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The Bible

The Illumination of Scripture

Psalm 119:18
Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.

Illumination is the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the believer. This ministry helps the believer to understand and apply the truth of the Bible to one's daily life.

There is a wonderful change in the believer when he accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior. The believer becomes a member of God's family. He is justified before God, that is, found "not guilty" of sin's penalty. He is sanctified or set aside for God's work. He is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. This indwelling empowers the believer to understand the Scripture and to grow closer to God. This understanding comes as one regularly reads the Bible. This understanding changes one's life.

But, how does Scripture change lives? By the process of illumination.

Illumination is the work of the Holy Spirit, that is, the WORK OF GOD!

John 16:12-15
12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. KJV

1 Corinthians 2:10
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. KJV

1 John 2:27
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. KJV

The work of illumination is unique to believers...

1 Corinthians 2:12-15
12 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. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. KJV

Ephesians 1:18
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. KJV

...and note this work does not occur in some mystical function of the words of Scripture! It is an actual work of God the Holy Spirit as is demonstrated by the above verses.

The Holy Spirit will use our study, prayer, and meditation time to not only help us understand Scripture but to apply it to our lives. Consider the following verses which admonish us to learn and use God's Word:

Psalm 119:11
Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You! NKJV

Psalm 119:114
You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word. NKJV

Psalm 119:50
This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life. NKJV

And, it is important to understand that YOUR faithfulness in study, prayer, and mediation will affect the ministry of illumination. You must be accurate and honest in your spiritual life. God is not mocked and a failure on your part will decrease the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit in your life.

1 Corinthians 3:1-3
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? NKJV

The Spirit uses those with the gift of teaching/exhortation to aid in YOUR illumination.

Ephesians 4:11-13
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; NKJV

Romans 12:7
Or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching NKJV

Illumination is one of the means by which God helps us to grow in holiness -- to grow closer to Him -- to become more Christlike. This is accomplished through this wonderful work of the Holy Spirit. Not to overdo it, but a summary of these passages would produce the following teachings:

And, as with all things in the life of a believer, it is all done to bring glorify Jesus Christ. Living such a life for Christ promotes strong, correct, healthy doctrine. This brings spiritual health and wholeness to the believer's life.

Illumination is not a quest for knowledge, as study in the world would be. Illumination is a journey of understanding the Bible so as to apply its teachings in a person's life to bring the believer to Christlikeness.




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