John 15:26, 27
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father…
Christianity is not a religion to be propagated by force or by sedulous tradition. Nothing but the force of truth planted Christianity; and only the force of truth preserves it, extends it, and ensures the prospect of its universality. Not without significance is this constant reference to witnessing found in the New Testament. Jesus submits his gospel to the keenest examination. He comes before the world as a well-equipped suitor goes into a court of justice, sure that he has witnesses ample for the success of his cause. Christianity presents phenomena that shirk no scrutiny. It has no weak and treacherous places to be kept as much as possible from view. A witness, to be all a witness ought to be, must have nothing to conceal, nothing to avoid.
I. THERE MUST BE THE RIGHT SPIRIT IN THOSE WHO LISTEN TO THE TESTIMONY. The minds of men may be set against truth and the search for truth, and then where will the witnesses be? The gospel presumes on the part of man an awakening to the need of reality, stability, and continuance in all that he may rightly aim to make his own. Men have believed the world and believed their own hearts, and they have been disappointed; and now, if they seek Jesus, it is with the assurance meeting them that they shall not be disappointed again. If men fail to be attracted by Jesus or profess to be disappointed with him, it is because they are disinclined to take the trouble of seeking deep enough.
II. EACH WITNESS HAS HIS OWN TESTIMONY. There is a witnessing by the Spirit of Jesus which cannot be effected by any multiplication of human witnesses. And similarly a testimony comes by reading the evangelists and Epistles, which is felt to be something independent of the force which comes on us by the operation of the Spirit. How many, reading the New Testament just with thoughtful earnestness, have said to themselves, "Here is something to be searched into. Here is a part of some great possibility, and I must seek for the other part "! Careful and repeated reading of what apostles have written is very likely to drive a man to his knees, seeking to have the full body of testimony completed, by what the Holy Spirit will impress on his heart. We should ever be on the outlook for testimony to Jesus and his truth. The more we expect it the more it will come, fortifying us against our own doubts, cheering us with hopes of coming certainties, and making us more ardent in persuading others to like precious faith.
III. THE RESPONSIBILITY THUS LAID ON US. Unbelief deludes itself with the plea that there is lack of evidence. Nay, in its more arrogant forms it will even maintain that the evidence is the other way. What if we be in the position of those who clamor for more, and will not use what they have? If we are not to be persuaded by the joint witnessing of the Spirit and the apostles, neither shall we be persuaded though one rose from the dead.
IV. OUR OWN WITNESS-BEARING. We may and ought to be joined to the cloud of witnesses. If Jesus told the first company of disciples that they were to be witnesses, then assuredly there must be something of the witness-bearing faculty in us. - Y.
Parallel VersesKJV: But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
WEB: "When the Counselor has come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will testify about me.