The Spirit and the Scriptures
John 14:25-26; 15:26-27; 16:12-15; 2 Timothy 3:14-16; Hebrews 2:1-4; 2 Peter 1:16-21
September 17, 2017
Mark Twain: It’s not the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that bother me; it’s the parts I do understand.
At least Mark Twain knew the Bible. That’s more than can be said for most people today, even people who claim to follow Jesus.
Recent findings from the Pew Research Foundation indicate that while Americans revere the Bible that don’t tend to read it.
In a related finding, it is equally clear that a shrinking number of people regard the Bible as God’s word. Recent research from Gallup reports the following:
Over the past three decades, Americans’ view of the Bible as the literal word of God has been declining, while their view that the Bible is a collection of fables, myths and history recorded by man has been increasing. The shift is most pronounced among young adults, indicating the trend is likely to accelerate in the years ahead.
From 32% in 1976 to 12% today
Americans in all age groups still largely accept the Bible as a holy document, but most of these downplay God’s direct role in it. That could mean people are more willing than in the past to believe it is open to interpretation — if man, not God, wrote the Bible, more can be questioned. And that, in turn, may have consequences for where Americans come down on a number of morally tinged issues.
Among Millennials the percentage is lower than previous gens but among those who do hold to the authority of Scripture there is a deeper devotion to reading, study, and sharing.
2 Peter 1:16-21
The image is wind in the sails… the men are the sails but it is the movement of the wind that presses the ship towards its destination.
The Bible is a fully human book: culture, literary forms, human personalities, etc
The Bible is also a divine book: it’s ultimate source is God himself, superintending over and in the limitations of the human.
The authority of Scripture is rooted in its source – God himself.
Not everything God has ever said is written in Scripture, as the Gospels make plain: ‘The world could not contain the books’
But what we do have is indeed God’s own permanent word to us for all time – “Have you never read that which was spoken to you by God?”: Jesus
What we have in Scripture is:
Everything we NEED to know for faith
Everything we NEED to learn for wisdom
Everything we NEED to have for hope
Wei San Hui and Reading Romans
Two Current Problems:
People Ignore the Scripture through Neglect
Revere it but they don’t know it
People Supplant the Scripture through faux Spirituality
God told me…
“The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth What does straw have in common with grain?” declares the LORD. – Jeremiah 23:28
The Spirit and the Scriptures Agree Together
Scripture is ‘God-breathed’ – 2 Timothy 3:16
Scripture is written by People moved by the Spirit
Faithful Informed Recollection: what he has said
Faithful Inspired Revelation: what he has yet to say
A special endowment of the Spirit was given to certain people to make their words the revelatory words of God for the Church for all time
Thus able to bear witness: John 15:26-27
Special gifts of the Spirit were given to these people to confirm their testimony: Hebrews 2:1-4
These gifts were unique to that time because their purpose was to confirm the testimony of the Apostles.
Why would we wait around for some new revelation for our lives? Our problem isn’t spirituality but laziness. We just don’t want to study and pray the Scriptures; we don’t fully trust the enlivening presence of the Spirit with the Scriptures. We want new revelations when many haven’t even cracked the cover of the massive revelation we have!
“My words are spirit and life” – John 6:63
Calvin on the frenzy of looking beyond the Scriptures
The Spirit and the Scriptures Mature Together
How did Timothy grow in the Faith?
Scripture and Spirit
“from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Tim 3
Jesus said that the Scriptures speak of him.
Jesus said the Spirit would point us to him.
Both Scripture and Spirit keep directing our hearts to fresh encounters with an old rugged cross, with a fresh apprehension of an ancient text, to a renewed passion for the Son’s glory.
The Spirit is with us to open our hearts and minds to words, the Scriptures, which he first inspired and in doing so glorify Jesus in and by our lives.
Categories in: General