So what is the work of the Holy Spirit in our understanding of the Scripture?
- To convince us of their truth in addition to an exegetical way. How?
- Our respectful relationship to the Lord.
- Our belief in the bodily resurrection of Christ.
- Our belief in the physical return of Jesus Christ
- Our belief in the deity of Christ.
- Our belief that Jesus was God in his humanity on earth.
I must say the real challenge of agonizing with issues is to determine how much the health of the church is impacted by our exegetical decisions. I have a convincing idea about what Scripture says how to have a strong and healthy church. But I have discovered that the presentation of one’s findings must always be actualized by a spirit of CHARITY.
"Be careful not to elevate your own non-central beliefs to the first level of conviction that is reserved for those truths which the Spirit bears witness to"
The fact that the Holy Spirit can be suppressed to a degree, we must keep a passionate heart toward God (through prayer, worship, church, humility and obedience.) We must also keep a very high value of the preciousness of these central truths by study of the Scripture, in order to cultivate the apprehension of the Spirit’s inner witness in us.
- The Bible is our only present source of absolute propositional truth. It came into being by the now completed work of INSPIRATION, a special work of the Holy Spirit. Holy men of God were moved in such a way as to render their inspired writings inerrant in all matters of fact, doctrine and interpretation. They were superintended so that their words would exactly convey the ideas God intended them to convey sovereignly utilizing their human individualities (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:19-21, 1 Corinthians 14:37).
The work of the Holy Spirit is necessary in the work of knowing the Scripture. We can be so into the study of the Scripture that we might foreget the work of the Holy Spirit.
But on the other hand there are also dangers that emerge once we begin to speak of the need of the Spirit to illumine.
Some would have us to believe that if its the Spirit which gives understanding of God's Word, then scholarly helps, Charles Spurgeon, John Owens and John MacArthur works are not necessary, and other helps linguistic and grammatical study, and the consultation of commentaries are unnecesary, which I believe is a form of intellectual presumtion.
I have encounter an impatient hearer, who will say, "Don't give me Greek or Hebrew or theology, just tell me what the Bible says!"
Some are so secure in the conviction that what they believe is a Spirit-given interpretation of a passage that they are immu;ne to any instruction.
I know some who expect a special private revelation as they are reading the Bible: "I was reading the Bible in the quietness of my study this morning, and the Lord said to me..."
The idea that the things of the Spirit are spiritually discerned is a glorious and comforting thought, but like so much in Scripture, it is something, which the ignorant can twist to their own destruction.
The danager of misunderstanding 1 Corinthians 2:14 will lead to the tempting the human pride to believe that the surface, straightforward meaning of Scripture is only a divice to conceal deeper truth from the uninitiated.
We must study the Scripture with the belief that the Holy Spirit will aid our understanding, but at the same time know that my understanding is limited by my sinful mind, and thus I need to know there is no priviate interpretation of any Scripture.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into the study of the Scripture. But study the Scripture. Use the necessary tools that will help you in the meaning of the words and grammer. Greek and Hebrew and theology study is necessary in the study of the Bible. Its okay, its not a lack of spirituallity, to check out what John MacArthur is saying about a text.
Drafted By Charles E. Whisnant and Proof Read in part by Charity Whisnant