“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).
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16).
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation of shadow due to change” (James 1:17).
The connectedness of the three verses referenced above may leave you scratching your head. Yet, when you see it, it will all make sense. God is three in one: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Let it be made clear: the Holy Spirit, not the Holy Scriptures, is the third person of the Trinity. I’ve heard it said that many mistake the Trinity for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Scriptures instead of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As the three verses show us above, God has given us the Holy Scriptures through the Holy Spirit as an incredible gift to know Him. It is the Holy Spirit that has spoken to the human authors to give us the words of Scripture that we have today. The Word of God is easily one of the greatest gifts that we have been given, second only to eternal life itself. But like James 1:17 says, every good gift that we have is from above. It is a gift to be adored, to love, to cherish, to take seriously because it is the very word and message of God Himself. But remember, the Holy Scriptures are not God. They are the words of God.
Because they are the words of God, they are to be seen as our objective authority in this life. The objectivity of the Word is easily one of the most beautiful things about it. We can maintain with clarity that which is taught in Scripture. We can hold the truths of Scripture with a firm grasp because it is objective, and because it is clear, and because it sufficiently teaches us all we need to know about God. If we learn something about God in this life from an experience we have or from an apparent leading of the Holy Spirit, we must test this new knowledge we have been given against the objective teaching of the Word of God. If this new knowledge contradicts what is taught in Scripture, we must dismiss our “new knowledge.” In a culture that clings to subjective, relative truth, we have an incredible gift to give in the objective authority of God’s Word.
With all that being said, we need to remember what the Bible is. It is a gift of God. It is the very Word of God. But it isn’t God Himself. It isn’t to replace the third member of the Trinity. This is where the Holy Spirit continues to play an important role in the life of a believer. The Holy Spirit originally inspired the writers to write down the very words of God, and the Holy Spirit today illuminates the Word of God for believers to understand. Here is the double-whammy. The Bible claims to be “living and active.” God promises that the Word of God will not return void, that it will accomplish what it purposes. But the power of God’s Word can be seen more clearly when we depend on the Holy Spirit to open our minds to hear the Word of God. Spirit-empowered preaching and studying and reading of God’s Word should be what is our aim. Spirit, illuminate your Word to us as we study it, read it, meditate on it, preach it, teach it, and wrestle with it.