The Promise of the Paraclete -- By: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 03:1 (Summer 1994)
Article: The Promise of the Paraclete
Author: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.


The Promise of the Paraclete

S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.1

An Exposition of John 14:12–21

Introduction

In evangelical circles there is a suspicion on the part of many that there is no longer a strong desire in many hearts to “follow on to know the Lord,” to use the prophet Hosea’s expression (cf. Hos. 6:3). The general tenor of spiritual life concerns itself with such topics as the family, problems of physical relationships, the questions surrounding divorce and remarriage, and similar things. These are serious questions in our modern society, but they are secondary and peripheral to the center of the faith, the great doctrines of the Word of God. The secondaries seem attractive and entertaining, while the primaries seem heavy and foreboding; and that is rather sad.

In one of Andrew Murray’s books, he writes:

In olden times believers met God, knew Him, walked with Him, and had the clear and full consciousness that they had dealings with the God of heaven, and had, too, through faith, the assurance that they and their lives were well-pleasing to Him.2

Our evangelical churches would be much stronger if they had the same longings and desires.

One of the topics that is proving troublesome for the church today is that of the Holy Spirit. In fact, one gets the impression at times that the condition of many in the church is quite similar to the disciples of John the Baptist that Paul encountered in Ephesus. The apostle sensed that something was missing in their lives and in their testimonies. He asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they replied, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit” (or, “whether the Holy Spirit has been given”; NASB, Acts 19:2). Here were men who had been disciples of John, but they were lacking something. Here were men who had been baptized in water, and yet they were missing something. Here were men who had repented, the essence of John’s message, and they still lacked the vitality of the Christian life, given only through the permanently indwelling Holy Spirit. The apostle went on to acquaint them with the progress of the divine program, explaining no doubt both the cross and Pentecost. He then laid hands upon them, and they received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues that they had not previously been taught. They had entered into the fullness of the Spirit and ...

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