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The Work of the Spirit in Giving Understanding
 
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The Work of the Spirit in Giving Understanding


The work of the Spirit in giving understanding

It is also the Holy Spirit alone who can give us true spiritual understanding of the Scriptures, an understanding of the doctrine. John puts this clearly (I John ii. 20). He is dealing with the ‘anti-Christs’, those people who had been in the Church, but who had gone out of the Church because they were not of it. They had thought that they were converted, and had been accepted as such. But they had now gone out. They had never really been true believers. They were temporary, false believers. The question arises as to how we can differentiate. How were these ignorant first Christians, most of whom were slaves, to discriminate in these matters? John says: ‘But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.’ He repeats it in verse 27, ‘But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you.’

There is an anointing and an unction given by the Holy Ghost which gives us understanding. And thus it has often come to pass in the long history of the Church that certain ignorant, more or less illiterate people have been able to discriminate between truth and error much better than the great doctors of the Church. They were simple enough to trust to the ‘anointing’, and thus they were able to distinguish between things that differ. The saintly Samuel Rutherford, that mighty man of God who lived three hundred years ago in Scotland, commented one day: ‘If you would be a deep divine, I recommend to you sanctification.’ Ultimately the way to understand the Scriptures and all theology is to become holy. It is to he under the authority of the Spirit. It is to be led of the Spirit.

 

 
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