Thursday, March 31, 2016

What the Bible Says, the Holy Spirit Says

"I don't think it's right to limit people speaking in tongues. 
That would be trying to quench the Holy Spirit."

For the record, I'm a cessationist, but we were having a discussion on 1 Corinthians 14:27 and I had just finished making the comment that even if one is not a cessationist, you have to grant that what passes for 'speaking in tongues' in many churches today is not done orderly according to Paul.

That's when this particular person made the above statement. She was aghast that any person would be so brazen as to stop people from speaking in tongues if they felt 'led by the Spirit.' My response was that if we want to actually know what the Holy Spirit Himself thinks about this, all we have to do is read Scripture.

See, it comes across sometimes like we think that the Holy Spirit may operate in our lives in such a way as to lead us to do things contrary to what the Bible says. This speaking in tongues issue is just one example. But I've heard others too.  One time I heard a person justify a divorce by saying that she felt led in that direction because she knew God wanted her to be happy. Say what? 

So, today's post is just a friendly reminder that what the Bible says, the Holy Spirit says. 

Let me give you a few more examples:

Do you think the Holy Spirit would ever direct a Believer to examine themselves to see whether they are in the faith? (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Do you think the Holy Spirit would ever press upon the conscience of a Believer to confront another Believer about sin? (Galatians 6:1)
Do you think the Holy Spirit would ever convict a Christian father for not inentionally instructing their children in the way of the Lord? (Eph. 6:4)

There are obviously many more examples I could add, the main point being: What the Bible says, the Holy Spirit says. And conversely, the Holy Spirit says (and stands behind!) what the Bible says.

The Bible isn't a box of fortune cookies for us to reach into and pull out a verse here or there to feel inspired from time to time and then to really hear from God go sit in a corner and consider whatever comes into your mind as a 'word from the Lord.' What's worse is that many people simply do what their seared conscience wants to do and then justify the action because they 'felt led' by the Holy Spirit. And hey, who can argue with that right? Ohhhhhh. You were led by the Holy Spirit! Well then! And of course there is always the 'I'll rip a verse out of context to justify anything I really want to do anyway.'

No, no, no, and no. What the Bible says, the Holy Spirit says. Any action, thought, intention, motivation, or desire that runs afoul of Scripture in even the slightest way, was not given to you by the Holy Spirit. He did not (and does not) lead you to do something contrary to His Word.

We don't have time to dig into it, but two verses in Scripture give us a beautiful picture of how the Holy Spirit wrote the Bible: 2 Timothy 3:16, and 2 Peter 1:21. These passages help show us that while it is true men wrote the Bible exactly as they wanted, it was the Holy Spirit who was working in and through them so that they recorded exactly what He intended. Thus, ever word of the Bible is not just attributed to a human author but also to the Divine Author (see more here).

Do you really want to know what the Holy Spirit thinks about a certain situation? What He thinks about your Sunday gathering? What He thinks about a particular circumstance? His stance on a particular doctrine? Go hear what He has to say in His Book.

Take up and read. (Heb. 4:12)


  1. Great points! The Bible IS the Holy Spirit leading us...into truth. Can I add...1 John 4 warns to test the spirits to know if they are from God (such as incorrect Christology in 1 John). A spirit who leads in contradiction to the Bible is a spirit of error...not the Spirit of God.