Spiritual Matters and Spiritual Discernment

Oct 22, 2015 703

These are the things we are talking about—not with words taught by human wisdom but with words taught by the Spirit—we are interpreting spiritual things to spiritual people. But people who are unspiritual don’t accept the things from God’s Spirit. They are foolishness to them and can’t be understood, because they can only be comprehended in a spiritual way (1 Cor 2:13–14, CEB)

We are told in Scripture over and over again, in a multitude of different ways, that Scripture cannot be understood without the spiritual discernment that is given by the Spirit of God.

There is a very simple reason for this. It is because the “heart is deceitful above all things.” (Jer 17:9). By the “heart” here is meant the “mind.” Unspiritual, carnal people simply cannot comprehend or accept the things from God’s Spirit. These are people who do not have Spirit of God in their lives, because they have not experienced the new birth.

This is why there are atheistic theologians. This is why the Bible is the book that has been most distorted in history. And this is why the Bible has been used to justify some of the worst crimes of humanity. That is what happens when you try to understand the Bible without the Spirit of God.

You see, the Bible is not an ordinary book. It is a supernatural book. That’s why we pray before we open it to read and to study it. The power of the Bible does not reside in the words themselves (the ink on the page), but rather in one simple astonishing fact. And that is that that Author of the Bible is God Himself (John 1:1).

Now if Christ were still in the tomb, then the words I have just written would mean nothing. But Christ is risen, and has promised to be with his children until the end of the world and forever (Matt 28:20). Christ is with us by means of the Holy Spirit, which the New Testament refers to as the “Spirit of Christ” (Rom 8:9) – the very presence of Christ. It is important to see that the apostle Peter says that it was specifically the “Spirit of Christ” who inspired all of the Old Testament Scriptures (1 Pet 1:11).

And Christ himself told us that it would be this same Spirit who would reveal truth from error (John 16:8–11) and who would:

guide you in all truth. He won’t speak on his own, but will say whatever he hears and will proclaim to you what is to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and proclaim it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine. That’s why I said that the Spirit takes what is mine and will proclaim it to you. (John 16:13–15, CEB).

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