The Word and the Spirit


"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." (1 Corinthians 2:12)

How is it that some people can read a biblical passage and find it either tedious, confusing, or even foolish, whereas others will receive great understanding and blessing from the very same passage? The answer is that the first group are animated only by the spirit of the world, "the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2), whereas the others are indwelled by the Spirit of God, having received the Holy Spirit when they trusted Christ for forgiveness and salvation.

It was, after all, the Holy Spirit who inspired the Scriptures to begin with. "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21). "All scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Timothy 3:16), that is, "God-breathed," where the "breath of God" is none other than the "Spirit of God." Concerning his own divinely inspired writings, Paul said: "We speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth" (1 Corinthians 2:13).

Likewise it is the same Spirit indwelling each believer who illumines, and confirms, and applies His own Scriptures to the individual Christian who reads or hears them. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14). On the other hand, Jesus promised His disciples that "when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13).

This He does through the Scriptures He inspired, with blessings abundant as we study them prayerfully and with believing and obedient hearts. HMM