by Rex Rouis
Jesus said that it was a good thing that He was going away, because then the Father could send the Holy Spirit as our Helper (John 16:7). The Holy Spirit could then guide each of us personally into the truth, teach us all things, and bring to our remembrance all that Jesus had said. After all, the Godhead is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Jesus made it sound like having the Holy Spirit was an important thing. Something, and Someone, you would want to have with you forever – a divine personal guide into all things God. He, the Third Person of the Godhead, is the one who welcomes us with His witness, and keeps us on the right path. And, that His help would continue forever.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:14-16
But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. John 16:13-16
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever John 14:16
I will pour out My Spirit on you. I will make my words known to you.Proverbs 1:23But ‘forever’ isn’t correct if you believe that the personal work of the Holy Spirit ended long ago, that the Holy Spirit ceased working actively and miraculously sometime during the early church period. Once the Bible was written, He is thought by some to be no longer needed.
This kind of thinking evolved out of The Enlightenment, an intellectual movement during the eighteenth century, which elevated human reason to near divine status. It ascribed to reason alone the ability to discern truth of all types without appeal to supernatural divine revelation. Man went from a place of dependence upon revelation to the Age of Reason. Its effect today among mainstream evangelicals is to focus on the authority of the written word and to deny the reality of the ‘spiritual’ and unverifiable work of the Spirit.
My own mind is my own church.Thomas PaineThe intellectual mind is comfortable with the written word. It can be read, analyzed, and it can even appear to be understood. They believe it is ignorant to think that the Holy Spirit is needed to understand the Bible. It is as if we are saying that the Bible on its own is inadequate. Imagine someone teaching that the Bible itself is inadequate? Except that is exactly what is implied by God Himself. Who needs the Holy Spirit when we have a completed Bible? According to the God of the Bible – every Christian alive.
The Bible could not have been written without the help of the Holy Spirit, and it cannot be read without the help of the Holy Spirit. The Word of God is Spirit and Life. It is not a book of natural reason. Our intellect could study the Bible and never find God. Understanding the Bible is an issue of revelation and not of intelligence. Belief is a moral and spiritual issue. The Pharisees diligently searched the scriptures and yet they never recognized Jesus.
You diligently search the Scriptures because you think to have eternal life in them, and these are they bearing witness concerning Me; John 5:39 Berean Literal Bible
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” John 3:3
The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. John 6:63b
The merely intellectual man rejects the teaching of the Spirit of God; for to him it is mere folly; he cannot grasp it, because it is to be understood only by spiritual insight. I Corinthians 2:14 Twentieth Century New Testament
Faith is a divine supernatural evidence or conviction of things not seen, things not discoverable by our senses. In this experience, the Spirit takes the written truth that is known only rationally and makes it real to us in our spirit. It opens the eyes of our understanding to the meaning behind the meaning. We are no longer sharing mere ideas, now we are sharing God’s life.
To drain the work of the Holy Spirit from the world would drain God’s Life from the world. The written Word of God gives balance to walking in the Spirit, and the Spirit gives life to the Word. Faith, the Bible says, comes by hearing and hearing by the (spoken) word of Christ – by way of the Holy Spirit. Without this hearing, we are faithless and powerless. No wonder Jesus told His disciples to wait until they received power of the Spirit to be His witnesses. We were not meant to do this alone.