How many times has someone said to you, “The Holy Spirit told me so!” Was it really the Holy Spirit? Let’s explore this.
The idea that we can be Spirit-led even when the “spirit” is contradicting God’s word is embraced by many today, and along with it, the authority–much less the credibility–of the Bible is under attack. The danger here is in crafting a “god of our own imagination”…I guess it all boils down to: What is truth? People everywhere subscribe to a “version” of their own truth, but in a study of what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit’s purpose and working in a Christian’s life we see that it’s all very straight-forward. If you believe the Bible…
Recently some friends and I were discussing this. I said, “How do we know what is truth, if we do not have an authority to turn to? We can’t rely on the Holy Spirit alone, especially if it contradicts God’s own words.”
This was interpreted as me saying that the Bible trumps the Holy Spirit. That the Spirit is incapable of guiding us into all truth and that the only way to stay out of hell was a literal reading of the Bible…
I should have clarified that the Holy Spirit will NEVER contradict the Bible, God’s words. Yes, the Holy Spirit is capable of guiding us into all truth–that is scriptural! So, hell aside, what did I mean exactly?
I meant that people get into trouble when they dismiss the relevance of the Bible, and rely on what they sincerely think is the Holy Spirit. Maybe they are being led of the Spirit..but the Bible tells us that there are “spirits of truth and spirits of error”…without knowledge of the Bible and how the Holy Spirit works in a believer’s life, we are ripe for deception by “other spirits”.
This is KEY: Galatians 1:6-9, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 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.” Paul is so serious here, that he repeats this strong statement in verse 9, “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
Equally strong warning is found in 2 Cor. 11:2, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
A few years ago, this was a new concept to me…that there could be “another Jesus”…a counterfeit of the REAL Jesus. Not only a counterfeit Jesus, but a counterfeit gospel, presented as if it was the gospel of Christ. Along with this warning, we find many many others in the New Testament, in John, 2 Peter, Jude, 1-3 John, and in most of the Pauline epistles. So let’s take it to heart. There are many deceptions out there masquerading as the REAL deal. There is safety in no man, not even in seminaries or Bible scholars, or your beloved pastor, only in God and outlined clearly in his words to us–the Bible. In the end, WE are held accountable, and thank God for pastors and teachers–we’re sure blessed by many, but even the most godly of men can be sincerely wrong, so know the Book–it will reveal truth about our God and Savior, and cover all the bases.
Tomorrow we will delve DEEP into scripture to see how exactly the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth!