"As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him." - Psalm 18:30

How Does The Holy Spirit Lead Men Today?

People often wonder, If there is no direct guidance from the Holy Spirit today, then how does the Spirit instruct us to know God's will?

A. The Spirit Instructs through the Scriptures.

All spiritual truth about God's will was delivered to men in the first century and recorded in Scriptures. This message has been preserved, so we today can know the will of God through the Spirit's message in the written word. Notice the following references.

John 14:26; 16:13 - Jesus here spoke to the original apostles (cf. 13:1,21,22; 16:17 to Matt. 26:20,26) and promised that they would be guided by the Holy Spirit into all truth. The direct guidance of the Spirit did this for them, but this was never promised to all men. This has caused many to be confused and led astray from truth because they are looking for it beyond the written word.

1 Corinthians 14:37: - Inspired men wrote down the message that the Spirit revealed to them. So the Scriptures now contain the Spirit's message in written form.

2 Timothy 3:16,17 - God intended for all good works to be recorded in the Scriptures, the written word. In this way, the inspired Scriptures are profitable to teach and instruct men in righteousness, etc.

Ephesians 3:3-5 - What Paul received by revelation, he wrote down so others could read and understand it.

John 20:30,31 - The written word tells enough that we can receive eternal life. (Cf. 1 John 1:1-4; 2:1-6.)

2 Peter 1:12-15- Having received all things pertaining to life & godliness (1:3), Peter wrote to others so that, even after he died, they could be reminded of the words and commandments of Jesus' apostles and prophets. Note also 2 Peter 3:1-2, where Peter mentions the things he wrote.

Today, we need no further revelations because the Bible completely reveals all we need to know to be saved and to please until life is over. Just ask yourself the question, "Where do I get my information about God and His will for man?" It is in the written word! Realizing the apostles and prophets in the first century received and wrote down all truth, any religious doctrine taught today, which was not taught by and recorded in the Bible, is not true! It is a lie!

[See also I Cor. 11:23; 2:10-14; 15:3; 2 Thess. 3:6,14; Jude 3; Rev. 1:11; Acts 20:20,27; Gal. 1:8-12; James 1:25; Matt. 28:20; Col. 4:12; Heb. 13:20,31.]

B. Note that Whatever the Spirit Does in Leading Men, the Same Is Said To Be Done by the Word.

Holy Spirit

Work

The Word

Eph. 5:18f; 1 Cor. 6:19

Dwells in us

Col. 3:16; 2 John 2

Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:18

Leads or guides

Psa. 119:104,105; 2 Tim. 3:16,17

2 Thess. 2:13

Sanctifies

John 17:17,19

Gal. 5:22f

Bears fruit

Col. 1:5f,9f; Luke 8:11,15

Rom. 15:13; Eph. 3:16

Gives power

Rom. 1:16; Heb. 4:12

Rom. 8:16; Eph. 1:13f

Testifies we are God's

1 John 2:3-6; 1 Peter 1:23

Acts 9:31

Comforts

Rom. 15:4; 1 Thess. 4:18

Heb. 2:3,4

Gives evidence

John 20:30,31


Ephesians 6:17 - The word is "the sword of the Spirit". The Spirit and the word are two separate things - they are not the same. But the word is the means or medium used by the Spirit to reveal the Lord's will and lead men to obey Him today (cf. Heb. 4:12f).

Additionally, the Spirit does dwell in every Christian today. But this is not the means by which the Spirit leads men to know God's will. The indwelling is a totally different work from that of revealing God's will or guiding men. Also, the reference above from Col. 3:16 speaks of being "filled with the Spirit," but this is not the normal indwelling, for Paul says the "word" does the filling, in the parallel passage of Eph. 5:18.

There is no means for knowing God's will today apart from the Scriptures. This is why so many passages exhort us to study and teach God's word (Acts 17:11; 8:4; Matt. 28:20; 22:29; 2 Tim. 3:16f; 2:2,15; Psa. 19:7-11; 1:2; etc.).

When one claims the Holy Spirit guides him today in ways in addition to the Scriptures, he has rejected the Scriptures as a complete and perfect guide. Whether he realizes it or not, he is not satisfied to simply follow the Bible; he wants something else other than what the Bible says. But this would be adding to the word of God, thus, making it the word or doctrines of men. Jesus says that produces "vain" worship. (Matt. 15:9)

Open and read and study your Bible, then the Spirit of God will speak to you!