David H Marshall
John 14: 1-3, 15-17
I seek help to say something simply and briefly as to these promises that the Lord Jesus makes. There are two promises here: there is one that relates to the future, when the Lord Jesus tells us that the prospect and hope of the believer is to be with Him in this place that He Himself has prepared.
What a wonderful promise that is - a promise for us all to take great comfort in. The Lord Jesus at this stage was nearing the end of His life here; these are the closing chapters, and yet He had great concern for His own, particularly because He was about to leave them soon, and He makes this promise that He will come again and take them to be with Himself.
It is a wonderful hope, a very real matter; it is a prospect for every true believer, that the Lord Jesus has made this promise which He will keep for each one of us. Whether He takes us individually or at that great day when He shall come for all His own, that prospect is assured, a promise that we can rely on.
You might say that is a promise for the future. But this further promise that He makes is really for here and now, and that is very encouraging, because promises still to be realised can sometimes seem distant, and we may not think of them as much as we should. But in the interim period there is this wonderful promise that He makes of the gift of the Spirit. What a wonderful promise it is! And that is a promise that is realised. We have actually experienced that, because we know that those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus and His finished work can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit; if they ask the Father that gift is freely available, and indeed is essential to enjoy Christianity and links with divine Persons in a full way. That promise was made to those that love the Lord Jesus for when He was going to be absent from them. But His concern was not only for those within earshot but for the here and now, our dispensation, our generation, the people in this room. That promise is for us. We have the Spirit to comfort us; we need the Spirit to guide us into the truth; we need the Spirit to guide day by day; and that promise is one that the Lord Jesus has given us to sustain us until that day when the first promise is realised.
May we all be encouraged. These promises are real matters to be experienced in a real way now, but also to be looked forward to. May the Lord bless the word.
Word in Meeting for Ministry
9th February 2016