HOW DOES GOD GUIDE US TODAY?
By W. Frank Walton
1. The Purpose of Scripture. God’s Word has been revealed by the Holy Spirit to guide us in how to please God and how to daily live (Psa 119:105, 2 Pet 1:19-21, Matt 7:21-27).
2. The Completeness of Scripture. He has not revealed everything but He has revealed all we need to know for our complete guidance (Deut 29:29, 2 Tim 3:16-17).
3. The Revealed Mind of God in Scripture. We can only rely on God’s objective revelation as the only sure way to know His will (Eph 3:3-5, 1 Cor 2:1-16). The only way we know by faith what God wants us to believe and do is that He must reveal it in human language (Rom 10:17, 2 Cor 5:7).
4. The Danger of Following Our Subjective Feelings. We must not rely on our feelings or wishes about what we would like for it to say, for they are an unreliable standard in religion (Prov 3:5-6, 30:5-6, 14:12; 2 Cor 10:12, Acts 8:9-11). God never revealed His will or confirmed any truth to anyone by mere, subjective feelings (Matt 7:21-23) but it was always in clear words (Acts 8:26, 29; 10:19, 18:9-10).
5. The Finality of the New Testament Word of Christ. Jesus’ complete revelation of His for us is revealed in the New Testament, which is the “word of Christ” (Col 3:16).
• God’s revelation has been progressive from the Old Testament to the New Testament (1 Pet 1:10-12, Heb 1:1-2). The Old Testament revelation would be an obsolete law by the coming of the law of Christ (Matt 5:17-20, Jn 1:12, 2 Cor. 3:5-18, Heb 8:8-13, 10:9; Gal 3:23-25).
• Jesus promised the apostles they would be guided the Holy Spirit unto “all truth” (Jn 16:8-15). These words of Jesus will judge us all in the end (Jn 12:48).
• Miraculous revelation was confirmed by public, attesting miracles to prove the message was from God (Jn 3:2, 5:36-37, Mk 16:19-20, Heb 2:3-4). There are no messages from God without corresponding miraculous confirmation (2 Cor 12:12).
• There was uniform teaching from the Lord by the Holy Spirit in all the churches (1 Cor 4:17, 14:33, 37), which progressed from verbal only (Acts 2:42), verbal and written (1 Corinthians), and finally would be perfected in written only (2 Pet 1:12-19).
• The means of transferring the “miraculous measure of the Spirit” from the apostles (who had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and could convey it by laying on of their hands) ended when all the apostles died (Acts 8:18-19, Rom 1:11, 2 Tim 1:6). We have the apostles’ completed work in the New Testament (Eph 2:19-22).
• The faith has been “once for all delivered” to the saints (Jude 3). Faith only comes through Word of Christ (Rom 10:17). We should walk by faith (2 Cor 5:7), not feelings (Prov 16:25). “Many” on the Day of Judgment will be lost because they relied on their feelings, in claiming the ability to perform miracles (Matt 7:21-23).
• The New Testament predicts there would be an end of prophecy in the time soon after the death of Christ (Zech 13:1-4). Yet, Satan is active in deceiving people by misleading their feelings about God (Matt 13:19, 2 Cor 4:4, 2 Thess 2:9-12). His deceptive messengers can even fraudulently appear as a true messenger of light (2 Cor 11:14).
• Paul taught that prophecy and other miraculous signs were “in part” and would be done away when “that which is perfect” (completion of the partial) had come (1 Cor 13:8-13). Hence, the coming of the perfect revelation in the New Testament in the first century then allows time for “faith” and “hope” to abide long before the second coming of Christ.
• God has already given everything we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3), so God’s revealed His final will in the New Testament. We are warned against adding to His revelation, presuming to speak for God when He has not so spoken (Rev 22:18-19, Prov 30:5-6, Jer 14:14, 23:16, 26; 29:8-9; Ezek 13:2-3, 17).
• The New Testament is “the sword of the Spirit” (Eph 6:17) that convicts and cleanses us of sin, as well as convicting others of the truth. The Holy Spirit is active by working through His instrument of revelation (Jn 6:63), when we accept it by faith (2 Thess 2:13, Eph 3:16-17, 1 Thess 2:13). The indwelling Spirit is working in us when His life-changing Word is abiding in us (Eph 5:19, Col 3:16, 1 Jn 2:3, 14; 3:22-24; Rom 8:4-6, 9-14).