License to Teach

By Catherine Powers

What exactly does the Holy Spirit do for the followers of Christ? We know that the Holy Spirit is given to them who ask (Luke 11:13, 1 Thessalonians 4:8), but why is it given to us? "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God" (1 Corinthians 2:12).

When did we start giving other people the license to teach us what we are supposed to learn from the Holy Spirit? "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (1 Corinthians 2:13).

We are warned: "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God.... That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Ephesians 4:13a,14). A piece of paper and years of studying man's doctrine does not a wise, discerner of the Word one make!

God promised us that He would preserve His Word (Psalm 12:6-7, Psalm 100:5, Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 24:35, 1 Peter 1:23) and gave a few pretty serious warnings against those who would dare change it (Proverbs 30:6, Revelation 22:18-19). We are to focus on God's Word (Psalm 119:11, Psalm 119:114) and "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).

We are commanded to "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21). That doesn't mean we are to swallow all that we're told by someone else about the Bible; that means that we are to look up the passages quoted, find out if the context matches what is being 'taught' and to trust that God has kept His word.

Stand by the Word, take up the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17), and prove your love for Christ! "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him" (John 14:21).

The only letters you need after your name to study and discern the Word are – G O D.

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