Summary: I have always wondered what the prison has in common with the church. But the prison is not a church. But it can teach us how God corrects a believer. The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Correction. He corrects us that we may be fit for the kingdom of God
Text: 2 Timothy 1:7
From my observation and from others who have testified to the manner in which the Bible unravel the truth. It is possible to read a passage of scripture hundreds of time without grasping the hidden meaning. Only the Spirit of God can turn on the light in conveying truth by disclosing a word. We need to pay attention to the construction of words in any given text. In the Hebrews thoughts, scholars of the Holy Scriptures have devised an acronym called "PaRDeS" which means a garden or paradise. They stand for four level of hermeneutics or scriptural interpretation.
P -Peshat (surface or literal meaning)
R-Remez (hints of prophetic meaning)
D-Derash (Concepts connecting to different or multiple scriptures and thoughts)
S-Sod (spiritual meaning)
These methods of Hebraic interpretation of scripture can help us read and understand our Scriptures much better through the agency of the Holy Spirit that enlightens our mind. These are the four basic questions we can ask ourselves as we study the Bible text. Though the Holy Spirit is the Author and Inspirer of the written word of God through the Prophets and Apostles yet He uses men and women as teachers. It is the Spirit that that gives and open our understanding (mind) to understand the scriptures.
Now let us return to our text and use these principles to have some glimpse of deep truth from our chosen text. It says God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, and of love and of a sound mind. Notice the word a sound mind and that is our focus in this sermon. It literally means a sound or healthy mind. But going up to the next level will yield to us a wealth of meaning.In the Greek text, the word is "S?f????sµ?, S?f????" which means to correct, reform, and also for wise and prudence. It can also mean to correct with logic and right. Also, a person that has his mind together or a sound mind with logic. Moreover, it can be used for a wise, prudent well behaved and intelligent person.
A Christian is a person that is wise through the salvation of God, In the sense of the secular culture he is considered foolish, but in the Lord, he is wise as a serpent. Also, he is prudent, well behaved and in his right mind through the restored relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Greece and most part of the world, the prisons are called correction centers or reformatory. And God chooses to use this word in describing the works, gift and the effects the Holy Spirit in a believer. A prison is a place no one likes to spend a day for any reason even when wrong is done. Mostly we associate evil and lawlessness with prison institutions and those that live there. A person gets thrown in jail if a law is broken and a crime is committed. Inside the prison reformation or correction takes place to make a person better suited for the society. Behaviours and conducts are changed to reflect a transformed person that is able to walk in a manner that pleases the administration and the society.
In the same manner, the Holy Spirit takes a hellbound and a lawless person that have broken the laws of God into a correctional facility called the church. Through a logical spiritual means that comes by the word of God that person is brought to his right mind to have a sound mind. God gave His word first for doctrine, reproofs correction and for instruction in righteousness. The Spirit of Correction uses the scriptures to teach and correct us. His purpose is to make us fit for the kingdom of heaven.
I have never heard the Holy Spirit called the Spirit of correction. In my study, I came to that conclusion having considered the works of the Spirit. But if in the process of chastening which is the means of correcting us is done by the Spirit of God as the Instrument of Correction. Then it follows that He can be called the Spirit of Correction, the Spirit of reformation. He is the one that teaches us how to behave consistently in a manner that pleases our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. He corrects us to reflect our heavenly citizenship. He is in charge of discipline in the church. He knows what each believer is able to bear.
I again reiterate that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of correction. He corrects us a Father corrects His children with love and mercy. He leads us to attain the goals of our calling by God. He corrects with gentleness and tenderness. His correction is out of His love and His kindness.
The Spirit of God brings us into a "prison" without gates and walls called liberty where there is absolute liberty to submit to instruction and correction. Our Lord said my yoke is light and easy which is true in the place called liberty. The children of Israel were put in the prison of the law under a schoolmaster until Christ. The Christian is put in the church under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus until the return of Christ.