Saturday, February 14, 2009

Spirit and Word

It is through the Word of God that the Spirit works, so that ‘spiritual’ does not mean that which is vague and inaccessible and unknowable. It means ‘related to the Holy Spirit.’ And the Spirit works by the inscripturated Word he inspired. It is a Word/message that can be heard, read, studied, considered, explained, proclaimed, believed and obeyed.

It is by His Word that God creates, sustains, calls, saves, sanctifies, guides, revives, judges….

And so Spirit-filled/controlled means Word-filled/controlled (Eph.5:18; Col.3:16). And that is why ‘fundamental’ Christians of the past (and present) who may not have overtly emphasized the work of the Spirit, were nevertheless Spirit-filled people with Spirit-filled ministries, due to their commitment to learning and living by the Scriptures, focused on the Gospel.

On the other hand, those that were virtually only hearers of the Word, and not doers, or that did not remain truly Gospel-centered (which is the Word rightly interpreted), fossilized into a fundamentalist pharisaism. And Christians more oriented to the charismatic movement, and thus more open to the work of the Spirit, no doubt sometimes in reality quenched his true working among them by a similar disconnect with the Word he had inspired.

That means, too, that insofar as I am deliberately disobeying the Word, I am therefore, at the same time quenching and resisting and grieving the Spirit, and thus diminishing/disrupting his influence in my life.

It must be remembered too that walking by the Spirit, according to the Word/Gospel has as its goal a growing love for God and others (Matt.22:37ff.; Gal.5:16ff.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It has been my experience as well that when many "Christians" speak of being "Spirit-filled" & "Spirit-led" they seem to reference some mystical feeling or guidance by the Holy Spirit. The danger in this lies that no other Christian can examine this leading or guidance, thereby encouraging or discouraging his fellow believer to move accordingly. In fact, if you were to counsel against such "leading", you are seen as hindering the work of God. Unfortunately what many "believers" think is the Spirit leading or guiding or impressing is simply emotion. Thus the importance of the Word. When one believes in the supremacy and sufficiency of the Word, they move in accordance to it. Thank you for this well written post!