How does God speak to us? Does the Bible or the Holy Spirit teach us everything we need to know about God? Does the Bible or the Holy Spirit lead us to an intimate relationship with the Father? Does the Bible or the Holy Spirit fill us with the power to obey and have the knowledge to please God? According to the Bible, the answer is “the Holy Spirit” to all of these questions.
What the Bible does claim, however, is that the Holy Spirit will speak through the Scriptures to teach us about God.
How Does God Speak to Us? The Holy Spirit Speaks Through the Bible
God the Holy Spirit uses the Scriptures to guide, fill, and accomplish the Father’s will in the believer’s life.
Without the Spirit, the Bible will not be of any service to us. Notice that the Bible is our one weapon against Satan, but God refers to this weapon as “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” Ephesians 6:17).
If we replace the Spirit’s presence with the Bible, we no longer have the sword of the Spirit, we have a human sword, as we will seek to use the word of God through the wisdom of man, which will not be enough to understand and apply the real truth the Bible contains. Satan himself knows the word of God better than we ever will, and he seeks to use it for his own evil agenda. Without the Holy Spirit making us holy, we can study the Scriptures but in our sinfulness we will use our knowledge for evil and not good, just like Satan.
Romans 8:13-14 states, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” Without the Spirit we cannot understand the Spirit’s written words. And without the Spirit’s written words, we cannot be sure we are truly being led by the Spirit. But notice that the above verse does not say that those who are lead by the word of God are sons of God but rather “all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” Many non-believers see some practical wisdom in the Bible, but only when the Spirit is in you does the word of God change your life.
How Does God Speak to Us? The Scriptures Confirm and Interpret the Spirits Personal Leading
To clarify, since the Holy Spirit is the one who used man to write the Scriptures, since the Holy Spirit is therefore the true author of the Bible (2 Peter 1:21), to be in communion with the Spirit and to know what the Spirit is speaking, we must be students of the Spirit’s Scriptures. Elevating the Spirit over the word should never diminish the word, but rather lift up the Spirit as God. The word helps us, but God and not the Bible is the real point.
To hear or feel the Spirits personal leading should never contradict, diminish, or make void the written word of God to us in our minds. God’s Scriptures always stand in judgment over our personal experiences in regards to hearing or feeling God’s individual leading of us because we are imperfect and God’s word is perfect. God will always use his word in personally leading us. Therefore seeking the Spirit’s counsel is not about God giving us extra-biblical information, but rather allowing the Spirit to apply biblical wisdom in a personal way to your life.
How Does God Speak to Us? The Holy Spirit (God) is Greater than the Bible, Which Does Not Diminish the Importance of the Bible
The Holy Spirit is greater than God’s Holy Scriptures. Again, this statement does not diminish the Scriptures but rather reminds us of the deity and Sovereignty of God the Holy Spirit. The Bible is living and active because the Holy Spirit wrote it through men. Without the Spirit the Scriptures would not exist. Without the Spirit no one can understand the Scriptures (2 Corinthians 2). Without the Holy Spirit we do not have the power to apply the Scriptures to our lives (Philippians 2:13).
“Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us” (1 John 3:24). Obeying God’s word confirms that you are being led by the Spirit. The Scriptures are the primary tool the Holy Spirit uses to speak, teach, and convict, but the Holy Scriptures are still a tool God uses and not a god to be worshiped in itself.
How Does God Speak to Us? The Holy Spirit’s Primary Means (not sole means) of Communication is the Bible
The Scriptures trump what you feel the Holy Spirit saying to you not because the Spirit does not speak to us individually but because the Spirit speaks to us individually what he has already spoken to us in his word.
Yes he applies the Bible to our unique circumstances and sometimes gives special leading on neutral situations not specifically stated in the Bible (Should I or should I not travel to visit my family for the holidays?). In addition to God’s word, God often speaks to us through the inner impression is Spirit puts our heart and also through our external circumstances.
But what God the Holy Spirit never does is contradict himself, which means God will never tell us to do something that contradicts his written and unchanging word. And what he primarily does is lead us through illuminating the truth in his Scriptures.