I believe that the Holy Spirit is – and has been since creation – one of the most powerful ways that God chooses to work in this world. He was instrumental in creation, and through Him life is given (Job 33:4; John 6:63; Romans 8:2-10; 2 Corinthians 3:6). He inspires – breathes life into – scripture (2 Samuel 23; 2 Timothy 3:16; Isaiah 59:21; 1 Corinthians 2:13; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 3:7-11; 10:15-17; 1 Peter 1:11).
The mistake, I believe, made by those who put their faith in a Spirit-in-the-written-word-only-today doctrine is in confusing the Author with the work; the Warrior with the sword. It is the difference between purchasing a book to place it on your coffee table at home and inviting the writer of the book to come and live with you.
(If you insist on a Spirit-in-the-written-word-only-today doctrine, suppose you memorized passages from books of several different authors … wouldn’t it be equally valid to say that you were indwelled by the spirit of Mark Twain, James Joyce, William Shakespeare? If someone handed you a copy of The Book of Mormon or The Qu’ran or Dianetics, wouldn’t it be equally valid to say that the words they believed from Joseph Smith or Mohammed or L. Ron Hubbard were sufficiently confirmed by the publication of those books? No need of external evidence to affirm their correctness?)
Scripture itself testifies that scripture alone is not enough (John 5:39); we needed a Savior. We needed a Savior who could be seen doing the work of God in this world (John 10:38; John 14:11). When He sent out the twelve (Luke 9) and the seventy(-two … Luke 10), He prepared them to minister in His absence by giving them authority to preach a gospel of repentance and to help others through healing and exorcism. He knew that the tangible, perceptible authority of God was needed to confirm His word (Mark 16:20) even after He ascended – so He breathed His Spirit upon them (John 20:22) just as He had said He would (Acts 1:8). And the Spirit empowered them.
So I believe that another way that the Holy Spirit works through believers is by empowerment to proclaim boldly and confirm tangibly the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a hollow claim to say that the written word is sufficient and no other confirmation is “needed” today. There was scripture that spoke of the Messiah before He came; and some did not believe when He came. There were miracles present before and during His mortal life; and some did not believe. What is sufficient for some is insufficient for others, and the needs of some do not set the standard for all. Thomas believed when he saw; he was not pronounced less-blessed because of his need to see. Nor are any of the 3,000 of Pentecost who saw and heard the power of the gospel (Acts 2:33).
Witness the Acts of the Apostles. Read the whole book. There is a good reason why it is called “The Acts of the Apostles” rather than “The Word of the Apostles.” Four gospels record “the word of the apostles,” and one of them is the prequel to Acts itself. They acted and they did so in the power of the Spirit.
Scripture testifies to the persuasive power of seeing and hearing the word confirmed; there is no point in arguing it. If the need of at least some to hear and see the word confirm persists to this day, is it any business of ours to contradict the promise of “all” (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17) and “forever” (John 14:16; Matthew 28:20) by asserting that God no longer cares about their needs; they are simply not blessed? Scripture describes amply the ways that the Holy Spirit works through believers:
- Teaches and reminds what Christ taught (John 14:26)
- Testifies about Jesus so we will testify about Jesus (John 15:26-27)
- Convicts the world regarding sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:7-11)
- Glorifies Christ; makes known what Christ has received from the Father (John 16:14-15)
- Gives instructions (Acts 1:2; 8:29; 10:19; 11:12; 13:2; 16:6-7)
- Enables believers to proclaim the gospel in other comprehensible languages (Acts 2:4-8)
- Enables prophecy through visions and dreams (Acts 2:17-18)
- Enables believers to proclaim the gospel boldly (Acts 4:31; 1 Peter 1:12)
- Imparts wisdom, understanding and revelation (Acts 6:10; Ephesians 1:17; Colossians 1:9; Revelation 1:10; 4:2)
- Spirits believers away (Acts 8:39; Revelation 17:3; 21:10… see also Luke 4:14)
- Encourages believers (Acts 9:31)
- Displays God’s acceptance (Acts 15:8)
- Enables prophecy and speaking in tongues (Acts 19:6; 2 Peter 1:21)
- Compels the believer (Acts 20:22)
- Ordains overseers (Acts 20:28)
- Warns the believer (Acts 21:4–11)
- Gives life, freedom, peace; seals Christ’s ownership and affirms God’s fatherhood of the believer (Romans 8; 14:17; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; Galatians 6:8; Ephesians 1:13) … helps guard that seal/deposit (2 Timothy 1:14)
- Helps the believer in weakness; intercedes in prayer (Romans 8:26-27; Ephesians 6:18; Jude 1:20) … provides access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18) … strengthens the believer (Ephesians 3:16)
- Imparts hope; sanctifies the believer (Romans 15:13-16; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2)
- Empowers through signs and wonders what is said and done (Romans 15:18-19; 1 Corinthians 2:4)
- Searches and reveals the thoughts of God (1 Corinthians 2:10-15)
- Makes believers ministers of the gospel, living letters from Christ (2 Corinthians 3:3-8)
- Enables fellowship (2 Corinthians 13:14; Philippians 2:1) … provides unity (Ephesians 4:3-4; Philippians 2:2)
- Leads the believer (Galatians 5:18)
- Produces fruit in the believer’s life; sets the pace for the believer (Galatians 5:22-25)
- Inspires songs (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16– see also Luke 1:46-56; 68-79; many Psalms, esp. 51 in light of 1 Samuel 16:13)
- Provides joy (1 Thessalonians 1:6)
- Provides power, love, self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7)
- Provides renewal (Titus 3:5) in the washing of rebirth
- Provides confidence of God’s indwelling (1 John 3:24; 4:13)
- Testifies to the salvation given by God through signs, wonders, miracles and gifts given at His will (Hebrews 2:4) … and among these gifts are
- a message of wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:8)
- a message of knowledge (1 Corinthians 12:8)
- faith (1 Corinthians 12:9)
- healing (1 Corinthians 12:9)
- miraculous powers (1 Corinthians 12:10)
- prophecy (1 Corinthians 12:10)
- distinguishing between spirits (1 Corinthians 12:10)
- different kinds of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:10)
- interpretations of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:10)
- administration (1 Corinthians 12:28)
- prophesying (Romans 12:6)
- serving (Romans 12:6)
- teaching (Romans 12:7)
- encouragement (Romans 12:7)
- giving (Romans 12:8)
- leading (Romans 12:8)
- showing mercy (Romans 12:8)
(The last ones – listed in Romans – are the ones my blogging brother Jay Guin labels “those boring old gifts” … with tongue sequestered in cheek, of course. And if you’ve read previous posts and followed the scripture links, you’ve already read most of these – some of them in the comments, kindly provided by Lacey Mauk.)
Obviously, some of these gifts/abilities are more suited than others – in certain circumstances, to certain audiences and being used by certain gifted individuals – in testifying to the power of the gospel (1 Corinthians 14:22). That is why these gifts are apportioned by God, not by our desire (Hebrews 2:4).
It’s amazing how we read these in context, and skip over the words “Holy Spirit” as if they were not there. Yet there are almost half again as many references to Him in the New Testament as there are references to baptism or being baptized. That’s not to say that one is more important than the other, but simply that there is more reference material to consider.
And, with that much to consider, it’s quite possible that I have missed some. But I don’t believe I’ve missed anything that says the Holy Spirit’s power would be restricted to the written word from a certain date, time, era or event forward (certainly not one which has already passed) … or that God would no longer demonstrate the power of the gospel in visible, audible, tangible ways … or that the Holy Spirit would ever work apart from the Word or (God forbid) in contradiction to the Word … or that believers should ever stop asking for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13) or stop earnestly desiring His greater gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31).
Who would stand to gain more from those restrictions and doctrines? God?
33 thoughts on “How Does the Holy Spirit Work Through Believers?”
Keith, I read your post of May 13 2005
I noticed something in your post that you may have missed, but was plain to someone with an open mind.
You said “Do we really believe that God sends His Holy Spirit to those who believe His Son Jesus?” and “He may be the least spoken-of personality in the Trinity (or is He?), ” Then, you went on to recall the many times the spirit of God was spoken of in scripture.
Genesis 1:2 | “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the (Spirit of God) was hovering over the waters.”
Genesis 6:3 | Then the Lord said, “(My Spirit) will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
Exodus 31:2,3 | “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the (Spirit of God), with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts … ”
Numbers 11:25 | Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he (took of the Spirit) that was on him [Moses] and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again.
Judges 6:34 | Then the (Spirit of the Lord) came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumptet, summoning the Abiezirites to follow him. | Judges 11:29 | Then (the Spirit of the Lord) came upon Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there he advanced agains the Ammonites. (just a few)
Keith it is plain to me you believe this spirit is an individual, when you said it was a “personality in the trinity” And that is what the trinity doctrine says, individual, but co-equal. Does it only seem strange to me that this Co-equal being is always referred to as belonging to God. something God had control over.
Psalm 51:11 | “Do not cast me from your presence or take (your Holy Spirit) from me.” | 139:7 | “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?”
Does this not indicate that God and his spirit are one and the same.
The Holy Spirit, is not a separate entity, it is God.
Isaiah 11:2 | “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him … the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the Lord.”
Keith it seems we can receive the spirit (gifts) of God in part, and only in part, because if we received his spirit in full, we would be GOD.
Is it not strange to you that the other two persons in the trinity are referred to as “God’s Son” and “God’s Spirit” ?
Laymond, you said: Keith it seems we can receive the spirit (gifts) of God in part, and only in part, because if we received his spirit in full, we would be GOD.
See Numbers 11:25. Don’t know where you got this idea, or what point you’re trying to make.
You also said: Is it not strange to you that the other two persons in the trinity are referred to as “God’s Son” and “God’s Spirit” ?
No stranger than the fact that I refer to other persons in my family as my wife, my son, my daughter. We’re all Brentons.
“No stranger than the fact that I refer to other persons in my family as my wife, my son, my daughter. We’re all Brentons.”
Keith do all the Brentons, have the same decision making authority? Are you all the same age.? What if you were identical triplets, would it make sense to call your brothers “My son”
Keith I am not saying Jesus is not included in God’s family, because the bible plainly says he is. I also think it says all Christians are part of God’s adoptive family. I just don’t see three, separate but equal eternal beings sitting around, and one says, I will be the Father, you be the Son, you be the spirit of both of us.and by the way, I will have authority over all. I will even give you authority over all things, except me, but in the end all authority will be returned to me, to make me “all in all”. surely you are not saying God has no authority over his son.
Hbr 1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
It seems to me there was a specific day in time when this happened.
Keith you seem to give inspired authority to Paul’s writings, why would you not respect what he wrote?
1Cr 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of Christ [is] God.
” Don’t know where you got this idea, or what point you’re trying to make.”
First off I don’t see that, the scripture you quoted has anything to do with what I said, My reason for saying it was, if we were to receive all of God’s powers, we might be reluctant to give them back. and who could make us? we would have all authority.
“There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
But Paul said God was not one of them.
Act 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Act 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.
” by [that] man whom he hath ordained; “
Obviously, the Brentons are not God!
(Something else to be grateful for in the new year!)
I continue to believe, Laymond, that it is not rational to insist that everything about God be knowable or understandable. Three persons could form a partnership and still have different titles snd levels of authority – President, Vice President, Chief Operating Officer. What’s incredible about that?
Perhaps God and the Word developed a Father-Son relationship at some time after the birth of Jesus; perhaps it always existed. What would seem to be true in your opinion or mine is irrelevant.
You know, Laymond, we could debate these points until the Internet ran out of pixels and not one nolecule of good would come from it. No hungry people would be fed. No naked people would be clothed. No poor people would enriched. No unloved person would become loved.
Why in the blasphemous blue blazes are we doing it?
Keith, I have talked to preachers who asked a similar thing. We Christians believe it is our duty to correct those who seem to be uninformed on the necessary things we must do to feel saved. when we need to inspire people to do the things you said, take care of the physical needs and let God care for the spiritual.
Hbr 8:10 For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
Hbr 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
Hbr 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
at one time,I had the foolish belief that the more educated the Christian community became, the more like Christ they would become, not so the more education they have, the more important they become, and the more important, they become the more they demand of God.They demand that God keep the promise, they think he made to them, and all Christians. It has become a religion of self importance. And until we humble our selves at God’s feet, and ask what we can do for his children we are condemned to continue down this road we are on.
More and more we see, posts like one I have seen recently. “how valuable are you”
written by a preacher. And multi postings on what gifts God feels obligated to give us. not just on this blog, but the blog of a CoC elder, in Alabama. Until we get to the point we ask what we can do for God instead of what God can do for us, it will continue, without much to show for it. it may have something to do with our desire to have our ears tickled, instead of our heart broken. may God bless
Brother Keith, thank you for the reminder to always continue asking for His Spirit. We’ll never be the people He’s called us to be without His help.
I think it’s noteworthy that right after all this talk about spiritual gifts, Paul talks of the importance of love over everything else.
And then he even gives us some practical ideas of what that should look like: be patient; be kind; do not envy; do not boast; don’t be prideful; don’t be rude; don’t be self-seeking. Don’t allow yourself to be easily angered; don’t keep score when you feel someone has wronged you. Don’t delight in evil; rejoice with truth. Always protect; always hope; always persevere. Never give up.
I think those instructions are plenty to keep us all busy for quite some time, without worrying about how exactly that His Spirit is going to help us…but just trusting that He will. Cause He said He would.
In fact, I’m still working on the first one! (Be patient…)
Keith, in answer to your question, I will post something another person wrote, and I believe to be.
The Simple Truth
The simple truth is that whatever the Holy Spirit does for anyone today is accomplished with and through the revealed word of God. At least, no one can prove that the Spirit works in any other way. Paul said that we are to “take … the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17). “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Do you recall how Jesus defeated the temptations of Satan with the “It is written,” as He quoted the word with its power? Paul urged Timothy to “preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:2). “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Peter told the saints that they had “in obedience to the truth purified your souls” and that they had “been born again … through the living and abiding word of God” (1:21, 23). He declared that “newborn babes” should “long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation …” (2:2). James wrote: “… in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls” (1:21). Paul told the saints to “be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19). Compare that to what he wrote to the Colossian saints: “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (3:16). Compare these two passages. To be “filled with the Spirit” is the same as to “let the word of Christ richly dwell within you”.
Every act of the Holy Spirit upon man is affirmed also of the truth, the word of God. Today, what the Holy Spirit does the word of God does. The only way the Spirit works today is in and through the word of God. That word is this written word, the Holy Scriptures. All that we can know about God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, sin and salvation, and man’s responsibility, we must learn from the record God has given and preserved for us, that blessed old book that we call the Bible.
Not once does the author of that document cite any of the scriptures I cited above, Laymond.
I gladly concede the power of the gospel as revealed in scripture; it is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16) … but nowhere does scripture say that the written word is the ONLY power at God’s disposal in the battle for men’s souls. In fact, scripture testifies AMPLY to the role of the Holy Spirit’s direct and active power in the life of the believer. There is no controverting that fact from scripture; only the opinions of man dare contradict it; and we ignore those passages (and distort others to “prove” that contradiction) at our own grave peril.
I beg you, brother, to prayerfully reconsider your belief on these matters, as I have done before. Let scripture say what it says. Do not let other men – not me; not anyone else – superimpose their opinions upon what God says in His word. Dare to ask for the Spirit to guide you into all truth. (It cannot be a sin to ask!) Taste and see that the Lord is good and keeps His promises.
Keith, I only sent you his conclusion, it was a far larger article’ I will try to send his reasoning. I hope this works sometimes it does and other times it don’t.
Brother Laymond, I’ve read the article and I don’t believe the author cites any of the scriptures I have called into evidence above – except to discount them as literal with his assertion that they are figurative.
His entire argument is built own his own (il)logic. For example, “the gift of the Holy Spirit” and “times of refreshing” may OR MAY NOT be equivalent expressions. They may OR MAY NOT mean the forgiveness of sins. He simply asserts that they are. Why would Peter connect two equal expressions with “and”? He does not address that.
In short, he is arguing from the premise … rather than letting scripture lead to its own conclusions.
Surely you don’t agree with everything he says … for one thing, he agrees that Paul writes to Phillippi that Jesus was equal to God, and I’m sure you don’t agree with that. I do agree with that. But the fact remains that he is QUOTING scripture that you don’t consider inspired because it came from the pen of Paul. I continue to point that you favor the opinions of men over scripture itself AND IT DOESN’T SEEM TO AFFECT YOU. So must assume that, absent your denial of it, that must be true.
Because of that, I don’t see that we have common ground for discussion.
I’m done here.
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KB, When the gospel is preached, when peoples hearts are pricked, when they obey the gospel message, by hearing, by believing, by repenting, by confessing, by submitting to baptism, when they come up a new creature, when we see changed lives, you don’t see God’s power? you find it invisible? unaudible? untangible? You remind me of Lazarus and the rich man, “they didn’t believe Moses and the prophets”. John 20:30 “Jesus performed other miracles which are not recorded in this book, these are written, so that you might believe.” “Faith comes by……………..”
Jeff, faith does indeed come by hearing, but not only by hearing (1 Corinthians 12:9). We’ve had this conversation before.
When the gospel is preached with power and deep conviction, one should recognize that this is not merely a function of the Word, but also the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 1:5).
When peoples’ hearts are pricked, one should recognize that is a work of the Holy Spirit (John 17:8ff).
When peoples’ lives are changed, that is a work of the Holy Spirit (1 Samuel 10:6-9).
Do you not see God’s power in these truths, Jeff?
KB, I agree, it is a work of the H.S. He does His work through the word of God. When peoples hearts are pricked, its the word of God that pricked them, the Spirit did not prick them personally. He did so through the word. When we follow or abide in, or “recieve” the word, that was once and for all delivered we are indeed being led by the Spirit. When we preach the gospel, Christ is speaking, When we teach and they listen, all are being led by the H.S. because he delivered it to mankind. If there is a man on an island somewhere, who never hears a man proclaim the word of God never reads the word, he will never be saved, because the Spirit will never speak directly to him. Rom 10:14 ” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not heard? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” We are saved through faith, and faith comes by………. in other words, faith will never come to anyone today by any other means. We have to seek it, work at it by abiding in the word of God. 1 Cor 12:9, those gifts were miraculouly handed out, they recieved them by the laying on of hands of the apostles. Paul in Romans 1;11 was eager to see them so that he might impart some “gift” to them, which would be the same gifts listed in 1 Cor 12. we recieve no such “gifts.” We recieve spiritual blessings that are only found in Christ. KB, call for the elders to rub oil on your head, you might feel better.
I’ve quoted scripture to support my conclusions, Jeff. Can you do the same, or are they just opinions?
When peoples hearts are pricked, its the word of God that pricked them, the Spirit did not prick them personally.
… in other words, faith will never come to anyone today by any other means.
we recieve no such “gifts.”
Still waiting for scripture that demonstrates that the Spirit works apart from, or as a replacement for, the word – rather than in concert with the word.
Re: Your last comment. Do you have a point to make, or did you just want to make fun of my pain?
KB, How many scriptures can I quote that you refuse to hear? Again, you are the one who wants to seperate the spirit from the word. I say they are one and the same. To be led by the spirit is to abide in the word, to abide in the word is to be led by the Spirit. You believe in a direct operation of the H.S. apart from the word, you say they work in concert, but yet believe the spirit works directly on a person, that is seperating the two. KB, I thought you had a sense of humor, I was quoting James, a smile makes everyone feel better, so I thought.
Quote me what the scriptures actually say – not what someone has said that they mean.
You can’t separate the Holy Spirit from the word any more than you can separate the author from his/her book. But they are different.
When the Spirit revealed through Agabus what would happen to Paul if he went on to Jerusalem, that did not seem at the time to be directly connected with the word, yet it was inevitably and inextricably tied to the fact that Paul would witness before Festus and Felix. The foreign language-tongues at Pentecost communicated God’s word to the gathered Jews and proselytes. Yet at first, it stimulated some confusion; it didn’t seem to have any connection to the word until Peter spoke.
We don’t always see the connection – but it is going to be there.
As I have said before in my comments to you, the Holy Spirit in scripture isn’t involved in revealing new or different truth needed by all mankind, but He can and does assist in remembering Jesus and providing guidance to all truth and sometimes lending directions that His truth needs to take to reach those who haven’t heard it. His gifts were to be used for that purpose and for the building up/edification of the saints, the church. I would not expect Him to operate any differently today than He did then.
I simply cannot find in scripture anything that says He has done all He is going to do and that it’s all up to us now.
Can you show me where it says that?
About my last comment: My sense of humor is – so to speak – seriously impaired when I’m in pain. I’m feeling better, thanks.
Kb, Glad your feeling better, Ok, you believe spiritual gifts are still being given out. Among those gifts were miraculous healing, miraculous knowledge, speaking in a tongue in which you have never studied. Do you believe these things still occur? And you don’t believe God’s word, His will for man, has been confirmed and delivered once and for all,and you believe there is revelation yet to come.
And you don’t believe God’s word, His will for man, has been confirmed and delivered once and for all ….
Where did I say that?
KB, In your post #18 you said, ” I simply cannot find in scripture that says He has done all He is going to do and that it is all up to us now,”
Brother, those two statements are miles apart. God can – and has – revealed all of His will for mankind in the general sense (what we should do to please Him and what He’s done to restore our relationship with Him) through His Holy Spirit in scripture. But that still leaves lots of room for Him to reveal His specific will to individuals through His Spirit (as in, “Don’t go to Bithynia; go to Macedonia instead.”).
You keep telling me what I’m saying, and I keep telling you that’s not what I’m saying, and I explain it.
Is it possible you’re not listening?
Or are you intentionally distorting what I’m saying because you can’t refute it from scripture?
Or is something else entirely going on?
If you contend that
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So KB, So what your saying is, we only have a general idea of what God wants us to do? and we are waiting for further instructions. But we know, that the Spirit delivered all truth to the Apostles and they inturn delivered it to mankind. We know to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every person. So I would have to believe, whatever I thought I recieved by dream, vision or nudge would not be truth. I am not distorting what you say, I’m reading it very carefully, maybe it’s your writing style. Any idea when we will get the specific instructions? As for Bithynia and Macedonia, the spirit was leading them directly. He leads us indirectly through the word.
God has – as I believe I’ve already explained – revealed everything that mankind needs to know (and do) in order for our relationship with him to be restored … “all truth.” However, He is still free to express through His Holy Spirit specific instructions to individuals. Those instructions don’t necessarily involve truth – which is declaratory by its nature – it involves instruction, request … which is imperative, rather than declaratory.
Did Paul ignore the Spirit’s instructions even though all truth abiut the gospel of Jesus Christ had been delivered to him? Did he assume it was not, therefore, truth?
You see, Jeff, when you say things like “As for Bithynia and Macedonia, the spirit was leading them directly. He leads us indirectly through the word,” you mean, “the word only.”
But scripture does not say that the Spirit stopped leading people directly. How would you know that He did? Who told you that? How did they know?
That’s what I mean by “asserting.” Repeating the same assertions over and over again does not make them appear magically in scripture, nor does it make them true.
Any more than summarizing what I’ve said incompletely and inaccurately – and saying that you’re not distorting it – makes what you’ve said true.
Kb, All this reminds me of a story i once heard. To men were traveling in a car, when the man driving said, I hope you have a little time, the Spirit has guided me to stop and check on Mrs. Brown. He got out and went to the house. He returned quit quickly,when he go in he said, she wasn’t home. The point is KB, we have our marching orders, we know what to do, why can’t we just do it?
Stories and anecdotes are charming, Jeff. They prove nothing, one way or the other, about how the Holy Spirit works today.
I would be curious about how you’d answer a question I posed to “Guest for Truth” yesterday: How does the Holy Spirit intercede for us in prayer (Romans 8:26-27) if He only works through the written word?
KB, What ever I say would be just a guess, But my guess would be, that He does not need to indwell my body physically to do it. Why couldn’t He do it right there in heaven? Or are you saying, prayers need help in getting here.
Jeff, what you or I guess about whether God needs to indwell us is irrelevant. He is God. Nothing is impossible with Him. Of course He doesn’t need to.
But He chooses to dwell within us if we are willing to host Him; our bodies become the temple of His Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). It is what He has always wanted: to make His dwelling with us (Ezekiel 37:27; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Revelation 21:3).
I want what He wants.
What do you want?
KB, Could you please give examples of the H.S. personally directing you.
Jeff, I can’t claim surpassing revelations like Paul could in 2 Corinthians 12; I can’t tell you that God did extraordinary miracles through me as He did through Paul (Acts 19:11); but I hope that if I ever do, I will have the wisdom to avoid the temptation to boast about them and be given a thorn in the flesh to prevent further conceit. I hope I would have the humility to say “… and I think that I too have the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 7:40).
In my span of 55 years, I have had two experiences that I did not ask for that were quite out of the ordinary. One was life-preservative for myself and four others. The other was life-changing for myself and others. I can’t explain them. I do not know Whom else to credit with them than the Holy Spirit. And that’s all there is, really, to say about that.
My experiences don’t amount to a plateful of refried beans compared to what scripture says about the Spirit in us … and that is quite sufficient (2 Timothy 3:16) on the matter.
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