The Holy Spirit’s True Work (Part 3: Does It Point People to the Scriptures?)

By Dee Raptor

On Nov 17, 2020

A third distinguishing mark of a true work of the Holy Spirit is that it directs people to the Word of God. Edwards drew this principle from 1 John 4:6, where the apostle John told his readers, “We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” A true work of the Spirit leads believers to submit to apostolic teaching (i.e., the New Testament) and by extension the entire Bible. He guides them to a greater appreciation and love for the Scriptures.

The Bible reveals an inseparable connection between the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures that He inspired (2 Peter 1:20–21). The Old Testament prophets were moved by Him to predict the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:10–11; cf. Acts 1:16; 3:18). The apostles were similarly inspired by the Spirit to compose the biblical gospels and to write the epistles of the New Testament (John 14:25–26; 15:26).

The Bible is the Holy Spirit’s book; He inspired it and He empowers it. It is the primary instrument He uses to convict the world of sin (John 16:8–11; Acts 2:37); to point sinners to the Savior (John 5:39; 1 John 5:6); and to conform believers into the image of their Lord (2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Peter 2:2).

A comparison of Ephesians 5:18 with Colossians 3:16 demonstrates that the command to “be filled with the Spirit” is parallel to the command to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,” since they both produce the same results (cf. Eph. 5:18–6:9; Col. 3:16–4:1). Little wonder Jesus in John 6:63c said, ‘’…this words that I speak to you, and they are spirit and life.’’ Thus, it is by the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of an individual that the word of God in Scripture provides spiritual life.

As one commentator explains, “It is not possible for God’s Word to dwell in believers unless they are filled with the Spirit; and conversely, Christians can’t be filled with the Spirit without the Word of Christ dwelling in them. Being spirit-filled begins with being Scripture filled. It is only by the word of God we can be progressively sanctified and conformed to the image of Christ (John 17:17, 2Corinthians 3:18). Christlikeness is the goal of the Christian Walk (Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:10).

The Holy Spirit would never deter people from reading, studying, and applying the Holy Scriptures—the book that He inspired, empowers, and illuminates for salvation and sanctification.  

“For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21 esv).

It goes to mean that when we submit to the Word of God as our authority, we are submitting to the Spirit Himself, since He inspired every word it contains. No true work of the Spirit will contradict, devalue, or add new revelation to the Scriptures (cf. Rev. 22:17–19). Instead it will elevate biblical truth in the hearts and minds of believers.

Excerpted from Chapter 4 of Strange Fire by John MacArthur, pp. 66-71.


About The Author

D. D. KUYET alias "Dee Raptor" is a Christian HipHop Artiste/Rapper. He is also a graduate of Food Science and Technology. He is a contributing writer at lightwk