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THE Standard……… Or The Bible And The Spirit Of Christ

November 6, 2015

Greetings,

 The following is something the Spirit inspired me to write several years ago, but I felt it might help in our ever ongoing conversation here concerning being bible or Spirit led…… As you all know I say we need to be Spirit led, rather than bible led in ALL matters of faith and practice.

 I want to start by pointing out that *some* of us who have shared so far here at the BLOG probably really aren’t disagreeing about the root of the matter.  We just differ some in perspective, or the way we have come to understand and explain what we feel God has revealed to us.  And I feel this is just great.  God has offered us all a “table of truth & love” to eat and grow from.  Nice to know that it is always a banquet or buffet; instead of an Ala’ carte burger and fries served up by one clowns opinion (sorry Ronald).  It is however very important that we all are talking about the same Spiritual meat.

 Now more comments:

And so much of this is semantics.

 I too am what some would call a student of the scriptures, but what makes me uneasy about saying we must be a “student” is that it *can* tend to exalt our intellects.  Also it tends to exclude those who feel they are not smart enough to be a good follower of Christ.  Having humble and open hearts always triumphs over book learned smarts IMHO.

 Some folks say that the bible is, “the only standard of truth which we have”.  And others call it “the final authority”.  The reason this makes me cringe is that it elevates doctrine to the ruler and head over all, and tends to negate and destroy what I feel is every person’s reason for existence: RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD and ONE ANOTHER.

Having the bible as “the only standard of truth” has not produced the type of fruit God desires in the plethora of institutional/traditional churches that have waved that flag proudly for centuries has it?  Sure the bible is “A” standard of truth, but I just can’t elevate it to “The” standard.  The bible is not God!  And God is THE STANDARD. Sure the bible is one of the tools that God has supplied us with so we can understand the standard (HIM), but I cannot equate the two.  In fact I feel it is a form of idolatry to elevate the scriptures to a place equal to or greater than God Himself.  If scripture is one’s “final” or “only” standard of truth they have relegated The Lord to a place beneath the bible and that my friends is in fact idolatry.

 Here is an interesting take on this:

 We all know that the bible says, that “every matter must be established on the testimony of 2 or 3 witnesses.”  And I don’t think that necessarily means like I have heard taught, “Yep, I got my three witnesses.  This scripture, that scripture, and this here other scripture quote. That’s 3 ain’t it?”

 I believe that it could rather suggest a checks and balances method that God offers us so we can avoid gross errors in judgment.

 1 John 5:8 seems clear (at least to me) here. It says that, “There are three witnesses (these three testify) the Spirit, the water, and the Blood.”

 Here we got:

1.  The Holy Spirit and His leading and voice for confirmation and all that entails, and many times The Spirit will lead us to the bible, but not always.

2. The water, which thru my studies proves to be LIFE – but not in the sense of circumstances; but rather in the light of relationship with others who share this new life from God.  Both the testimonies of those living and those saints that have gone home before us, i.e. – mutual accountability and the answered prayers of the saints.  Some call this the hermeneutic of The Body.

And 3. The Blood, Jesus himself and His testimony which is recorded in the bible.  And Jesus is the Word after all.  However, I don’t equate Jesus being the Word as the same as He being the scriptures.  Jesus is just much more comprehensive than that.  The bible is not the fourth part of the Godhead.  Jesus sits on the throne, not the Book!  Hope I haven’t confused anyone, but rather given food for thought.

And yes, I know I had to use the scriptures to prove my point.  And I agree that the bible is part of the standard of truth, but it is joined and supported by much more than itself.  Which to me gives it even more validity and value than if it stood alone.

 One more point then I’ll git out of here.  Folks are right when they say the Spirit is reliable, but we are not.  We can easily be deceived by our own feelings and thoughts.  People have used “the Spirit told me so” to do some vile things throughout history.

 But the same thing can be said for those who have claimed the bible as their only standard of truth. People have used the bible to enslave and dominate others for centuries.  The KKK use it to promote racism and hatred.  Think of the crusades and the inquisition where many were slaughtered in the name of the WORD.  Women have been told to stay in relationships where they are battered and beaten because they were told the bible says so. The list goes on and on.

 Problem is we are human.  We quite easily are deceived by our own feelings and thoughts about even the bible. Our interpretations of what we read in there can be grossly full of error.

 So I just can’t trust myself with only one standard of truth.

 Unless that standard of course is Jesus and the many ways HE reveals Himself.

 Love and….

 Kirk Out !

 p.s. Does the bible reveal the truth of the Spirit, or the Spirit reveal the truth of the bible?

And didn’t the Spirit have to reveal to the authors what to write?  It is the same exact way today.

 I am thankful for confirmation from all the resources our source, The Lord, has provided us.  I long for both the forest and the trees.  What a view, it’s beautiful!

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12 Comments
  1. It bugs me when people say that the Spirit will never testify of something that doesn’t agree with the collection of 66 books (history, letters, and poems).

    Additionally, just in case there is somebody wondering why there bible has 1John 5:7-8 reading a little differently…

    You’ve just been introduced to the “Comma Johanneum”…

    The King James Version reads, starting with verse 7, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (8) And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”

    As it turns out, the middle part appears to be a later addition to the original text.

    “in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (8) And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood”

  2. daryl permalink

    Thanks for that…that was a really good explanation.One comment i would make concerning being a “student” of the word,is though there is the danger of exalting our intellects and making some feel as though they can not be smart enough to be a good follower of Christ(a lie),I feel as great or greater danger is people being misled and just believing what others teach.I have seen so many who just allow the law to be imposed on them by others(though we are under grace and to live by the Spirit),and i just think to myself “why don’t you look at the word for yourself?”Such things are an insult to our intellect. I do understand what you are saying though with making too big a thing of bible study.My oldest son hates doing any kind of reading and i used to threaten him with making him do a book report on Leviticus if he didn’t clean his room!

  3. I would agree with the Spirit of what you write here, but I guess I am somewhat more radical… I too am somewhat of a Sugden of the Bible… but there are times that I felt that we would be better off without it… that we should burn them all…. because of the way it has been used and abused…..
    The thing is this…. without the Indwelling Holy Spirit, the Bible only brings death and division….
    The Bible was written through and by the Holy Spirit…. He is the Author… and it is only through and by snd throygh the same Indwelling Holy Spirit that the Bible can be fully and accurately interpreted…

    • I totally agree with you Mike. Without understanding via the Spirit…the bible is nothing more than dead letter. “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

    • That should have read ‘I too am somewhat of a Student of the Bible’ … (fat fingers… silly spell checker)

  4. Tom Ball permalink

    I like John Wesley’s approach: scripture, reason, church teaching/understanding and experience… all are necessary to rightly understand the bible and the Holy Spirit’s leading. Putting all these together helps avoid any of the four getting out of balance.

    • Thank you, Tom, for the post. For more on John Wesley, I would like to invite you to the website for the book series, The Asbury Triptych Series. The trilogy based on the life of Francis Asbury, the young protégé of John Wesley and George Whitefield, opens with the book, Black Country. The opening novel in this three-book series details the amazing movement of Wesley and Whitefield in England and Ireland as well as its life-changing effect on a Great Britain sadly in need of transformation. Black Country also details the Wesleyan movement’s effect on the future leader of Christianity in the American colonies, Francis Asbury. The website for the book series is http://www.francisasburytriptych.com. Please enjoy the numerous articles on the website. Again, thank you, for the post.

  5. "BK" permalink

    ” I am thankful for confirmation from all the resources our source, The Lord, has provided us. I long for both the forest and the trees. What a view, it’s beautiful!” I enjoyed your closing statement, Christopher. And the balance with which you wrote. I agree with this and realize it is hard to really state the facts here without most tending to jump on the ‘you can’t trust the Bible!’ bandwagon when that really isn’t your point at all. It reminds me of when I wrote something on ‘no male or female in Christ’, most people jump on the ‘women are EQUAL!’ bandwagon and miss the whole point that we are ALL equal in Him….men as well as women. Humans like bandwagons but that is what I find unreliable. Hope this comes across like the amen! it is meant to be….love, “BK”

  6. I LOVE the Bible, and have been a serious student of it for many years…BUT…in my opinion, it simply cannot be the last word on what God has to say to us!

    My studies of scripture have revealed to me that God is highly relational. I know, Duh!!! Stick with me…

    As I see it, the whole of the Bible, every book we have, is a written example of God’s personal interaction and relationship with people. So, I don’t see how or why He would change the way or manner in which He has related to people for all time! We just happen to be blessed by being in a period of time that written communication (the Bible) is readily accessible.

    That said, the best form of relating has always been personal, and that is why God sent His Son and now, for each of us, His Spirit! Highly personal, highly relational.

    This is why I cannot agree with those who say the Bible is the last/final/inerrant/infallible word from God. Why in the world would we limit our relationship in that way? That isn’t what He is calling us to do and He doesn’t require that do so! He wants us to know Him and live in Christ by the Spirit…

    Great post, Chris! ;~)

    • Thanks for sharing John. You are 100% right…..relationship is what it is all about.

    • "BK" permalink

      I have been reading alot lately about Islam and that is one of the main points it has….Muhammed was the final prophet and the Quaran the FINAL written word. Of course, the Quaran itself doesn’t say that, and neither does the Bible. Just religious craziness that breeds separation and hatred, no matter what religion tries to ‘enforce’ their ‘book’. Relationship, amen, “B K”

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