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Re: The LAW of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus #35924
Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:29 PM
Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:29 PM
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By the Blood said:
The closest way I can describe it is by referring to the moment you learned that you had full assurance of salvation. It was something that prior to that time was unknown, it was revelation by the Spirit of God just to you, and it was not given to anyone else about you, making it a personal, private revelation.


The revelation of the Gospel is quite public! The Holy Spirit never has, and does not need, to give me "personal, private revelation" as to my salvation because I believe what the Holy Spirit has spoken, and it is by the Holy Spirit that I believe. And this is true of all believers.

Quote
Likewise with much answered prayer, oftentimes the one who prayed is the only one who learns of the answer (personal, private revelation), and has a deeper communion with God through Christ on that account.


Answered prayer is not the same as revelation.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: The LAW of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus [Re: CovenantInBlood] #35925
Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:32 PM
Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:32 PM

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The Holy Spirit never has, and does not need, to give me "personal, private revelation" as to my salvation...


I am sorry to hear that. Perhaps you should seek Him in this matter.

Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God

Do you not know that this is what the Holy Spirit is meant to do? It is part of what He does as Comforter. It is one thing to recognize that Benny Hinn et. al. are frauds, it is quite another to quench the operations of the Spirit.

Thomas Brooks book 'Heaven on Earth, a treatise on Christian Assurance' may be of use to you in learning about how the Spirit works in personal, private revelation of assurance.

Re: The LAW of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus #35926
Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:29 PM
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First, The GROUND on which the apostle Paul builds his assurance, is not any special revelation--but such a foundation as is common to all believers, as clearly appears from Rom 8:32-34, "He who did not spare his own Son--but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us."

It is clear from these words, that this blessed apostle had not that glorious assurance that he speaks of in the two last verses of this chapter [Rom 8:38-39] by immediate revelation, for he concludes it from such arguments as are general or common to all the godly[/u]


Thomas Brooks, Heaven on Earth, Chapter I (1667).

Shall we continue to discuss "personal,private revelation" from the Spirit? Or shall we admit that the Spirit speaks through Holy Scripture?

In the same chapter, Brooks writes, "It is the very scope and end of the Scripture to help believers to a well-grounded assurance of their everlasting happiness and blessedness."

Last edited by CovenantInBlood; Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:34 PM.

Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: The LAW of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus #35927
Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:46 AM
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By the Blood said:
Do you not know that this is what the Holy Spirit is meant to do? It is part of what He does as Comforter. It is one thing to recognize that Benny Hinn et. al. are frauds, it is quite another to quench the operations of the Spirit.


The very second that you say "God speaks to me" even if it is only to say "He told me He loves me" you are on Benny Hinn's wicked road. Our mental institutions are full of those who "Hear God" speaking to them. To quench the Spirit is to believe He teaches or speaks independently or outside and separated from the Scripture.

As Calvin says in the Institutes:

Quote

In this way Christ explained to the two disciples, (Luke 24: 27,) not that they were to reject the Scriptures and trust to their own wisdom, but that they were to understand the Scriptures. In like manner, when Paul says to the Thessalonians, "Quench not the Spirit," he does not carry them aloft to empty speculation apart from the word; he immediately adds, "Despise not prophesying," (1 Thess. 5: 19, 20.) By this, doubtless, he intimates that the light of the Spirit is quenched the moment prophesying fall into contempt. How is this answered by those swelling enthusiasts, in whose idea the only true illumination consists, in carelessly laying aside, and bidding adieu to the Word of God, while, with no less confidence than folly, they fasten upon any dreaming notion which may have casually sprung up in their minds? Surely a very different sobriety becomes the children of God. As they feel that without the Spirit of God they are utterly devoid of the light of truth, so they are not ignorant that the word is the instrument by which the illumination of the Spirit is dispensed. They know of no other Spirit than the one who dwelt and spake in the apostles--the Spirit by whose oracles they are daily invited to the hearing of the word


Quote

By the Blood said:
....may be of use to you in learning about how the Spirit works in personal, private revelation of assurance.


It is not Kyle that needs learn how the Spirit works, but you.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
Re: The LAW of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus [Re: CovenantInBlood] #35928
Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:17 AM
Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:17 AM

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A little further in the same book (P. 297 in mine):

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Eighthly, and lastly, A well-grounded assurance sometimes springs from the testimony and witness of the Spirit of God. The Spirit sometimes witnesses to a believer's spirit that he is born of God, that he is beloved of God, that he hath union and communion with God, and that he shall reign for ever with God: Rom. 8.16, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." The Spirit itself witnesseth not only the gifts and graces of the Spirit, but the Spirit itself witnesseth together with our own spirit, that we are the children of God. Sometimes the saints have two witnesses joining their testimonies together to confirm and establish them in these blessed and glorious truths, that they are the sons of God and heirs of glory; and this is their honour as well as their comfort, that the blessed Spirit should bear witness at the bar of their consciences that they are the sons of God: 1 Cor. 2:12, "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God"; that is, that we may know our election, vocation, justification, sanctification, and glorification. A man may receive many things that are freely given of God, and yet not know them till the Spirit comes and makes them known to the soul.


You write:
Quote

Shall we continue to discuss "personal,private revelation" from the Spirit? Or shall we admit that the Spirit speaks through Holy Scripture?


The Spirit makes doctrines of scripture known to the elect, that He does not make known to the unsaved. He also makes some doctrines known to some of the saved and not to other of the saved yet, hence all the great arguments about what scripture actually says. This is called personal, private revelation, much deeper than mere words. If you claim that assurance is ALL and ONLY just because YOU believe scripture, it becomes a little too Arminian at that point. Who is it that gives understanding? The Spirit of God. How does He do it? Personally, and privately. What is understanding? A revealing of the will of God. Hence we (I do anyway) have personal, private revelation by the Spirit of God in regards to my assurance.

Remember:
"Who maketh thee to differ?"

Re: The LAW of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus #35929
Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:42 AM
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A little further in the same book . . .


It is enough for me simply to reiterate what Brooks says in his first chapter: that the ground of assurance is not any "special" or "immediate revelation." So if he writes of the inward testimony of the Spirit, it is not a "personal, private revelation" he describes. But let the reader judge: his whole book is available here; By the Blood quotes from Chapter 7.

Quote
The Spirit makes doctrines of scripture known to the elect, that He does not make known to the unsaved. He also makes some doctrines known to some of the saved and not to other of the saved yet, hence all the great arguments about what scripture actually says. This is called personal, private revelation, much deeper than mere words.


It is rather called illumination, or the transforming or renewing of the mind. The Spirit transforms our minds that we might understand and receive with joy the doctrines of Scripture. By your standard, we might have a Baptist say, "The Spirit has given me a personal, private revelation that paedobaptism is a false doctrine." And a Presbyterian might say, "The Spirit has given me a personal, private revelation that paedobaptism is a true doctrine." And who shall judge between them? Or does the Spirit produce confusion? Rather, let both say, "The Spirit is transforming my mind; and by my study of His Word, I have concluded that the true doctrine of baptism is thus and such." Then we can turn to the pages of Holy Writ, and judge between them.

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If you claim that assurance is ALL and ONLY just because YOU believe scripture, it becomes a little too Arminian at that point.


Arminian? I should hardly have to defend myself against the charge; those familiar with my work on this board are well aware that I am no Arminian. But is it really too Arminian to affirm the words of the blessed apostle when he writes "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus [as] Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Rom. 10:9)?

Quote
Who is it that gives understanding? The Spirit of God. How does He do it? Personally, and privately. What is understanding? A revealing of the will of God. Hence we (I do anyway) have personal, private revelation by the Spirit of God in regards to my assurance.


Of course it is the Spirit who gives understanding. He it is who transforms the heart of stone to a heart of flesh, and He it is who plants the seed of faith in the elect. But the work of the Spirit inwardly within the individual is not a "personal, private revelation" from Him! For everything the Spirit teaches us He has already revealed, quite publicly, in His Scripture.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: The LAW of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus #35930
Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:00 PM
Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:00 PM
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By the Blood said:
The Spirit makes doctrines of scripture known to the elect, that He does not make known to the unsaved. He also makes some doctrines known to some of the saved and not to other of the saved yet, hence all the great arguments about what scripture actually says. This is called personal, private revelation, much deeper than mere words. If you claim that assurance is ALL and ONLY just because YOU believe scripture, it becomes a little too Arminian at that point. Who is it that gives understanding? The Spirit of God. How does He do it? Personally, and privately. What is understanding? A revealing of the will of God. Hence we (I do anyway) have personal, private revelation by the Spirit of God in regards to my assurance.

First, it is the universal testimony of the true Church that there are only two types of revelation from God which are given to men since the close of Canon: 1) Natural revelation, that which can be perceived in the natural creation and 2) Special revelation, the inspired inscripturated Word of God, aka: the Bible. During the interim, when the Scriptures were in the process of being written, God spoke directly to the Prophets and a few others by various means (Heb 1:1). The "final word" came through Jesus Christ Who appointed certain disciples to record His teachings by His Spirit. Thus, it is by, through and in the Scriptures God speaks to men and not in any way, shape or form apart from or in addition to the Word. There is simply no way an individual can discern that some voice, feeling or intuition is from God, particularly where such things are beyond Scriptural teaching.

Second, it is certainly true that the Spirit of God "reveals" the truths of Scripture to the elect (true believers) and not to unbelievers. However, this is not to be misconstrued as merely intellectual comprehension. But rather, it is more the embracing of those truths with the whole being, i.e., one not only assents to truth but it has a definite life-changing power to the one who embraces it because it replaces the principles which formerly controlled and directed that individual. (cf. Rom 7; 12:2) Many heretics and even Atheists have been able to intellectually grasp biblical doctrine but they immediately reject it as folly. They understand all too well what Scripture teaches but find it odious and objectionable, even calling it foolishness. (1Cor 2:14; Rom 8:7, 8) For example, it is not a difficult task for an unbeliever to read Scripture and understand that Christ was crucified, buried and raised from the dead. But such things are deemed mythical, fiction and hardly something to be embraced as truth never mind adopted as a principle of life itself.

Third, on the matter of assurance and the "witnessing of the Spirit to our spirits". One may indeed have an "inner confidence" which is said to be God "speaking". But as I pointed out in #1, there is no infallible method to discern whether that "speaking" is truly of God. There have been and always will be a multitude of people who claim to have assurance of salvation, of varying definitions, due to an "inner confidence" which they claim to have been given to them by God Himself, yet who remain dead in sins and under the judgment of God. One of the more easily seen examples is that of the Pharisees who were adamant that they were blessed of God. Many "believed" upon Christ and had some measure of assurance that they were saved but were anything but saved. (cf. Jh 2:23-25; 8:30ff) Thus the doctrine of assurance which the Church as held is not grounded solely upon the teaching that the Spirit witnesses to one's spirit but rather it is based upon several factors, e.g., embracing the truth of the Gospel, a life that exhibits repentance and good works and the testimony of the Church as it witnesses these things as being active in one's life.

Last, as I have emphasized before, God does not communicate by sending postcards to us but rather He has deemed it most effective to speak in and through the written Word attended by the indwelling Spirit Who opens our minds and hearts to not only comprehend its truth but to embrace it as a principle of life.


Colossians 1:9-10 (ASV) "For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray and make request for you, that ye may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"


For further reading on the matter of assurance, see here:

Assurance of Salvation, by William R. Crews

True and False Assurance, by J.C. Ryle

Assurance: How We Know That We Know Christ, by John H. Gerstner

How Are Believers Guided into "All Truth"?, by John Owen

Quote
Of Assurance of Grace and Salvation


I. Although hypocrites and other unregenerate men may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favor of God, and estate of salvation[1] (which hope of theirs shall perish):[2] yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love Him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before Him, may, in this life, be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace,[3] and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed.[4]

II. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion grounded upon a fallible hope;[5] but an infallible assurance of faith founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation,[6] the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made,[7] the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God,[8] which Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, whereby we are sealed to the day of redemption.[9]

III. This infallible assurance does not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties, before he be partaker of it:[10] yet, being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation in the right use of ordinary means, attain thereunto.[11] And therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure,[12] that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience,[13] the proper fruits of this assurance; so far is it from inclining men to looseness.[14]

IV. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as, by negligence in preserving of it, by falling into some special sin which wounds the conscience and grieves the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temptation, by God's withdrawing the light of His countenance, and suffering even such as fear Him to walk in darkness and to have no light:[15] yet are they never so utterly destitute of that seed of God, and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart, and conscience of duty, out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may, in due time, be revived;[16] and by the which, in the mean time, they are supported from utter despair.[17]

In His grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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Re: The LAW of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus [Re: Pilgrim] #35931
Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 PM
Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 PM

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From your John Owen reference, this is what I have been trying to explain to the other guys. Perhaps they will see it in reformed terminology.

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John Owen

THE NATURE OF THIS WORK OF THE SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit does this work by teaching ‘The unction teaches you.’ This does not refer to his direct inspiration, that is, his bringing new sacred truths from God directly to the minds of men. This is how he taught the apostles and prophets (1 Pet. 1:11-12; 2 Pet. 1:21). Nor does God grant new revelations to preserve his people from error. God has made sufficient provision in his Word for that (Isa. 8:20; 2 Pet. 1:19).

The teaching referred to is his enabling us to discern, know and understand the mind and will of God as revealed in the Scriptures.

It is not enough simply to know the truth. We must also be assured in our minds that we do really know it (Eph. 4:14; Col. 2:2). This assurance is given by the Holy Spirit ‘who is truth and is not a lie’. There is no possibility of anyone being deceived in what he is taught by this ‘unction’. The Holy Spirit gives to believers a secret witness to what he teaches, along with his teachings (1 John 5:6). There is a special power accompanying the teaching of God by his Spirit (Job 36:22; John 6:45). So whoever is taught in this way certainly believes the things he is taught, having the evidence of the truth of them in himself (1 John 5:10).

Spiritual sense and judgment are able to discern the divine evidences in the things the Holy Spirit teaches (Heb. 5:14). This is what gives the mind the highest assurance of the truth that it is able to have in this world.

The testimonies we have considered are sufficient to establish this first general assertion: It is the Holy Spirit who teaches us to understand aright the mind and will of God in the Scripture. Without his aid we could never do this usefully and profitably to our souls.

The great promise of the New Testament is that all believers shall be ‘taught by God’ (John 6:45; see also 1 Thess. 4:9). No man is self-taught in sacred things.

Who will the Holy Spirit teach? He will teach those who are meek and humble, those who give themselves to continual prayer, meditation and study in God’s Word day and night, and those who strive to conform their lives to the truths he instructs them in. Because these are hard conditions to flesh and blood, there are few who apply to study in the school of God, while many will apply to other teachers, especially to the church of Rome, where no cost in self-denial need be involved.


I understand the reformed aversion to the word revealed, revelation etc., but scripture does use it, so we cannot shy away from it either.

1 Cor 2:9-11 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

FYI: The Ryle reference is actually part of Brooks book.

Re: The LAW of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus #35932
Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:25 PM
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But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit


Is that a "personal, private revelation"?

You also quote John Owen, but pay attention:

Quote
The Holy Spirit does this work by teaching ‘The unction teaches you.’ This does not refer to his direct inspiration, that is, his bringing new sacred truths from God directly to the minds of men. This is how he taught the apostles and prophets (1 Pet. 1:11-12; 2 Pet. 1:21). Nor does God grant new revelations to preserve his people from error. God has made sufficient provision in his Word for that (Isa. 8:20; 2 Pet. 1:19).


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: The LAW of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus #35933
Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:43 PM
Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:43 PM
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We KNOW because the Spirit has QUICKENED us so that we can LIVE out His will. We PROVE the truth of God's word in our lives because God's Spirit lives in us, enabling us to live lives pleasing to Him.

This NOT "special, personal, direct revelation!" This knowledge is not cognitive grasp of doctrine, but a heart changed - conformed by the renewing of the mind. The mind is renewed by the Spirit applying the written word to the hearts of His people.

There is absolutely no other "revelation" going on among God's people on earth.

If anyone here is hoping to use this forum to promote charismaticism, you've definitely come to the wrong place. I have met some folks who claim to be "Reformed Charismatics," but the term is an oxymoron. One cannot embrace sola Scriptura and still lay claim to any form of revelation apart from the Scriptures.

This thread has not been particularly helpful for the purpose of this forum anyway; but right from the start fostered a theological debate.

That's what the Theology forum is for (sorry, Pilgrim <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/evilgrin.gif" alt="" />). But it has been helpful in demonstrating how theologically and systemically stubborn the false teachings and superstitions of charismaticism can be.

The original post seemed to be about possible meanings of "the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." I offer that it refers to a spiritual principle rather than a duty required or offense forbidden with rewards and penalties prescribed for obedience or disobedience. Like physical laws of nature, the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus cannot be broken.

-Robin

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Re: The LAW of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus [Re: Robin] #35934
Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:21 PM
Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:21 PM

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I gather that D.L. Moody is not widely read here.

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