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witness; He witnessed to them of the truth of what Jesus had said—viz., “I go to my Father, and if I go, I will send the Comforter.” So when the Spirit came, He was a witness that Jesus had gone to the Father. He is, in fact, the great witness we have down here that Jesus has, in reality, gone to, and has been received by, His Father. How else, after such promise, do we know that He went to His Father ? We cannot see inside the gates of Paradise ; but this we know, Jesus had said, “If I depart, I will send the Comforter.” The Comforter came ; and when He came, He was a witness that Jesus had gone to the Father, that the atonement was accepted, that complete and perfect satisfaction for our sins had been made, and that now, in righteousness, along with Christ,
we have liberty to enter into the holiest by His blood,” as He said, He shall convince you of righ
, teousness, because I go to my Father. The fact that we have the Spirit, shows that He is now with the Father; but He could not be there, except in righteousness. The Spirit tells us He is there, therefore in righteous
But further, He came as an unction. In the Levitical dispensation the most beautiful spices, myrrh, cinnamon, and cassia were bruised, and mixed together with oil, to form a holy anointing oil, which, when made, was poured on Aaron's head and came down to the very skirts of his garments, and the perfume, or pleasure--shall I say joy-filled the place. Witness the joy of Pentecost when the Spirit, the unction from the Head, came down on the members. They, the saints, were filled with joy, so much so that it was said, “ They were full of new wine.” They had the anointing of the Head flowing down on, and into the newly formed body of the
Church ; they had the Holy Ghost, the promise of the Father, the Paraclete. He came as a guest.
He who then came to the
body, now dwells in the body. It is not to say, He may dwell in it; He does dwell in it. Any new member added to the body makes no difference. Raise a house (to change the metaphor) another story higher, it is the same life. dwelling in it. Each stone conscious, or not, is but part of the habitation for the same life. So with the Spirit and the Church. If the body be of a thousand, or of a thousand million members, it is all the same. They are the habitation of God through the Spirit. He dwells in Christ, and in them. The Head and body form one new man.
The Spirit it is who brings the fulness of the Head down into the body.
He came as a seal, God putting His own mark on the young Church, as if to say, This is the body of Christ; these are members, of which He is Head. It was God owning the Church, setting His own seal on it. Says Paul, “ Ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise;" and again, speaking of the Spirit, “ Whereby ye are sealed to the day of redemption."
And further : He came as a Teacher. " He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance;" and truly, He had much, through the word, to reveal; as Paul says, “ Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him; but God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” The deep thingsChrist for us and in us, the gift of God's eternal and unchangeable love to us as sinners; His love as Father, loving us with the same love with which, from eternity, He has loved His Son; God's estimate of sin, its evil, its doom, as seen in the cross ; God Himself, as seen in the death of His Son ; His grace, holiness, justice, love; our own rank as sons and heirs, our inheritance with Christ, our hope of coming glory. What things are these ! how deep, how vast! It is the Spirit who teaches them to us, else had we never known them. The natural
eye never sees them, the natural ear never hears them. It is by these He sanctifies—“ Sanctify them through Thy truth, Thy word is truth.” Especially was He to be a Comforter-another Comforter. The Lord Himself had been a Comforter. Oh, that I could transport you to that evening when Martha and Mary walked back to their home in Bethany with Lazarus, their own risen one, with them. Methinks they scarcely knew how to break the silence of their astonished minds, or, that silence, once broken, cease to tell of what the Lord had done. But whether did the risen Lazarus or the truth afford the greatest joy. Said Jesus, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” Perchance, as they retired to some one room of their blest home together, they said, “ Was there ever such a Comforter ! Such words! Such deeds! Wonderful that He ever made our house His resting place-our hearts His solace. What a Saviour! Death, the grave, corruption, all as nothing to Him.". It was the same with the homes of Jairus and the Nain widow, and many others; they never could forget His grace and love, never fail to call Him Comforter. How especially did His disciples know Him as one who comforted them. How they felt it when He was about to leave them, and gathered around Him after His resurrection ; at one time five hundred brethren at once. They had gathered specially to look on Him who had been dead; they identified their risen Lord. How the imagination
. might look on those five hundred, and ask who they were. There might have been such as Bartimeus, whose eyes He had opened, and the young man of Nain, who had been raised from the dead, and the living daughter of Jairus, and Mary Magdalene, out
of whom He had cast seven devils, and others whose names we may yet know in that home which for us and them He is gone to prepare. Delightful will it be there to rehearse the deeds, the wondrous, tender deeds of solace and salvation, strewn so plentifully along the earthly pathway of our incarnate Lord. It is by the truth the Holy Ghost comforts; by the truth He furnishes His dwelling in the believing soul with peace and rest, with assurance and joy, with holiness and hope. He reveals the blood, and we have peace; He reveals the blood as having been taken into the holiest for us, and we have boldness to enter; He reveals the promise of the coming of the Lord, of resurrection and life, and we have a hope full of glory.
Many other things does the Spirit of God who is in us. He leads us- -“ As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God;" He helps us- -" The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities, for we know not what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit maketh intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered." Hence, it is He who leads us from sin and self into Christ; it is He who leads us into all the fulness there is for us in Christ. It is He who helps us in our walk with God-gives knowledge, fellowship, rest, peace. It is He who gives us to groan. We groan for God, for more and more of God Himself. We groan for Christ, for holiness, for heaven. We groan against sin. We groan in our utter loathing of our own downfalls into sin, and loss of life, and power, and grace, in our fellowship and walk with God. Alas! what else is our life, some of
us, “ groan”? For who knows God as we might? or the Lord ? or holiness ? or love?-His own love-blessed ONE !
Oh! I am weary of my love,
That groan, sweet Spirit, is from Thee,
We have thus seen the need there was for the promise of the Father. Let us again inquire as to the scene of His operations. Speaking generally, the Spirit is in the Church, which is Christ's body; but more particularly, He is in every believer, whether that believer knows it or not. Jesus said, “He shall be in you ;" that is, God the Holy Ghost shall be in you—in you as an actual living presence, which He has been for the last eighteen centuries, dwelling in all the redeemed members which compose the body, of which the Lord Jesus is the Head. Oh ! let us think of this, and
what manner of persons ought we to be, since the Holy Spirit of God has indeed taken up His abode in us. What a wonderful indwelling! and yet how little valued or even thought of. Many, as we have said, are praying that the Holy Ghost may come down. Why, beloved, He has come down; and ever since Pentecost He has been in the Church, quickening, purifying and comforting, or, alas, hindered and grieved. * Know ye not that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost ?” Oh! did the saints but really know it, really believe it—what a practical Christianity it would give. Could I do a disgraceful act, having within me the Spirit of God? Could I defile the temple of God? Ah! beloved, we have spoken of being one with Jesus—of our association with Jesus—and that is a wondrous truth; but I now speak of a truth scarcely less wondrous—namely, that we are dwelt in by the Holy Spirit of God. Ob, to have Him in us an ungrieved Spirit! For how indulge in evil ? how take pleasure in sin? or how yield to pride or levity ? Beloved, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Ah, how