Holy Spirit (Part Seven)

We belong to a fellowship of believers steeped in intellectualism.  This is not necessarily bad.  It is simply a statement of facts.  This past weekend I was blessed with an opportunity to attend a mens’ retreat with fellow Christians from through out the state of Arizona.  Multiple times I heard this phrase repeated, “We must be men of the Word.”  I knew what was meant and agree to a point.  Scripture supplies necessary knowledge  to become believers in Jesus.  As a fellowship we have prided ourselves in the knowledge that comes from being “men of the book.”

Unfortunately for many this has placed us in an “either-or” situation concerning the Holy Spirit.  Often we place our trust either in Scripture or the Holy Spirit.  The relationship between Scripture and the Holy Spirit is not an either-or-relationship.  Scripture and the Holy Spirit are given as gifts from God to His followers.

Scripture contains material facts about God.  This knowledge is the foundation for the faith necessary to bring about salvation. Scripture contains knowledge for daily living, worship, the church and a multitude of other necessary directions and thoughts.  Let me state in terms that cannot be misunderstood.  It is essential that we spend time in the Word of God.  We must learn as much as we possibly can from Scripture.  With that said, it is equally important that we not substitute knowledge of Scripture for the role  the Holy Spirit should occupy in our lives.

I am a big fan of our former president James  Garfield.  I have many books in my library written about this fine man.  I have learned much about James Garfield from these books. As a result I have become very familiar with this man’s life.  The facts I have learned have allowed me to have more than a passing knowledge of this former president.  Unfortunately,  it doesn’t matter how many facts I know about James Garfield I do not know the man.  I have no relationship  with James Garfield.

I fear we allow our knowledge of Scripture to be a substitute for a relationship with God.  Scriptural knowledge about God doesn’t necessarily equate to a relationship with God.  As a fellowship we pride ourselves in the fact that we are “men of the Word,” and rightfully so.  Yet if we allow our knowledge of Scripture to be the major point of emphasis in our life we have missed the big picture.  Jesus died that man might be reconciled to God.  Man was created in the image of God that he might fellowship with God.  Knowing Scripture does not equate into fellowship with God.

The Holy Spirit was given as a gift to Believers.  As He dwells within us He provides a path to a relationship with God that Scripture cannot bring.    The indwelling of the Spirit provides far more than knowledge about God.  He provides a relationship with God.  I fear that in our quest for knowledge we have forgotten the reason we were created.  We forget we were created in the image of God in order that we might have relationship with God.

The truth Scripture introduces into the life of the believer is brought alive by the work of the Spirit.    When we emphasize perfect knowledge of Scripture without the proper emphasis of the Spirit we produce a form of legalism that misses the relationship with the Father we have been created to enjoy.  Being “men of the Word” without relationship is not at all what God intended.  Think on these things.

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2 Responses to Holy Spirit (Part Seven)

  1. Jan says:

    I agree. God doesn’t need man, He can exist without man. But above all else God desires to have a close personal relationship with man. Man, on the other hand, needs God in every part of his life. Without God man is nothing. When God is first in our life things fall into place. Everything is not always a bed of roses. The Holy Spirit is our comforter, He lets us know we are not alone in times of trouble. He is also there to celebrate with us in the good times. How blessed we are to have our Father! He formed the world and hung the moon, yet He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our shortcomings, but above all He knows our heart. Reading the Word is a good thing (and we must continue to read and study), but the relationship makes it complete.

  2. Thanks Jan. Great thoughts.

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