In the beginning God created the baryonic universe.

9. Bible Taught or Spirit Taught?

It may shock some readers to suggest that there is a difference between being Bible taught and being Spirit taught. Nevertheless it is so.

It is altogether possible to be instructed in the rudiments of the faith and still have no real understanding of the whole thing. And it is possible to go on to become expert in Bible doctrine and not have spiritual illumination, with the result that a veil remains over the mind, preventing it from apprehending the truth in its spiritual essence.

Most of us are acquainted with churches that teach the Bible to their children from their tenderest years, give them long instruction in the catechism, drill them further in pastor's classes, and still never produce in them a living Christianity nor a virile godliness. Their members show no evidence of having passed from death to life. None of the earmarks of salvation so plainly indicated in the Scriptures are found among them. Their religious lives are correct and reasonably moral, but wholly mechanical and altogether lacking in radiance. They wear their faith as persons in mourning once wore black arm bands to show their love and respect for the departed.

Such persons cannot be dismissed as hypocrites. Many of them are pathetically serious about it all. They are simply blind. From lack of the vital Spirit they are forced to get along with the outward shell of faith, while all the time their deep hearts are starving for spiritual reality and they do not know what is wrong with them.

This difference between the religion of creed and the religion of the Spirit is well set plainly by the saintly Thomas in a tender little prayer to his Lord: "The children of Israel in time past said to Moses, 'Speak you with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.' Not so, Lord, not so, I urgently request You; but rather with the prophet Samuel, I humbly and earnestly entreat, 'Speak, Lord; for your servant hears.' Let not Moses speak to me, nor any of the prophets, but rather do You speak, 0 Lord God, the inspirer, enlightener of all the prophets; for You alone without them can perfectly instruct me, but they without You can profit nothing. They indeed may utter words, but they cannot give the Spirit. Most beautifully do they speak, but if You be silent, they inflame not the heart. They teach the letter, but You openest the sense; they bring forth mysteries, but You unlockest the meaning of sealed things. . . They work only outwardly, but You instructest and enlightenest the heart. . . They cry aloud with words, but You impartest understanding to the hearing."

It would be hard to wrap it up better than that. The same thing has been said variously by others; however, the most familiar saying probably is, "The Scriptures, to be understood, must be read with the same Spirit that originally inspired them." No one denies this, but even such a statement will go over the heads of those who hear it unless the Holy Spirit inflames the heart.

The charge often made against us by Liberals, that we are "bibliolaters," is probably not true in the same sense as meant by our detractors; but candor and self-analysis will force us to admit that there is often too much truth in their charge. Among religious persons of unquestioned orthodoxy there is sometimes found a dull dependence upon the letter of the text without the faintest understanding of its spirit. That truth is in its essence spiritual must constantly be kept before our minds if we would know the truth indeed. Jesus Christ is Himself the Truth, and He cannot be confined to mere words even though, as we ardently believe, He has Himself inspired the words. That which is spiritual cannot be shut in by ink or fenced in by type and paper. The best a book can do is to give us the letter of truth. If we ever receive more than this, it must be by the Holy Spirit who gives it. The great need of the hour among persons spiritually hungry is twofold: First, to know the Scriptures, apart from which no saving truth will be vouchsafed by our Lord; the second, to be enlightened by the Spirit, apart from whom the Scriptures will not be understood.

From The Root of the Righteous by A. W. Tozer. Lightly updated to the language of the 21st century by D. N. Pham. (c) 2012.

CreationWord.org
Reach for the Calling Creator

Root of the Righteous - A.W. Tozer

1. The Root of the Matter

2. We Must Give Time to God

3. God Is Easy to Live With

4. Listen to Who Listens to God

5. We Must Hear Worthily

6. That Utilitarian Christ

7. On Receiving Admonition

8. The Great God of Entertainment

9. Bible Taught or Spirit Taught?

10. The Terror of the Lord

11. Not Without Reformation

12. Faith Is a Perturbing Thing

13. True Faith Brings Committal

14. The Great Disparity

15. Our Enemy Contentment

16. Christ Is the Pattern

17. The Cross Is a Radical Thing

18. Must Die to Live

19. Christ Died For Our Hearts

20. Stand in Christ's Triumph

21. To Be or to Do

22. Make Room For Mystery

23. The Whole Life Must Pray

24. Nothing Without Lordship

25. A Sweet Lute, Sweetly Played

26. The All-importance of Motive

27. The Presence and the Program

28. The World's Most Tragic Waste

29. The Hunger of the Wilderness

30. Our Fruit Will Be What We Are

31. Baptism of Clear Seeing

32. Narrow Mansions

33. Sanctification of Our Desires

34. In Praise of Disbelief

35. Thankfulness As a Therapeutic

36. Understanding Dry Spells

37. About Hindrances

38. The Uses of Suffering

39. Praise God For the Furnace

40. Victory in the Disguise

42. Something Beyond Song

43. Three Degrees of Love

44. We Need Cool Heads

45. We Can Afford to Wait

46. God, the First and the Last

ON THE BOOK SHELF

Knowledge of the Holy - A.W. Tozer

The Pursuit of God - A.W. Tozer

The Dwelling Place - A.W. Tozer

Plumber of Lisburn - A.W. Tozer

Spiritual Power Vows - A.W. Tozer

Root of the Righteous - A.W. Tozer

Essays - A.W. Tozer

Fourfold Gospel - A.B. Simpson

Gospel of Healing - A.B. Simpson

Life of A.B. Simpson - C&MA

Mark Gospel 1/4 - A MacLaren

Mark Gospel 2/4 - A MacLaren

Mark Gospel 3/4 - A MacLaren

Mark Gospel 4/4 - A MacLaren

Gospel of St. John - F.D. Maurice

To the Romans - R.V. Foster

To the Romans, vol I - C. Gore

To the Corinthians - J.S. Riggs

To the Philippians - R. Rainy

To the Galatians - Luther

To the Hebrews - H.C.G. Moule

To the Hebrews - T.C. Edwards

Wisdom of James - A.T. Robertson

Epistles of John 1/2 - W. Alexander

Epistles of John 2/2 - W. Alexander

Kingdom of Heaven - E. Burbidge

Deuteronomy - C.H. Mackintosh

Religion and Theology - J. Tulloch

The Being of God - St Anselm

The Existence of God - St Anselm

God Became Man - St Anselm

The Other Wise Man - H. Van Dyke

First Christmas Tree - H. Van Dyke

A Christmas Carol - C Dickens

Thoughts on the Universe

Computer Notes

About the Website


Color Theme:   Night     Day  


May your calling be the best.