- 5A If a person encompasses the principle of belief in the transcendental (supernatural) they are in a better position to interpret both the miracles and prophecy. Non-Believers can not treat the book of Jonah adequately. Those who cannot accept prophecy, or prophetic portions of Scripture are forced to interpret those prophecies as other than real prediction. (Could this be the case of prediction of an Earthly 1000 years kingdom?)
Those who accept in faith those events will have a much better position of understanding the Bible.
- 6A WHAT ABOUT THE INNER WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT (Rom. 8:16, 1 John 2:20,27)
When the Holy Spirit within us gives us conviction and perception of the central truths of Scripture.
So what is the work of the Holy Spirit in our understanding of the Scripture?
1A To convince us of their truth in addition to an exegetical way. How?
1B Our respectful relationship to the Lord.
2B Our belief in the bodily resurrection of Christ.
3B Our belief in the physical return of Jesus Christ
4B Our belief in the deity of Christ.
5B Our belief in our need of salvation in Jesus Christ alone .
6B Our belief that Jesus was God in his humanity on earth.
What the Spirit may not convince us of:
1B Whether Reformed theology is right.
2B Whether dispensationalism or covenant theology is a better system.
3B How to define spiritual gifts.
4B How long it took God to create the Universe
5B If to be a Baptist is preferred over being a Methodist.
Or an Independent Fundamentalist vs. an Evangelical, or Reformer.
I would say there are several areas that are left for us to examine using our best rational and experimental resources. Many!
But at the same time it does not mean that we cannot come to some fairly firm conclusions About these, I am fairly firm about the Baptist thing.
I have read that there are "negotiables" in Scripture. They are very important areas of investigation, but are not issues of life and death of the church. Some are more important than others. For example: to have elders and deacons in the church, versus just deacons and pastors. Maybe the form of church government.. I believe the proper conclusions about many of these are necessary for the health of the church, but are not essential for the life of the Church.
The greatest work of the Spirit in the person is in the area of salvation. The Holy Spirit is essential in the life of the unbeliever for salvation. And the Holy Spirit is essential in the life of the Believer to bring about the process of salvation in his life.
The inner witness of the Holy Spirit seems apparently not to happen as fully in other areas. Which doesn’t mean one area is not important. Otherwise, all of us would believe the exact same way. It seems that the central work of the Holy Spirit is in the area of salvation.. And as we move from that area to other teaching, there seems to be more freedom and tolerance of those who disagree with us.
- We will continue with part four next:
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant Proof Read by Charity Whisnant