Today's Foundations Devotionals: : Revelation of the Scriptures: understanding the Scriptures
… in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of
promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of
the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
The Holy Spirit is given to the Church to become the revelator, interpreter and teacher of the whole compass of divine revelation in the Scriptures.
The fulfilment of Christ’s promise that the Holy Spirit would interpret the Scriptures for the disciples is dramatically illustrated in the events of the day of Pentecost.
As soon as the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples and they began to speak with other tongues, the question was raised: Whatever could this mean? Peter answered:
But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh” (Acts 2:16-17).
Without a moment’s hesitation, Peter quotes and interprets a prophecy concerning the last days given in the second chapter of Joel.
In the sermon which follows, almost half of what Peter says is direct quotation from the Old Testament Scriptures.
The teaching of these Scriptures is applied in a clear and forceful way to the events of Christ’s death and resurrection and of the Holy Spirit’s outpouring.
It is difficult to imagine any greater contrast between the exposition of the Old Testament Scriptures here given by Peter and the lack of understanding concerning the same Scriptures displayed by Peter and all the other disciples during the earthly ministry of Jesus and up to the day of Pentecost.
It would appear that this total change in the disciples’ understanding of the Scriptures was not a gradual process but was produced instantaneously by the coming of the Holy Spirit.
As soon as the Holy Spirit came to indwell them, their understanding of the Scriptures was supernaturally illuminated.
Their previous doubts and confusion were immediately replaced by clear understanding and forceful application.
This same dramatic transformation continues to be a distinctive mark of Spirit-filled believers from the day of Pentecost onward.
For example, Saul of Tarsus had been trained in the knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures by Gamaliel, the most famous teacher of his day.
Yet in his early years he had no light or understanding on their correct application.
It was only after Ananias in Damascus laid hands on Saul and prayed that he might be filled with the Holy Spirit that the scales fell from his eyes and he was able to understand and apply those Scriptures.
Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God (Acts 9:20).
Notice that word “immediately.” There was not a slow, gradual struggle for understanding but rather an instant illumination.
The moment the Holy Spirit came in, He cast an altogether new light upon Scriptures which Saul had known for many years but had never known how to apply or interpret.
What the Holy Spirit did for Peter and Saul, and for the New Testament Christians as a whole, He is still willing and able to do for all Christians today.
But first each believer must, through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, personally receive this wonderful, indwelling guide, teacher and expositor.
Father, thank You for Your Holy Spirit, and thank You that You want to
give me a whole new understanding of Your Word, both New and Old
Testament. Open the eyes of my heart, Lord! Amen.