Vol. 10 — No. 21 May 25, 1969
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all th1ngs, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
During the past weeks we have been meditating on the victorious life in Christ Jesus. God chose us in eternity before the foundation of the world, that we should be made acceptable in His sight through the blood-covering of His beloved Son. We were called unto faith through the Gospel. That Gospel declared unto us the “light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
Through His holy law God made known unto us our selfishness and our selfwilled departure from the right way before our Creator and Preserver God. “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (I Cor.1:31) But Christ Jesus, the beloved Son of God, was made flesh and became our Substitute under the law and its condemnation. By His perfect obedience and by His perfect payment for our guilt we are declared free and acceptable in God’s sight. He “is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (I Cor. 1:30.)
Through this Gospel we were made alive, we were transferred from the Kingdom of the devil into the Kingdom of Christ. By this Gospel we were changed from sinners into saints in the eyes of God. By this Gospel we were made branches on the true vine, so that now we produce good works in stead of the unfruitful works of darkness. The Gospel has changed us from being slaves of sin to slaves of righteousness. So St. Paul writes the Romans, chapter 6, verses 19 to 23: “I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become Servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
How important it is that we let no one rob us of this Gospel! We were made inheritors of all spiritual blessings in Christ through the written Word of God. Today let us emphasize:
Our text declares: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name He shall teach you all things…”
In His high-priestly prayer (John 17) shortly before His death on the Cross Jesus declared: “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world…they have kept thy Word,” (v.6) and, “I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me,” (v.8) and, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (v.17)
The Word and words of God transmitted by Jesus unto the Apostles now became “their word” also, which they were commanded to teach unto all men. Thus Jesus prayed: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” (v.20)
“O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. (v. 25-26)
We speak of “natural things”, that is, things that are or take place in accordance with the laws of nature. Even these so-called natural phenomena are part of the miraculous power of the Creator God. Yet a Special kind of power was exercised by God’s Holy—3 Spirit in preserving unto us the truth of God.
For example, even before the writing of the New Testament record the enemies of God’s Gospel attempted to silence the Apostles. God promised for such times to send Christ’s Spirit, the Comforter. “But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.” (Mark 13:11.) And, “And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.” (Luke 21:13-15.)
The fulness of the presence of the Holy Spirit was promised unto the Apostles, who were waiting to begin their public ministry after His ascension into heaven. Jesus had promised: “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” On the fiftieth day after His resurrection “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4.)
Though the Apostles were mere “Galileans” and not trained theologians, they were able to apply Old Testament words to crush proud sinners and to preach the life-giving message of redemption in Christ Jesus. They were able to demonstrate from the Old Testament prophecies that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed God’s Son and the promised Messiah of the world.
The multilingual audience was amazed at the linguistic miracle which they heard with their own ears: “And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” (Acts 2:8.) Surely, God has preserved unto us His Word in a most miraculous manner!
In order to preserve the Apostles from any error in their oral teaching and in their writing of the Gospels and Epistles, the Savior promised to give them His Spirit.
“He shall teach you all things…” our text reads.
Any doctrinal matter which might have caused any one of the Apostles difficulty (humanly speaking) was solved for him by the Teacher from heaven, the Holy Spirit. This assistance was also granted unto those chosen by God later, namely, the Evangelists Mark and Luke and the Apostle Paul.
Is it any wonder that the holy writers expressed such confidence in the divine character of their writings? For example, the Apostle Peter writes: “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass, The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away; But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” (I Pet. 1:24-25.) And, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (II Pet. 1:19-21.) With similar confidence the Apostle Paul wrote: “And my speech any my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory; which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (I Cor. 2:4-13.)
And how could Matthew or John, in writing their Gospels, remember correctly all the many things which they recorded of Jesus’ saying? Because of the divine assurance and because the Holy Spirit fulfilled His assigned task: “and (shall) bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Thus did God and His Only-Begotten Son preserve for you an error-less record of the divine wisdom for your soul’s salvation.
There are many teachers of religion and even many highly respected theologians who would lead you astray by teaching you their own wisdom or their own interpretation of Certain portions only of the Bible. If any man tells you that the Bible contains errors, or legends, or folklore be forewarned and beware! They speak not in accord with our Lord Jesus! “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (‘utterances’, ‘statements’) of God…” (I Pet. 4:11.)
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow Me.” (John 10:27.) “…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 3:31-32.) Amen.
Ministry by Mail is a weekly publication of the Church of the Lutheran Confession. Subscription and staff information may be found online at www.clclutheran.org/ministrybymail.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the King James Version.