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According to the Bible, the Holy Spirit is a divine being who is present in the lives of believers and can guide and direct them in various ways. One of the ways in which the Holy Spirit is believed to communicate with believers is through their thoughts and feelings. But a word of caution here is needed. In Romans 8:26-27, it says: “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
This passage suggests that the Holy Spirit can communicate with believers through their inner thoughts and feelings and can even help them to pray when they don’t know how. However, it’s important to note that the Holy Spirit’s communication is not always going to be clear or explicit. It will be more of a feeling or sense that something is right or wrong and not some specific audio message. It’s also important to exercise discernment and seek guidance from other sources, such as the Bible, and wise counsel from other believers, in order to understand the will of God.
The passage Joshua 1:8 reads: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it (Heb. הָגָה hagah read it in an undertone) day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” What does it mean to read in an undertone (הָגָה hagah)? The Hebrew word “הָגָה” (hagah) means to speak or read in a low or soft voice, or to murmur or mutter. It can also refer to the act of meditating on or reflecting upon something. In the context of reading the Bible, “hagah” might refer to the practice of reading or reciting the text in a low or soft voice. This is a tool for memorization, for it impresses what God said on the mind.
Psalm 1:2 reads, “but his delight is in the law of Jehovah, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
In this verse, the psalmist is describing someone who takes great pleasure in studying and meditating on the law of Jehovah, which refers to the teachings and commands of God as recorded in the Bible. The phrase “day and night” is used to emphasize the intensity and frequency of this person’s devotion to studying the law of Jehovah. The psalmist is expressing the idea that this person is deeply committed to seeking a deeper understanding of God’s Word and living according to His teachings. As a result, they are able to withstand the trials and challenges of life and are blessed with prosperity and success. This passage encourages readers to follow the example of this person and make studying and meditating on the Word of God a priority in their own lives.
How would the Holy Spirit provide such understanding, wisdom and discernment to Joshua in his daily personal decisions and for the Israelite nation? Not by some miraculous infusion into his thoughts. God’s written Word was the answer to it. Joshua needed to fill his mind and heart with the Holy Spirit inspired Word of God, reading it in an undertone and meditating on it regularly.
In this passage, Joshua is encouraging the Israelites to consistently study and meditate on the Book of the Law, which is a reference to the first five books of the Old Testament (also known as the Pentateuch). The phrase “day and night” is meant to emphasize the importance of this practice, suggesting that it should be a constant and ongoing part of their lives.
The idea behind this passage is that by consistently reading and meditating on the Word of God, the Israelites would be able to better understand and follow God’s commands, and as a result, they would experience prosperity and success in their lives. This passage is not necessarily discussing reading the Bible in an undertone, but rather encouraging the Israelites to make studying and meditating on the Word of God a priority in their lives.
There are several Bible verses that seem to support the belief that the Holy Spirit can communicate with believers through their thoughts and feelings. Here are a few examples:
Romans 8:26-27: “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
John 16:13: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”
1 Corinthians 2:10-11: “These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”
Ephesians 1:17: “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”
These passages suggest that the Holy Spirit can communicate with believers through their thoughts and feelings and can help them to understand the will of God and the things that are to come. It’s important to remember that the Holy Spirit’s communication is not by infusing thoughts into one’s mind. It’s essential to exercise discernment and seek guidance from the Bible and wise counsel from other believers, to understand the will of God.
What Does the Bible Really Say About the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit?
Digging Deeper Into the above Verses?
Romans 8:26-27 reads: “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
This passage is part of a larger discussion about the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers. In this passage, Paul is saying that the Holy Spirit can help believers in their weakness by interceding for them when they don’t know how to pray. The phrase “wordless groans” refers to the idea that the Holy Spirit can communicate with God on behalf of believers even when they are unable to express their thoughts and feelings in words. The passage also suggests that the Holy Spirit knows the mind of God and intercedes for believers in accordance with God’s will.
Overall, this passage encourages believers to trust in the Holy Spirit to help them in their weakness and to guide them in their prayers and in their lives. It’s a reminder that the Holy Spirit is a powerful and loving presence in the lives of believers and that he is working on their behalf to help them draw closer to God.
John 16:13 reads: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”
The apostles, to whom much of this kind of wording is directed, in their work of proclaiming Christianity and establishing the church needed all the Holy Spirit. They were unlearned, humanly speaking, and could never have gone forth to success without this supernatural Holy Spirit. They took no thought to what they should say, for it was given to them at the proper time. Unlearned in the sense of not having been taught by the Jewish teachers at the Jewish schools, like the apostle Paul with Gamaliel. This did not mean that they were unable to read or to write. What the apostles did not have that Christians have had since 100 CE is the complete Bible, 39 books from the Old Testament and 27 books from the New Testament that the Holy Spirit had inspired by moving men along as they wrote.
John 16:13 is part of Jesus’ farewell discourse to his disciples, in which he is preparing them for his departure and the coming of the Holy Spirit. In this verse, Jesus is telling his disciples that the Holy Spirit will guide them into all truth. The phrase “all truth” refers to a complete understanding of the truth about God, the world, and the things that are to come.
The verse also states that the Holy Spirit will not speak on his own authority but rather will only speak whatever he hears from God. This suggests that the Holy Spirit is a messenger or intermediary between God and the apostles, conveying God’s messages and guidance to them. Finally, the verse mentions that the Holy Spirit will declare to the apostles the things that are to come, implying that the Holy Spirit can reveal future events or understandings to the apostles and New Testament authors.
Overall, this verse reassures believers that the Holy Spirit will be a reliable source of truth and guidance and will help them to understand the will of God and the things that are to come by way of the Bible.
How Do We Explain the Work of the Holy Spirit?
1 Corinthians 2:10-11 reads: “These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”
This passage is part of a larger discussion about the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers. In this passage, Paul emphasizes the idea that the Holy Spirit is the source of revelation and understanding from God. The phrase “these things” refers to the truths and mysteries that God has revealed to believers through the Holy Spirit.
The passage also suggests that the Holy Spirit has access to the depths of God’s thoughts and understanding and is able to convey this understanding to believers. This implies that the Holy Spirit is a powerful and all-knowing presence in the lives of believers and is able to help them understand the will of God and the things that are to come.
Overall, this passage affirms the idea that the Holy Spirit is a reliable source of revelation by way of the Bible and understanding from God and can help believers understand the mysteries of the faith and the will of God. This is done by way of the Bible and not miraculously through infusing thoughts into the minds of believers or speaking to them in their thoughts.
Ephesians 1:17 is a verse from the New Testament of the Bible that reads: “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”
This verse is part of a prayer that Paul is offering on behalf of the believers in Ephesus. In this verse, Paul is praying that God will give the believers the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that they may know him better. The phrase “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation” refers to the Holy Spirit, who is believed to be a source of wisdom and understanding from God.
The phrase “know him better” suggests that the Holy Spirit can help believers to grow in their understanding and relationship with God. This implies that the Holy Spirit is an important presence in the lives of believers, and can help them to grow in their faith and understanding of God’s will.
Overall, this verse is a prayer that God will give believers the guidance and understanding of the Holy Spirit, so that they may grow in their relationship with him.
How Are We to Explain the Holy Spirit in the First Century and Today?
Another Look at Ephesians 1:17
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Father who has sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world and appointed him as the Mediator between man and himself. “The God” of our Lord Jesus is the One Jesus came to make known. (John 1:18) He is the One Jesus called “My God” (Matt 27:46; John 20:17). He is the One that Jesus and Paul addressed their prayers as “my God.”
The Father of glory. The glorious Father is worthy of our praise and is to be honored. A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians says, “The genitive phrase ‘of glory’ functions as an attributive adjective, the glorious Father. The noun “glory,” with reference to God, always has an implicit reference to the visible manifestation among his people of God’s saving power.”
May give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation. “To all the wise of heart, [that is, skilled workers] whom [God has] given a gift of skill [that is, filled with the spirit of wisdom].” (Ex. 28:3; 35:30-35) Joshua became “full of the spirit of wisdom” as he was to replace Moses. (Deut. 34:9) And Jesus Christ would possess “the spirit of wisdom and understanding.” (Isa. 11:2) And here we are told that the believers would also possess “a spirit of wisdom.” This is not a reference to the Holy Spirit giving believers wisdom and accurate knowledge and that they would grasp these things without the need of being taught. If the Holy Spirit were miraculous supplying believers with wisdom and accurate knowledge so that they would grasp these things without the need of being taught, there would have been no need for the inspired Word of God.
Wisdom: (חָכְמָה chokmah; Gr. σοφία sophia) is sound judgment based on knowledge and understanding. It is the balanced application of that knowledge to answer difficulties, achieve objectives, sidestep or ward off dangers, and help others accomplish the same. The wise person is often contrasted with the fool or stupid person. Wisdom has the capacity to understand and then act wisely and so have skill in living, adhering to the standards set out in the Word of God. Wisdom belongs to the person who has accumulated knowledge, intellect, or enlightenment. – Deut. 4:6; 1Ki 5:9; Deut. 32:6; Prov. 11:29; Eccles. 6:8; Col. 1:28; 4:5.
In the accurate knowledge of him. The Greek word (ἐπίγνωσις epignōsis) behind the English rendering accurate knowledge is a strengthened or intensified form of gnosis (epi, meaning “additional”), meaning “true,” “real,” “full,” “complete,” or “accurate,” depending upon the context. Paul and Peter alone use epignosis. Let’s reflect on ‘the spirit of wisdom and revelation in accurate knowledge’ by looking at Max Anders’ thoughts, “A spirit of wisdom is given through the Holy Spirit, but this spirit probably does not refer to the Holy Spirit himself, even though the word is capitalized in the NIV. The Ephesian believers were already possessed by the Holy Spirit. Nor does it seem that Paul was speaking of the human spirit, which everyone already has. The most likely meaning is that he is using the word spirit to mean ‘an attitude, a disposition, a mind-set,’ as we mean when we say, ‘The cheerleaders want to give the student body a spirit of enthusiasm.’ Jesus used ‘spirit’ in this fashion in the Beatitudes when he said, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit,’ meaning, ‘Blessed are those who have an attitude of humility.’ [It can also mean blessed are those aware of their spiritual needs. – Andrews] “Wisdom is insight into the true nature of things. This wisdom is not the ‘cause/effect’ wisdom that the world can know; rather, it is the wisdom that stands for knowledge and understanding, of things as they truly are, as, for example, we see in Proverbs 9:10, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.’”
How Does the Holy Spirit Speak to Believers?
The Holy Spirit is believed by Christians to be the third person of the Trinity, alongside God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son. The Holy Spirit is seen as an active and present force in the lives of believers, providing guidance, strength, and encouragement as they follow Jesus and seek to live according to His teachings. The Holy Spirit is a divine being who is present in the lives of believers but not in the believers themselves, and can guide and direct them in various ways.
There are several ways in which the Holy Spirit is believed to speak to believers. These include:
Through the Bible: Many believers believe that the Holy Spirit speaks to them through the words of the Bible, which is considered to be the inspired Word of God. When reading the Bible, believers may feel that certain passages or verses stand out to them or speak to them in a particular way, which they see as the Holy Spirit speaking to them through the text.
Through prayer: Believers may also experience the Holy Spirit speaking to them through prayer. This might involve receiving a sense of peace or clarity about a particular situation, or feeling led to take a certain action.
Through other believers: The Holy Spirit may also speak to believers through other believers, either through words of encouragement or guidance, or through actions that demonstrate God’s love and care.
- Through Bible Study tools: The Holy Spirit may also speak to believers when they are studying Bible commentaries, dictionaries, encyclopedias, word study books and so on. If these books are grounded in God’s Word, giving the reader what the Bible author meant by the Words that he used, the Bible study tool can encourage and guide.
It’s worth noting that the way in which the Holy Spirit speaks to believers can vary from person to person and may be different for each individual. Some believers may have a strong sense of the Holy Spirit’s presence and direction in their lives, while others may experience it more subtly. Ultimately, the Holy Spirit is believed to be a loving and faithful guide who leads believers into a deeper understanding of God and His will for their lives.
 Robert G. Bratcher and Eugene Albert Nida, A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1993), 30.
 Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 104.
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