From the Pastors Desk
Mar1FriThe Leading of the Holy Spirit March 1, 2019 Pastor Byron Hand
The Leading of the Holy Spirit
Be ready to be challenged spiritually and intellectually. Today’s devotional, by the late Dr. R.C. Sproul, addresses the topic we will be looking at Sunday (The Leading of The Holy Spirit). In classic Sproul fashion, he informs (usually by dismantling) our thinking; then he drives the application home with force and clarity.
The Antinomian Heresy
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” [John 14:15]
The word antinomiancomes from the Greek words anti(against) and nomos(law). Antinomianism is the opposite of legalism. Where the legalist distorts the concept of law, the antinomian is opposed to all law.
There are several forms of antinomianism today. Some people simply believe they are free from God’s law altogether because they have been saved by Christ. A more common form of antinomianism is “situation ethics.” This subtle ethical standard declares that almost anything we can imagine doing might be ethically correct under certain circumstances, provided we are acting out of love and compassion. The ethics fit the situation.
An antinomianism found in evangelical circles is sometimes called “gnostic spiritualism.” In the early centuries of the church, one of the worst heresies was gnosticism. Gnosis is the Greek word for knowledge. Gnostics believed they had knowledge and insight into God’s will beyond what “ordinary” Christians had. This special knowledge was not found in the Bible, which was a public book available to everyone. As a result, the Gnostics believed they were entitled to break biblical laws in the interest of their “higher way.”
We don’t have card-carrying Gnostics today, but the gnostic spirit is epidemic in the church. Have you heard someone say, “The Spirit led me to do this or that”? The Spirit does lead our lives, but in the New Testament the primary “leading of the Spirit” is to holiness, not to a particular job or spouse.
If we put a cloak of spirituality around what we are doing we can get away with murder. People claim the leading of the Spirit whenever they do not want their behavior to be challenged or condemned. Rebellion, adultery, and divorce is excused by saying, “Well, usually it is wrong, but the Spirit led me.” No, it just isn’t so. The Spirit never leads us away from the standards of biblical law. The Spirit leads toward purer, never lower, ethics.
The best way to get guidance from God is to study the Bible and live by it. Psalm 15 describes the person who will receive guidance from God. Take a couple of minutes and write out these five verses and work on memorizing them. Observe that by following this advice you “will never be shaken.”
See You Sunday,