I am continually amazed at how much I am learning at my age (70). I would even say that I am learning more now than all the years I spent in schools, seminary and Bible conferences. How can this be? There is one important lesson that has taken me too long to learn; that the Holy Spirit is my ever-present Teacher (John 14:26). Yes, there are good books to read and good teachers to listen to, but the most valuable lessons are learned in communion with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14).
Why is this lesson so important to learn? John not only referred to this principle in Jesus’ final meeting with the disciples before His crucifixion, but he writes of it again in the context of his concern that false teachers would deceive the churches he wrote to. Read his words carefully:
“I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing [the Holy Spirit] that you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in Him” (1 John 2:26–27).
Without saying much more than what is in these two verses, it is clear that the greatest protection we have against false teachers and deceivers is the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Our problem is that we have not learned to fully depend on Him to be taught. The problem is not that He is not available. The Spirit lives (dwells) within us (John 14:16; 1 John 2:27). In the same way that Jesus taught us to abide in Him (John 15:1-11), so we are to abide in the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27). We tend to depend on other sources instead of the Spirit. This weakness makes us more susceptible to false teaching and unbiblical practices. In fact, we have denied the Scriptures and the Spirit their divine authority. This condition leads to spiritual weakness, unfruitfulness, and no power.
Are you submitting to the teaching of the Spirit? It will result in spiritual power, strength, fruitfulness and knowing what is “true”. Greater praise and glory to God results because that is His purpose in teaching us.
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