Word and Spirit [Part 1]


Are you ready for some good news?

If you have all Word and no Spirit, you dry up. If you have all Spirit and no Word, you blow up. But when you have Word and Spirit, you grow up!

Today’s Text: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13–14, ESV)

In Jesus’ moving final discourse with His disciples, Christ describes the third Person of the triune God as the “Spirit of Truth” who will “guide you into all the truth.” There cannot be a separation between Word and Spirit because the Word of God is filled with His Spirit and the Spirit only reveals the truth of God. God is Spirit and God is Truth.

Some traditions have emphasized the Word to the neglect of the Spirit. When Word is emphasized over Spirit, there is a tendency toward dry dogmatism or mere “head knowledge” of the Bible rather than intimate experience of Christ. Knowing the Bible doesn’t mean knowing God. There is a vast difference between intellectual understanding of God and transformational experience of God.

Some traditions have emphasized Spirit to the neglect of the Word. When Spirit is emphasized over Word, there is a tendency toward emotionalism and sensationalism. Heart experiences and personal feelings or manifestations become central when the Word is neglected. A child of God who isn’t grounded in the Word of God may be tossed about like a rudderless ship, carried here and there according to changing moods and experiences.

God has never intended any separation between Word and Spirit. God’s Word is full of His Spirit and His Spirit always confirms His Word. You can be filled with Word and Spirit. And that’s the Gospel!

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