Guidance by the Spirit of Truth
Lesson 87

Long ago the prophet Jeremiah declared, “O Lord, I know that the way of men is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” Jeremiah 10:23. Though man thinks highly of himself, he still needs guidance.

Our Lord was preeminently a teacher “a teacher come from God,” as Nicodemus addressed Him. (John 3:2.) Jesus, Himself the Truth, was the teacher of truth. On one occasion Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32.

However, Jesus was not to be with His disciples long. He knew, moreover, that they would be in need of guidance to the end of time. Therefore, before the departure He spoke about His successor, “another Comforter” (John 14:16), “the Spirit of truth.” One who would guide His followers “unto all truth” (John 16:13). By Christ’s own arrangement, every member of His body, the church, may have the indwelling presence of His Spirit. Through this great and measureless gift, the prophecy of Isaiah finds fulfillment: “All thy children shall be taught of the Lord.” Isaiah 54:13.

Do these promises apply to the unconverted? Will the worldling have the Holy Spirit as an indwelling teacher? No, the Holy Spirit’s work for the unconverted is to convict them of sin and to lead them to accept the righteousness of Jesus. Only those who have had their sins pardoned through the merits of the shed blood of Jesus can know the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. A heart that has not been cleansed of its sins cannot be host to the Holy Guest. (John 14:17; Psalm 51:2,10.

Many both in and out of the church think they know Jesus, because they know so much about Him. However, without the Holy Spirit no one can really know Jesus: “No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” 1 Corinthians 12:3. For instance, to Peter’s confession, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Christ replied, “Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 16:16,17. No man can confess that Jesus is the Christ unless he receives this knowledge as a supernatural revelation. The eyes of our understanding must be enlightened by “the spirit of wisdom and revelation.”  (Ephesians 1:17,18.)

In fact the entire Bible reveals or unveils Jesus Christ, and the Bible itself can be understood only as we welcome “the spirit of … revelation” into our hears. Only the Spirit can make God’s Word clear and plain. God has promised, “I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.” Proverbs 1:23. By His Spirit God makes His words known. Only the Spirit of God can rightly interpret their true meaning, because the Holy Spirit knows better than anyone else what He meant when He inspired the Bible writers to write.

Why can’t the unconverted understand the Bible? Because the love of sin constitutes a mental block that inhibits the grasping of spiritual truths.

Paul said, “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth: comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know the, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:13,14.

Divine guidance calls for obedience. In the very process of obeying, the Holy Spirit purifies the soul. Peter remarked to one group, “Ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit.” 1 Peter 1:22. The very purpose of the Spirit’s presence is “sanctification… unto obedience.” (1 Peter 1:2.)

Memory Verse:

1 Peter 1: 10-12.   “Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of things that have been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.


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