This Week's Focus Passage

John 14:16 ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter.’

John 14:16 ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter.’

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him; ye know him; for he abideth with you, and shall be in you.John 16-17.

Is this not most surely one of the most incredible statements that we have the honor and privilege to read from the Book of God? And yet, it is not incredible because that we have been given the precious gift of faith. The word, incredible, as found in our dictionaries, means the following: ‘surpassing belief; unlikely; marvelous; hard to believe; unimaginable.’ All this multitude of synonymous words and phrases are set before us; but set before, by God’s grace, the eyes of faith. Can anything that Christ has told us really surpass belief for those having been gifted with faith? Faith and belief are synonymous themselves, are they not? And thus it would be to suggest that something Christ has told us is beyond our God-given faith. It is He Himself who has merited this faith for us through His infinite merits which He has bestowed upon us through His blessed saving activity for His sheep; for He is the Good Shepherd that feeds and leads His sheep, giving us faith to hear His Word of sanctification making us willing in the day of His power to follow the Shepherd, even the Lamb of God, whithersoever He leads. Nothing is incredible to believers! And He has given us of His Spirit; He has prayed the Father to give the Comforter to all those for whom He has laid down His life.

Notice that this Comforter the Father gives (sends) is another Comforter. Christ is our Comforter, the Father hath sent Him to seek His lost sheep, and so He has done, and is doing. He now does it through His Spirit, another Comforter, whom the Father gives through Christ. He will not leave us comfortless. Christ now stands at the right hand of the Father where He ever lives to intercede for His people. But we are not left alone for He has engaged the Father to send the Spirit. And this is not only for yesterday and today, or even for tomorrow. We are told by our Champion that He, the Spirit of truth, will be with us forever. Does this not intend that the Holy Spirit will continue, even when we are eternally with Christ our Great Prophet, Priest, and King, to ‘take the things of mine (Christ’s) and shall declare it unto you’? Will we not, under the instruction of Jesus, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, be ever learning unto the ages of the ages the inexhaustible riches of Christ? Forever. Yea, He shall be with you for ever, even the Spirit of Truth. As Christ, the Truth Himself, continues to teach us, God the Holy Spirit will continue as our Tutor, so to speak, to guide us into Truth; the Way, the Truth, and the eternal Life.

Christ, in our passage, expands these glorious promises when He reminds us that the Spirit of Truth is One whom the world cannot receive. The sad world of untruth cannot receive the Truth as it is in Christ; they are bottled up in their unbelief. They cannot behold Him; they cannot see Him, for He is only to be seen through the eyes of faith, and the world has not faith. They cannot receive that which they cannot see; O the sad plight of unregenerate man! How can they know Him if they are not able to see Him? Ought we not to burst out in praise as the ‘famous’ once blind man in the ninth of John’s gospel? And burst into wondrous expressions of joy that we may say with him, One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see? At the same time, this reality should greatly humble us. How blessed it is to have been taught that we have merited nothing whatever toward our salvation. We are only saved because it pleased God to put us in Christ before the foundation of the world. And it pleased Christ to take upon Himself the office of our Redeemer and Vicarious Substitute on that awful tree, carrying our sins away through the shedding of His most precious blood; causing them to flow down into the sea of God’s forgetfulness. Subsequently, in our actual lifetime, He sent His Holy Spirit to touch us our hearts with His regeneration grace. This grace that enabled us to reach forward to the robe of Christ, as it were, and touch the hem of His garment, and realize this grace in us. The promise of Christ is that the Holy Spirit He sends is He that shall abide with us. How shall He abide with us? It appears that He will do so by abiding in us, ‘he shall be in you. Ye know him; Jesus says, for he abideth in you. Praise God again and again for the grand gift of faith. For none of us would ever be able to believe that God the Holy Spirit Himself should, or would, dwell (abide) in any of us, vile creatures that we are. Knowing our remaining sin and the holiness of God the Holy Spirit, how can these things be? And yet, they are words spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ, and can therefore, be nothing but the Truth. Christ is God, our God in the flesh, Emmanuel, God with us, and He cannot lie.

This One, whom Jesus referred to as another Comforter; He shall be with us forever and He shall be in us forever. Yes indeed, incredible. We cannot help when we think of our Lord Jesus Christ, to be thinking of His wonderful—that really is not nearly a large enough word—loving condescension toward us, that He would leave His Father’s bosom, as it were, that bosom which we believe we understand from Proverbs 8:29-31 that He lay in sweet repose:

When he gave to the sea its bound,

That the waters should not transgress his commandment,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth;

Then I was by him, as a master workman;

And I was daily his delight,

Rejoicing always before him,

Rejoicing in his habitable earth;

And my delight was with the sons of men.

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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