Sermon 2382. The Holy Spirit's Chief Office
A SERMON INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S DAY, OCTOBER 14, 1894.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON THURSDAY EVENING, JULY 26, 1888.
"He shall glorify Me: for He shall take of Mine, and shall show it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine: thereforesaid I, that He shall take of Mine and shall show it to you." John 16:14,15.
IT is the chief office of the Holy Spirit to glorify Christ. He does many things, but this is what He aims at in all of them-toglorify Christ. Brothers and Sisters, what the Holy Spirit does must be right for us to imitate! Therefore, let us endeavorto glorify Christ. To what higher ends can we devote ourselves, than to something to which God the Holy Spirit devotes Himself?Be this, then, your continual prayer, "Blessed Spirit, help me to always glorify the Lord Jesus Christ!"
Observe that the Holy Spirit glorifies Christ by showing to us the things of Christ. It is a great marvel that there shouldbe any Glory given to Christ by showing Him to such poor creatures as we are! What? To make us see Christ- does that glorifyHim? For our weak eyes to behold Him, for our trembling hearts to know Him and to love Him-does this glorify Him? It is evenso, for the Holy Spirit chooses this as His principal way of glorifying the Lord Jesus. He takes of the things of Christ,not to show them to angels, not to write them in letters of fire across the brow of night, but to show them to us! Withinthe little temple of a sanctified heart, Christ is praised, not so much by what we do, or think, as by what we see. This putsgreat value upon meditation, upon the study of God's Word, and upon silent thought under the teaching of the Holy Spirit,for Jesus says, "He shall glorify Me: for He shall take of Mine, and shall show it to you."
Here is a Gospel word at the very outset of our sermon! Poor sinner, conscious of your sin, it is possible for Christ to beglorified by His being shown to you! If you look to Him, if you see Him to be a suitable Savior, an all-sufficient Savior.If your mind's eye takes Him in. If He is effectually shown to you by the Holy Spirit, He is thereby glorified! Sinner asyou are, unworthy, apparently, to become the arena of Christ's Glory, yet shall you be a temple in which the King's Gloryshall be revealed and your poor heart, like a mirror, shall reflect His Grace-
"Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove, With all Your quickening powers" and show Christ to the sinner, that Christ may be glorifiedin the sinner's salvation!
If that great work of Grace is really done at the beginning of the sermon, I shall not mind, even, if I never finish it! Godthe Holy Spirit will have worked more without me than I could possibly have worked myself, and to the Triune Jehovah shallbe all the praise! Oh, that the name of Christ may be glorified in every one of you! Has the Holy Spirit shown you Christ,the Sin-Bearer, the one Sacrifice for sin, exalted on high, to give repentance and remission? If so, then the Holy Spirithas glorified Christ, even in you!
Now, proceeding to examine the text a little in detail, my first observation upon it is this-the Holy Spirit is our Lord'sGlorifier. "He shall glorify Me." Secondly, Christ's own things are His best Glory. "He shall glorify Me: for He shall takeof Mine, and shall show it to you." And, thirdly, Christ's Glory is His Father's Glory. "All things that the Father has areMine: therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall show it to you."
I. To begin, then, THE HOLY SPIRIT IS OUR LORD'S GLORIFIER. I want you to keep this Truth of God in your mind and never toforget it-that which does not glorify Christ is not of the Holy Spirit, and that which is of the Holy Spirit invariably glorifiesour Lord Jesus Christ!
First, then, have an eye to this Truth in all comforts. If a comfort which you think you need and which appears to you tobe very sweet, does not glorify Christ, look very suspiciously upon it. If, in conversing with an apparently religious man,he prates about truth which he says is comforting, but which does not honor Christ, do not have anything to do with it! Itis a poisonous sweet-it may charm you for a moment, but it will ruin your soul forever if you partake of it. But blessed arethose comforts which smell of Christ, those consolations in which there is a fragrance of myrrh, aloes and cassia, out ofthe King's palace-the comfort drawn from His Person, from His work, from His blood, from the Resurrection, from His Glory-thecomfort directly fetched from that sacred spot where He trod the winepress alone! This is wine of which you may drink, forgetyour misery and be unhappy no more!
But always look with great suspicion upon any comfort offered to you, either as a sinner or a saint, which does not come distinctlyfrom Christ. Say, "I will not be comforted till Jesus comforts me. I will refuse to lay aside my despondency until He removesmy sin. I will not go to Mr. Civility, or Mr. Legality, for the unloading of my burden. No hands shall ever lift the loadof conscious sin from off my heart but those that were nailed to the Cross, when Jesus, Himself, bore my sins in His own bodyon the tree." Please carry this Truth of God with you wherever you go as a kind of spiritual litmus paper by which you maytest everything that is presented to you as a cordial or comfort. If it does not glorify Christ, let it not console or pleaseyou!
In the next place, have an eye to this Truth of God in all ministries. There are many ministries in the world and they arevery diverse from one another, but this Truth will enable you to judge which is right out of them all. That ministry whichmakes much of Christ, is of the Holy Spirit, but that ministry which decries Him, ignores Him, or puts Him in the backgroundin any degree, is not of the Spirit of God! Any doctrine which magnifies man, but not man's Redeemer. Any doctrine which deniesthe depth of the Fall and, consequently, derogates from the greatness of salvation. Any doctrine which makes sin less and,therefore, makes Christ's work less-away with it, away with it! This shall be your infallible test as to whether it is ofthe Holy Spirit or not, for Jesus says, "He shall glorify Me." It were better to speak five words to the Glory of Christ,than to be the greatest orator who ever lived and to neglect or dishonor the Lord Jesus Christ!
We, my Brothers, who are preachers of the Word, have but a short time to live. Let us dedicate all that time to the gloriouswork of magnifying Christ! Longfellow says, in his Psalm of Life, that, "Art is long," but longer, still, is the great artof lifting up the Crucified before the eyes of the sin-bitten sons of men. Let us keep to that one employment! If we havebut this one string upon which we can play, we may discourse such music on it as would ravish angels and will save men! Therefore,again I say, let us keep to that alone! Cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer and all kinds of music are for Nebuchadnezzar'sgolden image, but as for our God, our one harp is Christ Jesus! We will touch every string of that wondrous instrument, eventhough it is with trembling fingers-and marvelous shall be the music we shall evoke from it!
All ministries, therefore, must be subjected to this test-if they do not glorify Christ, they are not of the Holy Spirit.
We should also have an eye to this Truth in all religious movements and judge them by this standard. If they are of the HolySpirit, they glorify Christ. There are great movements in the world, every now and then, and we are inclined to look uponthem hopefully, for any stir is better than stagnation. But, by-and-by, we begin to fear, with a holy jealousy, what theireffects will be. How shall we judge them? To what test shall we put them? Always to this test-does this movement glorify Christ?Is Christ preached? Then, therein, I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice! Are men pointed to Christ? Then this is the ministryof salvation! Is He preached as First and Last? Are men bid to be justified by faith in Him and then to follow Him, and copyHis Divine example? It is well! I do not believe that any man ever lifted up the Cross of Christ in a hurtful way. If it isbut the Cross that is seen, it is the sight of the Cross, not of the hands that lift it, that will bring salvation. Some modernmovements are heralded with great noise and some come quietly, but if they glorify Christ, it is well.
But, dear Friends, if it is some new theory that is propounded. If it is some old error revived. If it is something very glitteringand fascinating and, for a while it bears the multitudes away, think nothing of it. Unless it glorifies Christ, it is notfor you and me. "Aliquid Christi," as one of the old fathers said, "Anything of Christ," and I love it! But nothing of Christ,or something against Christ-and it may be very fine and flowery, and it may be very fascinating and charming, highly poetical,and in consonance with the spirit of the age-but we say of it, "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity where there is no Christ!"Where He is lifted up there is all that is needed for the salvation of a guilty race! Judge every move-
ment, then, not by those who adhere to it, nor by those who admire and praise it, but by this Word of our Lord, "He shallglorify Me." The Spirit of God is not in it if it does not glorify Christ!
Once again, Brothers, I pray you, eye this Truth of God when you are under a sense of great weakness-physical, mental, orspiritual. You have finished preaching a sermon, you have completed a round with your tracts, or you have ended your Sundayschool work for another Sabbath. You say to yourself, "I fear that I have done very poorly." You groan as you go to your bedbecause you think that you have not glorified Christ. It is as well that you should groan if that is the case. I will notforbid it, but I will relieve the bitterness of your distress by reminding you that it is the Holy Spirit who is to glorifyChrist-"He shall glorify Me." If I preach and the Holy Spirit is with me, Christ will be glorified! But if I were able tospeak with the tongues of men and of angels, but without the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ would not be glorified. Sometimesour weakness may even help to make way for the greater display of the might of God. If so, we may glory in infirmity, thatthe power of Christ may rest upon us! It is not merely we, who speak, but the Spirit of the Lord who speaks by us.
There is a sound of abundance of rain outside the Tabernacle-would God that there were also the sound of abundance of rainwithin our hearts! May the Holy Spirit come at this moment and come at all times whenever His servants are trying to glorifyChrist-and do, Himself, what must always be His own work! How can you and I glorify anybody, much less glorify Him who isinfinitely glorious? But the Holy Spirit, being, Himself, the glorious God, can glorify the glorious Christ! It is a workworthy of God and it shows us, when we think of it, the absolute need of our crying to the Holy Spirit that He would takeus in His hands and use us as a workman uses his hammer. What can a hammer do without the hand that grasps it? And what canwe do without the Spirit of God?
I will make only one more observation upon this first point. If the Holy Spirit is to glorify Christ, I beg you to have aneye to the Truth of God amid all oppositions, controversies and contentions. If we, alone, had the task of glorifying Christ,we might be beaten. But as the Holy Spirit is the Glorifier of Christ, His Glory is in very safe hands. "Why do the heathenrage, and the people imagine a vain thing?" The Holy Spirit is still to the front! The eternal purpose of God to set His Kingupon the Throne and to make Jesus Christ reign forever and ever must be fulfilled, for the Holy Spirit has undertaken to seeit accomplished! Amidst the surging tumults of the battle, the result of the conflict is never in doubt for a moment! It mayseem as though the fate of Christ's cause hung in a balance and that the scales were in equilibrium, but it is not so. Theglory of Christ never wanes-it must increase from day to day as it is made known in the hearts of men by the Holy Spirit!And the day shall come when Christ's praise shall go up from all human tongues. To Him every knee shall bow and every tongueshall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father! Therefore, lift up the hands that hang down and confirmthe feeble knees. If you have failed to glorify Christ by your speech as you should, there is Another who has done it andwho will still do it, according to Christ's words, "He shall glorify Me." My text seems to be a silver bell, ringing sweetcomfort into the dispirited worker's ears, "He shall glorify Me."
That is the first point-the Holy Spirit is our Lord's Glorifier. Keep that Truth of God before your mind's eye under all circumstances.
II. Now, secondly, CHRIST'S OWN THINGS ARE HIS BEST GLORY. When the Holy Spirit wants to glorify Christ, what does He do?He does not go abroad for anything-He comes to Christ, Himself, for that which will be for Christ's own Glory-"He shall glorifyMe: for He shall take of Mine, and shall show it to you." There can be no Glory added to Christ! It must be His own Glorywhich He has, already, which is made more apparent to the hearts of God's chosen by the Holy Spirit!
First of all, Christ needs no new inventions to glorify Him. "We have struck out a new line of things," says one. Have you?"We have discovered something very wonderful." I dare say you have, but Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever, needsnone of your inventions, or discoveries, or additions to His Truth. A plain Christ is always the loveliest Christ. Dress Himup and you have deformed Him and defamed Him. Bring Him out just as He is-the Christ of God, nothing else but Christ, unlessyou bring in His Cross-for we preach Christ Crucified! Indeed, you cannot have the Christ without the Cross, but preach ChristCrucified and you have given Him all the Glory that He wants. The Holy Spirit does not reveal in these last times any freshordinances, or any novel doctrines, or any new evolutions-He simply brings to mind the things which Christ, Himself, spoke,He brings Christ's own things to us and, in that was, glorifies
Think for a minute of Christ's Person as revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. What can more glorify Him than for us to see HisPerson, very God of very God, and yet as truly Man? What a wondrous Being, as Human as ourselves, but as Divine as God! Wasthere ever another like He? Never!
Think of His Incarnation, His birth at Bethlehem. There was greater Glory among the oxen in the stall than ever was seen wherethose born in marble halls were swathed in purple and fine linen! Was there ever another Baby like Christ? Never! I wondernot that the wise men fell down to worship Him!
Look at His life, the standing wonder of all ages! Men who have not worshipped Him, have admired Him. His life is incomparable,unique-there is nothing like it in all the history of mankind! Imagination has never been able to invent anything approximatingto the perfect beauty of the life of Jesus Christ!
Think of His death. There have been many heroic and martyr deaths, but there is not one that can be set side by side withChrist's death. He did not pay the debt of nature as others do, and yet He paid our nature's debt. He did not die becauseHe must-He died because He would. The only "must" that came upon Him was a necessity of all-conquering love. The Cross ofChrist is the greatest wonder of fact or of fiction! Fiction invents many marvelous things, but nothing that can be lookedat for a moment in comparison with the Cross of Christ!
Think of our Lord's Resurrection. If this is one of the things that are taken and shown to you by the Holy Spirit, it willfill you with holy delight! I am sure that I could go into that sepulcher, where John and Peter went, and spend a lifetimein reverencing Him who broke down the barriers of the tomb and made it a passageway to Heaven. Instead of being a dungeonand a cul-de-sac into which all men seemed to go, but none could ever come out, Christ has, by His Resurrection, made a tunnelright through the grave! Jesus, by dying, has killed death for all Believers!
Then think of His Ascension. But why need I take you over all these scenes with which you are blessedly familiar? What a wondrousfact that when the cloud received Him out of the disciples' sight, the angels came to convoy Him to His heavenly Home!-
"They brought His chariot from above To bear Him to His Throne! Clapped their triumphant wings and cried, 'The glorious workis done.'"
Think of Him, now, at His Father's right hand, adored of all the heavenly host, and then let your mind fly forward to theglory of His Second Advent, the final judgment with its terrible terrors, the millennium with its indescribable bliss andthe Heaven of heavens, with its endless and unparalleled splendor! If these things are shown to you by the Holy Spirit, thebeatific visions will, indeed, glorify Christ, and you will sit down and sing with the blessed Virgin, "My soul does magnifythe Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God, my Savior."
Thus you see that the things which glorify Christ are all in Christ-the Holy Spirit fetches nothing from abroad, but He takesof the things of Christ and shows them to us. The glory of kings lies in their silver and their gold, their silk and theirgems, but the Glory of Christ lies in Himself! If we want to glorify a man, we bring him presents. If we wish to glorify Christ,we must accept presents from Him. Thus we take the cup of salvation, calling upon the name of the Lord, and in so doing weglorify Christ!
Notice, next, that these things of Christ are too bright for us to see till the Spirit shows them to us. We cannot see thembecause of their excessive Glory, until the Holy Spirit tenderly reveals them to us, until He takes of the things of Christand shows them to us.
What does this mean? Does it not mean, first, that He enlightens our understandings? It is wonderful how the Holy Spirit cantake a fool and make him know the wonders of Christ's dying love. And He does make him know it very quickly when He beginsto teach him. Some of us have been very slow learners, yet the Holy Spirit has been able to teach something, even, to us!He opens the Scriptures and He also opens our minds-and when there are these two openings, together, what a wonderful openingit is! It becomes like a new revelation-the first is the revelation of the letter, which we have in the Book-the second isthe revelation of the Spirit, which we get in our own spirit. O my dear Friend, if the Holy Spirit has ever enlightened yourunderstanding, you know what it is for Him to show the things of Christ to you!
But next, He does this by a work upon the whole soul. I mean this. When the Holy Spirit convinces us of sin, we become fittedto see Christ and so the blessed Spirit shows Christ to us. When we are conscious of our feebleness, then we see
Christ's strength, and thus the Holy Spirit shows Him to us. Often, the operations of the Spirit of God may seem not to bedirectly the showing of Christ to us, but as they prepare us for seeing Him, they are a part of the work.
The Holy Spirit sometimes shows Christ to us by His power of vivifying the Truth of God. I do not know whether I can quitetell you what I mean, but I have, sometimes, seen a Truth of God differently from what I have ever seen it before. I knewit long ago, I acknowledged it as part of the Divine Revelation, but now I realize it, grip it, grasp it, or, what is better,it seems to get a grip of me and hold me in its mighty hands! Have you not, sometimes, been overjoyed with a promise whichnever seemed anything to you before? Or a doctrine which you believed, but never fully appreciated, has suddenly become toyou a gem of the first water, a very Kohinoor, or, "Fountain of Light"?
The Holy Spirit has a way of focusing the Light of God and, when it falls in this special way upon a certain point, then theTruth is revealed to us. He shall take of the things of Christ and show them to you. Have you ever felt ready to jump forjoy, ready to jump from your seat, ready to sit up in your bed at night and sing praises to God through the overpowering influenceof some grand old Truth which has seemed to be, at once, quite new to you? The Holy Spirit also shows to us the things ofChrist in our experience. As we journey on in life, we pass up hill and down dale, through bright sunlight and through darkshadows-and in each of these conditions we learn a little more of Christ, a little more of His Grace, a little more of HisGlory, a little more of His sin-bearing, a little more of His glorious righteousness! Blessed is the life which is just onelong lesson upon the Glory of Christ! And I think that is what every Christian life should be. "Every dark and bending line"in our experience should meet in the center of Christ's Glory and should lead us nearer and nearer to the power of enjoyingthe bliss at His right hand forever and ever. Thus the Holy Spirit takes of the things of Christ and shows them to us, andso glorifies Christ.
Beloved, the practical lesson for us to learn is this-let us try to live under the influence of the Holy Spirit. To that end,let us think very reverently of Him. Some never think of Him at all. How many sermons there are without even an allusion toHim! Shame on the preachers of such discourses! If any hearers come without praying for the Holy Spirit, shame on such hearers!We know and we confess that He is everything to our spiritual life-then why do we not remember Him with greater love, worshipHim with greater honor and think of Him continually with greater reverence? Beware of committing the sin against the HolySpirit! If any of you feel any gentle touches of His power when you are hearing a sermon, beware lest you harden your heartagainst it! Whenever the sacred fire comes as but a spark, quench not the Holy Spirit, but pray that the spark may becomea flame.
And you, Christian people, cry to Him that you may not read your Bibles without His light. Do not pray without being helpedby the Spirit. Above all, may you never preach without the Holy Spirit! It seems a pity when a man asks to be guided of theSpirit in His preaching-and then pulls out a manuscript and reads it! The Holy Spirit may bless what he reads, but He cannotvery well guide him when he has tied himself down to what he has written! And it will be the same with the speaker if he onlyrepeats what he has learned and leaves no room for the Spirit to give him a new thought, a fresh Revelation of Christ! Howcan he hope for the Divine blessing under such circumstances? Oh, it were better for us to sit still until some of us weremoved by the Spirit to get up and speak, than for us to prescribe the methods by which He should speak to us and even to writedown the very words we mean to utter! What room is there for the Spirit's operations then-
"Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove," I cannot help breaking out into that prayer, "Blessed Spirit, abide with us! Take of thethings of Christ and show them to us that Christ may be glorified."
III. I am only going to speak a minute or two on the last point. It is a very deep one, much too deep for me. I am unableto take you into the depths of my text, I will not pretend to do so. I believe that there are meanings here which probablywe shall never understand till we get to Heaven. "What you know not now, you shall know hereafter." But this
is the point-CHRIST'S GLORY IS HIS FATHER'S GLORY-"All things that the Father has are Mine: therefore
said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall show it to you."
First, Christ has all that the Father has. Think of that! No mere man dares to say, "All things that the Father has are mine."All the Godhead is in Christ-not only all the attributes of it, but the essence of it. The Nicene Creed well puts it and itis not too strong in the expression: "Light of Light, very God of very God," for Christ has all that the Father has. Whenwe come to Christ, we come to Omnipotent, Omnipresent Omniscience-we come to Almighty Immutability-we
come, in fact, to the eternal Godhead! The Father has all things and all power is given to Christ in Heaven and on earth,so that He has all that the Father has!
And, further, the Father is glorified in Christ's Glory. Never let us fall into the false notion that if we magnify Christ,we are depreciating the Father. If any lips have ever spoken concerning the Christ of God so as to depreciate the God of Christ,let those lips be covered with shame! We never preached Christ as merciful and the Father as only just, or Christ as movingthe Father to be gracious. That is a slander which has been cast upon us, but there is not an atom of truth in it! We haveknown and believed what Christ, Himself, said, "I and My Father are One." The more glorious Christ is, the more glorious theFather is-and when men, professedly Christians, begin to cast off Christ, they cast off God the Father to a large extent.Irreverence to the Son of God soon becomes irreverence to God the Father, Himself! But, dear Friends, we delight to honorChrist, and we will continue to do so. Even when we stand in the Heaven of heavens, before the burning Throne of the InfiniteJehovah, we will sing praises unto Him and unto the Lamb, putting the two evermore in that Divine conjunction in which theyare always to be found!
Thus, you see, Christ has all that the Father has, and when He is glorified, the Father, also, is glorified.
Next, the Holy Spirit must lead us to see this, and I am sure that He will. If we give ourselves up to His teaching, we shallfall into no errors. It will be a great mystery, but we shall know enough so that it will never trouble us. If you sit downand try to study the mystery of the Eternal-well, I believe that the longer you look, the more you will be like persons wholook into the sea from a great height, until they grow dizzy, and are ready to fall and to be drowned. Believe what the Spiritteaches you and adore your Divine Teacher-then shall His instruction become easy to you. I believe that as we grow older,we come to worship God as Abraham did, as Jehovah, the great I AM. Jesus does not fade into the background, but the gloriousGodhead seems to become more and more apparent to us. Our Lord's Word to His disciples, "You believe in God, believe alsoin Me," as we grow older, seems to turn into this, "You believe in Me, believe also in God." And as we come to a full confidencein the glorious Lord, the God of Nature, and of Providence, and of Redemption, and of Heaven, the Holy Spirit gives us toknow more of the glories of Christ!
I have talked with you as well as I could upon this sublime theme and if I did not know that the Holy Spirit glorifies Christ,I would go home miserable, for I have not been able to glorify my Lord as I would. But I know that the Holy Spirit can takewhat I have said out of my very heart and can put it into your hearts-and He can add to it whatever I have omitted. Go, youwho love the Lord, and glorify Him! Try to do it by your lips and by your lives. Go and preach Him, preach more of Him, andpreach Him up higher, and higher, and higher!
An old lady, of whom I have heard, made a mistake in what she said, yet there was a Truth behind her blunder. She had beento a little Baptist Chapel where a high Calvinist preached and, on coming away she said that she liked "High Calvary" preachersbest. So do I! Give me a "High Calvary" preacher-one who will make Calvary the highest of all the mountains! I suppose itwas not a hill at all, but only a mound. Still, let us lift it higher and higher, and say to all other hills, "Why leap you,you high hills? This is the hill which God desires to dwell in! Yes, the Lord will dwell in it forever." The Crucified Christis wiser than all the wisdom of the world! The Cross of Christ has more novelty in it than all the fresh things of the earth!O Believers and preachers of the Gospel, glorify Christ! May the Holy Spirit help you to do so!
And you, poor Sinners, who think that you cannot glorify Christ at all, come and trust Him-
"Come naked, come filthy come just as you are," and believe that He will receive you, for that will glorify Him! Believe,even now, O Sinner at death's door, that Christ can make you live, and your faith will glorify Him! Look up out of the awfuldepths of Hell into which conscience has cast you and believe that He can pluck you out of the horrible pit, and out of themiry clay and set your feet upon a rock, and your trust will glorify Him! It is in the power of the sinner to give Christthe greatest Glory, if the Holy Spirit enables him to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. You may come, you who are more leprous,more diseased, more corrupt than any other! And if you look to Him and He saves you, oh, then you will praise Him!
You will be of the mind of the one I have spoken of many times, who said to me, "Sir, you say that Christ can save me? Well,if He does, He shall never hear the last of it." No, and He never will hear the last of it! Blessed Jesus-
"I will love You in life, I will love You in death And praise You as long as You lend me breath; And say when the death-dewlies cold on my brow, If ever I loved You, my Jesus, 'tis now!
In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I'll ever adore You in Heaven so bright.
I'll sing with the glittering crown on my brow,
If ever I loved You, my Jesus, 'tis now." We will do nothing else but praise Christ and glorify Him, if He will but save usfrom sin! God grant that it may be so with all of us, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: John 16:1-16.
Verse 1. These things have I spoken unto you, that you should not be offended. Or, "made to stumble." Christ would not haveyou who are His people caused to stumble by anything that happens to you. He wants you to walk without tripping. His angelsbear you up in their hands lest at any time you should dash your foot against a stone. He, Himself, as your Guardian, comesand speaks beforehand to let you know what is to occur to you, that you may not be caused to stumble by any fresh trial thatmay assail you.
2. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yes, the time comes, that whoever kills you will think that he does God service.Christ's disciples were to expect opposition of the most cruel kind. They were to be put away from those with whom they hadlong worshipped. They were even to run the risk of losing their lives, but Jesus foretold what would happen to them, thatthey might not be stumbled at it. Such was their Lord's love to them that He would not have them attacked unawares. By HisGrace they would hold on and hold out-they would persevere to the end, but there would have to be a struggle-and to help themin the fight, Jesus tells them all about it before it begins. We say, "Forewarned, forearmed." So the disciples were, andso are you. Your Lord tells you that you will not get to Heaven without trials-"In the world you shall have tribulation."And He tells you this that it may not surprise you when it comes-that it may not act upon you like a sudden gust of wind thatwould upset a little ship-but that you may just keep everything in trim looking for the storm to come. "These things haveI spoken unto you, that you should not be caused to stumble."
3. And these things will they do unto you because they have not known the Father, nor Me. The persecuting Jews professed tobe worshippers of Jehovah, but they did not know the Christ, whom He sent and, therefore, in very truth they did not knowthe Father, either. How can you expect that those who do not know the Father will know the Son, or any of the other childrenof the Divine family? As they rejected the Elder Brother, will they not, also, reject the younger ones? Is the disciple tobe above his Master, or the servant to be treated better than his Lord? Think not so and, therefore, expect that you willnot be known, even as the Father and the Son were not known-
"'Tis no surprising thing
That we should be unknown!
The Jewish world knew not their King,
God's everlasting 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 thingsI said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. Our Lord did tell His disciples something about, "these things."He warned them to expect opposition, but He did not dwell upon that theme. He did not expatiate upon it. He did not, at first,give that prominence to it which He was about to do, and He explains to His disciples why He had not talked much upon thattopic-"because I was with you." It did not matter how they were opposed so long as He was with them. His society more thanmade up for anything they might have to suffer and, dear child of God, if you now enjoy the Presence of Christ, and the powerof His Spirit, you need not mind what happens to you!
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 thesethings unto you, sorrow has filled your heart. They were cast down because He was going away from them. Love awoke fear. Itwas a hard thing for them to have to miss Him-they could not tell what might happen to them when their Leader was gone fromtheir midst. Do you wonder that they were filled with sorrow? Yet there was no real cause for grief-there was, rather, reasonfor rejoicing when they understood the true lesson of Christ's departure! There is no real cause for your sorrow, dear Friends.If you knew all things, you would rejoice exceedingly in that very thing that now most troubles you.
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 notcome to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And the Comforter is better for us than the personal Presence of Christ!We do not always think so, but it is true. It is better for the Church to have the Holy Spirit in the midst of her than forChrist to be here in His bodily Presence on the earth.
8. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement. The world is not as yetconvinced, but it is convicted-though it does not acknowledge its guilt-there is more than sufficient evidence to prove itguilty in the sight of God.
9. Of sin, because they believe not on Me. What must be the depth of human wickedness that sinners will not accept a DivineSavior? This is the crowning, crushing proof of human guilt-"They believe not on Me."
10. Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and you see Me no more. Christ was righteous, the Righteous One, whom menrejected, for He has gone up to the Father's side, where He could not have been if He had not perfected righteousness. Thevery going back of Christ to the Father's Throne proves that righteousness does exist and convicts men of sinning againstit!
11. Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. The Gospel judges him and dethrones him and, as there has beena judgment of the world's king, so there will be a judgment of the world, itself.
12. I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. Some teachers overload their hearers with the Truthof God till, I might truly say, that they pile on the agony. Truth which cannot be received is often most irksome and burdensometo the hearer. When the mind is not in a fit condition to bear any more instruction, it is cruel work to impose it. Our LordJesus did not so overburden His disciples-"I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now."
13. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth: for He shall not speak of Himself. Thisis a very wonderful expression-"He shall not speak of Himself." We have plenty of men, nowadays, who boast that they do speakof or from themselves-that is to say, they profess to borrow from no one, not even from God! They are original thinkers, inventors!They bring forth fresh things out of the depth of their wonderful minds. But even the Holy Spirit is, here, said not to "speakof Himself."
13. But whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak. That is just our business-to hear God's message and then to speak it-andif the Holy Spirit does this and if Jesus did it, we may also be glad to do the same! We are no inventors of great novelties-weare simply the bearers of the message of the Most High, the declarers of the old Truths of God which God has revealed to us.
13-16. And He will show you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall take of Mine, and shall show it to you. Allthings 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. How wonderful thisis! We are to see Jesus because He has gone to the Father! It looks as if that were a reason why we should not see Him, butwe see Him better, by faith, now that He has gone to the Father, than we could have seen Him while He was here below coveredwith the veil of His humiliation! Yet it is hardly surprising that the disciples were puzzled by their Lord's words- "A littlewhile, and you shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and you shall see Me." And, "Because I go to the Father."