And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
I. THE ASSURANCE OF A NEARER RELATION TO THE DIVINE BEING CONVEYED BY THIS PROMISE. The indwelling of the Spirit is declared to be a mere metaphor, as when we say of a philosopher, there is in him the soul of science; or of a poet, that he has the spirit of song. The disciples at this time needed comfort, they were about to lose the support of their Master's personal presence. What mockery to have been told that they should be so inspirited with truth as to compensate them abundantly for all their loss. A literal indwelling, then, being contended for, notice some of the included blessings.
1. It is a standing pledge of the Divine presence and protection. The Divine Spirit dwelling in us is God Himself coming back to that temple. He had dwelt in it once before; but this once living temple lost its purity, and in that same hour lost the presence of God. The rebuilding of this temple, the preparatory step for bringing back God to His forsaken sanctuary, was the awful mystery of the Incarnation. By this one act the human nature became an honoured and noble thing. Through the power of the Spirit it had enshrined Godhead. The indwelling of the Spirit is an abiding pledge of restored and continuing confidence between God and man.
2. It is the vital principle of union betwixt Christ and His people. Our being made one in Christ is one of the great junction facts of the Gospel system. It connects the sinner with his hope, the elect with the covenant, and both originates and effects that vital relation to God which brings the faithful within the reach of the mediatorial designs and purposes. The Spirit initiates that union, for "by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body." He assures us of the union remaining unbroken, "Thereby we know that Christ abideth in us by the Spirit which He hath given us" (Romans 8:11). "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."
II. THE PERMANENT INFLUENCE PROMISED AS IT BEARS UPON OUR HAPPINESS AND ADVANCEMENT IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.
1. It assures to us a constant supply of enlightening and directing influences. "He will guide you into all truth." He enlarges the range of our spiritual knowledge, and reveals, as if by a new spiritual sense, the great mystery of godliness.
2. It influences the moral affections also. This imparted life makes the heart to burn, while it opens the understanding.
3. It gives to all our services a filial and loving character — "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage," etc. There is a service which is not happy. It may be sincere, and earnest, and costly, and self-denying; but it is the service not of a son, but of a bondsman. The Spirit in us changes constraint into cheerfulness and duty into happiness, and the restless activities of a self-devised worship into a calm repose and a commanded and accepted sacrifice.
(D. Moore, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;