New Church Life NCL May/June 2018 - Page 24

n e w c h u r c h l i f e : m ay / j u n e 2 0 1 8 Holy Spirit is mentioned more than any other place in the Word, we find the statement: “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.” (Ibid. 12-13) In the Greek language of the Gospels this word, He, is not necessarily masculine. It could just as easily be the neuter, It. So, “When this, the Spirit of truth, has come, IT will guide you into all truth.” The main reason it has been translated as masculine is that in the Elizabethan English of 1611, like modern French, all nouns were considered either masculine or feminine, so “It” was not an option. But today It is what we mean, and It is only personified in a symbolic or representative sense. Just think of how we use expressions like “the spirit of adventure,” “the spirit of generosity,” or “a kindly spirit.” Sure, these are attributes a person may have, but they are not the person. Of course, the translation goes on to say, “ . . . for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” But note here, the word, authority, is not in the original text. And really, what the verse means is simply that the Spirit of truth does not proceed from itself but from the love that inspires it. So, further, we have the teaching: “It (the Spirit of truth) will glorify Me, for it will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” (Ibid. 14) “What is Mine” here, of course, refers to the Lord’s love and wisdom, and this surely is glorified when it is informed by the Spirit, that is, the true understanding and appreciation of it. Note, all this is written in the context of these earlier verses: “Because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:6-7) Again, we sincerely believe the He and Him in these verses should be It, for the Helper Jesus refers to here is not another person but the Help itself, the Comfort, the Consolation, and yes, even the Advocacy that comes with a knowledge and understanding of His Word. The whole idea here has to be seen in the light of what the Lord was actually doing in the world, and what changes were taking place in His own life as He fought against the corruption of the hells. The process is what we call glorification and it is similar to our own regeneration, that is, being born again from natural life into spiritual life. Simply put, the Lord when He came into the world adopted a natural human heredity so that He could confront the hells in Himself rather than imposing on the freedom of others. Then, during His life, He addressed all the evils, all the selfishness, all the loves of dominating over others, and all 200