Theology 101 — Holy Spirit and Holy Scripture: Enablement for Applicationcomment (0)
July 31, 2014
By Jerry Batson
In the past two weeks we have pondered the work of the Holy Spirit in inspiring the writing of the Bible and in illumining in us the truth He enabled to be expressed through human language. Even so, the Spirit’s involvement with the Bible did not end with His inspiration of its production nor does it end with illumination for our understanding. As we handle the Bible the Holy Spirit stands ready to help us understand how the meaning of Scripture can and should be applied to our lives and our world.
Occasionally someone speaks of receiving new revelation from the Bible. While we understand what they mean it would be better to think either of new, fresh understanding of the revelation that has been there all along or maybe to describe the experience as gaining new insight in how the Scripture applies to us. God’s self-revelation was indeed progressive or unfolding as people were increasingly able to receive it. However, with the completion of the Bible, God completed His revelation to us through Holy Scripture. What continues and progresses is our understanding and application of God’s truth. This possibility accounts for a common testimony that says, “Every time I read the Bible I gain something new or see something I never understood before, even when reading passages I have often read before.”
Putting truth into practice
The Holy Spirit actively seeks to lead us into greater understanding of the Bible and to more careful and complete application of truth to life. We might think of it as the Spirit of truth taking the Word of truth and making us understand how to put truth into practice. Hebrews 4:12 puts it this way, “For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword.” The presence of the Holy Spirit in us wants always to make the Bible come alive to us and active in us, not just at the level of understanding its meaning but also at the level of making us “doers of the Word and not hearers only” (James 1:22).
The Holy Spirit is God’s agent working in His children for accomplishing His will. He works in us to create the desire to do His will and to supply the power needed to do so. Philippians 2:13 sets this forth, “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”
Love one another
Take for example, the Bible’s admonitions that we love our neighbor (Matt. 19:19; 22:39). The Holy Spirit inspired James to declare, “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well” (James 2:8). We are doing well by this biblical mandate, when we practice loving one another, not when we understand the principle of loving others. The admonition of 1 John 3:18 puts it, “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” How are we able to do this? The Holy Spirit becomes our Helper, according to Romans 5:5, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”