in John's Gospel -- Part 20
The Divine Visitor
By: A.J. Higgins, M.D.
On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong and Ed Aldrin from
Apollo 11 touched down on the moon. Mankind had finally
visited one of those barren globes that circle our
world. The president of the U.S.A. labeled it the
"greatest week in the history of the world since
the creation." A more perceptive although less
publicized voice on earth representing the minorities
questioned "why such an enterprise could not
liberate the poor on earth".
surpassing the wonder and the importance of man visiting
outer space is the wonder of God visiting our earth.
Our Old Testament records show that in an
outwardly unattractive Tabernacle amid the wandering
children of Israel. God took up
Far surpassing the
wonder... man visiting... space is the wonder of
God visiting our earth.
residence. The four
gospel writers who introduce our New Testament tell us
of the momentous occasion when the Son of God, Immanuel,
dwelt amongst us. The present age however is
characterized by the residency of the Spirit of God.
This is the subject of John 16 which is before us.
The chapter contains truth for all. It shows the
Persecution of the Saved (vs. 1-6), The Purpose of the
Spirit (vs. 7-15), the Period of Sorrow (vs. 16-22),
Prayer that Succeeds (vs. 23-27), and Peace that
Stabilizes (vs. 28-33).
purposes will be satisfied by looking just at the
section dealing with the Purpose of the Spirit of God
(vs. 7-15). A careful reading of these verses
reveals that His presence on earth today is for three
important functions: He is the Convictor of the world,
the Companion of believers and the Communicator of
Lord Jesus revealed these truths to His disciples in the
upper room, as He spoke to prepare them for His absence.
The conversion of the world was not a task they could or
would accomplish on their own. A Divine visitor would be
sent to work
He (The Spirit) is
the Convictor of the world, the Companion of believers
and the Communicator of Truth
with them. Now mark well
that His first task would not be to comfort the world or
unify the world. His first and great work would be to
convict the world. The Lord Jesus further revealed that
His work would all be in the realm of manís
conscience. He would convict of sin, righteousness and
judgment. I doubt if there are any three subjects that
are less attractive to men to consider, yet this is very
sphere of the Spiritís work.
has fallen out of fashion with modern man. We have
replaced the word with softer, more acceptable phrases
such as "social ill", "lapses",
"peer pressure" and a myriad of others. The
Bible does not deny that such things exist. It does
however see them as only the symptom, not the disease.
The great problem at the heart of all is what the Bible
calls sin. It is painted in humbling, sobering tones. It
began in Edenís garden and will culminate in the great
Man of Sin who will one day burst upon the world stage.
In between these two great events it has infected and
permeated every heart and life. It is what now blinds
man to God, blights manís life and peace; it will one
day banish man from God and bury him forever beneath the
judgment of God. This is why the Spirit of God has come.
He is here to warn men and convict him of sin so that he
might find Godís remedy.
recorded in vs. 10 that He convicts of righteousness
because Christ has ascended to heaven. Now at first
there might seem little connection between these two
statements. But the resurrection and ascension of Christ
have established that there is an ultimate standard of
righteousness. Man put Christ upon a cross. While God
used this occasion to work out His purposes of
redemption through the shed blood of Christ, from a
human standpoint wrong was triumphing and justice was
overridden. The resurrection proved that God had not
abandoned the universe; moral order still exists as
attested to by the resurrection. Man may believe in
relative moral values, but Godís absolute standard
verse also tells us that the Spirit of God convicts of
judgment. Nothing is so foreign to our ears as to hear
that we as men accountable to God must face Divine
judgment. To think that we are on a collision course
with God is unthinkable. The Bible however makes clear
that this is the course of every man by nature.
In light of
manís sin, Godís unalterable righteous standard, and
the judgment that must of necessity overtake us, God has
sent His Son into the world "not to condemn the
world, but that the world through Him might be
saved" John 3.17. The sin that would condemn us God
has made provision for through the death of His Son. The
judgment that we face in our sin can be avoided because
verily I say unto you, He that heareth My word and
believeth God that sent Me, hath everlasting life,
and shall not come into judgment but is passed from
death unto life." John 5:24.