The Word of God – Part 5
Psalms 119:98-100 “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts.”
We read that when the resurrected Jesus was in the midst of the 12 disciples that “he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” Luke 24:45
We will not understand Scripture by intellect alone. It will take the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit to open Scripture. One man of God rightly said: “The Bible is burglar proof against all unsanctified learning. The Holy Spirit alone holds the key to it.” In other words, if we are going to understand the Word of God then it is going to be the Holy Spirit teaching us. It was Augustine who said: “I would affirm that the sufficiency of our learning is to discover that our learning is insufficient.”
Just as we need the Holy Spirit for the work, so we need Him to fit us for the work. Jesus told His disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit. It could have been easy for the 12 disciples to think that because they had been with Jesus for three years (three years of Bible School) that they were prepared to go out.
This, I believe, is a mistake that we are making today; that somehow a biblical education fits us for the work of the ministry. I am not saying that this is not important, but if we do not have the Holy Spirit leading in this then we are doomed to failure.
Often what we call “sacred” learning is nothing more than ‘secular’ because so often there is the absence of the Spirit’s anointing and illuminating power as well as dependence upon the Holy Spirit.
What we have found out throughout the history of the church is that studies about God when there is not a humble dependence upon the Holy Spirit to illuminate – do not help but are actually harmful. We have too many preachers preaching about God; preachers who do not know the Lord in an intimate way. They know about Him, but they do not know Him in truth and Spirit.
In Psalms 103:7 “He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel.” This is what I am referring to. There is a difference between knowing the ways of God and actually seeing His them, in His deeds. Moses knew the ways of God and through Moses God could act and show His ways/deeds to the children of Israel. I believe that this brings out the difference between a person who has been fitted by the Holy Spirit for the work, and those who have not.
It was professor Beck who said: “Gentlemen remember that without the illumination of the Spirit theology is not only a cold stone, it is deadly poison.” The Psalmist said: “If the foundation is being destroyed what can the righteous do?” What is our foundation? The Scriptures! Who have been the ones tearing down the Scriptures? It has been our so-called theological professors.
One of the reasons for this is that they think that they can understand the Scriptures by microscopic exegesis and by philosophical analysis. However, we read in 1 Corinthians 2:11 “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” This seems to be a truth that today has been forgotten by many of our Bible Schools and Seminaries. We read about the two disciples on the Emmaus road that when they were walking with Jesus and Jesus opened the Scripture to them, their hearts burned within them.
Reformation will bring us back to a simple reliance upon the Holy Spirit to understand Scripture and to see Scripture become flesh in us.