Derek speaks about the relationship between the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, who is the author of the Word. The Holy Spirit directed men to write it, and He knows just what it means. He will also reveal it to us if we will but ask Him. The Holy Spirit never contradicts Himself. He never teaches anything that is contrary to the Word which He Himself gave.
It’s good to be with you again as we draw near to the close of another week. Our theme this week has been “How to be Led by the Holy Spirit.” I trust you’ve found it helpful. If so, please let me hear from you. Before I finish this talk we’ll be giving you a mailing address to which you may write. It means a great deal to me to hear how this radio ministry of mine has been helping you and blessing you. So please take time to write, even if it’s only a brief, personal note. Write today.
Now, back to our theme, “How to be Led by the Holy Spirit.” In my talk yesterday I explained that the Holy Spirit can do for us what no other power can do. Specifically, He’s the source of power, love and sound judgment. Paul tells Timothy, “The Lord has not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love and of sound judgment.” God had told us previously through the prophet Zechariah that there was no other power, no other person, no other influence that could produce in us the results which God desires. He had said in Zechariah 4:6:
“This is the word of the Lord... not by might nor power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”
He’s the Lord of hosts. He has all power, He has all might, but in dealing with us He does not use power and might because they cannot use the results which He desires. They can only be produced by the Holy Spirit through His inward working in our hearts and lives where He changes us and conforms us to the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today I want to speak about the relationship between the Spirit of God and the Word of God. The first thing I need to say is that there is always perfect harmony between the Spirit and the Word. They never are in disagreement. There is total intimacy and complete harmony. We’ll take, first of all, an example from creation. In Psalm 33:6 the psalmist says:
“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host.” (NAS)
Now where the English translation says “breath,” the word actually in Hebrew is spirit. “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the Spirit of His mouth all their host.” So, the whole creation originally came into being through two agents: the word of the Lord and the Spirit of the Lord. It’s important for us to see that they operated together in perfect harmony. Neither operated without the other. And that’s true in our lives today. God’s results are achieved in us by His Word and by His Spirit working together.
If you turn back to the original record of creation in Genesis 1:2B3 we find this account:
“And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep: and the spirit of God was moving [or hovering] over the surface of the waters.”
So, there we see the Spirit of God moving or hovering, like a dove, over the face of the dark waters. It’s interesting, I think, that the first specific person of the God head mentioned in scripture is the Holy Spirit.
“Then God said, Let there be light; and there was light.” (NAS)
In that verse we see God’s Word went forth, He spoke the word “light” and the thing, light, came into being. But it was not without the Spirit of God. First of all, the Spirit of God moved, prepared the way, for the Word of God. Then the Word was united with the Spirit and the Word and the Spirit together produced creation. Now, it’s so important to understand this because this is precisely how God operates in our lives. By His Word and by His Spirit working in harmony. Never the one without the other.
I want to say two things about the part of the Holy Spirit in giving us the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is both the author and the interpreter of the Word of God. Not merely the author, but also the interpreter.
First of all, let’s look at His part as author. In 2 Timothy 3:16 Paul says:
“All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (NAS)
Now that word translated there “inspired by God” is literally “inbreathed by God.” It’s a single word. And the word “breathed” is directly related to the word for “spirit.” Spirit is pneuma, breathed is pneustas. They’re from exactly the same root. So, what it tells us is that the Holy Spirit was the author of all Scripture. No matter who was the human writer, the Holy Spirit was the one who gave the Word, who breathed it into the writer so that the authority behind all scripture is the authority of the author and the author is the Holy Spirit.
Peter touches on this also in 2 Peter 1:20B21 when he says this:
“But know this first of all, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (NAS)
So here we see that again prophecy, the prophetic revelation of Scripture, came from the Holy Spirit. It was never just a product of a human mind or human thinking or rationalization. But always behind it was the power and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Then let’s look at the part of the Holy Spirit as interpreter of scripture. Now we can read again the same words of Peter in 2 Peter 1:20 where he says this:
“But know this first of all, [it’s very important, first and foremost] that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation...” (NAS)
None of us can approach the scripture and say, “Well, this is how I understand it, this is how I interpret it.” There’s only one authorized interpreter and that is the author himself. How wonderful God’s provision is that He’s given us the author to be the interpreter. So, none of us can take a scripture and just choose our own interpretation or work it out simply by our own rationalization. The only valid interpretation of scripture is that which comes by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said about the part of the Holy Spirit in presenting the scripture to us in John 14:26:
“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 that I said to you.” (NAS)
He is the author, the teacher, of scripture. And again in John 16:13:
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth: for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak: and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (NAS)
So always, as we come to the Word of God, we are dependent upon the Holy Spirit to guide us, to teach us, to lead us into all the truth. And we need always to bear in mind that because the Holy Spirit is the author of scripture. He never contradicts Himself. He never, never leads or teaches in anything that is contrary to the Word which He himself gave.
I like to take a little picture of a piano and a piano player. The piano is a picture of the Bible. A piano has a set number of notes, so many white keys, so many black keys. It has a keyboard. It’s complete, finite, in a sense. That’s like the Bible. It has so many books, so many chapters, so many verses, so many authors, and so on. You can pick it up in your hand and hold it. But the piano by itself is no good, it doesn’t produce anything. In order to have what the piano is designed to produce we have to have a piano player. And if a real piano player comes there is no limit to what he can produce from the piano. He’s not limited to ten pieces of music or a thousand pieces of music. It is literally infinite what can be produced out of that one finite musical instrument.
And that’s how it is with the Word of God. There is no limit to what the Holy Spirit can produce when we allow Him to play on the piano. But when we try to lay the piano for ourselves the result is just terrible. It’s cacophonous, it’s without harmony. Only the Holy Spirit should be allowed to play on the piano of God’s Word.
One more thing about the Spirit and the Word. The Word is the mirror of the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:17B18:
“Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. [We’ve spoken about that earlier. But then Paul goes on:] But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (NAS)
Now, the apostle James in his epistle tells us very clearly that one of the functions of God’s Word is to be a mirror, which does not reveal to us our external appearance but reveals to us our inner nature and being. And Paul is using the same figure here and he says, While we are looking in the mirror of the Holy Spirit and seeing what we are really like within, then the Holy Spirit works on us to transform us into the image of what we should be as revealed in scripture. The Holy Spirit gives us a self image which is not our own image but the image of what we are in Christ. And as we continue to look in that image, the Holy Spirit transforms us into the likeness of what we see. That’s why the Word of God is so important in relation to the Spirit because when the mirror isn’t there the Holy Spirit doesn’t work. He only transforms us while we are looking at what we see in the mirror of God’s Word. Once we turn away from the Word, the Holy Spirit ceases to work. But the beautiful thing is that Paul says He’s transforming us from glory to glory. It’s a progressive revelation of what we are in Christ into which the Holy Spirit brings us.
Well, our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again next week at this same time, Monday through Friday. Next week I’ll continue with this theme, “How to be Led by the Holy Spirit.” My special offer this week is my book, The Baptism in the Holy Spirit, which explains in a clear, practical way how you can have a personal, supernatural encounter with the Holy Spirit that can transform the rest of your life. Also, my complete series of talks this week on “How to be Led by the Holy Spirit, Part 1” is available in a single, carefully edited cassette. Stay tuned for details.