Summary: All believers can learn God's Word equally by the Holy Spirit.
The Bible: Taught By The Holy Spirit
(1 Cor. 2:12-13)
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Before we begin today, let’s take a moment to silently confess our sins to God. This insures that we have the filling, the control, of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we study the Scriptures. The main theme of my message today is that if born-again believers listen to, and believe, God’s word while walking in the Holy Spirit, we all have the same chance to understand the spiritual teachings from God, and to then reach spiritual maturity. So as we are told to do in 1 John 1:9, let’s take a minute to silently confess our sins to God.
Father, we thank you for giving us your Holy Spirit to teach your holy Scriptures to our own human spirits. May your Spirit help us to understand and believe those things in your Word as we look at it now. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
Today I’m going to continue the theme that the pastor has been teaching all of this month, and that is, of course, the importance of studying the Bible. What I’d like to talk about is something that I think few believers know or believe. The main Bible passage we will look at is found in 1 Corinthians chapter 2, verses 12 and 13, although that whole chapter deals with this topic.
One of the things I find most exciting about Bible study is when a pastor-teacher points out something from the Word that has always been right there in front of me, clearly taught, but I’ve read past it many times without seeing. Often, these are exciting things to learn because such truths help me make more sense out of the doctrines I’ve already learned, or tell me how to use God’s Word better in daily life. So I think that’s the reason I love to show the same kinds of Bible teachings to others.
That’s the kind of topic I want to deal with today, one that I hope will surprise and excite you as much as it did me when I learned it.
Can All Believers Learn God's Word?
The Bible teaches that all Christians have the same privileges and opportunities to listen to, and to believe, God’s word, and therefore to grow to spiritual maturity. In grace, God freely gives us His word in written form, and He also gives us the way to understand it, by His indwelling Holy Spirit. Your human IQ, your physical or mental abilities, have nothing to do with learning the word. God also gives you a free will and faith. All you have to do in this process is to hear the word, and to believe it while walking in the Spirit. God does all of the rest.
Since any believer can listen to the Word, and since any Christian can choose to believe it, God is perfectly fair to all. If your human experience were a factor, or if your academic training or human IQ mattered in this process, God would be unfair. Some believers would have an advantage over others. Since God’s attributes include perfect justice and perfect love, it is not possible for Him to be unfair, to give greater advantage to some Christians, and less to others.
Some evangelists, missionaries, and pastors seem to have the attitude that they are somehow closer to God than are other believers. They view themselves as being in "full time Christian service", because they get paid for the ministry that they perform. The rest of us are "lay people", second class Christians who have a limited commitment to the Lord because our spiritual gifts and areas of ministry are different than theirs. The fact that we are all believer-priests ministering to people daily, just in some other way, is sometimes overlooked.
A result of this arrogant attitude is that pastors and missionaries are generally viewed as having some kind of advantage over the rest of us in learning God's word. Not only do they usually view themselves in this way, but the rest of us often fall victim to the same type of thinking. The Bible teaches us something very different, and so my first point today is this.
1. God has freely provided the indwelling Holy Spirit to teach His word to our human spirits.
As I’ve already said, the Bible tells us that learning the word of God is not a matter of human ability, but that it is the Holy Spirit who does all of the work in revealing Bible doctrine to our human spirit. Let's first look at:
1 Cor. 2, verse 12:
"We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. (1 Cor. 2:12, NIV)