Faithful preachers emphasize the importance and necessity of Bible study and prayer because it is in these activities that the mind of Christ is developed in the Christian. Yet, others, even some in the Lord's church, have suggested that these activities are not sufficient to guide us and aid us in developing the heart and mind of Christ. They suggest that the Spirit of God must guide us in addition to, or separate from, the Word of God and prayer.
The work of the Spirit of God was and is to transform us so that we might live more like Christ. We are told to walk in the Spirit and to live thereby (Gal. 5:16). Paul said that, in order for us to be the sons of God, it is essential that we be led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14).
The question is not "Does the Spirit lead us?" but "How does this leading take place?" It is not done separate and apart from the Word of God but through the Word. Those who advocate a leading of the Spirit separate from the Word of God will tell you that if any leading of the Spirit is not in harmony with God's Word then it is not the Spirit of God. My question then is, "What is it?" If the Spirit leads in some way separate and apart from God's Word but cannot speak anything that is not in God's Word, then why is the Spirit telling you and not telling everyone else? Why do we need the Bible at all? Yes, Paul said, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:8). Does this mean that an angel or even the Spirit would speak directly to us today? Paul supposes an impossibility in order to make his statement emphatic.
What says the Word of God? Jesus said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63). He told the apostles that He would send the Spirit ... to teach them all things, to bring all things to their remembrance of what He had said, to testify of Him, and to guide them into all truth (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13). Paul wrote, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:13). What is the Spirit by which we are baptized? It is the teaching of the Spirit given to the apostles and that which we can read about in the Bible. Paul said further that the Spirit had revealed to him the knowledge of the mystery of Christ, and he wrote those things down so that when we read we can have the same knowledge he had by inspiration (Eph. 3:1-5).
Paul told Timothy, "that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:15-17). He also wrote to the church in Colosse that they should, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom" (Col. 3:16).
God loves us and did not leave us with insufficient guidance or the need for some separate leading of a supernatural nature. "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue" (2 Peter 1:3). So, study and pray, then worship and labor as a child of God till the day comes when we shall receive our eternal inheritance. 345 Klingler Rd., Paulding, OH 45879. email@example.com
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