“What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.” 1 Corinthians 2:12
There was a three-year-old little boy who was writing a letter to a girl he had a crush on. His mother walked by and she said, “What are you doing?” He said, “I am writing a love-letter to my girlfriend.” She said, “You can’t write. Why are you trying to send her a letter?” He said, “That’s okay. She can’t read.”
It is one thing to receive truth, but it is another thing to understand it. Truth is useless unless you both understand it and understand how to apply it to your life. God has given us the Holy Spirit not only to guide us to the truth, but also to teach us the truth. The Apostle Paul put it this way in 1 Corinthians 2:12: We have received the Spirit who is from God, “So that we may understand what God has freely given us.”
This is a matter of inspiration versus illumination. The Holy Spirit does both. By inspiration the Holy Spirit gave the disciples, prophets, and apostles all the truth we needed to know; but by illumination the Holy Spirit shines light on that truth so that we can understand it. Inspiration is the gift of receiving new truth. Illumination is the gift of understanding old truth. Anyone can read the Bible without the help of the Holy Spirit, but no one can understand the Bible apart from the Holy Spirit.
It is so important that we go to the Bible to both seek and see the truth. The truth that God wants to speak to us today is just as fresh, important, relevant, and clear as it was to the first disciples of Jesus. If you want to hear from the Spirit of God, go to the Word of God. The more deeply you study His Word, the more clearly you will hear His voice as the Holy Spirit guides and teaches you to see the truth clearly. When the Holy Spirit speaks, He only speaks what He hears from Jesus – and what He hears from Jesus is the Word of God. When you seek the truth in God’s Word you will see the truth by God’s Spirit.
Dear Father, thank you for the gift of your Word. I pray that you would help me to remember that Scripture is the sole source of truth, and that I should look to you and your Word when I need guidance and wisdom. In Jesus' name, amen.