Discernment from Above

I was having a discussion about the Bible with an acquaintance recently and I mentioned that the Bible is spiritually written and must be spiritually discerned. He asked me to explain what I meant and I did. I told him that the Bible states that it was written by men as they were impressed upon by the Holy Spirit. Men wrote it, but not just any men, men who were under the influence of the Holy Spirit. They wrote it in their words and in their style of writing, but the ideas and precepts were given to them by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, without the Holy Spirit's help, it is impossible to understand the "deep things" of the word of God. He told me I was crazy. He said that he understood the Bible just fine (even though he wasn't a Christian) and could quote scriptures with the best of preachers. He said that he felt more than adequate to teach the Bible to others and didn't need any "spiritual" help in doing so.
I find that a lot of people feel that way. I dare say that our pulpits are full of people who don't think they need the Holy Spirit's help in understanding the Holy Scriptures. I have heard quite a few of them myself! They are very intelligent and very articulate (as well as quite persuasive) in their speaking styles. But there's no power! They talk, but the Holy Spirit isn't there to back them up with His power and authority! It's all logical and can be even entertaining, but no one leaves with a changed life! In 1Corinthians chapter 2, Paul said "(vs. 1)- When I came to you brothers, I did not come with eloquence and superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. (vs. 4)- My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.". The Bible says that God has "made foolish the wisdom of the world" and God has said "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.".
Is it no wonder that "intelligent" people see the preaching of the cross and the shed blood of Jesus as foolishness?! To the human mind, unenlightened by the Holy Spirit, it does sound foolish! But God has decided to do things this way. It's not the highly educated, the well-schooled, the "intellectual" thinker who will understand and be saved; It's the one who, drawn and guided by the Holy Spirit, humbles himself and learns to trust God in this "foolishness" that will endure!
It is good to listen to a man or woman of God who is entertaining and speaks well. All teachers of the gospel should strive to be the best they can be at what God has given them to do. But be careful who you are listening to! If you can't sense the Holy Spirit at work in their midst, if there is no power, just talk, maybe you should look elsewhere for the teaching.

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