It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come ; but if I go, I will send Him unto you. . . . He shall glorify me : for He shall take of mine, and declare it unto you.'-John 16: 7, 14,
THERE is a twofold glorifying of the Son of which Scripture speaks. The one is by the Father, the other by the Spirit: the one takes place in heaven, the other here on earth. By the one He is glorified 'in God Himself;' by the other, 'in us' (John 13: 32, 17:10). Of the former Jesus spake: 'If God be glorified in Him (the Son of Man), God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him.' And again, in the high-priestly prayer, 'Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son.... And now, 0 Father, glorify me with Thyself.' Of the latter He said: 'The Spirit shall glorify me.' ' I am glorified in them.'
To glorify is to manifest the hidden excellence and worth of an object. Jesus, the Son of Man was to be glorified when His human nature was admitted to the full participation of the power and glory in which God dwells. He entered into the perfect spirit - life of the heavenly world, of the Divine Being. And all the angels worshipped Him as the Lamb on the Throne. This heavenly, spiritual glory of Christ the human mind cannot conceive or apprehend in truth. It can only be truly known by being experienced, by being communicated and participated in the inner life. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, as the Spirit of the glorified Christ, He comes down as the Spirit of Glory, and reveals the glory of Christ in us by dwelling and working in us, in the life and the power of that glory in which Christ dwelleth. He makes Christ glorious to us and in us. And so He glorifies Him in us, and through us in them who have eyes to see. The Son seeks not His own glory: the Father glorifies Him in heaven, the Spirit glorifies Him in our hearts.
But before this glorifying of Christ by the Spirit could take place, He must first needs go away from His disciples. They could not have Him in the flesh and in the Spirit too; His bodily presence would hinder the spiritual indwelling. They must part with the Christ they had ere they could receive the indwelling Christ glorified by the Holy Spirit. Christ Himself had to give up the life He had ere He could be glorified in heaven or in us. Even so, in union with Him, we must give up the Christ we have known, the measure of the life we have had in Him, if we are indeed to have Him glorified to us and in us by the Holy Spirit.
I am persuaded that just here is the point at which very many of God's dear children need the teaching' 'It is expedient that I go away.' Like His disciples, they have believed in Jesus; they love and obey Him; they have experienced much of the inexpressible blessedness of knowing and following Him. And yet they feel that the deep rest and joy, the holy light and the Divine power of His abiding Indwelling, as they see it in Holy Scripture, is not yet theirs. Now in secret, and then under the blessed influence of the fellowship of the saints, or the teaching of God's ministers in church or convention, they have been helped and wonderfully blessed. Christ has become very precious. And yet they see something still before them, promises not perfectly fulfilled, wants not fully satisfied. The only reason can be this: they have not yet fully inherited the promise: 'The Comforter shall abide with you, and He shall be in you. He shall glorify me.' The 'expediency of Christ's going away, to come again glorified in the Spirit, they do not fully understand. They have not yet been able to say, 'Even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now know we Him so no more!
I Knowing Christ after the flesh:' it is this must come to an end, must make way for knowing Him in the power of the Spirit. After the flesh : that means, in the power of the external, of words and thoughts, of efforts and feelings, of influences and aids coming from without, from men and means. The believer who has received the Holy Spirit, but does not know fully what this implies, and so does not give up entirely to His indwelling and leading, still, to a great extent, has confidence in the flesh. Admitting that he can do nothing without the Spirit, he still labours and struggles vainly to believe and live as he knows he should. Confessing most heartily, and at times experiencing most blessedly, that Christ alone is his life and strength, it grieves and almost wearies him to think how often he fails in the maintenance of that attitude of trustful dependence in which Christ can live out His life .in him. He tries to believe all there is to be believed of Christ's nearness and keeping and indwelling, and yet, somehow, there are still breaks and interruptions ; it is as if faith is not what it should be--the substance of the things we had hoped for. The reason must be that the faith itself was still too much the work of the mind, in the power of the flesh, in the wisdom of man. There has indeed been a revelation of Christ the Faithful Keeper, the Abiding Friend, but that revelation has been, in part, taken hold of by the flesh and the fleshly mind. This has made it powerless. Christ, the Christ of glory, the doctrine of the Indwelling Christ, has been received into the mixed life, partly flesh and partly spirit. It is only the Spirit can glorify Christ: we must give up and cast away the old way of knowing and believing and having Christ. We must know Christ no more after the flesh. 'The Spirit shall glorify me.'
But what does it mean that the Spirit glorifies Christ? What is this glory of Christ that He reveals, and how does He do it ? What the glory of Christ is we learn from Scripture. We read in Hebrews, 'We see not yet all things made subject to man. But we see Jesus crowned with glory and honour.' To Him all things have been made subject. So our Lord connects His being glorified, in both the passages we have taken as our text, with all things being given to Him. 'He shall glorify me, for He shall take of mine. All things, whatsoever the Father hath, are mine; therefore, said I, that He taketh of mine, and shall declare it unto you.' 'All things that are mine are Thine, and Thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.' In exalting Him above all rule and power and dominion, the Father hath put all things in subjection under His feet: He gave unto Him the Name which is above every name, that in the Name of Jesus every knee should bow. The Kingdom and the Power and the Glory are ever one: Unto Him that sitteth on the Throne, and to the Lamb in the midst of the Throne, be the Glory and the Dominion for ever. It is as sitting on the Throne of the Divine Glory, with all things put in subjection under His feet (Eph. 1:20-22), that Jesus has been glorified in heaven.'
When the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus in us, He reveals Him to us in this His glory. He takes of the things of Christ and declares them to us. That is not, He gives us a thought, or image, or vision of that glory, as it is above us in heaven; but He shows it to us as a personal experience and possession - He makes us in our inmost life partake of it. He shows Christ as present in us. All the true, living knowledge we have of Christ is through the Spirit of God. When Christ comes into us as a feeble infant; when He grows and increases and is formed within us; when we learn to trust and follow and serve Him --this is all of the Holy Spirit. All this, however, may consist, even as in the disciples, with much darkness and failure. But when the Holy Spirit does His perfect work, and reveals the Glorified Lord, the Throne of His Glory is set up in the heart, and He rules over every enemy. Every power is brought into subjection, every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Through the whole of the renewed nature ,there rises the song, 'Glory to Him that sitteth on the Throne! Though the confession holds true to the end, 'In me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing,' the Holy Presence of Christ as Ruler and Governor so fills the heart and life that His Dominion ruleth over all. Sin has no dominion: the law of the Spirit of the Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
If this be the glorifying of Christ which the Spirit brings, it is easy to see what the way is that leads to it. The Enthronement of Jesus in His glory can only take place in the heart that has promised implicit and unreserved obedience, that has had the courage to believe that He will take His power and reign, and in that faith expects that every enemy will be kept under His feet. It feels that it needs, it is willing to have, it claims and, accepts, Christ as Lord of All, with everything in the life, great or small, taken possession of and guided by Him, through His Holy Spirit. It is in the loving, obedient disciple the Spirit is promised to dwell ; in him the Spirit glorifies Christ.
This only can take place when the fulness of time has come to the believing soul. The history of the Church, as a whole, repeats itself in each individual. Until the time appointed of the Father, who hath the times and seasons in His own hands, the heir is under guardians and stewards, and differeth nothing from a bond-servant. When the fulness of time is come, and faith is perfected, the Spirit of the Glorified One enters in power, and Christ dwells in the heart. Yea, the history of Christ Himself repeats itself in the soul. In the temple there were two holy places-the one before the veil, the other within the veil, the Most Holy. In His earthly life Christ dwelt and ministered in the Holy Place without the veil: the veil of the flesh kept Him out of the Most Holy. It was only when the veil of the flesh was rent, and he died to sin completely and for ever, that He could enter the Inner Sanctuary of the full glory of the Spirit-life in heaven. And just so the believer who longs to have Jesus glorified within the Spirit, must, however blessed his life has been in the knowledge and service of his Lord, learn that there is something better. In him, too, the veil of the flesh must be rent; he must enter this special part of Christ's work through the new and living way into the Holiest of All. ' He hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.' As the soul sees how completely Jesus has triumphed over the flesh, and entered with His flesh into the Spirit-Life, how perfect in virtue of that triumph is Power over all in our flesh that could hinder, perfect in the power of the Spirit the Entrance ,the Indwelling of Jesus as Keeper and King be, the veil is taken away, and the life hitherto the holy place is now one in the Most Holy, in the full Presence of the Glory.'
This rending of the veil, this Enthronement of Jesus as the Glorified One in the heart, is not always with the sound of trumpet and shouting. It may be thus at times, and with some, but in other cases it takes place amid the deep awe and trembling of a stillness where not a sound is heard. Zion's King comes, meek and lowly,with the Kingdom to the poor in spirit. Without form or comeliness He enters in, and, when thought and feeling fail, the Holy Spirit glorifies Him to the faith that sees not but believes. The eye of flesh saw Him not on the Throne; to the world it was a mystery; and so, just when all within appears feeble and empty, the Spirit secretly works the Divine assurance, and then the blessed experience, that Christ the Glorified has taken up His abode within. The soul knows, in silent worship and adoration, that Jesus is Master, that His Throne in the heart is established in righteousness; that the promise is now fulfilled, The Spirit shall glorify me.'
Blessed Lord Jesus! I worship Thee in the glory which the Father hath given Thee. And I bless Thee for the promise that that glory shall be revealed in the hearts of Thy disciples, to dwell in them and fill them. This is Thy glory, that all that the Father hath is now Thine: of this Thy glory in its infinite fulness and power Thou hast said the Holy Spirit shall take to show it unto us. Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory: the hearts and lives of Thy beloved may be filled with it too. Lord, let it be so !
Blessed be Thy holy name for all in whom the rich beginning of the fulfilment hath already come ! Lord, let it go on from glory to glory. To this end teach us, we pray Thee, to maintain our separation to Thee unbroken: heart and life shall be Thine alone. To this end teach us to hold fast our confidence without wavering, that the Spirit who is within us will perfect His work. Above all, teach us to yield ourselves in ever increasing dependence and emptiness to wait for the Spirit's teaching and leading. We do desire to have no confidence in the flesh, its wisdom, or its righteousness. We would bow ever lower and deeper before Thee in the holy fear and reverence of the faith that Thy Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Thy glory, is within us to do His Divine work. Blessed Lord! let Him rise in great power, and have dominion within us, that our heart may by Him be fully made the Temple and the Kingdom in which Thou alone art glorified, in which Thy glory filleth all. Amen.