July 5, 2023
The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have a Bible Edge
I Corinthians 2:13
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.
Comparing spiritual things with spiritual. This is the way it needs to be concerning spiritual things. It is dangerous to compare spiritual things with carnal, or natural, things. Spiritual things are spiritual. The problem is spiritual things are not easily seen, if even possible. How then can we learn of spiritual things?
Before answering that question, ask yourself, “Who was the greatest teacher ever?” Jesus Christ, right? He was uniquely qualified to teach about spiritual things because He lived in the unseen spiritual world before being born on earth. Speaking of Christ, John wrote: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1) Then in verse 14 of the same chapter John stated: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,. Jesus lived in the spiritual world before He came to earth. Therefore, He knew that of which He spoke about.
He also knew this, teaching humans about the spiritual world is somewhat like teaching a blind man what a sunrise looks like. He had to use things we could understand to teach us things that we could not possibly understand with our human comprehension. The writers of the New Testament, and preachers of today use illustrations of things we can understand to teach about things that cannot be seen or understood with earthly wisdom. But be careful with illustrations. An illustration is only a word picture explaining an unseen spiritual truth.
Think about death, most hold that death is the end. True, physically it is an end. But spiritually it is a beginning. Four times in the New Testament Jesus said something like this: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 16:25) He is using something we understand, which is death, to teach something we cannot naturally understand, which is spiritual life.
There are so many spiritual lessons to learn that can only be learned by the leadership of the Holy Spirit, prayer, and knowing the Scriptures. But the starting place is usually an earthly illustration, situation, circumstance, or something else that helps us to understand spiritual truth. Frankly, I remember a few years after becoming a father of three children realizing I had learned more about my Spiritual Father’s Love by being a father than all the Biblical lessons ever taught on the subject.
Yes, the Lord and His teachers and preachers may use earthly examples to teach a spiritual lesson, the best ones do, but make no doubt, the spiritual lesson is different than our natural understanding can fully understand. In understanding spiritual things make sure to compare spiritual things with spiritual, not earthly things. The earthy is simply a school master to help us learn the spiritual things that are essential to this life and beyond.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.