Friday, 19 September 2014
Chapter 1: The Spirit and the Bible
Welcome to our eight week Bible study on the Holy Spirit. I’m glad you’ve joined us!
The Holy Spirit and the Bible.
Notice it’s not the Holy Spirit OR the Bible. Some of us were raised to be suspicious of too much Bible study. We were warned that it would make us less sensitive to the Spirit. Crass literalists, people who worship words instead of the Living God.
Others of us were raised to be suspicious of the Holy Spirit. We were warned that paying too much attention to the Spirit would lead us astray from the objective teaching of God’s word. We would be drowning in our feelings.
The good news is that Spirit and Word are not enemies, but friends. The Spirit of God is the agent who revealed the Scriptures to the original writers. The Scriptures are the primary tool we are given to know God as Father, Son, and Spirit. Chapter 1 unpacks the Spirit’s role in revelation.
Not only that, but the Spirit has been given to illuminate the Word for us. We understand the written Word with the Spirit’s help. I find this so helpful personally. Without the Word, I would be awash in subjective impressions, trying to understand the mind of God like reading tea leaves. Without the Spirit I would be just reading words on a page, objective but lifeless. The doctrine of illumination is alluded to in this chapter as well. Look for it.
1. I hope you have a copy of the study booklet in your hands. If not, pick one up before too many days go by.
2. This week study chapter one. If you aren’t able to get the booklet until next week, don’t try to make it up. Just start on chapter two.
3. I also hope you’ve found a study buddy. Even though we can have fellowship in the word by commenting on the blog, face to face is so much better. Try to talk once a week, in person or by phone or email, so you can discuss the chapter. Before you end your time, share one truth that has amazed you. What your life would look like if you took that truth seriously? Ask God to transform you as the Spirit helps you walk in line with that truth.
3. Follow the blog. I will introduce each chapter on Monday. Feel free to make comments or ask questions during the week so we can learn together. The Friday post will celebrate what we’ve learned.
Memorization and Meditation.
Notice I didn’t say memorization OR meditation. The two really go together. I memorize Scripture in order to meditate on it. By the time I’ve meditated through it, I’ve pretty much memorized it.
The benefit is that I have something to wrap my mind around besides by problems, worries, internal arguments, and complaints. My mind needs Scripture to focus on.
Since this is a topical study with many passages in one chapter, I’m going to suggest a verse (or verses) each week for our meditation. Feel free to pick another one, if you prefer. I’m planning to write mine on an index card and stick it where I’ll see it often. This week’s memorization/meditation verse for me is:
1 Corinthians 2:10-12
…these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
This is the Spirit we’ve been given! What verse did you pick?