The Spirit Of Truth (Chap. 9).
We are so accustomed to think of the word Truth as meaning doctrine, that it is only by a distinct and oft, re|ieated effort that we can realize that it is in a very different and very much higher sense that our Lord uses it. When John speaks of Christ as full of grace and Truth, and then explains this by saying, 'The Law came by Moses; Grace and Truth by Jesus Christ,' we notice at once that he contrasts the powerless shadows and forms of the law with the living substance and reality of what Christ brought, as the real communication of the eternal life of God from heaven. The following extract from Beck (Prop. p. 2) may help us to lay hold of the thought that Truth has indeed a Life and Kingdom of its own :—
'Man's creative power, both spiritual and bodily, can never attain to any true and real life, except as there is something already given and received to work on and to work out. It always supposes an objective external creation. So in nature we must always have tlie real matter, with its own life,power in it formed for us, before we can with our powers secure any product: in the real sense, whether spiritual or physical, we never produce, we only reproduce. Nature is an independent kingdom within which we live and work, but in which we call into existence or create nothing. And just so, Truth, the spiritual world, is an independent kingdom, which we do not bring forth out of our spirit, but which mu»t in its self-existence reveal itself to us, that out of it we may receive the substance and elements of a real life before we can produce aught spiritually. An actual existence must in its own original power reveal itself to us, and with its creative energy enter into us, before we tan produce aught from within. And where is now this actual existence, this Life Kingdom of Truth t Thia question compels every honest thinker to come out of his own isolated self, and in this objective world (it may be the inner one, as far as it has an actual objective existence) to seek for the revelation of Truth, that he may open to it his spirit and reproduce what it has set before him. And so faith is the substance of Christian truth, which enters into man as his spiritual property, and in living power becomes immanent within him. As a faith Christianity is neither idea, nor law, nor feeling, but a life, a d' ep, penetrating, and all-pervading life.'
It is of this Life Kingdom of Divine Truth, of actual Divine Life, that Jesus came to earth as the embodiment. It is of this Truth that the Holy Spirit is the animating principle, the very life. And when He comes out of Christ who has said, 'I am the Truth.' He comes as the bearer of all there is in Christ to make Him Truth within us, an actual living possession. It is only as we thus possess Christ the Truth that our knowledge of the doctrine-truth will be living and profitable. The Spirit of Truth gives us life-truth in the inmost part, thence He leads it into truth of conduct and character. And only as we yield to Him in this, is the doctrinal truth we hold really the Truth of God to us. The Church or the individual has only so much of the Truth of God as we have of the Spirit of God.