A continuation of yesterday’s blog…
Just like any minister today, Jesus preached using only his voice. And just like any congregation today hearing a sermon, the disciples could hear his words only with their ears and process them with their minds. But the truth of God is different than history or algebra or the laws of science. It can be understood and appropriated into our lives only when it is revealed to our innermost being; that is where its life-changing power works (Matthew 13:18-23).
A divine book must have a divine teacher so that its message can be revealed on a spiritual level. Otherwise the message just crumbles into facts that reside only in our brain cells. That Jesus was born in Bethlehem is a fact. Understanding the glorious meaning of Immanuel, God with us, and the significance of him lying in a stable requires divine teaching. So it is absolutely necessary for the Holy Spirit to be our teacher if the Bible is to be truly understood. The Spirit can overcome the human limitations of voice, ear, and brain. He teaches in the classroom of the heart
That is why we can read a portion of Scripture for years and then read again, and wham, it comes alive! We understand it in a brand-new way. We ask, ‘Why didn’t I see that before?’ That is the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit teaching is so important because Satan uses all kinds of things to deceive and lead believers and churches away from the truth. He can even use people who claim they are teaching the truth. For example, in 1 John we read a warning: “I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you” (2:26-27).
Why would God say we don’t need anyone to teach us when he was the one who put teachers into the church body?
Of course teachers play an important role, as do apostles, evangelists, prophets, and pastors. But even when teachers do their best, the only way for us to be ultimately blessed by the Word is through the inner teaching of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is faithful to help us know truth from error and keep us from satanic distortions. But for all of that to happen, we must come with humble, teachable hearts.
More on Monday…