It is interesting how - in these last and evil days - many are making professions of faith in Christ, yet feel no need to honor God's words.
I am becoming increasingly convinced that the root of every deception and error lies in an attitude that feels it is acceptable to reject the whole counsel of God. God Himself stated that certain ones are given over to believe a lie because they loved not the truth (II Thessalonians 2:10-11).
So let us not take lightly God's command that we study to show ourselves approved, able to rightly divide the word of truth (II Timothy 2:15); for many are being led astray. Often, these arguments against the Scriptures come across sounding super-spiritual or academic, but beware of the wisdom of men. If one has to pervert or deny the authority of Scripture to support a doctrine, then that is a good indicator such doctrine should be suspect.
In the next few posts, I would like to examine some of the arguments which attempt to downgrade the importance of Scriptures in the life of a believer.
- We only need to be led by the Spirit
- Not all of Scripture is all Scripture
- The Bible is not the "Word of God"
- The Scriptures have been perverted
We Only Need To Be Led By The Spirit
Some have asked me why we should have to study the Scriptures when we have God's Holy Spirit to lead us. Others have even suggested that adherence to the words of God is a hindrance to the move of the Spirit. To these, having the leading of the Spirit "graduates" us from dependence on God's word to such a degree, that we are at liberty to do even what Scripture expressly forbids. From this perspective, it is common to hear such comments as:
- We cannot dictate what God will do or how He will do it
- God cannot be boxed in or limited
- Anything initiated by God's Spirit is acceptable because it is God's Spirit doing it
It is true that we cannot limit God, however, God has chosen to limit Himself...by His own sovereign will, which is reflected in His word (Psalms 40:8; Hebrews 10:7). This self-imposed limitation is the principle behind the assertion that God changes not and is the foundation for every promise He has given. It is because He has chosen to limit Himself according to the purposes reflected in His word that we know His words are sure.
"For thy word's sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them." II Samuel 7:21
God has given His word to His servants, and acts according to this word, so that we may know Him and His will for mankind. The Spirit of God is sent to give life to the word, not to replace it or work against it.
"Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you." Proverbs 1:23
"For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." John 3:34
"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:23-26
Having the Spirit poured unto us does not mean that we are now free to be given a different word than what is written, but that God - by His Spirit - brings the word to our remembrance, amplifies it, enlightens our understanding, and conforms us to it. The Spirit "makes known" the word, not contradicts it.
"Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." II Thessalonians 2:15
The words inspired to be spoken by the Spirit will not contradict the words inspired to be written. Why? Because it is the same Spirit which is the cause of the inspiration. Paul can state here with assurance that the teachings transmitted by spoken and written word are equally sound because they are in agreement. God's words are spirit (John 6:63). Asserting that the Spirit of God will act in a way that opposes God's word is not only unbiblical, it makes God out to be schizophrenic.
|Please visit and support this Christian artist.|
"If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." I Peter 4:11
The words we speak must align with the oracles of God. This is how God will be glorified; with a clear, undefiled testimony of truth confirmed by His Spirit and His word.
Further, we need to understand that there are many spirits in the world, and most of them are not holy. If you are just "listening to the spirit", then how do you know which spirit is leading you? It is clear from Scripture that those who followed, knew, and loved Jesus could also give heed to false spirits if they were not careful (Matthew 16:23; Luke 9:55; I Timothy 4:1; I John 4:1). In fact, deception can be so deceiving, that if possible, even the very elect could be fooled (Matthew 24:24). The safeguard God gives us against such spiritual deception is His word (Deuteronomy 13:1-5; Isaiah 8:20; Galatians 1:8-9).
No matter how spirit-filled one becomes, "following the Spirit" to the exclusion of God's written word increases one's chance of going into error. When Jesus was baptized in the Spirit and led by the same Spirit into the wilderness, He still referred to what was written in order to defeat the enemy. Having the Spirit did not remove the need for Jesus to know God's written word. Have we now become more "spiritual" than Jesus? If the Son of God - being filled with the Holy Spirit - still looked to what was written in order to separate the truth from a lie, then we would do well to follow His example.
Maturing in the faith does not mean that we get to a place where we no longer need the written words of God. Rather, we go from the milk to the meat of the word as God gives us a revelation of the deeper meaning of Scripture by His Spirit (I Corinthians 2:10, 3:1-3; Hebrews 5:12). That is how spiritual maturity is manifested in the life of a believer.
The Spirit of God is not a replacement for the word in our arsenal against the enemy. Rather, the Spirit wields the word in a way so as to effectively destroy the works of the enemy, protect us from deception, and conform us into the image of Christ.