Holy Spirit and the Bible
I have mentioned in my post on “God’s Way or our way” (9th September 2020) that I would do a follow-up on the role of the Holy Spirit in the Word of God.
You would recall from that particularly post that the objective was to prove and show from scripture that the word of God is not for our own private interpretation.
0 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. – 2 Peter 1:20-21 (NKJV)
The word of God, the Bible, as we have it today was written by men. Many will contend and say that men have written the bible, however, will miss the important part which is that while men penned the words of the Holy scriptures, these words were not their own. These words were written by “holy men” who were “moved by the Holy Spirit”. Did the Holy Spirit have a role in the words that we have today as the bible? Absolutely yes!
These men that I talk about are the authors of the books in the Bible (we will not go into the Author list of the books of the Bible for now). Furthermore, for this write-up, I will also not go into the writings from the scrolls and manuscripts and the translations [let me know in the comments sections if this would be of interest for future posts]. I will overarchingly cover this point to what skeptics say that are missing parts to the Bible and that men also have decided what parts to leave out and what to include – so more on this in a bit.
In John chapter 16, Jesus knew His appointed time was coming near, and He still had to tell His apostles. He has promised them that the Helper, the Spirit of Truth will guide them. He was referring to the Holy Spirit.
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. – John 16:12-15 (NKJV)
Authority of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit does not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears, He will speak.
Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. – Matthew 28:18 (NKJV)
Hence, the Holy Spirit will declare to the apostles what is from Jesus to declare.
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. – John 14:15-18 (NKJV)
The Holy Spirit has also helped the apostles to remember the teachings of Jesus, as well as guide them and teach them all things.
25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. – John 14:25-26 (NKJV)
When Peter stood up at the day of Pentecost, it was the Holy Spirit that guided him in his sermon (Acts 2:14-38).
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. – Acts 2:4 (NKJV). It was the Holy Spirit that gave them the words to speak.
Those that listened were devout men, from every nation. The scripture below is not specific on how many languages, however, I counted 6 nations, and 11 regions, which I would say covers at least 20 languages, and each one hearing Peter speak in their own language. Now that is amazing and that is the true working of the Holy Spirit (more on speaking of tongues in another lesson [please post in the comment section if this would be of interest]).
5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” – Acts 2:5-12 (NKJV).
All the acts, the letters, in the bible were men that were guided by the Holy Spirit, under the authority of God to write the Holy Scriptures.
To answer the sceptics of whether we have the complete scriptures from God – consider the following:
God has given to us everything that we need to know for our salvation, everything that we need to know that pertains to life and godliness
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. – 2 Peter 1:2-4 (NKJV)
Not everything that is beyond scripture is meant for our understanding
All scripture that God has given to us are relevant to us to know and understand. We have everything in these scriptures that provides us with the answers we need and we have the full revelation of God. This knowledge comes through studying His Word. However, there are certain things that are beyond our comprehension and so we must turn to the fact that only those things that are revealed to us are important to us.
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. – Deuteronomy 29:29 (NKJV)
There are many other things that were done that were not all documented
And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. – John 21:25 (NKJV)
The Old Law had a purpose which was to bring us to Christ
24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. – Galatians 3:24-25 (NKJV)
We cannot add or subtract to the Words that were given to us by God
This is by God’s design and there will be repercussions.
18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. – Revelation 22:18-19 (NKJV)
We have the complete word of God
James calls the word of God, specifically the law referring to the Christian dispensation which we have under Christ as the perfect law of liberty and we only have this liberty in Christ Jesus. The word “perfect” emanates from the Greek translation “teleios” which means complete.
25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. James 1:25 (NKJV)
Finally, if we continue in sin, after we have come to know the truth, the Hebrew writer says that “there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin” (Hebrews 10:26). We receive the knowledge of truth from the scriptures, which the Holy Spirit imparted through holy men, i.e. the bible as we know it today.
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit means going against the ultimate, the word of God and against such there is no pardon unless one offers full and sincere repentance with a penitent heart and corrective actions.
31 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. – Matthew 12:31-32 (NKJV).
The Holy Spirit dwells in us, through the word, through gaining the knowledge from studying the scriptures. The Holy Spirit does not guide us today as it did the apostles back in the times when there was no Bible. It guided to preach, to teach and to remember. Today we have those words written down, and the Holy Spirit dwells in us by through the word of God [more on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in future posts].
To conclude – We remain in confidence that we have the complete word of God, fully revealed to us according to His purpose which God has given to us through the authority of His son Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit so that we can have everything that pertains to life and godliness. Amen.
The Holy Spirit played and still plays a vital role in the Holy scriptures. I acknowledge that this article has barely scraped the surface of the Holy Spirit, however, this brief was to provide a first layer view of the role of the Holy Spirit in the word of God.
The Holy Spirit is also prevalent in the Old Testament, in the New Testament, and there are many other aspects and attributes of the Holy Spirit that must be studied and understood.