2 Peter 2:12a and Jude 1:10 & 19 speak of those who are like brute beasts, unable to process rational thought and only able to respond to their five senses because they don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.
Sandy: I could list at least a dozen godly men who believed the most appalling nonsense was taught by Holy Scripture.
Shockingly, it almost seems as if Sandy may be blaming God for irrational interpretation of Scripture, but Sandy doesn’t blame assumptions. In an attempt to justify making up stuff, he implies that making assumptions would keep people from believing appalling nonsense. What do you think? Do you see any way that making up assumptions and believing those assumptions can keep people from error?
Rocky: Are you claiming that the Holy Spirit deceived them? Do you think they weren’t making assumptions?
Sandy didn’t answer these questions either. Instead, Sandy made this statement:
Sandy: Assumptions are an inevitable part of the fallen human condition.
Rocky: I agree. Assumptions are a problem. I don’t see that as a reason to rely on them instead of relying on the Holy Spirit.
Sandy: I believe the Holy Spirit guides me through prayer and study of Scripture, but I also consult with secular and spiritual communities and authorities to help me make my decisions. I am older, smarter, and better educated than most people. So I do have a certain amount of confidence in my judgment. But I also make a point of trying to spend as much time as possible with people who are older, smarter, better educated (and most importantly) more spiritually mature than I am. The Holy Spirit speaks through them.
Rocky: God reveals that the Holy Spirit can speak through His saints. He reveals this fact through 1 Corinthians 12:2-3, and in that verse, He also reveals how we know whether He’s speaking through them.
Given his dependency on assumptions as the basis for thinking, how can Sandy decide who’s “more spiritually mature than” he is? From this lack of substance, what method does Sandy use to choose his counselors? Sandy has only one tool for choosing, and that tool is assumption.
Sandy chooses those counselors who agree with his worldview, and then he assumes that those counselors are wise and spiritually mature. They must be wise because Sandy is “smarter and better educated than most people,” and those counselors confirm the things Sandy likes to hear. Sandy said that some of these counselors are secular (ungodly), contrasting the ungodly with the spiritual. By definition, ungodly thinkers direct their individual minds away from Christ and toward every other influence as they refuse to allow God to participate in their thinking.
Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly ~ Psalm 1:1a Douay-Rheims Bible
Sandy Sandbuilder decided to continue to depend on his assumptions and those of others and will keep choosing his counselors as he did in the past. He’ll select those who tell him what he likes to hear.
Rocky Rockbuilder decided to keep trusting Christ. He chose to trust neither his assumptions nor those of others. Rocky picks his counselors based on the leading of the Holy Spirit. He still struggles with his own deceitful and desperately wicked carnal sarx mind, yet he remains humble and spends time in God’s presence. He studies the Bible daily. He doesn’t rely on a make-believe faith but receives the faith that comes when he hears God’s utterance.
That’s the faith Jesus Christ authors within him. So instead of trusting in himself or trusting his current understanding of doctrine, Rocky trusts in God’s power to give discernment. He also believes that God is well able to complete the work of bringing him to spiritual maturity.
He’s painfully aware that his knowledge is partial because of his spiritual immaturity. He’s aware that he’s in need of the Holy Spirit’s correction, and he yields himself to the Holy Spirit. However, he believes God’s promise that those who follow Christ become increasingly mature, having Christ formed within and dying to the fleshly nature. He understands that this maturity will come through persistent obedient yielding in submission to the Holy Spirit.
He also understands that the gifts, ministries, offices, and orders of the body of Christ will be part of this transformation into maturity. This is the body of Christ, the Church, which God defines through Scripture and which isn’t defined by any organization. In this revelation, the Holy Spirit assures Rocky that, by this maturity, he’ll increasingly be able to more easily discern between good (God’s leading) and evil (his own mind).
Have you read this book yet?