If you missed yesterday’s intro, please check it out here.
How does the Holy Spirit guide us into all truth?
Check it out: The Holy Spirit does guide us into all truth. How does he do that, so we can trust it? As you read the following proof texts, notice how interwoven the Spirit’s work is with the word of God. They go hand in hand.
2 Peter 1:21, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
The Holy Spirit was key in the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, as such, he will not contradict them.
1 Cor. 2:13, “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
Don’t we prefer God’s wisdom over “Man’s wisdom” any day? We should. What does comparing “spiritual things with spiritual” mean? I believe it’s a direct insight into how to study the Bible with the Holy Spirit teaching…we are NOT to rely on man’s interpretation alone, rather we’re to use the Bible, letting it teach us by cross-referencing topics within the Bible. Get a concordance to make it easier and let the Bible define itself. We have learned how to do this in the past few years and there is no more rewarding study guide or commentary than the Bible itself. It is AWESOME! Watch it come alive to your whole family this way.
1 John 4:1 says, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world”
Here’s the bit about there being counterfeit spirits and how to test whether you are hearing from the Holy Spirit or not. See the next verse.
Same passage, verse 6,
“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”
The Holy Spirit–the spirit of truth, is proven true or litmus tested by what those (Paul, John, other Bible authors) godly men wrote, and we hear His words that He spoke through them when we read the word. It’s pretty black and white–if you won’t heed the scriptures that they wrote…you are not of God. (Another litmus test, you could say, of the “believers” in your life, do they heed the Bible or are they constantly correcting it, doubting it, attacking it?)
John 8:47 is another profound statement of the above. If we do not heed God’s word, we do not belong to God.
“He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”
Paul emphasizes this more, with rejoicing, in 1 Thess. 2:13,
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” (emphasis mine)
And these last ones found in John chapters 15, 16 & 17 are just icing on the cake as we wrap up this topic of the Holy Spirit’s guiding, truth, and God’s word:
John 15:26, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:”
THREE Objectives of the Holy Spirit
Wow! Three of the Holy Spirit’s objectives are listed by Christ in John 16:7-8,
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” (emphasis mine)
The Holy Spirit’s first function is to “reprove the world of sin”…He points out sin, he doesn’t overlook it, or tolerate it…because he is HOLY. He helps us see our need for repentance and for Jesus, and then He grows us in the Lord.
John 17:14-17, again, words of Christ,
“I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (emphasis mine)
What is the definition of truth? “thy word is truth” Jesus is talking to God the Father. “Thy” is referring to the Father’s truth, God’s word, which incidentally is another name for Jesus in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In another place, Jesus says he is the letters of the Greek alphabet themselves: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.”
So we go back to John 16:13-14,
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”
We know that the Bible defines “truth” as God’s word, and through it, we are sanctified as Holy Spirit led believers in Jesus Christ’s shed blood at the cross for our sins, that he rose again and is sitting at the right hand of God, interceding for us this very day.
We need to remember that Christians are not immune to deception, nor are we immune to being unknowingly used as tools by the evil one. We read the opposite when we see Jesus rebuke Peter, “Get thee behind me Satan!”, and in the example of Ananias and Sapphira when Peter tells Ananias that Satan has filled his heart to lie to the Holy Ghost. Even in the Old Testament there are examples for our learning, when God’s greatest leaders relied on their own perceptions of truth apart from and in direct defiance of God’s word to them, and were deceived resulting in lifelong and devastating consequences. Joshua and the Gibeonites, with their sob story and moldy bread, for one example (look it up!). We are even told that we aren’t to offer hospitality to false teachers (2 Jn 1:11-13)…not that we can’t share Christ’s gospel with them, but that we are “partakers in their evil deeds” if we invite them into our homes, sup with them, or even bid them godspeed! Obviously, the Lord directs us in scripture to take these things very seriously..so the next time you are praying for guidance, and you receive advice that doesn’t line up with scripture…
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21