From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Number and Use of the Sacraments
It is advantageous to adorn the ministry of the Word as much as possible with every kind of praise against fanatics who dream that the Holy Spirit is not given through the Word, but because of certain preparations of their own, as they sit unoccupied and silent in dark places, waiting for illumination, as the Enthusiasts formerly taught and the Anabaptists teach now.
Pulling It Together: There are groups who claim that there is something better than God’s Word. They believe that the Holy Spirit counsels them directly, without the aid of Scripture. It is true that the Holy Spirit teaches God’s people, but he does so by bringing to memory the words of Christ which, of course, we find in the Bible, along with the rest of God’s revelation. The Spirit puts the right light on the Word, interpreting the biblical revelation so that we may understand. We have no need for new deceptive teachings, the heresies of antichrists (1 John 2:18–26), for we have the Spirit as teacher and the Bible as text. Yes, the Holy Spirit does, indeed, teach us about the truth (1 John 2:27) but we should never imagine that our wandering minds receive new revelations from the Spirit. Like the noble Bereans, we had better compare such so-called insights with the Word of God, to determine what things are true (Acts 17:11). The ministry of the Word helps us do that very thing.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, bring me closer to Christ through your Word. Amen.
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