The Witnessing Spirit And The Witnessed Christ -- By: John McNaugher

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 088:350 (Apr 1931)
Article: The Witnessing Spirit And The Witnessed Christ
Author: John McNaugher


The Witnessing Spirit And The Witnessed Christ

John McNaugher

When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall bear witness of Me.”

John 15:26.

The fortunes of Jesus were at lowest ebb. Gethsemane was a matter of minutes, Calvary of hours. Yet in the Upper Room, the night before the Cross, Sovereignty spoke. To the forlorn eleven, in words heavy with authority, Jesus said: “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall bear witness of Me.” How was that exalted sentence born? Out of the valley of the shadow had the speaker been caught up to the third heaven and visioned Himself clothed with kingly power, pledging the gift of the Holy Spirit? Of this there is no trace. The answer lies within the secret of His person, within the unity of His divine being and His humanity, a mystery never to be explored. Though conditioned by His incarnate state, the Eternal Son of God identified Himself by many proofs. In this instance, while He sensed the terrible tide of things surging round Him, while He sensed the crushing experiences that lay ahead, unperplexed and undismayed He looked over the rim of this world’s horizon with an eye that pierced His own future and that of His kingdom. So it was that, with His thoughts lifted to the level of His coming enthronement, He calmly advised the disciples of the first action in the program of the skies which He proposed following: “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall bear witness of Me.” Passing the problem of our Lord’s self consciousness, and dwelling on His vital announcement, our attention is directed to the Witnessing Spirit and the Witnessed Christ.

Who is this Spirit of Witness, with His infinite responsibility? Is He equal to the untold duty assigned Him?

None tout those tarred with the brush of Unitarianism hesitate in placing the Holy Spirit within the Tri-personal Godhead of revelation. In the study of the Trinity we are aware that what is known leaves us only in the borderland, the outskirts, of the interior facts of the divine essence. Much is hidden. But, whatever our need of cautious reserve, it is laid bare that Scripture affirms a fellowship of three Persons or Subsistences in one undivided Godhead, affirms the essential social nature of God within the compass of His absolute Self. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in mutual relationships, each discharging Hi...

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