14
Sep
12

Word and Spirit and…


Christians tend to be conditioned to rely on the teaching of professional clergy for their understanding of God and His ways, I see that as being counterproductive and very dangerous.

My own view is that believers need to search the scriptures for themselves and to rely on the Holy Spirit to teach rather than man. However this in itself, if practiced in isolation, can be no less dangerous than blindly accepting the teaching of a church pastor or priest. It is easy for us to project our own prejudices and expectations into what we read in scripture and think that understanding came from the Holy Spirit, when it really came from our own imagination (or worse!).

In addition to the scriptures and the Spirit I see a third requirement – fellowship.

By this I don’t mean meeting with a group of virtual strangers in a designated building for an hour or two each week to sing hymns and listen to a talk. To me fellowship is regular interaction with (Spirit led) believers by any means possible, wherever possible.

This contact gives the opportunity for our personal understanding to be tested. The conclusions we have drawn through our interaction with both scripture and Spirit can be confirmed or corrected through relationship with spirit led believers as long as we genuinely desire the truth.

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3 Responses to “Word and Spirit and…”


  1. 1 Steve
    September 15, 2012 at 12:48 am

    “This contact gives the opportunity for our personal understanding to be tested. The conclusions we have drawn through our interaction with both scripture and Spirit can be confirmed or corrected through relationship with spirit led believers as long as we genuinely desire the truth.”

    Amen to this perceptive comment !

    We like to think we can bring our attitude of autonomy (“self-law”) with us when God “…rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son.” As if God welcomes into His Kingdom the greatest enemy of His rule !!

    We can easily convince ourselves that scripture and the Spirit are telling us “You are absolutely right.” Not that we ever control what they say: but our autonomy is very clever at controlling the interpretation of what they say, and what we will CHOOSE to hear.

    Only in faithful brothers and sisters can we trust that scripture, the Spirit, AND their interpretation are safely out of our autonomy’s control. Thank God for those He puts in our lives to “confirm or correct” us !!

    It requires MORE of us. It’s easy to believe and trust God…He’s GOD, righteous and holy. But another human being, whom we know to be as flawed as we are !?!? We have to trust God can, and does, put His truth in the hearts and mouths of those as flawed as we are. And most of all, we have to love Truth so completely that we will receive it even if that requires GIVING UP our own autonomy.

    In Jesus, Steve

  2. September 18, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    “But another human being, whom we know to be as flawed as we are !?!? We have to trust God can, and does, put His truth in the hearts and mouths of those as flawed as we are”

    ——
    Hi Steve, unfortunately the majority put too much trust in others to give us His truth. They rely completely on recognised “ministers” to tell them what should be believed. A few will take the time to look up a few proof texts given by the minister and as a result will conclude that what he said was valid.

    Very few start with scripture
    Few ask God to give them understanding directly by His Spirit.
    And the few who take that route often think they don’t need any input of trusted believers.

    We need all of them – but most of all we need to believe that God WILL reveal His truth, giving us the necessary checks and balances WHEN we trust Him to do so – when we put less trust in ourselves to work things out and when we stop handing over responsibility for our spiritual well-being to others.

    We should turn to God first and THEN let others confirm (or correct) what we think He is teaching us. And be PATIENT enough to keep what we think we’ve learned to ourselves UNTIL we receive that confirmation or correction.

  3. 3 Steve
    September 19, 2012 at 4:32 am

    “We need all of them – but most of all we need to believe that God WILL reveal His truth, giving us the necessary checks and balances WHEN we trust Him to do so – when we put less trust in ourselves to work things out and when we stop handing over responsibility for our spiritual well-being to others.

    We should turn to God first and THEN let others confirm (or correct) what we think He is teaching us.”

    Amen again !

    Re-reading, I think I ‘way over-emphasized hearing God’s word through others (possibly because that was particularly difficult for me personally to learn): as you point out, that too can definitely be its own trap, and is trusting MAN as much as if we act in complete autonomy.

    Meanwhile, it’s good to be able to follow what God’s doing in your life and thoughts, and pop in and chat. Thanks for blogging !

    In Jesus, Steve


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