What does it mean that the Holy Spirit is our teacher - especially when different Christians can disagree? Does it mean one of us is operating in rebellion or in bad faith?
Here is one book's response:
Craig A. Blaising and Darrell L. Bock, Progressive Dispensationalism (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1993), 69–70.
Great question. The Holy Spirit will certainly teach us and will never mislead us, so how do we arrive at different conclusions? We are all human, prone to pride and self-righteousness. The failures are not the Holy Spirit, but the failures are ours for crediting the Holy Spirit with our own ideas. I wonder if that is a form of blasphemy? We should take this seriously. The call to humility is vital. Yet that does not mean there are not certainties on which we can stand. May God give us wisdom. Looking forward to more thoughts here.
I think the teaching from the Holy Spirit is equal to holiness. I think I understand scripture more, the more I repent. I'm at the place now where I refuse to imagine or think impure or hateful thoughts in fear of losing the treasures he uncovers in his word. Because over time I have experienced a direct correlation here.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”, 2 Corinthians 10:4–5
But the converse is true also. Most of the error I've had to overcome came from indoctrination in what I would call subpar churches where worldliness is the norm.
I've found that worldliness and a taste for the more trendy theologies in churches also correlate.
Yes, I think that is exactly what Ezekiel 36:26-28 is telling us!
For the most part teaching is restricted to the Word of God. There is a need to study to show oneself approved. The Spirit alone can supernaturally illuminate and allow understanding. The Spirit reveals to believers only as Christ instructs.
Two principal passages describe the teaching ministry of the Spirit:
1. John 16:12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will [future tense] guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
2. 1 Corinthians 2:9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 3:1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,
These two passages teach the following facts about illumination:
1. The Spirit is the Teacher, and His presence in the believer guarantees the availability of this ministry to all believers.
2. Unbelievers, therefore, cannot experience this ministry. Even though they may achieve a high level of understanding of the Bible, they consider what they know basically as foolishness.
3. The Spirit’s teaching encompasses “all the truth,” including that of “what is to come,”
4. Carnality in the believer can thwart this ministry
5. The purpose of the Spirit’s ministry is to glorify Christ
6. The Spirit will use those who have the gift of teaching to carry out His ministry (Romans 12:7; 1 John 2:27). This includes the writings of those who, now dead, have left the results of the Spirit’s work in their lives in that written form.
The experience of illumination is not by “direct revelation.” The canon is closed. The Spirit illumines the meaning of that closed canon, and He does so through study and meditation. Study employs all the proper tools for ascertaining the meaning of the text. Meditation thinks about the true facts of the text, putting them together into a harmonious whole and applying them to one’s own life. The end result of the illumination ministry of the Spirit is to glorify Christ in the life, or to promote healthy doctrine—teaching that brings spiritual health and wholeness to the believer’s life. Illumination is not concerned merely with understanding facts but with using those facts to promote Christlikeness.
• Luke 12:12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour and moment what [you] ought to say.
• John 14:26 But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf] [which means Christ has authorized this], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.
• John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. [“and the Word became flesh”]
• Acts 10:19 And while Peter was earnestly revolving the vision in his mind and meditating on it, the [Holy] Spirit said to him, Behold, three men are looking for you!
• 1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness [absurd and illogical] to those who are perishing and spiritually dead [because they reject it], but to us who are being saved [by God’s grace] it is [the manifestation of] the power of God.
• 1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have not received the spirit [that belongs to] the world, but the [Holy] Spirit Who is from God, [given to us] that we might realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts [of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly] bestowed on us by God.2 Timothy 3:7 [unbelievers] always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. [Christ is truth]
• 1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking under the power and influence of the [Holy] Spirit of God can [ever] say, Jesus be cursed! And no one can [really] say, Jesus is [my] Lord, except by and under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit.
• 1 John 2:27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing [Spirit] teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.
• The Spirit inspires the scriptures: 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
• Truths are revealed to those that are spiritual:
• 1 Corinthians 3:1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,
• 1 Corinthians 2:15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.
• [It is not humanly possible to give thanks always. This could only be achieved by a Spirit-filled life through the Spirit’s intercession.]
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