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Does the Holy Spirit lead us into all the truth?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by vanshan, Aug 8, 2006.

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  1. vanshan

    vanshan A Sinner

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    We know that God reveals the truth of the gospel to us, by the Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit leads us when we study God's word, however, is it ever possible to get it wrong? Certainly many sincere people disagree on some pretty important aspects of our faith, so when there is disagreement, someone must be wrong . . . right? Rather than answering this using anecdotes from my own experience, my own opinion, which is of no importance, or what I have heard from others, let's see what the Word of God indicates, since it is our highest authority for truth among those traditions of Christ, which have been passed down among us.

    In Paul's letter to the Galations chapter 2, we read an account of Paul going to Jerusalem to submit his teachings, among the Gentiles, to the Apostles there, to make sure he is teaching the truth. From this letter we see that he, obviously, understands it is possible for a single individual, even one as wise as he had become, to be wrong; therefore, rather than trusting that the truth had fully been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit, he went to make sure, by comparing what he believed to be true, with the witness of the larger Church community. It is just as important, or actually even moreso, for us to do the same. Are we wiser than Paul?

    Later in the same chapter, we read how Paul confronted Peter, who was honored as "first among equals" among the apostles, regarding the issue of requiring converts to Christ to be circumcised. Paul persuaded Peter that it was uneccessary to require believers to sumbit to this part of the Law. After this first church council, it was clarified that God did not require circumcision of beleivers. From this we see that even Peter was subject to error--and this was after the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, had been sent. Are we better able to hear the Holy Spirit than Peter?

    What's the point? We must check our impressions, about what the scriptures mean, even though we do have the Holy Spirit to help us, with the larger witness of believers, who have testified to the truth since the beginning. As a whole, the Church has preserved the truth, but individuals, even as close to Christ as Peter and Paul could be wrong in some areas. It's very important for each of us to approch the study of God's word with humility, keeping this in mind. All men are fallible--and even our ability to hear the leading of the Holy Spirit reflects this weakness.

    Here's an excerpt from Paul's letter:

    "Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also.
    It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.
    But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.
    But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage."
    Galations 2:1-4


    Basil
     
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  2. theend0218

    theend0218 Everything is everything.

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    Excellent post. I do believe the Holy Spirit reveals to God's Children the truth in that He brings them into a relationship with Christ, who is the Truth, and the truth all need is "the truth that is in Jesus our Lord." All who belong to God are led by the Spirit; all who are led by the Spirit are "the sons of God." As to understanding what has been written: none of us can hope to perfectly understand it; left to ourselves we will probably never all agree on what it means. Thank God for those gifted to teach and preach the word through the ages. Peace to you.
     
  3. eoe

    eoe Guest

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    Welcome to nihilism.
     
  4. vanshan

    vanshan A Sinner

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    If we shrug our shoulders in resignation believing no one can know the true revelation of God, then that would be nihilistic. The truth was revealed, but many departed from it. We can still know the truth, but it isn't a personal, relative, existential truth, nor is it a secret hidden truth, as the gnostics maintain.

    We must humbly struggle to understand Christ according to the eternal revelation passed down to us. We must preserve the truth that is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, which agrees with that which has been believed from the beginning, everywhere, and by all. We cannot add to the truth or take anything away from it, because doing so makes us peddlers of lies and agents of the enemy, rather than Christ, to Whom we aspire to serve. We must test our understanding of scripture to make sure we have been illumined by God and not deceived by another spirit.


    Basil
     
  5. Cribstyl

    Cribstyl Veteran

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    The truth of the Gospel is revealed to us today by the word of God, (THE BIBLE). These written records come from the mouth of Apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ.

    Why should we focus on their traditons rather than what they were inspired to write? Traditions are for times and cultures but God's word is eternal.

    The Gospel is revealed to us by the "power" of the Holy Spirit, because the Spirit uses and empowers people to carry out the ministry of spreading the Gospel.

    I feel that you're in error about Paul's faith in what he was preaching.
    Text proves that Paul did not "learn" the Gospel. One minute he was on a mission to condemn and prosecute christians to death. Then Christ appear to him and put into his spirit the gospel that he preached...read it again. (blue is the bible, red is points of emphesis, green is traditions of Jews and the early Jewish Christians )

    Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
    Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
    Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
    Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
    Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
    Gal 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
    Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
    Gal 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
    Gal 1:14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
    Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called [me] by his grace, Gal 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
    Gal 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
    Gal 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.
    Gal 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.
    Gal 1:20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.


    The bottom line is hearing comes by the word of God.
    The word is preached, written and believed upon. The Holy Spirit can open up our understanding if we seek and allow Him to.

    To establish someone who is appointed by man as your teacher can lead you into error ,if the word of God is not their source.

    Where does Christ send anybody out to preach or teach traditions? Traditions are not under attack, but what did Christ commissioned ??? Then let's follow His words. Those who would focus on His traditions are preaching another Gospel.

    The traditions presented in the Gospel are communion, baptism, prayers and worship.

    peace
     
  6. Cribstyl

    Cribstyl Veteran

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    Your commentary appear to misrepresent what is said in this text;
    Gal 2:2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.



    Paul did not say I went to submit my teaching..... He said "I went to communicate with them what I was teaching."


    ...lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

    Paul got revelation to coordinate with the pillars so both their messages would not clash or be contradictory. This would cause him, not to lose time on historical doctrines those under circumcission still taught.


    Paul preached freedom and those of the Circumcission were still zealous of the law.

    Paul proved their rank did'nt mean anything to him because of from whom he recieved his message.




    Gal 2:6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person for they who seemed [to be somewhat] in conference added nothing to me:
    Gal 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as [the gospel] of the circumcision [was] unto Peter;
    Gal 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles
    Gal 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we [should go] unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
    Gal 2:10 Only [they would] that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.




    Peace
     
  7. JimfromOhio

    JimfromOhio Life of Trials :)

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    There is a misunderstanding "living by faith" (Galatians 2:20) to mean that focusing on "our effort" based on works rather than obedience to holiness, adding faith and fruits through grace. Works of faith compromise on the little issues of human desires that leads to greater downfalls in the future.

    When Jesus said that the Comforter is coming, He was saying: "The Comforter will not come to stand on His own, to speak on His own authority. He will guide you into all truth-He will speak and act on the authority of the divine Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is spirit and faith is required to know Christ and then, the Holy Spirit will reveal who God really is. The Holy Spirit manifests Christ into our human spirit, not to our physical eyes. Without the Holy Spirit, human pride often create the confusions and seeing contradictions that are plainly outside the field of human understanding.

    Engaging in a personal relationship with God is the first and most important step in initiating spiritual intimacy. Two-way relationship with God requires our submission, obedience and love to Him. Often sin in a Christian's life ignores the Holy Spirit that he/she is not willing to acknowledge the conviction. That's the trouble with Christians when they tend to focus on superficial desires rather than their HEARTS to change by the Holy Spirit. Wisdom by definition means quality of being wise; power of judging rightly and following the soundest course of action, based on knowledge, experience and understanding. In 1 Peter 1: 13 - 16 We are to present our bodies "as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. Truth is, the Holy Spirit is able to grasp our inner being only when we submit completely which will allow Him to teach us, lead us mysterious and divine where we ought to go. Remember, since God is love, therefore, we must surrender to love or we can never know the truth of God. "Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." — Psalm 86:11

    A wise Christian should be committed into action of reading, putting faith in the Word, and surrender to the Holy Spirit so that I can learn from the heart. God is spirit and faith is required to know Christ and then, the Holy Spirit will reveal who God really is. The Holy Spirit manifests Christ into our human spirit, not to our physical eyes.
     
  8. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

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    I can testify that the older I get the more I know and understand, and I have complete faith that what I understand is true. The problem arises when I try to explain what I know, having studied the bible for fifty years, and lived even longer, to one who hasn't seen or experienced what I have. My experience, which is very helpful in understanding God and his word, are of little value to a younger person as they have no equal frame of reference.

    I think of the scripture that points out that strong meat is for those of full age, who have exercised what they have learned in their lives, and thus gained greater understanding than those who are younger. It is so sad that we are not respected, but often thought of as being 'out of it' because of our age. Even in the church the young often act proudly against their elders.
     
  9. eoe

    eoe Guest

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    Was that a yes or a no?
     
  10. vanshan

    vanshan A Sinner

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    "Lest by any means I should run, or had run in vain," indicates the humble reality that he was aware he could have been running in vain, teaching incorrectly concerning the circumcision. As we know, Paul's teaching regarding this did turn out to be the Holy Spirit inspired teaching, but he did understand the need to hold counsel with those other pillars of the Church in Jerusalem to make sure they were of one mind concerning this issue. This method of resolving issues is exactly how the Orthodox Church of Christ has resolved disputes over the truth from the beginning, as we can read here.

    Basil
     
  11. JimfromOhio

    JimfromOhio Life of Trials :)

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    All truths? NO

    We will understand many truths with the help from the Holy Spirit. Without circumstances, my self-discovery will not be completed and my self-judgment will be biased and imperfect. I hvae discovered who I am, I found out who and what I am not and who I am in Christ. My greatest teachers have been my circumstances because my greatest spiritual growth occurred in the most unfavorable of circumstances as those great faiths did in the days of Biblical times.

    Spiritual knowledge is so important in our pursuit of God and His righteousness however at the same time, it is one of the biggest tragedies in Christianity is that so many of us think so highly of ourselves through works of faith when the evidence GRACE is the key to our faith. Spiritual maturity requires great care and a true knowledge of ourselves to distinguish a spiritual burden around us but at the same time, we cannot close our minds to everything that is happening around us. Spiritual Wisdom and Strong Faith sees everything in focus and be able to trust God no matter what happens. God leads us to our destiny according to His will and glory. No matter what we do, God is always guiding us through our circumstances (good and bad). Nothing is impossible for Him. God is Good and at the same time, God is Holy and Sovereign.
     
  12. JimfromOhio

    JimfromOhio Life of Trials :)

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    On the topic of "TRUTH". Christ did not say, "I am the truths," but He did SAY: "I am the Truth."

    The only way to get in is to believe Him with our heart which is sealed by the Holy Spirit.

    2 Corinthians 1:22
    set His seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

    Ephesians 1:13
    And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.

    Ephesians 4:30
    And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

    2 Timothy 2:19
    Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."
     
  13. Cribstyl

    Cribstyl Veteran

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    Hmm, I see how you apply words to definition and feel comfortable now in only certain part of your arguments.

    Question:Hmmm,Does 14yrs later seem as a good time to check if you got the right message :confused:

    Or could it be that, at the time of conflict when someone is preaching another gospel to the Gentiles, the Holy Spirit said. You better go talk to the pillars about what you're preaching to the Gentiles.

    Paul said he was'nt derailed for more than 1 hour by those preaching the Law, this proves that he was sure of his mandate of the Gospel .
    Gal 2:5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

    Do you still say that Paul was'nt sure of his doctrines?
    What were the issue of disputation?
    What was the Apostle's answer to these issues?



    We know that this Galatians account is a breif overview of what actually took place in Act 15 and 16. The words "dessention" and "disputation" in Act15 proves that Paul had to argue in vain to defend his teaching to the Gentiles against Jews (which later cost him his life)


    Act 15:2When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.



    The questions is "Why are these men preaching to the Gentiles the Law and Circumcission and I'm preaching freedom ?"

    The answer was:Act 15:24Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, [Ye must] be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no [such] commandment:

    :preach:

    :sorry: edited again
     
  14. Cribstyl

    Cribstyl Veteran

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    Jhn 16:13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

    To understand that the Holy Spirit would come and lead the Apostle into all truth. We know and read how the Apostles waited on this most important promise before going about the great commission.

    Can we name any traditions given by the Holy Spirit?
    Should we wear Adidas to play soccer or would Nike do as well? Should we drink Coke or Pepsi?

    Traditions donot establish the word of God or the work of the Holy Spirit, it only serve to illustrate human rules and choices at a certain age in time.
     
  15. vanshan

    vanshan A Sinner

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    Just off the cuff, I can think of three other examples from scripture, which refute the false idea that we can reliably hear the guidance of the Holy Spirit individually. If we base too much trust in our own understanding due to ego or ignorance, then we are guilty of twisting the scriptures that we may misinterpret, making ourselves enemies of the truth.

    1. 2 Peter 3:14-17 "Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 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.
    17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked . . ."


    From this passage, we can see that Peter understood that Paul's letters may contain difficult to understand passages that could be misunderstood--not maliciously twisted, but distorted due to the ignorance of the reader, or hearer. To remedy this does he recommend the Christians pray more diligently seeking understanding from the Holy Spirit, which he could have easily prescribed? No. He encourages them to remain steadfast to the teachings they received and to grow in their knowlege of Jesus Christ so they don't fall prey to those who misunderstand the scriptures. Clearly, he warns the scriptures can be misunderstood--and this should come as no surprise to us who are surrounded by so many differing interpretations.

    2. Acts 15. The Council in Jerusalem.

    In this entire chapter we read about how one of the first controversies was resovled by a council of the Church. Not all of Christ's followers within the Church had been led into truth by the Holy Spirit, so by meeting together and reasoning with one another, they concluded the correct doctrine is that cirumcision is no longer required in Christ. This is the model of how the Orthodox Church has arrived at Holy Spirit-inspired truth starting at that time until the present date. It is in seeking the consensus of understanding, rather than placing full reliance on one person's interpretion, including our own, which leads the Church as whole into all the truth. Any single person can be wrong, even you and me.

    3. Act 8:27-39. The conversion of the Eunuch.

    30Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?"

    31And he said, "Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?" And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him."


    In this example the eunuch states that without being taught by someone, how could he understand the scriptures? From a protestant view, those who diligently seek God, will receive correct understanding by the Holy Spirit, but Philip didn't advise the eunuch seek understanding from the Holy Spirit, but instead instructed him about Christ.

    This leads to another contradiction. If each of us can gain accurate understanding of all matters of faith by reading the scriptures and being illuminated directly by the Holy Spirit, why did God assign teachers and evangelists to proclaim the gospel to us? Why do we have spiritual shepherds to protect us from harm, if all we need are the scriptures and God to guide us into truth? Why have long sermons on Sunday to teach us, if God can do it directly by the Holy Spirit? If that is the case our preachers should just read the Bible to us and then dismiss us, but they don't do that. Instead they help illuminate the meaning of the scriptures to us, as best they can. [Again, don't trust any one man's teachings, not even your own, but instead hold them up to the witness of the followers of Christ from the beginning, to be sure he or she is teaching the same gospel once delivered by the Apostles, so you aren't led astray by unsound doctrines which are created to please the listeners, rather than preserve the truth.]

    Basil
     
  16. Cribstyl

    Cribstyl Veteran

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    Before I refur you to text that teach us the role of the Holy Spirit in our biblical education. Let me comment on your text. Would'nt it be tricky if you defined "the teaching they recieved" to include certain traditions that are not written:confused: ??? If you did, you would not be talking about the scriptures that Peter said Paul wrote for our knowlege of Jesus Christ.

    Another fact to consider is in this context. Peter's exclusive mandate to feed the flock of God is laid out in 2peter.
    He tell us everything we need to do and know so that we will never stumble, never fall, and have an abundant entry into the kingdom of God. He tell us that the written word is more sure than being an eyewitness as he was, because we got it in writting (1:19"We have also a more sure word of prophecy;)


    2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.


    In his writings Peter is presenting the word of God as the only way to be saved. He validated all scripture, and presents the Holy Spirit overseeing all that is written.


    After Jesus baptism He emediately said

    Luk 4:18The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
    ----------------------------------------------------
    TEXT Answer to #001
    Is it really difficult to understand that the annointing of the Holy spirit breaks the yoke of bondage that keep eye closed from hearing the word of God?
    1cor 12 explains it all

    We pray to God for understanding of His word, and the Holy Spirit empowers people just as Phillip was able to help the Unuch understand what He read in THE BIBLE.

    1Cr 12:2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
    1Cr 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and [that] (#001)no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

    peace
     
  17. racer

    racer Contributor

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    Yes.






    Yes. But, that is not because the Holy Spirit is not leading us unto all truth. We get it wrong.



    And some, I would say most, get some of it wrong---not all.



    That’s fine and I’ll address that also, but let me give you a little scenario. Think about freewill—God gave it to us. Now, pretend you have a couple of horses that need water. So, you take them by their leashes and lead them to the water. They follow you exactly and go directly to the watering hole. They did not have freewill to follow and trust you; they followed right behind because they had to. You directed them. Now, pretend that you have a couple of horses that need water and you want to lead them to the pond, but you don’t have any leashes. So, you have to lead them with no control over whether or not they choose to follow you. Now, because they have freewill, one may follow you and the other may stray. Maybe both will stray, but still eventually get to where you are waiting. So, did the manner in which you lead them change—other than not using the leash so that they followed you exactly and directly?

    The fact that many do not or have not yet arrived at the Truth is not evidence that the Holy Spirit is not there leading each and every one of us.



    Yes.



    Me, personally? No.

    However, reading Galatians, chapter 2, even though Paul sought to test his teachings to the “larger church community,” he did not buckle to their ways. He admonished them—Peter in fact. So, yes we should seek wiser counsel, but we are not bound to abandon our beliefs to theirs simply because they may be larger, older and wiser.



    No, but we are equally able. Do we equally hear? Not all of us.



    And we do, just as Paul did. However, just as Paul did, we often find that what the larger community claims is not fact---just like Paul did.



    I’m not quite sure what you infer that Paul is saying here.
     
  18. racer

    racer Contributor

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    :thumbsup: I had forgotten about those verses from Paul. I used them a long time ago. Thanks for bringing them to light here.
     
  19. Asinner

    Asinner Seeking Salvation

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    Racer,

    I just wanted to say that I completely agree with this statement. I liked your analogy too. :)

    The Holy Spirit does work in leading people to Christ. It is not the same lead, though, once you are baptized and receive the indwelling of the Spirit. Your analogy works well here in that before one becomes a Christian, they are lead with a leash (the Holy Spirit) to the pond (the living water). Once they receive this living water, they no longer need the leashes. When we are baptized, we receive the Spirit internally. However, there are many ponds. All do not contain the life we seek. We must drink from many sometimes before we find the one that gives us life. We will know when we find it because our thirst will be quenched and life will abide in us.

    God Bless :)

     
  20. vanshan

    vanshan A Sinner

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    Excellent point. It's important to remember that the Holy Spirit can draw people to God, but that is done through external means. The Holy Spirit cannot dwell within man, internally, until he has been made new . . . as indicated in the new wine in old wineskins analogy in scripture. How does God make us new creatures? In the regenerating waters of baptism, which are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to translate us into God's kingdom. Christ proclaimed, "The Kingdom of God is at hand." We are all invited to enter His eternal Kingdom, but we must be humble enough to sumbit to Him.


    Basil
     
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