And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
(text and John 3:16): — It is a much overlooked, but nevertheless true, fact that the Divine love is as much displayed in the gift of the Spirit as in the gift of the Son.
I. THE SPIRIT IS AS INTRINSICALLY GREAT AS THE SON. The same attributes, prerogatives, words belong to both.
II. THE SPIRIT IS AS ACTIVELY ENGAGED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WORLD AS THE SON. Did He not strive with the old world? Did He not inspire the prophets, etc.? Has there ever been a soul regenerated without His agency? Has there ever been a conscience that He has not touched? In every solemn thought and expression is He not working?
III. THE SPIRIT HAS BEEN AS WICKEDLY TREATED BY THE WORLD AS THE SON. The people of Judaea alone personally ill-treated Christ; the population of the whole world "do always resist the Spirit." About thirty-three years measured the period of the Saviour's personal ill-treatment, but that of the Spirit extends over well-nigh twice that number of centuries.
IV. THE SPIRIT IS AS NECESSARY TO MANKIND AS THE SON. Two things are necessary to man's salvation: deliverance from the guilt, and from the power of sin. Christ was necessary for the first, the Spirit for the second. It is said that man wants nothing but sufficient evidence and the free use of his faculties to believe.
1. But there are circumstances antagonistic to faith which need to be removed. There is —
(1) Moral habit. The habits contracted by most, before the gospel comes fairly under attention, are such that the whole tenor of its truths condemn, and when assailed marshal every power of the soul to their defence.
(2) Servile fear. The man who feels that he is hastening to insolvency is frequently reluctant to go into his accounts. Nothing but sheer urgency will induce him to open his ledger. Is there not something similar to this in a man's soul in relation to the Bible. Often has conscience whispered that a fearful debt has been contracted, and that there is nothing to pay, and the Bible which confirms that is shunned.
(3) Social influence.
(4) Satanic agency. "The god of this world blindeth the eyes of men."
2. All this being true, the Spirit is necessary, in a sense, apart from truth, and apart from His dwelling in the truth. He is a personal power, using the truth and making it effective in the minds and hearts of men.
(D. Thomas, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;