It’s the one’s that believe that this indwelling is personal and DIRECT, meaning that the Spirit directly influences them apart from God’s word that I have a problem with. They in effect are denying that the word of God is all sufficient. The Bible teaches us that it is. Why do people like this idea of a direct operation of the Spirit for mankind today?
Jeff argued from,
(2 Tim. 3:16-4:1 ESV) 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Reader Kevin responded (edited),
This passage doesn’t mean what you imply. Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, stated that scripture is profitable for several things. He doesn’t claim that it’s all-sufficient.
Jeff, just think about the word “all.” It’s just not logical. Yes, scripture teaches us doctrine and instruction in righteous, which can lead to our being complete and equipped for every good work. But here is the point … scripture doesn’t make us complete. It doesn’t do works for us. It teaches us about prayer, but it doesn’t provide the benefits of prayer. It teaches us about sanctification, but it doesn’t provide sanctification. It teaches us about Christian fellowship, but it doesn’t provide Christian fellowship. The instructions to my entertainment system teaches me how to setup my DVR and remote, but it doesn’t record “The Walking Dead” for my viewing pleasure all by itself. There is no logical way that scripture can be ALL sufficient.
First, amen to Kevin’s comment re the all-sufficiency of scripture. The scripture makes no such claim for itself. Paul says that Scripture is “profitable.” I can find no claim the all-sufficiency of scripture.
In the Reformation, a slogan was adopted: sola scriptura. The scriptures only. And sometimes this was expressed as the “sufficiency” of scriptures — but what was meant was that the scriptures we have (the canon) are sufficient scriptures for the church. We don’t need to add the early church fathers, the apocrypha, or the church councils to the scriptures to have what we need as scriptures.
The great Reformers intensely believed in a personal indwelling Spirit. They never argued that the scriptures replaced the need for the Spirit, no more than they thought the scriptures replaced the need for sermons, Bible class lessons, or countless other things.
The flaw in your logic is the false assumption that the only role a personal indwelling can take is to create new scripture — which is a strawman assumption. While the Spirit certainly inspired the scriptures, this is not the only work the Spirit did or does.
Just consider —
(Rom. 12:6-8 ESV) 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
This is a list of gifts of the Spirit. And there’s not a word about “composing scripture” — even though this was written at the time scriptures were being composed. But what church doesn’t need the gift of service, of teaching, of exhortation, of contribution, of leadership, and mercy? These are gifts, not accomplishments.
While the scriptures unquestionably work in conjunction with the Spirit’s work (being the sword of the Spirit), there is more to becoming a leader in God’s church than reading the Bible (but reading the Bible is really important for leaders — but not all experts in the scriptures are leaders).
The words of the prophets can be scriptures, but we know from our Bibles that the OT and NT prophets said and did many things by the power of the Spirit that were never written down. The Spirit’s work includes but is far more than composing scriptures.