I hear folks tell me "All I need is my Bible and the Holy Ghost" or "Let the Holy Ghost correct God's people...our job is to love them" Well, that's not what God's record indicates.
Here's Holy Scripture:
11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some aspastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ (emphasis mine); 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
The Holy Ghost IS the Spirit of Truth. He leads us into all Truth. And the Blood and God's Grace is our ticket into the Throne Room. But God clearly uses His people to accomplish His purpose. And sometimes that purpose includes giving us a little adjustment when we're living outside His Will. It builds His Church up.
This points to the prophetic ministry or motivation. Sometimes we all need a Nathan to tell us "thou art the man" to spur us to repentance...a de-facto iron sharpening iron, a la Proverbs.
Were there more of this kind of prophetic obedience in the Church, our society would be less decayed. And we encourage each other to good works for a specific reason:
"2 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, 15 while it is said, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.”
At issue here is the term "falling away", from Greek "αποστηναι" (apostaenai)--the root our word "apostasy" comes from...meaning to be seduced from fellowship. If we continue to willingly sin, according to Hebrews, when we have the knowledge of good and there remains, no longer, the sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin.
In short, we can be outside grace. I, personally have been there, and will tell you--it was as dumb as a box of rocks.
Thank God I listened to Truth and came around and stopped my dangerous excursions-via-sin outside God's protection.
We can't discount the value of the Holy Ghost correcting us. His influence in our soulish is what allows our spirits to be preeminent in our decision making. However, from the beginning, God has used human voices to speak to His people when they were acting stupidly and disobeying His Voice. That's why Ephesians 4 lists prophets as an office of the Church.
And their message is not always foretelling the future, as Samuel, Nathan, St. John Baptist, Our Lord Jesus and many of the Holy Apostles demonstrate.
Sometimes they say "thou art the man."
This is the word "encouraged" from Hebrews 3 above...παρακαλειτε (parakaleitae)--rendered essentially as "admonish, exhort, beg, entreat, beseech, strive, teach, comfort." Now, note the word "comfort" when employed in New Testament context usually includes the concept of "stabilize."
When taken to its roots, this word for "encourage" means to call someone to the side to speak loudly to them. My guess is that sometimes we can get a little hard of hearing when we're doing the sin thing.
Yes, the Holy Ghost is a still, small voice. However, the Scriptural record of His prophets indicates a more vigorous approach to the correction of God's people...the rod and the staff that Psalms 23 commends as comforting us.
Bottom line: it's more than the Holy Ghost correcting us with Truth. Sometimes it's God's lively stones. Their strong voices have brought God's people back in the fold for millennia. Glad the prophets speak up a bit!
The Church Militant!
Posted on October 22, 2014
by Fr. Chip Harper filed under