Not in Word Only

Not in Word Only

Have you ever read a good book that made you want to know the author?  The Bible is just such a book to me.  It plainly states who its author is, and even gives many insights into His character and being.  It also records His interactions with those in the events He has recorded for us.  Interestingly enough, the author of the Bible used several writers to record His words.  The Bible is a collection of His works.  The Holy Spirit inspired and directed the writings of scripture.  Every word of it is from Him.  He is a marvelous author using a wide range of literary styles and preserving not only His carefully directed words and even wording, but also preserving the personal writing peculiarities of each one of His chosen scribes.  The Bible is, nothing less than the Word of God, written by pen and ink through human instruments of His choosing.

The Bible has the amazing ability to speak to its own times and yet speak to every time.  It has a real time and space historical setting, yet it reveals eternal truths and exposes both Divine and human natures.  It is both unchanging and yet living with a freshness that speaks to every generation.  The thoughts and ideas found within the Bible are both God’s and man’s, as the Holy Spirit guides each and every word.

Today is our third lesson on the Holy Spirit.  Today we will consider how the Bible is God’s word, and how its proclamation divides those who are chosen by God from those who are not.  It is the preaching of the gospel of Christ that sets forth the call of God.  Without the word of God, there is no salvation.  The saving power of God never occurs in scripture apart from God’s call through His word. If God does not speak, there is no light. There is no life.  But God not only speaks, God breaths life into those who hear His voice.  Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  And when God calls, His chosen respond with work of faith, labor of love and steadfastness of hope in Him.

Not everyone who reads a book wants to know its author.  To these, the message comes in word only.  But everyone who hears God’s voice in God’s word, is awakened to desire to know Him and there is power, the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.  There is imitation of Christ and of Christian leaders.  There is joy in the Holy Spirit even in the midst of opposition and trials.  There is a turning from idols and evils to serve the living God and there is patience of hope as we wait on His coming and work together to spread His word to others.  We expect to meet the author of this book, the Bible!  We strive to know and follow Him now to prepare for that meeting.  And to help us do this, God not only instructs us through this book, He also empowers us through His Holy Spirit.  The chief evidence of the Holy Spirit’s leading the Christian is obedience to His word and imitation of Christ’s holy character.  These are best seen in faith, hope and love expressed in holiness.  Deep conviction of the heart to turn us away from sin and draw us into the likeness of Christ is Holy Spirit leading.  Joy in the midst of trial as we share the word of God with those that reject it and oppose us, this is Holy Spirit leading.  1 Thess. 4:1-8, 5:12-24, gives us this great list of Holy Spirit led expressions.  Turn to 1 Thess. 4:1-8 first, and read it with me.  God’s Holy Spirit both instructs and empowers us to avoid sexual immorality.  That’s Holy Spirit led living. Look at 5:12-24.

Into what sort of life does the Holy Spirit lead us?  It is a life that takes on the likeness of Jesus Christ.  This is, indeed the only Holy Spirit led life!  When you follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, you don’t do what you want, but what He wants.  He leads, or you lose Him.  Don’t quench the Holy Spirit.  I close with two warnings, written by the Holy Spirit, about this.  Hebrews 6:4-6, 10:23-31.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  We learn here to keep His commandments.  The love of the Lord, following His Holy Spirit leads us to the fullness of wisdom.

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