The Spirit and the World -- By: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 05:2 (Winter 1996)
Article: The Spirit and the World
Author: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.


The Spirit and the World

S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.1

An Exposition of John 16: 5–11

Introduction

The Lord Jesus has been speaking of His departure from the Eleven and the resulting persecution they may expect from the world. It is, therefore, natural that He should turn to a consideration of their resources in the coming struggles. And while they may expect to find some support from His comfort of them in their dread and despair, it is in the ministry of the Holy Spirit that their greatest support will be found.

His words confirm the contention of many Bible teachers that the present age may in a very true sense be called the age of the Holy Spirit His ministry comes into special focus in the age that was inaugurated by the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (cf. John 14:16–17; Acts 1:5; 2:1–13).

But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged (John 16:5–11).

The Spirit Concerning Christ

Their Concern over the future (John 16:5-6; cf. 13:36)

Our Lord continues His discourse with the words, “But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart” (vv. 5–6). One might think that the question of Peter in 13:36 and the words of Thomas in 14:5 would be sufficient to indicate an interest in His departure. How can He now say, “none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?” The present tense in the verb “asketh,” however, probably refers to the immediate reaction to His present words. They are not asking Him now, “Whither goest thou?” Further, the other questions were asked selfishly, because t...

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