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Friday, January 28, 2011

The Holy Spirit teaches us

Context, Context, Context!!!

1 John 2:26-27 is in the context of warning us about false teachers.  We know that context is the most important thing when it comes to studying the Bible apart from the discernment and understanding that comes from the Holy Spirit.  In Bible Study principles "context is king".  For instance, if you were to take my statement "context is King" out of context, to make it say whatever you wanted it to say, you would say the Bible says "Jesus is King".  But the context of what I am saying is about how to study your Bible.  So the principle "context is king" means that it is the most important of the Bible study principles.

Another example:  "I love this dog".  What does that mean?  You have no idea.  You have no context.  Am I speaking of a "ball park frank" at a cubs game with mustard on it made out of meat, or am I speaking of a furry four legged creature?  Again, you MUST understand the context to understand what a writer or author is talking about.  That is also true of scripture.  That is why God gave us context.

There are many religious groups out there that teach only the "church" or the bishops or priests or pope can accurately explain the truth.  This comes from taking verses out of context.  Whenever we come upon something like this, we need to run to scripture and test that teaching with the word of God. In Fact, that is what God commands us to do!!!  Paul even commands us to test his words against scripture. (Gal 1:8 - the context is preaching a false gospel)  Jesus called Peter "satan" and Peter denied Christ 3 times at the most important turning point in all of history.  Don't rely on men!  That is why God said, "I will build this church".  Not on the value of Peter, whom he called "satan", but on the will, good pleasure and sovereignty of God.

So let's examine this text.

1 John 2:26 - This further clarifies the context of what John is saying.
   "These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you."

John tells us in verse 26 exactly why he is writing.  There are false teachers who are trying to deceive the  believers.

1 John 2:27
   "As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him."

John then explains to them that the Holy Spirit teaches men the truth.  We do not have to rely soley on  popes or bishops or priests for truth.  That would fully contradict these verses.  We know when men contradict scripture, we obey God rather than men.

How do we know John is talking about the Holy Spirit?  Good question.  Look at the context.  1.  John says "the anointing...abides in you"  We know that believers are a temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 6:19)  2.  2:20-21 - The Holy One is Christ (Acts 3:14) - the anointing the Holy One gives is the Holy Spirit.  It can only be God the Father, Son or Holy Spirit.  No one else comes to live inside of us.  John 14:26 (also written by the Apostle John so the people would be familiar with his writing) explicitly states the Holy Spirit "will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you".  Notice, the Holy Spirit will teach us scripture, not new doctrines.

I hope what you have taken from this short study, is:
1.  The Holy Spirit is our teacher
2.  Anyone who says people can't know the truth apart from their own teaching is in disagreement with Holy Scripture.
3.  Context is king, when it comes to studying the Bible, or any literature.  Without it, you will be following error and fighting against the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who will one day judge the living and the dead.

I pray you read the Bible, in it's context.  Seek to understand what it means, not what you want it to say. In that, you will stay away from error just as the Apostle John and God want you to.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

A New Year, How's your heart?

The first month of the New Year is almost over.

We still haven't sold our house, but the Lord continues to provide.  He is so faithful.

So how is your faithfulness to God?  Do you live the way He desires in scripture?  Are you abiding by His rules or mans?  Even the Apostle Paul said to check everything he said with scripture, like the faithful Bereans.  We are not to follow even one word that man says, if it is not 100% in line with the 66 books of the Bible.  Jesus, the apostles, and those who wrote scripture attested to only these books.  Even Clement of Rome attested to these books as I learned in Historical Theology this past semester.  For an extensive treatment of this subject, go here:

So I want to encourage you to take a good hard look at your life.  How would you say your love for Jesus is going so far this year?  It is hard this time of year with Holiday parties that have made us tired, new things starting up at work and having a new schedule to keep a consistent time of prayer with our sweet Savior.  But how is your prayer life?  Do you spend solitary time with God in prayer, like Jesus and the Apostles did?  If not, take it at face value and ask the Lord for help.  He is willing.  How's your Bible reading and study?  Not good?  Well, take that at face value too and ask the Lord for help.  He is willing.  It's really an issue of our heart.  When our we treasure Jesus and His word, prayer and bible study are very natural to the believer.

Be willing this year to be led by the Holy Spirit through the power of the word of God and prayer.  If you're not doing this, be real with yourself and ask the Lord to change your heart.  We spend every day just exactly how we want to.  I pray this year for my family and for you, that we would spend more time at the feet of our Savior, resting in His complete payment for our sins, praying to Him and studying the perfect word of God.