In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. Over the last few weeks we’ve been looking at how the Bible shows itself to be the word of God. We saw the Bible is the word of God because of its majesty, purity, connectedness, the glory it gives to God and the change it has on sinners. This week I want to look at how the Holy Spirit shows you that the Bible is the word of God.
Although the reasons we’ve looked at previously for believing that the Bible is the word of God are true and good reasons, ultimately they won’t convince anyone on their own. It is only by the Holy Spirit changing our hard hearts that we are able to believe that the Bible is the word of God. The apostle John said to Christians in the early church: ‘But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth’ (1 John 2:20). And a few verses later: ‘But as his anointing teaches you about all things’ (1 John 2:27). Thus it is only by the Holy Spirit’s power that people’s eyes are opened so that they can recognise the truth when they see it.
Whereas those who do not have the Holy Spirit do not recognise the Bible is God’s word when they read it. Paul says about them: ‘The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned’ (1 Corinthians 2:14). Thus it is no surprise that when people are shown good and valid arguments for why the Bible is the word of God, they still turn away from it. The reason? They lack the Spirit’s discernment.
So if you are to affirm the Bible as the word of God you need the Holy Spirit to do what Jesus said he would do with the Apostles: ‘But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth’ (John 16:13) and ‘the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you’ (John 16:15). Otherwise you will never trust in the Bible as God’s word.
Do you recognise that you will never believe that the Bible is God’s word without the help of the Holy Spirit? Do you ask the Holy Spirit to help you when you read God’s word so that you will believe it?