Bible study reading
Please prayerfully read through the following portions of ministry related to this lesson.
If we are clear about John 14 and 15 [see Lessons 15, 16, and 17], it will be easy to understand John 16.
These three chapters of the Gospel of John simply reveal what God’s economy really is to us: it is the Father in the Son as the Spirit coming into us and mingling Himself with us. This basic principle needs to be repeated again and again until we are deeply impressed. (Life-study of John, msg. 36, section 1)
Chapter fourteen is on the mutual abode, chapter fifteen is on the organism, and chapter sixteen is a supplement to chapters fourteen and fifteen. In this supplementary chapter we have the work of the Spirit unto the mingling of divinity with humanity. This means that the work of the Spirit results in the mingling of divinity with humanity. We saw this mingling already in chapter fourteen where the mingling eventually became the mutual abode. This mutual abode is an organism, the Body of Christ, with Christ growing in the divine life to express the Father. This is the organism revealed in chapter fifteen. Chapter sixteen tells us how the mingling of divinity with humanity can take place. It happens through the work of the Holy Spirit. First, this work of the Spirit is to convict sinners that they may believe in Christ and be translated out of Adam into Christ. Second, it is to reveal Christ with the fullness of the Father to all of these translated believers that they might be edified, built up, with all the fullness of the Godhead in order to express the Triune God and to glorify the Son with the Father. (Life-study of John, msg. 37, section 5)
The Spirit is the reality of all that the Father and the Son are. Without the Spirit there is the essence of what the Father and Son are, but there is no realization. Take the example of electricity. Although we may have electricity, it still needs to be applied for a specific purpose. That application of electricity is the realization of the electricity. Likewise, the Spirit is the application of all that the Father and the Son are. Without the Spirit as the realization and application, everything may be real, but it is not available or applicable. If we would apply all that God and Christ are, we need the Spirit. We must praise the Lord that today He is not only the Father and the Son but also the Spirit. He is not only the source and the course but also the application. The Spirit reaches us, entering into us and applying all that we need of the Father and the Son. This is wonderful.
Let us take the example of humility. No one is born humble...What is humility? Humility is Christ. Christ is the reality of every human virtue and every divine attribute. All the human virtues and all the divine attributes are simply Christ Himself. In a good and positive sense, Christ is everything. He is humility, love, patience, and submission. Outside of Him nothing, including us, is good. Every virtue and every attribute is Christ. How does the Spirit glorify Christ? He glorifies Christ by revealing Him item by item. For instance, in all that Christ is, there is an item called humility. One day the Spirit reveals Christ to you as your humility. This is not a doctrine of humility; it is the living person of Christ revealed to you as humility. Spontaneously, a living humility will come out of you. That is the glorification of Christ. (Life-study of John, msg. 37, section 2)