Why the Holy Spirit Matters

On seeing this series of posts (linked through my Facebook account), a childhood friend privately advised caution in the way I proceed. His concern, in short, was that my pursuit of the way the Spirit works might cause some folks who are opposed to my perceptions to overstate their objections, blaspheme and be lost.

His concern is genuine, and I share it.

So let me say this, and be as clear and loving as I know how to be:

If you believe that the Holy Spirit works through the written word of God, you go right on believing it. It’s true. He inspired it. He reveals God through it. He tells the gospel of Jesus Christ with it. As I just wrote in a comment on the previous post, scripture is the tangible way we have been given to know of God.

However …

If you believe that the Holy Spirit works ONLY through the written word of God, I would only ask that you be open to the other ways and possibilities described in scripture. I have only described what I find to be revealed there in these posts. I have not quoted other sources or supposed authorities or recounted personal experiences of myself or others in support of the conclusions I’ve drawn.

Don’t let what others have written or taught you personally on the matter limit your perception of the Spirit’s power, or God’s giving of it. Don’t trust what men write – not even what I write. Go to scripture. Read it for yourself. Draw your own conclusions. Prove all things. Hold fast what’s good.

Here’s why I believe the Holy Spirit – fully empowered by our permission as well as God’s gift in our lives – matters.

There are too many instances given in scripture in which the Holy Spirit is spoken of as being given to believers, dwelling within them, giving them gifts, acting with God’s purpose and glory, benefiting His children, propelling His gospel, glorifying the Christ … which simply cannot be fully done by written scripture alone.

A commenter at New Wineskins once observed, “If the Holy Spirit still dwells within believers, why do we not all believe the same thing?”

I should have answered, “If the word alone is perfect, why do we not all believe the same thing?”

The answer for both questions is the same: because we believers do not believe to the extent that we are willing to fully turn our lives over to Christ, permit the Spirit to say what He says and do what He does through us or to help us understand completely and clearly what is written. We are satisfied to see in part and know in part, as in a mirror, dimly … and to confidently declare that our vision and knowledge is as good as face-to-face.

I am no more exempted from this judgment that anyone else, but I am convinced that grace still covers my insufficiency. That, however, is no excuse for remaining indolent, arrogant, selfish or deluded about our own competence. Believers have been promised and given a Holy Spirit for the asking who can draw us closer to God in Christ if we’re willing.

If we limit God’s action in our lives to leaning on our own understanding of His will in His word, we are only half-armed for the battle against sin and for the cross.

Just because your Bible may have a paragraph break after Paul’s description of the full armor in Ephesians 6:10-17 doesn’t mean his thought ends there. It continues:

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. ~ Ephesians 6:18-20, my emphasis

So I’ll close out this part of the study with an index of where I began it years ago, asking questions and positing answers. I’ll encourage you to begin at the beginning and end at the end, because you’ll find the Spirit in the first sentences of scripture, and closing them out as well. Ask questions. Ask more and different questions than I did. Ask God for answers to them.

Ask Him for His Holy Spirit.

His Holy Spirit, Part I
His Holy Spirit, Part II
His Holy Spirit, Part III
His Holy Spirit, Part IV
His Holy Spirit, Part V
His Holy Spirit, Part VI
His Holy Spirit, Part VII
His Holy Spirit, Part VIII

24 thoughts on “Why the Holy Spirit Matters

  1. Hmmm.. “If the Holy Spirit still dwells within believers, why do we not all believe the same thing?”

    This question seems to reveal a misunderstanding of the role of the Holy Spirit in the believers life. His role as a counselor, comforter and giver of wisdom is not about bringing us into one orthodox theology. His presence in our lives is about: 1) leading us (not controlling us) in ways that produce spiritual fruit in accordance with His character and; 2) empowering us to be witnesses for Christ.

  2. Keith said, ” Believers have been promised and given a Holy Spirit for the asking who can draw us closer to God in Christ if we’re willing.”

    and I have no argument with what he said, but it seems he is bent on declaring (another spirit) when there is no evidence of such a thing ever occurring.

    Jam 4:5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
    Jam 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
    Jam 4:7 ¶ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
    Jam 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded.

    A holy spirit , yes. “The Holy Spirit”, no.

      • Keith, I believe the same could be said of you, you seem to credit many things to “the comforter” when it is plain to others that the scripture, is speaking of either the human spirit, or the spirit known as “God the Father”. The only difference in your understanding, and mine is, I have been doing it twenty years longer than you.

    • Wendy said; “Laymond, you are out of tune with the overwhelmingly vast majority”
      I feel good being there, because Jesus said.

      Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
      Mat 7:14 Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

      Just maybe, some others should narrow their “gate” some.

      • Laymond, our confidence is in God’s grace not in being in some ultra-small minority who have got it “right”. I think you might be going through quite a different gate to the one I am going through?

  3. Tune me up Wendy, tell me just how this phenomenon/ this indwelled spirit, works in your life, that God cannot work for me from his throne in heaven, or Jesus for that matter. Tell me how much a better person this “comforter ” has made you, over what God did for me when he added me to his church, Tell me how much more this “comforter” loves you, than my Lord Jesus Christ did me, when he died for me on the cross. No , you all use this “comforter” as a substitute, a pinch hitter, just as the apostles did, not because they didn’t trust Jesus, because they didn’t trust their selves. Jesus seemed to say, he had fixed things so I can talk to God, anytime I want, so that is what I will continue to do. People such as Keith have asked me to pray on the subject, I have believe you me. “Lord show me where I,m wrong” I have not received a call back, I take that as my answer. I am totally satisfied with ONE GOD and One Lord, some may require more, not me.

  4. Guestfortruth 01/21/2011 02:53 PM in reply to Jay Guin

    Jay said about been obscure in his article, This is his answer to his affirmation respect what he think or thought in the past about the position on the Holy Spirit ” Thus, both views limit most verses regarding the Spirit to the First Century. Hence, under either view, the “fruit of the Spirit” only involves the Spirit through the word. There is no “direct operation” of the Spirit on the Christian’s heart that changes him. He changes by reading and apply the word. Thus, both views lead to a very humanistic understanding of the scriptures. The Helper helps, but he helps by giving us a book.”

    My observation about seen the bible just like a book.

    The Scripture declare in Romans 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God, It does not say:” Faith comes by reading and reading the word of God”Our faith by hearing the word of God rest solidly upon the sufficient and conclusive and compelling evidence that the Bible is exactly what it claims to be- the Inspired,the infallible,the inerrant and all sufficient word of the living God (2 Tim. 3:16). When this fact (of its being what it claims to be) is established, then it itself in many areas become my evidence. The word becomes my “Shield” (Eph.6:16). We defend the faith and the faith defend us Our faith is not blind like the seculars dictionaries claim to be (Secular is equal humanism)Our Faith rest solidly upon conclusive and compelling evidence.Thing,hope,faith.word, evidences. (Hebrews 11:1) Those that are saying that the bible is just a Book are the “Humanist “Agnostics,materialistic” Romans 3:4 declare : Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “ That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.” God create us So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27. He create us with the ability of reasoning in ” Isaiah 1:18“ Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “ and discerning the Spirits (1Jo 4:1) that means test the teachings if are coming from God or Man?. The apostle Paul always try to reason with his countryman like in Acts 19:8 And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. And sometime they so difficulty teaching the ways of the Lord, so they were to synagogues,temples and school like in Acts 19:9 But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.
    The Bible declare: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” Rom. 10:17. Therefore, Biblical faith inherently involves: (1) The fact of the existence of God; (2) the fact of the existence of man;(the revealing ability of God to man; (4) the response ability of man to God; (5) the testimony of God to man; and (6) man’s proper response to that testimony.
    Faith in the Bible sense of the Word – means taking God at His word.There is not Biblical faith where there is not testimony from God. Faith does not mean absence of evidence. As the humanist (Agnostic) Carl Sagan and Donald Rumsfeld Said : “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence!” This philosophy is called : Argument from ignorance, also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam or appeal to ignorance, is an informal logical fallacy. God said in Acts 17:30-31 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”. God expects us to be concerned about evidence. The very existence of the Bible presuppose the need for evidence. John said:”…but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:31.
    We are not inclined in the least to critize the attitude of Thomas (John 20:24,25). Rather, we have great respect and admiration for his attitude. His attitude was: “Without evidence I Will not belive. Gime the evidence and I will belive.” The Lord gave Thomas evidence. When Tomas saw the evidence, he declared: “ My Lord and My God.” Dr.Luke, the only trained scientist among the New Testament writers, made a through diagnosis of the whole matter and wrote as follows: “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to draw up a narrative concerning those matters which have been fulfilled among us, even as they delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also,having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus; that thou mightiest know the certainty concerning the things wherein thou was instructed” (Luke 1:1-4).
    Faith does not in all cases mean the absence of literal sight. Sometimes faith is clearly contrasted with sight (as in 2 Cor.5:7), but there can be faith where there is sight. The Lord said to Thomas
    : “Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed“ (John 10:29) Many more of the Samaritans believed on the Lord because His word (John 4:41) we have the example of Bereans Acts 17:11 “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. The fact of their seeing Him did not prelude their believing on Him.There can be faith where there is no sight. The Lord said to Thomas: “… blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Neither does faith mean the absence of knowledge. It should be shouted from everywhere that Biblically approved faith does not rule out knowing. 2 Corinthians 5:6 “…So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord..” How did Paul know? “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2Cor.5:7). Here is knowledge which is the product of faith. Many of Samaria who believed on the Lord said to the woman:”Now we believe, not because of thy speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world” (John 4:42). These said: “We believe” and “We know.” Faith does not preclude knowledge, and knowledge does not preclude faith. Peter said to the Lord: “And we have believed and know that thou art the Holy One of God” (Jonh 6:69). (In the Gr. N.T both tenses verbs[“believed” and “know”] are perfect tense verbs. The force of this fact is , Peter literally says: “We have believed, we now believe, and we will continue to believe; we have know, we now know, and we will continue to know” The believing and the knowing are coextensive.) Paul said:”…. I know whom I have believed” (2 Tim. 1:12).

  5. This describes the church as well today, as it did when Paul spoke these words to the Corinthians. (for ye are yet carnal) It is all about concern for the flesh.
    We head our blogs with questions that require an answer, which in actuality is an opinion. Then we say no you are absolutely wrong, how come you are not as smart as I am. (or you are going to hell, if you don’t smarten up)
    This seems especially prevalent among the “fifty somethings” to day who are rebelling against what their parents taught them. ( it is such a shame this ” indwelled spirit” never informed our parents, so they would not have to go to “hell” )

    1Cr 3:1 ¶ And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, [even] as unto babes in Christ.
    1Cr 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able.
    1Cr 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

    They called my parents “The greatest generation” they call us “the Vietnam generation” I suppose we can call the fifty somethings “the smartest generation”

    January 23, 2011 at 4:30 pm | #53 Reply | Quote Not going to argue with you anymore, Laymond. Just not gonna do it. (2 Timothy 2:23)

    and naturally you are right again, a person as smart as you are, shouldn’t even talk to one as dumb as me, it might rub off .
    and why shouldn’t you have the right to stop the argument, You started it.

  6. Keith said “A commenter at New Wineskins once observed, “If the Holy Spirit still dwells within believers, why do we not all believe the same thing?”
    I should have answered, “If the word alone is perfect, why do we not all believe the same thing?”
    Then he said “The answer for both questions is the same:”

    Can you understand why some do not understand your version of things Keith. Because you do not understand your version.
    In giving that answer, you made the understanding of man equal to that of God, and really no need for an indwelling spirit.

    just because the word is perfect, does not mean than man’s understanding is perfect, but if there was an indwelling “spirit of truth” man’s understanding would become perfect.
    In my opinion the commenter asked a perfectly reasonably question, that you could not answer. Luk 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

    • I might rephrase your statement this way Laymond:

      Just because the Holy Spirit is perfect, does not mean than He perfectly indwells man. If He did then He would control man and man would not longer be man.

      • If by “giving his best” you mean making robots out of men then I would say yes he does not make us robots. Helpers, counselors and teachers are not about creating robots who march ideologically and theologically in lock step. If you are genuinely interested in His purpose I suggest that you read the latter half of John 14.

  7. Maybe we all need a reminder of just what this comforter was supposed to do.
    Jhn 14:26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

    (he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance,)

      “Paraclete” is not a common term in English language. It comes from greek word parakletos and can mean someone who is standing alongside giving aid as an advocate, or a as a comforter and encogarer, or a helper in some capacity. In that sense, Holy Spirit and paraclete are nor to be equated. There are five instances where the word parakletos is used in the New Testament. Once in 1 John 2:1, Jesus is identified as our advocate. In the Gospel according to John, Jesus uses the word parakletos in four passages- all in reference to the Holy Spirit. Jesus was speaking to His apostles when He said:
      And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter[ parakletos], that he may abide with you for ever (Jn.14:16).
      These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26But the Comforter [ Parakletos], which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you ( Jn. 14:25-26).
      26But when the Comforter[ parakletos] 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: 27And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning (Jn. 15:26-27).
      7Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter [ parakletos] will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you (John 16:7 ).

      By rule always that we approach the Scriptures, we need consider the Context of the passage, what is around the situation going on, so we can understand the whole view of the situation. It’s an error violate simple rules of Bible study. In studying the Scriptures, it is imperative to know to whom the specific message was intended. If this is ignored, misunderstanding and confusion result. The scriptures teaches that we should handle aright its message ( 2 Tim. 2:15), and not twist the scriptures to our own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). The whole context of John 13-17 reveals that Jesus was speaking to His Apostles.
      What does Jesus mean when He says that the Holy Spirit would be a Comforter [parakletos], and to whom, and in what capacity?
      First, it should be noted from jn. 14:16 that the Holy Spirit was coming in the absence of Jesus, and He was going to be with the apostles forever. Jesus was at the point in his ministry when He was soon to be arrested, taken away, and crucified. He was to rise again, but He would leave the apostles shortly thereafter. In His absence, He would provide them with a Comforter. The Holy Spirit would stay with them. Would guide them, and would educate. How comforting that must have been to those men whose world was just about to be turned upside down.
      To gain a greater appreciation of what Jesus is saying in John 14:16, a few observation from John 13 are in order. The Chapter begins with Jesus and the apostles celebrating the Passover. As they were doing so, Jesus stated: “Veryly, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another doubting of whom he spoke” (Jn. 13:21-22). His words were troubling. They did not know just what to make of them. After He identified Judas as the one who would betray him, the apostles must have wondered what was happening to their company as they wached Judas get up and leave, going out into the night. Speaking to the eleven remaining apostles. Jesus said: “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you” (Jn. 13:33). Evidently they began towonder where Jesus was going, as well as what was about to happen. In fact:
      Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice (Jn 13:36-38).
      What an arresting occasion-celebrating the Passover, then the talk of betrayal, one of their own depart. Christ says He is leaving and they can not follow. Peter Says he is ready to be with Christ. But Jesus told peter that “the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times”. It is no wonder that Jesus told them: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me” (Jn. 14:1). Everything is about to turn in a direction they could not have anticipated. Jesus needs to give a message that all hope is not lost. Therefore, He tells them that they will have the Holy Spirit abiding with them.
      These are the things that the Holy Spirit is going to do for the apostles. First of all, as read in John 14:25-26. He is going to help them “remember all the things” that they have heard from the mouth of Jesus for the previous three and a half years. They are going to need to remember everything they have heard Him say. They are going to need to remember every encounter that Jesus had with particular individuals, the questions, the challenges, the answers, the responses, the understanding (Eph. 6:18-20 ). They need that information, but how would they remember everything with accuracy and with reliability? Jesus says that the Holy Spirit is going to bring everything to their remembrance (v.26), what a great comfort that the life giving message will be retained by these human vessels. The last of the apostles to be chosen by Jesus personally. We notice that in the last part of the paragraph (Eph.6:19-20) Paul encourage all Christian to Pray in the Spirit for him “that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” This show that the apostle Paul spoke what the Holy Spirit told him to speak using him as a vassel (2 Cor. 4:6-8). Jesus then says, in John 16:13, as He follows the discussion of the role of this Paraclete (Helper), “ Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.” Their education had not been complete, not because they had not been good students and not because Jesus was not a great teacher, but because there was simply more to know. For Example, Peter later learned about the fact that the gentiles were to be included in the promise to all those who were afar off. He spoke those words in Acts 2, on the they of Pentecost, but without realizing the significance of what he said. In Acts 10, he is told by revelation to go to the home of Cornelius. There, that centurion and other are gathered to hear peter. They respond to the Gospel and are saved. There was an ongoing education that the Holy Spirit was to provide for the apostles. Think of what would have been lost if all that had not stayed within them through the means of the Holy Spirit.
      How privileged subsequent audiences would be, because they got to hear the words of Jesus without mistake, without confusion, and without error. They heard the truth of God because God, through His Holy Spirit, made sure that these men were speaking as His mouth- piece. Peter could really mean it and understand its significance when he would say, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Pet. 4:11), because that was the task committed to him and to his colleges. When someone asked Peter what would be the right decision in any matter, they were not hearing Peter’s guesses, surmises, personal opinions, patriarchal-tainted cultural moorings – none of that. When Peter, paul and the other apostles spoke, they spoke words of beauty and words of divinity, because God was speaking through them. Jesus has prepared them for this with His comments just a couple of days prior to this particular occasion. In Mark 13:11, as He was speaking about things that would happen within their lifetime. He said: “But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.” When Paul came to the city of Thessalonica and began to preach the Gospel in a city largely filled with Greco-Roman paganism as well as the presence of Judaism, he converted and later complimented them by saying, “because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe “ ( 1 Tess. 2:13). These were teachers above all other teachers. The message that they provided was not one that was generated by human opinion or human education. It was a message that came from the throne of God, and it came to them by the Holy Spirit, the comforter, the peraclete that had been given to them. Paul would say: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3). But it is in Galatians 1:11-12 where he reveals the source of his message. He said he received this by revelation of Jesus the Christ. If you read the rest of Galatian 1, it details his travels for the very purpose of showing that he could never have stayed in one place long enough to have learned Christianity from a man. He learned it from God. When people heard the apostles speaking they were hearing the paraclete, they were hearing divine words.
      What we can make of these facts for our modern era? First, it is so imperative to note the context in which these promises were given. No person that is living today was intended to receive the comforter as described here in John 14-16. However , we are the beneficiaries of the apostles’ work . It did change the world in the first century and it changes the word in the twenty-first century as well. God is not promising through Jesus in these passages that you and I will be guided into all truth, because the truth has been revealed (Jn.17:17). He is not promising to me or to you that we will be guided into all truth and things to come anymore than He is promising to us that we could be reminded of event that we were not there to experience in the first place. This was not written to us, but it was done for us and for all other peoples who could benefit from the word of Truth (2 Cor. 4:2;2 Cor.6:6-8; Eph 1:13; Col. 1:5;1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 2:15;James 1:18).
      Some may say, “ I just wish that God would come and tell me.” Or “Would is not be better if God send the Spirit and just nudge my brother and sister or family member who is not obedient to the gospel?” But Jehova does not work that way. If it were the best way, He would have done it in that fashion. Before we look and say, “ Well, I wish God would do it differently,” We ought to STOP for just a moment . What we are suggesting is that God did not do it as effectively as it could have been done. God did it the best way it could ever be accomplished. We need to be grateful for the things that He has given us (1 Cor. 1:21 , Job 34:11; Psalm 119:26-28). No doubt , He anticipated things that we could not have even expected, and yet He has made provisions for things that are yet to be discovered, or yet to be recognized. We should never say that God’s way of revealing His will to man is not right. God has done it the best way possible. We are beneficiaries (2 Peter 1:13).
      In John 17, you and I really find ourselves touched by the Gospel. Jesus has finished His conversation with His apostles, and He begins a prayer by talking first of Himself (Jn.17:1-5). In verses 6-9. He is praying to the father on behalf of His apostles (later, Paul will be counted among that number as well). Praying for them. He notes to God: I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me” (v.8). He had give them God’s Word all along the way, those three an a half years they were together. He has made sure they are going to be remembered. He has made an arrangement so that all additional teaching will come to the apostles as well. In verse 14, He states: “ I have given them thy word.” What is significant about that is, in verse 18, He says: “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” They are , by means of this miraculous intervention and comfort provided by the Holy Spirit as they go out into the world, to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all the people (Mark 16:20;Hebrews 2:1-4). It is a continuation of the work that Jesus had begun, here at the fountainhead of Christianity.
      John 17:20 quotes Jesus saying ““I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word.” Through what? Their word. Where we can find the apostles words? In the New Testament Scriptures (Rom 1:16;1 Peter 1:12-15; 2 Tim. 3:16.).
      John 17, Do we understand that without the Holy Spirit’s aid, inspiration, and provision, their words would not have reached us? How would the words of Jesus the Christ been promoted orally and then in a written fashion? We do not receive the Paraclete as promised in these chapters, but we do benefit. The work that he provided was for people just like us so that the world could believe and the world could know. That is why it so imperative that we dive into the pages of the Bible and allow its riches to come forth and saturate our thinking and our minds. We beginto lay down a like that is Christ-like., no Christ-voided. We wantto become everything that God has the power to shape us to be.
      We need to see the work of the paraclete as chronicled for us by Luke, the Historian of the early church. In Acts 4, we are in the second stage of an activity that unfolded over a period of days. Peter and John had gone to the temple and had healed a man by Salomon’s porch. They took that opportunity to speak about the means by which the healing had taken place and pointed people to Jesus the Messiah. They were arrested for this and making their appereance before the Jewish leadership, they defended their action and defended the message that they provided. Acts 4:5-12 Explains:
      “And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, 6 as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”
      8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
      Jesus is the name that should be honored above all. Paul wrote about that in Philippians 2:9-11.
      How did the leadership react to those words? Acts 4:13 Says: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” This boldness is found throughout the accounts of Acts. It is mentioned in the epistles of Paul. It is a boldness to stand a speak the message God intended. It is a direct fulfillment of Mark 3:11 –“ But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.” There are two terms in Acts 4:13 that are noteworthy – “unlearned” and “ignorant” Those terms should not be constructed as implying that the apostles could not read, or that they did not have a functional ability to read and write. They simply mean that Peter and John were recognized as people who had not gone through extensive, formal religious training. They were speaking beyond their own native training and ability. What the leaders were witnessing was the boldness that was provided, and the message that was provided, by means of the paraclete, which was promised in John.
      The apostle would carry this message forward. In matthew 28:19-20, the text says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. They were providing for the perpetuation of the church. The same is said in 2 Timothy 2:2 – “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” There is a progression you and I can be part of, because we learn by education, by study of things put to paper. But, those men knew what to say because the Holy Spirit gave them a message. What a beautiful picture of God’s provisions for the spread of the knowledge of Jesus the Christ, the awareness of His service for humanity, and the call of salvation. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 “ For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.” 2 peter 1:12-15 “ For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, 14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.”

      • Guest for truth, statements such as …

        “What we can make of these facts for our modern era? First, it is so imperative to note the context in which these promises were given. No person  that is living today was intended to receive the comforter as described here in John 14-16”

        … remain totally unsupported by scripture and continue to contradict it.

      • Keith, we need to understand that the contex explain the situation!! but That does not mean that the Holy Spirit does not dwell in the Christian. In our modern era we can explain that the miracles age has been extinguish (Cease) and now we have the Non-Miraculous (Ordinary) indwelling of the Holy Spirit that bring the fruit of the Spirit by obedience to the word to all Christians (1 Cor. 3:16;Eph 5:18,19; Col. 3:16) Gal. 5:22-23.

      • Guest for truth – brother – not one of those scriptures says anything about an age of miracles or about it being extinguished or about an ordinary, non-miraculous indwelling of the Holy Spirit. If we can explain that, what is the source for that explanation if not scripture?

  8. Keith,
    That’s a fair question that need to be answered with the way God talked with us ! Why do we not all believe the same thing?
    What I see in this comparison of questions with the same answer. Is that both views are incomplete, the Spirit dwell in the Christian and work through the Word. 1 Peter 1:23. Since the Bible declares that Deity indwells- Deity indwells. Deity indwells all who desire and do completely the will of God. We need to make a Distinction between “word only” and “ through the word” . When we use “ Through” we are saying that there is a “medium” that is the way the Godhead works! For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12). The scripture declare in Jeremiah 11:20 “ But, O LORD of hosts, You who Judge righteously,Testing the mind and the heart, Let me see Your vengeance on them, For to You I have revealed my cause. What cause? The word of the Lord. How do I know is God’s word the next passage said Versus 21 “Therefore thus says the LORD” Who is the judge? God is the righteous Judge. (2 Tim. 4:8,Hebrews 10:30,1 Peter 4:5). Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect;For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. He decide who is right or wrong (1 Peter 3:12-14, Psalm 34:12-16) in Deuteronomy 31:28-30, we find the example of the House of Israel “Gather to me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth to witness against them. For I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt(you will stop caring about what is right and what is wrong), and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands.” This passage show that their the people of God since the creation has been leaning to depart from God’s will ignoring the omnipresence of God.) . 2 Corinthians 5:10-12 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. Psalm 96:13 before the LORD. For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, And the peoples with His truth.
    What truth is this passage talking? John 17:17 “ Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” (Psalm 33:4; Psalm 40:10; Psalm 25:10; Psalm 25:5) Like the psalmist mentioned “Teach me Your way, O LORD;I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.” (Psalm 86:11)
    The whole scripture is truth but in the New Testament there is one specific truth that was reveal in the first century “ And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32. This truth make us free from sin and make us righteous “For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers;But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:12; Psalm 34:14-16)

    Philippians 3:14-16 “ I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule (Gr. Kanon), let us be of the same mind. What is that rule? Gal. 6:16 “ And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.” 2 Cor. 10: 13,15,16. (A measure) 2 Tim. 3:16 The apostle Paul explain the effect of following this rule in the next versus 17, the apostle invite us to imitate his example the way he imitate Christ, “ Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.”
    We need to recognize the ruler (God) as final Authority for determining right or wrong in measurements. How long is this line? _______. Joe may say one quarter inch; Jim may say one inch. But when the ruler reads one-half inch, Joe and Jim both give up their personal opinions. Were it not for the ruler, questions involving measurements could never be settled. All agree that his authority is essential in its field. In our spiritual realm the word of God assist man in determining what is right and wrong spiritually is even more important. In 2 Chronicles 20:6, King Jehoshaphat said: “O LORD God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? He and the nation of Israel was fearful of their enemies and asking God help against his enemies, he declare “You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations” That affirmation is evident when our Lord Jesus have all power today ( Mt.28:18), Jesus commanded to teach every nation “ all things whatsoever I have commanded you” Mt.28:19. These nations, then, would hear the commands of Jesus through His apostles. In order to guarantee that the apostles and other inspired men would teach the truth, Jesus promised them the special guidance and teaching of the Holy Spirit (John 16:13). The apostles in turn taught men what the Spirit taught (1 Cor. 2:12,13). The church then accepted the apostles’ Teachings ” not as the word of men. But as it is in truth, the word of God” (1 Thes. 2:13), Thus, an apostle’s teaching was as authoritative as Jesus’ own words. Jesus spoke through the Spirit. Who spoke through the apostles, who spoke Christ’s will to men. Further, Christ’s apostles taught all the will of Jesus. Christ promised that the Holy Spirit would guide them into “all truth” (John 16:13). Paul later announced “I have not shunned to declare to you the whole (ALL) the counsel of God.” (Acts 20:27). See also 2 Peter 1:3. Men – yes, even angels- who rejected the apostles’ teachings as final religious authority, were accursed of God (Gal.1:6-9).
    Fortunately, the apostles and other inspired men recorded their teachings in written for for future generations. For example: Peter wrote so that after his death the church might have a permanent record of his teachings (2 Peter 1:12-15). Luke wrote so that his readers might know accurately the teaching they had already received orally (Luke 1:3,4).John wrote his gospel so that men might believe in Christ and have eternal life (John 20:30,31) and he wrote his epistles to keep Christians from sinning ( 1 John 2:1). Paul said he wrote that the church might “understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:3-4). Consequently, what these inspired men wrote was to be regarded as “the commandments of God” (1 Cor. 14:37). Inspired men obviously recorded Christ’s will in the New Testament. Paul writing during that these scriptures were almost completed, said “ ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16,17). NOTICE! The Bible contains everything necessary to furnish man “unto all good works” and to make him “perfect” Since the Scriptures furnish man unto EVERY good work, no other source of information is necessary( The bible interpret the Bible). Any work furnished from another source, which can not be found in the Scriptures, is not a GOOD work, for the Scriptures furnish “unto all good Works” Also 2 Timothy 3:16,17, says that the Scriptures contain sufficient knowledge to make man “perfect.” Obviously, one becomes perfect through the word of God “in all the will of God” (Col. 4:12). Since the Bible contains all the of Christ’s will, the church was not to rely on “cathesism,Synods,Councils,opinions, feelings , assumptions, imaginations etc.” or “go” beyond “that which is written” (1 Cor. 4:6). Those who added to, or subtracted from the apostle “writings were to suffer eternal punishment (Revelation 22:18,19). In fact such complex system in religion help to create the Babel of voices already in our mist. The only answer is an open heart toward the Word of God! Come back to the bible!. The church was commanded to disfellowship (excommunicate) anyone who failed to obey the written word (2 Tes. 3:14). Consequently, neither man, nor angels, have the right to change what the apostles have bound in their writings (Gal. 1:8,9). The Bible’s completeness, and authority make it the final rule of faith in religion. Until men are willing to put aside denominational allegiance and sectarian strife, we shall see division running rampant, The creed books and catechism which have produced the problem must be left behind as we let Christ, the author of Christianity, rule our lives by the New Testament. There can be no “ Christian Unity” unless we believe, teach and practice what Christ authorizes in the New Testament. Any system short of that would be mockery. It is one thing to agree upon the teachings of the Bible; In Ephesians 4:3 we are commanded to keep “ the unity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace.” There is only one way to acquire unity in the Lord. Imitating the one body (church) where Jesus is the Head of the Church (Ephesians 1:21-23 “ far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
    22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. ) that church that belong to Christ that we read in the Scriptures from the first century (Ephesians 4:4-6) “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;” ( Eph. 4:13) How is possible the unity of the Faith? through knowledge of the Son of God, by the New Testament that is the way we can known Jesus and his teachings and that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— (Under the Authority of Christ). The answer is an open heart toward the Word of God! the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;(Eph.6:6). For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12, Psalm 119:159-161 ).
    Today many people misunderstand the word of God because improper attitudes. Some do not love the truth (II Tes. 2:10-12), and thus willfully resist it. (II Tim. 3:8). Others wrest difficult passages, making them teach things which easier passages show to be untrue (II Peter 3:16).
    Others, persons misunderstand the word of God by failing to distinguish between covenants. The word of God teach us that Christian are not under the Old Testament Law but rather under the law of the New Testament (Jer. 31:31,Heb. 8:6-13;Heb.9:15;Col. 2:14-16).
    Anothers people do not accumulate all the evidence on a given subject before before formulating a conclusion. One should study the passage in its context and historical setting, and the parallel passages on the subject. For example the Great Commission of JesusChrist to His disciples is found in three different places, Mt.28:18-20,Mark 16:15-16, and Luke 24:46-48. If the account in Luke 24 is taken by itself, one can conclude that FAITH is not necessary to salvation since faith is not mentioned by name in that passage. If Mark 16:15,16 is taken by itself, one can conclude that REPENTENCE is not necessary, since repentance does not appear there.The fact is, that faith, repentance and baptism are all necessary to salvation. To learn this full truth, one must consider all three passages and not just one of the accounts.
    At last, some people misunderstand God’s word because they do not study when men are not studying the scriptures as they once did, and consequently do not develop a saving faith that comes by hearing and obeying God’s Word (Rom.10:17). Though the Scriptures commands us to study (2 Tim. 2:15), many become so entangled in the things of the world that they think they do not have time to study the Scriptures (Luke 8:11; 2 Peter 2:20-22). For this reason many are not living so as to please God, since without faith it is impossible to please Him. (Heb.11:6) How sad is the fact that many will meet their maker without having made the proper preparation by obeying His Will (2 Tess. 1:7-9.).

    Why Are so few Studying the Scriptures?
    There are those who are utterly indifferent to the Scriptures and therefore do not study it. Really, these are those who do not have any interest in the bible and see it like just another book, and could care less whether it is true or not. They utterly reject its teaching. Jesus came in contact with people of this kind during his preaching. He said:
    For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
    Their ears are hard of hearing,
    And their eyes they have closed,
    Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
    Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
    So that I should heal them. (Mt.13:15)
    He will not pardon and save those who are indifferent and refuse to study His Word (2 Thessalonians 2:10 )This people with all people of every nation “Christian and No Christian” shall recognize that Jesus had and has all Authority. For it is written:

    “ As I live, says the LORD,
    Every knee shall bow to Me,
    And every tongue shall confess to God.”

    12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:11-12.
    Then some do not study the word of God because they do not realize its importance. They are slightly concerned with religious subjects, but they have nrver developed an interest or taste for that kind of food. They do not “hunger and thirs after righteousness” or the commandments of the Lord (Matt. 5:6). They see other things as more important that the principles taught in the Bible. (1).
    Others do not study the Bible for the simple reason that it condems their spiritual condition. Instead of attempting to change their condition they simply say, “ I have my own theory about life, and I am satisfied.” They do not wish to look into God’s Mirror for the soul (Jas. 1:21-25), because it reveals their hideous condition in the sight of God. They do not want to see themselves as God sees them. The writer of proverbs states of some’ “How I have hated instruction, And my heart despised correction!” (Prov. 5:12). When a faithful soul tries to teach this one, and show them their true spiritual condition they say, “Well that is just your interpretation.”
    But there are also those who do not study the Bible because they have been told that the Bible can not be understood. In one form or another many preachers are proclaiming this error from their pulpits! (2 Cor. 11:14-15) Oh, how happy the Devil must be with his ministers who teach this! Sometimes this lie is told long enough and often enough that the unsuspecting will believe it. We submit without ever so full of deception, nor farther from the truth that this statement!
    Christianity is a religion of Biblical Authority, (Col. 3:17, Acts 4:7-10) by the name of Jesus (by His Authority) all Religious division, conflicts and contradictions in our shamefully divided religious world, would cease if all would study the Scriptures as they should. But, what is so important about this fact? Why prove that He has all Authority? He was ( and He is) in position to be heir of all authority from the father. He met with his disciples upon a mountain of Galilee and confidently affirmed “All Authority hath been given unto mr in heaven and on earth” (Mt.28:18,Mt.17:5)When Jesus speaks , His word are to be honored as God’s words (John 3:34, 7:17;14:10) God gave authority to the Son.
    1).- How can we understand the Bible Alike? B.J. Clarke 2006 Power Lectures;Southaven church of Christ, southaven,Mississippi.P.15.

  9. The Basis of Biblical Unity
    (1)Since the division in the religious word is contrary to the will of God, men can be one in Christ, This unity is achieve by submitting completely to Christ and to the complete teaching of Christ. Scripture says “ that the way of man is not himself: it is not in a man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). All can unite upon the word of God and thereby “walk by the same rule” ( Phil. 3:16), for on no other basis is scriptural unity possible. The true unity must be unity in Christ, based upon New Testament teaching. The source of Authority in Christianity is Christ (Mt. 17:5; 28:18); God “hath in this last days spoken unto us by his son” (Heb. 1:1,2). The whole matter of division among churches can be settle if religious people everywhere will accept and follow the whole teaching of Christ. There is a world of difference between “Christian Union” and “Christian Unity” It is only as individuals and churches submit to the word of God, therefore, that they become right and united in religion. Certainly, God is not please with nor is he responsible for religious division (Gal. 5:19-21). Divison is a symptom of an attitude toward the bible and its authority. Religious people have divided themselves into warring fractions each anathematizing the others. “ God hate those who sow “discord among brethren” (Prov. 6:19). There never has been and can never be harmony between truth and error. Unity can not be accomplished by compromise with doctrine of men .
    The Present-day “Ecumenical movement” movement must recognize that the Bible is man’s only Authority in religion. A “merger” of all religious bodies, with each retaining its various and conflicting doctrines and practices, would not be the “Unity for which the lord prayed. The New Testament pattern of Christ’s church must be followed. By observing all the marks of the church in the bible, one can find ans identify the church that we read in the New Testament. Herein is the plattaform for the unity of all believers in Christ.
    Failure to distinguish between matters of Faith and matters of Opinions (Assumptions).
    Christians “ walk by faith not by sight” (2Cor.5:7). Faith comes by hearing God’s word (Rom. 10:17). The Scriptures is the divinely inspired word of God (2 Tim. 3:16,17). One must follow the Scriptures (Rev. 22:14); and where the Lord has given explicit instructions, one dare not change them. He must neither add to nor subtract from the word of God (Deut. 4:2; 2 John 9; Rev. 22:18,10,19). Where God has spoken on any subject, man’s acceptance of what he has said is in the realm of faith (Rom.10:17). Yet , there are areas in which the lord has not given instructions- areas in which He has left decisions on how to do things He has authorized to the judgment of Christians. This judgment must be in harmony with the New Testament Principles ( 1 Cor. 14:40). Hence, there is divine law and Human Judgment “Expediency” but , What is expediency? According to Merriam – Webster Diccionary is defined as “: a means of ACHIEVING a particular end” Synonyms: ADVISABILITY, ADVISABLENESS, DESIRABILITY, DESIRABLENESS, EXPEDIENCE, JUDICIOUSNESS, PRUDENCE, WISDOM. In the carrying out of our obligation there is an area of expediency. Expediency involves human judgement. If God specifies the obligation, but does not specify the details with regard to how the obligation is to be met, then we are authorized to involve human judgment. So far as concern congregational obligations, elder of the congregations are the Authority in the area of Expediency. We must keep in mind also that there is NO EXPENDIENCY where there is NO OBLIGATION. An Example : The commandment is “ Go “ God has given us the obligation to “go” . We can go by WALKING, or We can go by RIDING. Walking and riding are different ways of going. These have a direct relationship to the obligation to go.Walking is not an aid – it is not an expedient – to riding, and riding is not an expedient to walking. A “walking stick”, used in connection with walking, would be an expedient (an aid to accomplish the commandment). We need to make difference between an “expedient” (an aid) and an “addition.” Anything which is not authorized by Scriptures, but which is nonetheless employed by human will instead God’s will, is an addition. A True aid, “an expedient”, must be supported by the scriptures according to the apostolic teaching (Rom. 16:25-27; Rom. 6:17; Gal. 6:16; 1 Cor. 15:3,2 Cor. 13:10; 2 Cor.4:13, Psa. 116:10,1 Tim. 1:11-12; Titus 1:2-4, 1 John 5:13, 2 Peter 3:15. ). 2 Peter 1:12-15 ” For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, 14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.”
    Brethren often speak of inference, but inference relates to implication. Inference deals with correct reasoning (in this context) with regard to what God has implied. Everything the Bible teaches it teaches either explicitly or implicitly. There is a vast difference between “inference” and “assumption.” Many things are called “inference” which are not “inference,” but which are mere assumptions. Example in Acts 16:15 states that Lydia and her household were baptized. It is often claimed that, therefore, Lydia was married, that she had children, and that some of this children were infants, and that, therefore, it is scriptural to practice infant baptism. There is a great amount of “assumption, ( imaginations) ( Luke 1:51) but not inference. May we point out in this connection that it is not necessary talk about “necessary” inference. If it is “inference” it is “necessary to see the whole picture of the matter”, and if is not “necessary” it is not inference. Logic is the “Science of valid inference.” We have our human mind that God gave us since we were born and with time we develop our reasoning to understand the whole picture, but with enough information (Hebrews 5:13-14 ). Not just one situation from the scripture and from that limited information get our deduction this will be an assumption.
    (2)The Scriptures declare in 1 Peter 3:15 “ But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;”. If one cannot turn to the scriptures and find a “thus saith the Lord” for that which he does religiously, then he is not able to give an aswer to those who might ask a reason for the hope he has. Doesn’t the Lord admonish us to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good ?” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Doesn’t the scriptures say, “Examine yourselves, wheter ye be in the faith; prove your ouwn selves?” (2 Cor. 13:5). Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you are a member of certain Religious Group? Can you give a Bible reason for the faith your hold? If not, are you sure you have proved all things and holding fast that which is good? Didn’t the inspired writer say,”Beloved, believe not every spirit (teacher), but try the spirits whether they are of God: Because many false prophets “False Teachers” (Ezekiel 13:6-7, Jeremiah 23:13-14,32 ) are gone out into the world?” (1 Jn.4:1). Unless we constantly examine ourselves to see whether or not we be in the faith, isn’t it possible that in the final day we might be surprised to learn that we were following false teaching? The Scriptures declare, “Many false prophets are gone out into the world”
    Our blessed Lord once declared, “Every plant which my heavenly father hath not planted shall be rooted up. Let them alone : They be blind leaders of the blind, And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Mt. 15:13,14). Then too, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it” (Psalms 127:1). We should constantly search the scriptures that we might know for sure whether or not we are part of the house the Lord himself built. The Scriptures says “ But Christ as a son over his Own house; whose house are we , if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end (Hebrews 3:6). Christ does have a House, “who house are we,” but notice this condition, “ if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end”.
    From whence does this confidence come? What is the basis of this rejoicing of Hope? Confidence and hope come from faith in God (Hebrews 11:1). The inspired writer to the Hebrews says: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This reading refers to things hope for. “Things” is that within the veil (Hebrews 6:19). That which ties us securely to that within the veil is our hope. Our faith is the product of the word of God. “So then Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17),Obviously, therefore, where there is no word of God there can be no faith.
    The way we can give an answer to those who ask for a reason of the hope that is within us is to let everything we do religiously be governed by God’s word. Being a member of certain church is not within itself a legitimate and sufficient reason. We must show with the Scriptures that Jesus has all authority and his Authority is in the New Testament “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11). Romans 6:17 “ But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.”

    (1).- Faith and Opinion .- Perry. B. Cotham, Lubbock Christian College Lectures (Lubbock Craftsman Printers, Inc. 1965),PP. 173-187.
    (2).- Why I am a member of the Church of Christ. By George Bailey, Haun Publishing company. P.O. Box 3426, Pasadena,Texas 77501. P.1,2.

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