Tag Archives: understanding
The Forgotten Third: Developing a Relationship with God the Holy Spirit — He Illumines the BELIEVER! (Part 2)
Overemphasized or overlooked? That’s the question regarding God the Holy Spirit that we need to answer. Many of us need a refresher course in the ministries and Person of the Third member of the Trinity. Because He is God, He can and should be worshiped. Because He is personal, we can have a personal relationship with Him.
This personal relationship with the Holy Spirit is in addition to our relationship with the Lord Jesus. The Spirit comes to glorify Christ, not Himself. So Jesus should receive our primary attention. But “primary” does not mean “exclusive.” As we examine the ministries of the Holy Spirit, we want to think a bit more this morning on His ministry of illumination.
We’ve seen from the Upper Room Discourse (Jn. 14-16) that the Spirit of God was sent by Jesus as His substitute Teacher (14:26), that He is the “Spirit of truth” and “will testify” about the Lord Jesus (Jn. 15:26). This means His primary curriculum is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself! His teaching ministry will not be a solo work — “He will speak only what He hears.” And we saw that the Spirit “will receive from [the Lord Jesus] what He will make known to you” (Jn. 16:15).
We concluded that 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.
There is another key text about the Spirit’s ministry of ILLUMINATION and it is found in I Corinthians 2 where we read —
6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,
“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.
1. The Spirit reveals truths to us — truths that are not discovered by the wise of this world, a mystery none of the rulers of this age understood (vv. 6-8).
2. These truths surpass what the eye has seen and the ear has heard and the human mind is able to conceive. These are the things God has prepared for those who love Him. And these things have been revealed to us by His Spirit (vv. 9-10).
3. These “thoughts of God” are those which no one knows “except the Spirit of God” (v. 11). We have received this Spirit “so that we may understand what God has freely given us” (v. 12).
4. Our speaking these truths ought to be not with words of human wisdom but “in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words” (v. 13).
5. But what about the unsaved person? We are told that “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (v. 14). There is a discernment that only the Spirit of God can give. And He gives that discernment only to those who “have” the Spirit.
The person without the Spirit does not “accept the things that come from the Spirit but considers them foolishness.” The word “accept” is a verb that means to “warmly embrace.”
Conclusion: The illuminating ministry of the Spirit of God involves His helping the believer warmly embrace the truths of God. It is not a substitute for the diligent study of the Word. It is not a substitute for proper principles of interpretation (hermeneutics). The Spirit of God works with the believer in not only understanding God’s truth, but applying God’s truth to himself and others.
The Challenge: What passage of the Bible are you presently studying? Not just reading, but pouring over, meditating on, carefully examining? Ask God the Holy Spirit to help you as only He can in that important work!
Okay. Okay. It might have been staged. I don’t know. One hopes there were pillows on the floor in front of him!
He needed a bit more direction, didn’t he? He should have been told to “fall backwards!”, right?
We ought to be very cautious in giving our trust to just anyone! One of the great things I love about the Christian life is that it is not blind faith in Someone we have not seen without any evidence!
17 Be good to your servant while I live,
that I may obey your word.
18 Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in your law.
19 I am a stranger on earth;
do not hide your commands from me.
20 My soul is consumed with longing
for your laws at all times.
21 You rebuke the arrogant, who are accursed,
those who stray from your commands.
22 Remove from me their scorn and contempt,
for I keep your statutes.
23 Though rulers sit together and slander me,
your servant will meditate on your decrees.
24 Your statutes are my delight;
they are my counselors.
33 Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.[b]
34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.[c]
38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
39 Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
40 How I long for your precepts!
In your righteousness preserve my life.
25 I am laid low in the dust;
preserve my life according to your word.
26 I gave an account of my ways and you answered me;
teach me your decrees.
27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,
that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 My soul is weary with sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
29 Keep me from deceitful ways;
be gracious to me and teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I have set my heart on your laws.
31 I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
do not let me be put to shame.
32 I run in the path of your commands,
for you have broadened my understanding.