Original photo by Phil Sangwell
Daily Reformation, John 15:26-27
From the Reformer
It was meet that these should be accustomed to obey first, who should shortly after lay Christ’s yoke upon the neck of the world. And surely they have taught us by their example, that we must work and rest at the Lord’s pleasure alone. For if, during our life, we go on warfare under his banner and conduct, surely he ought to have no less authority over us than any earthly captain hath in his army. Therefore, as warlike discipline requireth this, that no man wage unless he be commanded by the captain, so it is not lawful for us either to go out, or to attempt any thing, until the Lord give the watchword; and so soon as he bloweth the retreat, we must stay. Moreover, we are taught that we are made partakers of the gifts of God through hope. But we must mark the nature of hope as it is described in this place. For that is not hope which every man feigneth to himself unadvisedly, but that which is grounded on the promise of God. Therefore Christ doth not suffer his apostles to look for whatsoever they will, but he addeth expressly the promise of the Father. Furthermore, he maketh himself a witness thereof; because we ought to be so sure and certain, that although all the engines of hell gainstand us, yet this may remain surely fixed in our minds, that we have believed God. “I know,” saith Paul, “whom I have believed.” (2Tm 1:12) And here he putteth them in mind of those things which are written in Jn 14:15-16: “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may continue with you; I say the Spirit of truth,” etc. Again, “I have spoken these things unto you while I am with you.” “And the Spirit, whom my Father shall send in my name, shall teach you all things.” (Jn 14:25-26) etc. And again, “When the Spirit of truth shall come, whom I will send from my Father, he shall bear witness of me.” (Jn 15:26) And again, “If I shall go hence, I will send you the Comforter, who shall reprove the world.” (Jn 16:7) And he had said long before, “He which believeth in me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (Jn 7:38)
—John Calvin, Commentary on Acts
Pulling It Together
The Spirit is given for many purposes: comfort, guidance, calling, and liberty, to name a few. He also comes to you with assurance. What soldier goes to war without desiring the assurance that his cause is just? What witness takes the stand without measuring the validity of his testimony? What person gives their life to a cause or to another person without hope of that cause or person being worth the life given? So when you go into the fields with the Word of Truth and Hope, the Helper is there to embolden you—for he does reassure that it is the truth—even as he comforts, guides, calls, and frees. Out of the one who trusts these assurances flows living water to the thirsty. Believe; trust; go forth!
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers