“He illumines the believer? What in the world are you talking about?”, you might say. We are continuing our study of God the Holy Spirit and this morning we want to talk about ILLUMINATION!
It seems to me that some Christians either overemphasize the Spirit while others overlook Him. We need a biblical balance in understanding His ministries in the world . . . and in us!
We know that the Spirit of God was sent by Jesus as His substitute Teacher. We read the following in the Upper Room Discourse (John 14-16):
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (Jn. 14)
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. (Jn. 15)
12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” (Jn. 16)
We must make several points about these verses in John 14-16-
1. The Spirit of God will teach the disciples all things and will remind them of everything Jesus had said to them (Jn. 14:26).
The primary application of this verse is to the original Apostles and seems to be a reference to their being taught and guided into writing the New Testament Scriptures.
A secondary application which seems valid is that this verse applies to all believers who pay attention to what the Lord Jesus said. They will receive the Spirit’s help in focusing upon Christ’s teachings.
2. The Spirit of God is “the Spirit of truth” and “will testify” about the Lord Jesus (Jn. 15:26).
There is a definite curriculum for the Substitute Teacher and it is . . . the Lord Jesus.
3. This “Spirit of truth” will “guide [the disciples] into all the truth” (Jn. 16:12). His teaching ministry will not be a solo work — “He will speak only what He hears.”
There is an order in the Trinity that no one, especially theologians, understands. But John 16 indicates that the Spirit’s role is to “glorify” the Son. And the Spirit “will receive from [the Lord Jesus] what He will make known to you” (Jn. 16:15).
So, what does this have to do with ILLUMINATION? The Spirit of God is intimately involved in the believer’s studying the words of the Lord Jesus, and, by extension, his or her diligent study of any of the written Word of God.
Another key text in regard to this illuminating ministry is . . . — a text we will examine in our next post!
The Challenge: Get into God’s Word today — and let the Spirit of God teach you something new or remind you of something you have forgotten!