April 16 – Confirming the Word

April 16 – Confirming the Word

1 Corinthians 2:14

“People who aren’t Christians can’t understand these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them because only those who have the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means.” (1 Corinthians 2 :14, NLT)

My struggle with disbelief led to a lonely period of my life with no dependable truth. Finally, I prayed an arrogant but honest prayer. I asked God to prove to me that He exists. I was surprised to find that God had answered my prayer before I was even born. My search took me back to the Bible.

I had come to believe that the Bible was riddled with errors, yet the Holy Spirit began to use the Bible itself to build a foundation for my faith. For example, I realized that the Old Testament predicted many details about the Messiah:

  • When and where He would be born.
  • What He would do.
  • How He would die.
  • That He would live forever.

These were predictions made hundreds of years before Christ’s birth. I was discovering revelation, supernatural revelation-the Bible, a miracle in my hand. I began, ever so tentatively, to embrace God with my mind. I was experiencing personally what God did through history – God revealed Himself. I call it the great unveiling.

If God had not chosen to reveal Himself, He would remain forever a mystery to us. I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit was leading me into truth. That’s His job. Jesus said, “When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16 :13). Many believers go through periods of questioning or doubting. If you have, recall one or more of your concerns. How would you describe how you dealt with them? God provided a written record of everything we need to know about Him, so we can enter into relationship with Him. The Spirit of God led the writers of Scripture to communicate what we need to know to experience fellowship with God. But you may ask legitimate questions about the Bible:

  • How do we know the words of the Bible are from God?
  • How did the Holy Spirit inspire Scripture?
  • Can we understand Scripture so that we know God’s will?

Understanding the Bible and relating to God through His Holy Spirit go together. We cannot know God apart from Scripture, and we cannot understand the Bible apart from the Spirit. Reread 1 Corinthians 2:14 above. How could you explain why any person without the Holy Spirit is unable to understand spiritual things?

Several terms describe the relationship between the Bible and the Spirit . Some of these terms are: revelation, authority, inspiration, interpretation, and illumination. God has chosen to disclose truth about the universe, about humanity, and about Himself – truth that we would not otherwise know.

I call this self-disclosure The Great Unveiling. The Bible is our authority because it is the only completely dependable means through which God has revealed Himself to us. The Holy Spirit gave revelation through a process we call inspiration. We have the privilege and the responsibility to determine what each passage means through interpretation. For the task of interpretation, we have the assistance of the Holy Spirit guiding us into all truth through the process of illumination.

About the Bible Herschel Hobbs wrote: “Revelation is God’s unveiling of truth. Inspiration is receiving and transmitting truth. Illumination is understanding truth (cf. John 16:13). In the biblical sense, revelation and inspiration were completed with the close of the New Testament. But illumination is a continuing activity of the Holy Spirit.” [22]

What is your attitude toward the authority of Scripture? Which of the following descriptions best fits?

  • I can’t believe some things in the Bible are true.
  • The Bible is good literature, but it doesn’t have divine authority.
  • I believe the Bible is true, but I still want to choose my own values.
  • The Bible is true in all its parts, and thus is the final authority for what I believe and how I behave.
  • Other?

Now would be a good time to thank the Lord for His authority in your life. Thank Him for the Bible. Ask Him to empower you to understand more clearly the role His Word should play in your life. Would it help to write out your response to God for today?

[22] Herschel Hobbs, What Baptists Believe. Broadman Press, 1964, 12. (available at: https://www.google.com/books/edition/What_Baptists_Believe/EBu5AwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1)

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