What is the Holy Spirit’s Role in Bible Study?

The Master's Seminary Blog

What is the Holy Spirit’s Role in Bible Study?

Brad Klassen | 

The making and breaking of secret codes. Kids love it. Think of the invisible spy pen that writes messages in disappearing ink that can only be read with that nifty ultraviolet light gadget. Or the ever-popular coded messages. Only those with the special code key can decipher the otherwise meaningless combination of letters, digits, symbols, and emojis.

It turns out that children are not the only ones fascinated by the making and breaking of secret codes. A surprising number of adult Christians approach God’s word in the same manner. To them, the Bible is a book of secret codes. Its words have some meaning at face value, but true meaning is hidden beneath the surface. The decoder is the Holy Spirit. When he mysteriously imparts his special code to the reader or shines his special light on the text, the letters on the page rearrange to communicate new meaning. This new meaning remains intensely personal—known only by the Spirit and the one to whom he has provided the code.

Such an approach is just one illustration of the many misunderstandings that exist among Christians with respect to the Holy Spirit’s role in Bible study. In fact, this role—called illumination—is one of the most misunderstood aspects of Bible interpretation. This confusion exists for several reasons.

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Published by directorfsm

I retired from the Army in 1994 and lost my way in the world. I ended up in prison and it was truly the best thing that could have happened. There Christ rescued me from my depravity (John 3:19) and made me whole again. Since my release in 2006 I have worked in some form of ministry, either prison or construction/disaster relief and sometimes both. My lovely wife Naida and I serve as Missionaries from Pioneer Valley Baptist Church, Chicopee, MA. We are currently headquartered in Jackson, MS. We were sent to the mission field in 2012 to help Rebuild Lakeshore, a ministry of Lakeshore Baptist Church in Lakeshore, MS complete its post Katrina building projects. We had been serving there part time for many years before being called into full time service. While there my wife worked the Mercy House distribution center and I worked as project manager/volunteer coordinator also serving as Sr. Volunteer Chaplain at the local Hancock county jail. Since completing that project in late 2015 we relocated to Jackson MS to assist a church there that had come to help in Lakeshore many times. But due to many circumstances the focus for the ministry has changed some and expanded over the past 24 months. We still help churches in their building projects and do a lot of disaster relief work. For a full list of what we offer please see the SERVICES OFFERED page on our Faith Builders site. Back in 2006 I started Faithful Steward Ministries and FSM Women’s Outreach a Christian outreach ministry; to those with addictions, incarcerated and our veterans we continue to write and mentor these folks. Additionally I am a Chaplain for Mission M25 Network on Run For the Wall and for two military organizations. Between us my wife and I have two beautiful daughters 3 sons and 11 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.

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