crucified? He certainly has. How else could a child born in a village to a carpenter’s young wife who grew up and was crucified, who never wrote a book, never conquered territory, and never held an official position, become the most famous human being who has ever lived? Our glorious privilege is to continue this calling of making Christ’s name known among the nations, as instruments useful to the Holy Spirit of God. 

“for he shall receive of mine” 

This refers to the Spirit’s ministry of receiving from Christ to pass on what He has received. 

“and shall shew it unto you.” 

The Spirit of God does not create truth in His ministry of comfort. Rather He takes truth from the One Who is the way, the truth, and the life, and passes that truth on to the Savior’s disciples. Has the Spirit of God done that? The books of the New Testament are proof that He has done that for the apostles. And how about in your life? Though we are not apostles, is there ongoing evidence in your life of the Spirit of God illuminating your understanding and showing you profound truths and insights? What is the most recent truth you have learned from your study of God’s Word? 

JOHN 16.15: 

“All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” 

Please keep two things in mind as we consider this verse: First, it is nested in our Lord’s explanation of the ministry of the Holy Spirit of God as the Illuminator of the truth the Savior taught over the course of His earthly ministry. Second, our Lord is completing the thought He began in the previous verse about the Spirit of God’s glorification of Him.

Being mindful of this, consider the first phrase of John 16.15: 

“All things that the Father hath are mine.” 

This hearkens back to something the Lord said rather early in His ministry when He praised the recently arrested John the Baptist and upbraided the cities of Bethsaida, Chorazin, and Capernaum for their failure to repent after witnessing His mighty works in their midst.

Immediately after that, Matthew writes, 

25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.[13] 

The sentiment expressed in Matthew 11.27, “All things are delivered unto me of my Father,” is the same as the first phrase of John 16.15, “All things that the Father hath are mine.” These statements are either blasphemous in the extreme (if Christ is not God) or they are declarations of equality between God and the Lord Jesus Christ. If the Lord Jesus Christ and God do not each have what is the other’s there is no basis for the Lord Jesus Christ representing God to mankind and offering Himself as the unique savior of sinful men’s souls. What runs through the Savior’s earthly ministry, from shortly after His baptism to shortly before His crucifixion, is what He has in common with God the Father. There is nothing One has the Other does not also have. Thus, whatever distinctions might exist between these two coequal Persons of the Triune Godhead are distinctions in their functional hierarchy and not distinctions in their nature or essence. Jesus Christ is God, and the basis of His Saving work is His commonality with God. He is God.

The final phrase of the verse reads, 

“therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” 

Notice what the Savior accomplishes here, which is to explain the ministry the Holy Spirit will have in these men’s lives. He, the Holy Spirit, will take of Christ and show it to them. But what is Christ’s, remember, is the Father’s. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Logos, the communication of divine truth to mankind. “In the beginning was the Word.” The Spirit of God brings understanding to people about what the Logos brings to us about God. Thus, the entirety of the Trinity is involved in God’s program of bringing sinful men to Himself, with God sending His Son, His Son dying on the cross for our sins, and the Spirit of God bringing understanding to us of what God has done to us and for us through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. 

Those eleven men were scared, understandably so. What the Savior was about to experience was monumental, and being nearby during His passion would be life-disrupting, but necessary.

Being the Good Shepherd[14], the Great Shepherd[15], and the Chief Shepherd[16], He made provision for them. He prepared them for what was coming. He told them He was leaving them. He told them they would suffer terrible persecution. And He told them of His gift to them, the indwelling Spirit of God, the Comforter.

The key to all this? Knowing Christ, being Christ’s follower, and being Christ’s friend. If you know Christ, His Father is your Father. If you know Christ, His righteousness is your righteousness just as He bore your sins on the cross. And if you know Christ, His Spirit is your gift, the Comforter, to indwell you and guide you.

There is no neutral ground. The Spirit’s task since Christ’s ascension is to indwell those who are Christ’s and prosecute to prove the guilt of those who are not Christ’s. Which side of the issue are you on? Is the Spirit of God comforting you? Or is the Spirit of God prosecuting your case in the courtroom of heaven?

Surely, you see that your only option is to repent of your sins and trust Christ. I urge you to do that without delay.

__________

[1] William Hendricksen, Exposition Of The Gospel According To John, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1961, Two Volumes Complete In One), Vol 2, pages 315-317.

[2] Bauer, Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature, (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2000), page 766.

[3] Ibid., page 960.

[4] Leon Morris, The Gospel According To John - Revised Edition, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1995), pages 618-619.

[5] Ibid., page 619.

[6] Fritz Rienecker & Cleon Rogers, Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Regency Reference Library, 1980), page 254.

[7] Bauer, pages 797-798

[8] Ibid., pages 50-51.

[9] Ibid., pages 731-732.

[10] W. F. Moulton and A. S. Geden, A Concordance To The Greek New Testament, (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, Fifth Edition, 1978), page 218.

[11] Arthur W. Pink, Exposition of the Gospel of John, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1-vol. edition 1968), Vol 2, pages 53-54.

[12] Rienecker, page 254.

[13] Matthew 11.25-30

[14] John 10.11, 14

[15] Hebrews 13.20

[16] 1 Peter 5.4

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