Bible Society of South Africa

The Word and the Holy Spirit – 28 May 2021

By Carina Francke

Bible text(s)

16All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, 17so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed.

2 Timothy 3:16-17GNBOpen in Bible reader

12The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together. It judges the desires and thoughts of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12GNBOpen in Bible reader

17And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you.

Ephesians 6:17GNBOpen in Bible reader

David L Chambers makes the following statement: “The Bible is like a wild, but beautiful landscape we can see from afar; faint and indistinct. But a good telescope will draw the landscape nearer and all the cliffs, trees and flowers, fruitful valleys and strong flowing rivers will be brought to our feet. That telescope is the teaching of the Holy Spirit.”

What Chambers says here is that the Bible (the Word) and the Holy Spirit cannot be separated. By himself, man does not have the capability to correctly interpret and live out the immeasurable wealth, truth and hidden life inherent in the Word. If you try to do this, you merely “taste” the Scripture; as a matter of fact, all you see are faint and indistinct images. We need the Holy Spirit to unlock the full and implied truth of the Word.

If you are the Lord’s child, the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Truth – John 14:17) dwells in you and illuminates the Word when you read the Bible. You can boldly ask him to “open” the God-breathed Scripture to you whenever you are reading the Word. When this happens, it is as though you know that God Himself is speaking to you in that very moment. Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17 again. Can you see that only the Holy Spirit can enlighten your spirit to understand and grasp the difference between wrong and right teaching; to accept and do the right thing when rebuked; gain knowledge on what needs to be corrected in your life; and what training or disciplines in righteousness you need to adhere to?

To live life to the full, we have to apply the knowledge we have gained. If not, it serves no purpose and cannot bear fruit according to the author, Matthew Henry. It is especially true regarding knowledge of the Word. Accumulated knowledge of the Word should become knowledge of the heart, soul and spirit, expressing itself in a life honouring God. If not, all study of the Scriptures is in vain and bears no fruit. Whether we read the Scriptures from our comprehensive or limited knowledge, our ears should prick up to the voice of our Helper, the Holy Spirit, to clearly hear and understand his perspective regarding the blurred and indistinct areas in our lives.

Prayer: From a jubilant, thankful heart, I honour the Father and the Son: “Thank you that you did not leave us behind as orphans and ignoramuses, but that you gave the Spirit of Truth – the Holy Spirit – to us as our resident Helper and Advocate to help keep us on track.” Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.14.1
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