I was just reading a book yesterday by A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of Man, in which he says, "Everywhere among conservatives (and I will add - every strip of religion), we find persons who are Bible-taught but not Spirit-taught. They conceive truth to be something which they can grasp with the mind...There is no truth apart from the Spirit. The most brilliant intellect may be imbecilic when confronted with the mysteries of God. For a man to understand revealed truth requires an act of God equal to the original act which inspired the text" (page 77).
Paul wanted to make this point very clear: “For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11–12). This became the hallmark of his ministry. “And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:13). The foundation for Paul’s word come from Jesus who said, “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 have said to you” (John 14:26).
Why is this point so critical? There is no power for transformation in mere “Bible-taught” information. By the very nature of the Holy Spirit’s work, there is transformation in us so we increasingly reflect Christ through our lives. This is the message of Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:17-18. I refrain from putting a copy of those verses here so you will pull out your Bible and read it yourself.
How are you preaching and teaching Scripture? Are you just passing on intellectual information, or is His truth first alive in you by the Spirit’s work? Let us ask God the Spirit to reveal and teach us the truth of Scripture so its power will work in us. Then our preaching and teaching will be effective.
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