The Holy Spirit: Teacher and Upholder of Scripture

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 20, 2020 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

The least talked about member of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit. There are two reasons for this: 1) the misuse of Him, thus many avoid talking about him, and 2) the Holy Spirit Himself doesn’t talk about Himself. But how can you tell if the Holy Spirit is truly active in your church? With so many fakes and counterfeits out there, what is real? Can we know? Today, I want to share some tests we can use to see if a church has the Holy Spirit active in it, or if the service is just a ploy, a game, or an emotional high.

First, when we examine the tests for being a Christian as found in 1 John (see my two blog posts for this: Part 1, Part 2), he is talking about an overall style of life, not necessarily absolute perfection. The ONLY person to ever live a perfect life is Jesus Christ. And not once has any local church congregation ever held 100% correct doctrine. So, as I examine several tests we can use to see if your local congregation is actually being led by the Holy Spirit or not, I’m not calling for perfection here.

Second, as I examine these tests, I am ALSO not going to insist that there must be a massive revival going on either. Many of these are fake, but God does indeed give what can be called a “mercy drop.” I’m talking about the day-in, day-out working of the Holy Spirit in a congregation. So, while what I am talking about may include such moves when many people get saved and miracles happen and entire communities repent and cease sinning, I’m looking at what a normal church that is following the Holy Spirit should look like in their normal circumstances.

The Holy Spirit has multiple jobs in this age of the church. One of His primary jobs is to reveal the message and clarity of Scripture. I am amazed at how many people can read Scripture and quote it but miss the whole point, including Christians. Again, I’m not talking about getting 100% correct doctrine. We at Worldview Warriors believe and teach that the Scriptures are divinely inspired. That means that the prompting, intention, and cohesion of Scripture came from God, specifically from the Holy Spirit. This is what it means to be God-breathed. Those who are not saved, who have not been born again, will not understand Scripture. They literally cannot understand it. They are not capable of it because the things of God are spiritually discerned, and they are foolishness to those who are perishing. But when the born again person reads the Scripture, they have the Holy Spirit with them, illuminating and explaining it. Sadly, very few people know the difference between a personal opinion about the text and the Holy Spirit’s revelation about it.

The Holy Spirit only speaks one message from Scripture as well. There is only one correct interpretation. My favorite quote from my favorite sermon starts with this: “Did you know the Word of God says one thing? It doesn’t say 20 things. It doesn’t say 2000 things. It says one. God doesn’t stutter!” If two people are studying Scripture and getting two very different ideas about the text, then one or both of them aren’t listening to the Holy Spirit. Now, due to people’s personalities and learning styles, they may approach the same truth from a different angle, but it’s still obviously the same truth. The Holy Spirit may give one person a logical explanation and another person a picture or image, but it will still be the same truth. The Holy Spirit never gives contradictory messages.

The Holy Spirit speaks well of Scripture. It always speaks of Scripture as being the first, foremost, highest, and ultimate authority on every topic it touches on. Jesus operated by the Holy Spirit and knew the Scripture. He didn’t appeal to emotions. He didn’t appeal to the teachings of this person or that person. He appealed to Scripture. “Have you not read?” A little secret on this: all Scripture reveals Jesus in some way, shape, or form. Jesus is the Word of God in living flesh. He is the Message, so all Scripture points to Him.

That said, if you hear a preacher that brings question to the Word of God, he not only doesn’t have the Holy Spirit with him, but he may be of the devil and a false plant there to deceive. Now, I’m not talking about “I’m not sure what this says.” I’m talking about any form of teaching that says “This is wrong.” I remember watching a video of a seminary professor who was teaching his class over Romans 5 and said Paul was making such a great case for sin and salvation until he brought Adam into the picture. He thought Paul was wrong for using Adam to explain how sin came to all men. Why? Because of his theistic evolution position, he didn’t believe Adam existed. That is a false teacher because he did not preach to defend and uphold and submit to Scripture. He taught to question, to marginalize, and to disbelieve the text of Scripture.

If you hear a preacher that does not put Scripture itself as the highest authority but appeals to the scholars of men, the “experts” of this world, and does not get his primary message and meaning from Scripture, he is not operating via the Holy Spirit. That said, any person that gives a “theme” message that itself is ultimately not derived from Scripture, but rather uses Scripture as a “proof text” is giving a false message. It is not of God. Those people take their ideas and look for a passage or an “interpretation” that can fit their idea instead of building their ideas from Scripture. That also said, if you come across a passage and you do not know what it means or what it says, don’t force it. Simply say, “I don’t know what this means, but what God says is true.” Keep it between you and God and only bring it up if you have to. Don’t serve uncooked meat. However, if the person you are listening to uses doubt upon Scripture as the basis of his message, let alone ministry, that person is of the devil.

The Holy Spirit’s primary job above all these is to speak about Jesus. He doesn’t reveal Himself; He speaks of Jesus. You can tell the Holy Spirit is in your ministry if He is revealing Jesus. More on that next week.

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