By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)
Throughout the Scriptures, we are constantly told about the close connection between the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
Indeed, several passages remind us that one of the primary works of the HolySpirit has been in delivering the Word of God to mankind.
2 Peter 2:20-21-knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Ron Rhodes, in describing the original language of this passage, has written:
“The word “interpretation” in 2 Peter 1:20 literally means “unloosing” in the original Greek.50 The verse could be paraphrased: “No prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own unloosing.” In other words, the prophecies did not stem merely from the prophets themselves or by human imaginings, but ultimately came from God (as verse 21 goes on to emphatically state). Put another way, no prophecy of Scripture comes from (or originates from) a human being’s personal interpretation—that is, his personal understanding of events around him—but rather comes from God….The word “for” at the beginning of verse 21 carries an explanatory function—indicating that verse 21 explains verse 20 by restating its contents and then pointing to God as the author of Scripture. Hence, the context of verse 21 indicates that the collective focus of verses 20 and 21 is Scripture’s origin, not its interpretation. In keeping with this, we must emphasize that the word moved (in the phrase “men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God”) literally means “borne along” or “carried along.” Luke uses this same word in the book of Acts to refer to a ship being borne along or carried along by the wind (Acts 27:15,17). The experienced sailors on the ship could not navigate it because the wind was so strong. The ship was being driven, directed, and carried about by the wind. This is similar to the Spirit’s driving, directing, and carrying the human authors of the Bible as they wrote (2 Peter 1:20-21). The word “moved” is a strong one, indicating the Spirit’s complete superintendence of the human authors. Of course, just as sailors are individually active and consciously involved while on a ship, in the same way, the authors of God’s Word were individually active and consciously involved in writing Scripture. But it was the Spirit who ultimately directed them or carried them along.” (Ron Rhodes, Reasoning From The Scriptures With The Jehovah’s Witnesses, 38-39 (Kindle Edition); Eugene, Oregon; Harvest House Publishers)
Please notice the obvious work that the Holy Spirit has put into delivering the Word of God to mankind.
Several other passages teach us about this important work of the Spirit:
Exodus 4:15-Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do.
2 Samuel 23:2-The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue.
Jeremiah 1:9-Then the LORD put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.
Matthew 10:19-20-But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
The Holy Spirit worked for thousands of years to deliver the Word of God to mankind.
The Apostle Paul described the finished work of this process in these powerful words:
2 Timothy 3:16-17-All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Paul tells us that the Scriptures were given by inspiration of God; literally, they are the very “breathed out” Word of God.
Many believe that the Apostle only refers here to the Old Testament Scriptures; yet that is clearly not the case, for the same Apostle refers to the Gospel of the Apostle Luke (Luke 10:7) and calls it “Scripture” (1 Timothy 5:18).
This shows that the early Christians clearly understood that the writings of the Apostles had Divine authority, as the Apostles themselves make clear I numerous ways.
For example, the Apostles clearly taught the Divine status of their writings when they commanded them to be read publicly in the church assembly:
Colossians 4:16-Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
1 Thessalonians 5:27-I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren.
Paul clearly pointed out that his writings bore Divine authority on several occasions:
1 Corinthians 14:37-If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.
2 Thessalonians 2:15-Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.
2 Thessalonians 3:14-And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.
The Apostle Peter refers to the writings of the Apostle Paul and calls them Scripture:
2 Peter 3:15-16-and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
The Prophets and Apostles clearly teach that the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) were given by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit Himself confirmed this with various signs and miracles to produce faith in the hearts of unbelievers and skeptics alike (John 3:2; 20:30-31; Hebrews 2:1-4; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Mark 16:17-20).
From these things, we can make some very important observations.
First, the Holy Spirit produced the Scriptures. He was the Source of the writings of the Prophets and Apostles, so that while they spoke in their own words and language, the actual words of Scripture had Divine origin and guidance.
Second, the Holy Spirit is separate from the Word of God. Some make the mistake of claiming that the Holy Spirit is the actual Word of God; yet this simply is not the case. The Holy Spirit works in and through the Word of God so that we are told that the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). However, He is not the Word of God.
Third, since the Spirit works through the Word of God so powerfully, we would be wise to heed the Word of God.
Indeed, it is through the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit communicates His will to mankind today (as the above passages demonstrate).
Have you heeded the Word of God?
Scripture teaches us that the Son of God came to this world and died for the sins of mankind on the Cross of Calvary (Matthew 20:28; John 3:16). Jesus died for us, was buried, and arose from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).
Will you not today heed His Word and be saved from your sins?
The Bible tells believers what they need to do to be saved:
Acts 2:38-Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
If you are an erring child of God, why not today repent of your sins and confess them to the Lord to be forgiven and restored (1 John 1:9)?
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.