Friday, November 02, 2018

The Vision (11.2.18): The Ministry of the Comforter

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on John 14:22-27.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:26).

Christ promises his disciples that the Spirit will be sent by the Father in his name (v. 26). Christians in East and West have differed over whether the Spirit proceeds from the Father alone (the East) or from the Father and the Son (West).

This verse is very important for teaching us about the ministry of the Holy Spirit in “this present evil world” (as Paul names it in Gal 1:4) and also about the inspiration of the Scriptures.

First, Christ promises the apostles that the Holy Spirit would teach them all things.

The Spirit is the primary Teacher of the church. The Spirit is the primary Preacher of the church. He is the great Instructor, Exhorter, Proclaimer, who stands behind every ordinary officer.

Calvin calls the Spirit “the inward Teacher,” noting that “outward preaching will be vain and useless, if it be not accompanied by the teaching of the Spirit.” He explains:

God has therefore two ways of teaching; for first, he sounds in our ears by the mouth of men; and secondly, he addresses us inwardly by his Spirit; and he does this either at the same moment, or at different times, as he thinks fit.

Second, Christ promises the apostles that the Spirit will bring to their remembrance all the things that Christ had said unto them.

This is key to understanding the inspiration and infallibility of Scripture. The apostles would be the men entrusted with the writing down of the Gospels (cf. “the apostles’ doctrine” in Acts 2:42). They recorded the commandments of Jesus, which we must obey. Paul says that all scripture is given “by inspiration of God” (1 Tim 3:16). Peter says that the “holy men of God” who wrote the Scriptures were “moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).

The Bible is not a book that can be explained merely on naturalistic terms. How could the evangelists perfectly record all the things that Christ said? Because the Holy Spirit was bringing this into the remembrance of the inspired penmen. The Bible is a supernatural work.

The Lord has not left us comfortless in this age. He has sent to us the Comforter to teach us and to bring to our remembrance the words of Christ.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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