Guided by the Spirit of Truth

KEY VERSE: “When he [it], the Spirit of truth is come, he [it] will guide you into all truth.” —John 16:13


A STRONG EVIDENCE of our sonship is our knowledge of the “mysteries of God.” In the first chapter of Ephesians the Apostle Paul stresses the fact that the members of the church have been special recipients of knowledge. In verses 12 and 13 he states, We should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation: … ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.”

The phrase, ‘sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,’ refers to the possessing of special knowledge that identifies us as being sons of the King. It appears that Paul took his figure of speech from a practice used by rulers of that day to identify their representatives. It is said that when one representing a ruler went to a far place he had with him a letter of identification which was authoritative because stamped therein was the seal of the potentate. Our text indicates that the thing which identifies us is that we are “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” Note carefully that the text does not read ‘sealed by’, but ‘with’ the Holy Spirit of promise. Thus stated, it would mean that the seal itself is the possession of the spirit of promise. Just what does this mean?

The matter is made clear by the same apostle in I Corinthians, chapter 2. In verse 7 we read, “We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.” Subsequently it is made clear that this wisdom is yet hidden from the world. Then the apostle makes the point that we know these hidden things only by the Spirit of God: “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches … the deep things of God.”—vs. 10

Paul then continues to show that one purpose in our receiving the Spirit of God is that we might know what has been freely given to us. “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” (vs. 12) This is the Spirit of promise, or the Spirit or influence of God revealing to our minds those deep truths of his plan which outline the inheritance of the New Creation.

Being sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, then, is the enlightenment which comes to us by the Spirit of God. How emphatically the apostle states that such knowledge cannot be had now by those not Spirit begotten—“the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: … neither can he know them.” (I Cor. 2:14) If we see the deep things of God which, simply stated, contain his plan of the ages, and if this has prompted our consecration and walk of discipleship, then again his Spirit is bearing witness to ours that we are the children of God.

Truth is important to us as a sanctifying influence in our lives. Sanctification is holiness unto the Lord, a whole-hearted devotion to him and to his service. The truth is God’s plan, the blueprint of God’s work, hence our guide as to how we should serve him. We are apt to overlook this, and to think of the truth merely as something we are privileged to learn and believe, considering that thereby we are blessed by having our questions answered and our curiosity satisfied. If the truth means no more than this to us, of course it is but natural to suppose that what we believe is not too important.

If we keep before us the important relationship of the doctrines of the truth to Christian living and service, we will not stumble over the error which claims that it does not make much difference what we believe. The acceptance of this error leads to the same predicament in which modernists now find themselves. Just as they have shrunk their faith and understanding of the Bible as the Word of God almost to the vanishing point due to ecumenical fever, so in the name of being opposed to sectarianism we might find it easy to compromise the truth when witnessing, until there would be so little left that it would no longer be a vital, moving power in our lives.

But Christians who know the truth, and who can prove every item of their faith by a “thus saith the Lord” should not become weary in contending for the faith once delivered to the saints. Let us remember that present truth is a sacred treasure which has been entrusted to us as a guide in our service of God. If we are to be sanctified by it we must keep it pure. Let us not, then permit ourselves to discount the importance of truth.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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