It is always a privilege to study the Gospels and visit with Jesus. I don’t think I will ever get tired of reading His words and exploring what He shows me about a life lived in righteousness. And it seems as if each time I read Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, I get a new revelation of what He wants to share with me. And I can think of no greater portion of the Bible to introduce to a new Believer; nor re-acquaint a seasoned Christian. I have come to believe that the Word never stops transforming us — if we will let it.
And I say that because it is the desire of my heart to continue to grow in my relationship with my Savior. But that means that I must be open to new disclosures of Jesus, beyond the traditional doctrine of any church or denomination. That happens through a renewed mind, made possible by the Holy Spirit. Actually, I like how the Bible presents this concept better: Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total transformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in His eyes (Romans 12:2).
I want to make it clear that I do not believe one human can know all there is about God, or know all His thoughts. And that concept, by itself, can cause friction within the Body of Christ. There are those who subscribe to Sola Scriptura — that Scripture alone is authoritative for the practice of the Christian faith and the self-disclosure of the God we serve; and that the Bible is complete, authoritative, and true. I agree with that principle. But I do not feel limited by it. Let me explain….
Now, I know this idea of God continuing to reveal Himself has recently caused an uproar in the cultural news. And if you dare say that you hear Jesus [just like He heard the Father], then you run the risk of being called mentally ill. That’s to be expected from someone who doesn’t know Jesus. But it saddens me when the Church imitates the opinions of the culture and also criticizes the Believer who receives a different revelation than they have.
As Christians, the Bible is the only “manual”, so to speak, of how we are to relate to our Creator and our Savior. The Divine Character, Nature, and Will of our Father in Heaven are revealed throughout the entire Old and New Testaments. And I recognize that there are many Christians who support the concept that God’s full [and complete] revelation can only be found in the Jesus of the Bible. I understand the fears of believing false prophets and teachers who claim to have received revelations beyond Jesus. Hear me when I say that in no way can I endorse any revelation of God apart from His Son.
But, to say that God no longer needs to [or desires to] reveal Himself beyond what was written about Him during the previous centuries, somehow shortchanges our relationship with Him. Yes, the Bible is sufficient to represent God — it is His Truth. But, if I may be so bold, I think my God is SO big, that my well-worn Bible cannot contain all of Him. For one thing, we are left with lots of questions [and time-lapses] when we study just the life of Jesus! Did we get the major points we need to know to live a righteous life? Did we get the commandments we are to follow, and our marching orders from our Savior? Yes, we did!
But the big concept we cannot forget is that Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit as a conduit between Him and us; as a channel of communication, so to speak. And since God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow — and He never changes — when we look at the Bible, we see that from Genesis through Revelation, He revealed Himself to new generations of those who would believe in Him — and oftentimes new aspects . So, if you truly believe in His Immutability (unchanging nature), then you will see His Truth in Psalm 33:11, which reads, The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation. It can’t get much plainer than that. He never stops counseling us, revealing His plans to each new generation and born-again person.
Taking that one step further, there is Psalm 36:9, which says, For with You is the fountain of life [the fountain of life-giving water]; In Your Light we see light (ESV). This speaks of the Holy Spirit, which should be flowing out of our hearts in rivers of Living Water, bringing new life to our situations and helping us to renew our minds and hearts.
But I would like to offer you the Passion Translation of this verse: To know You is to experience a flowing fountain, drinking in Your life, springing up to satisfy. In the light of Your holiness we receive the light of revelation. Although Jesus is no longer physically present on this Earth to disciple mankind, He made it clear that He was sending the Holy Spirit [the Spirit of God, Himself] to fill in for His absence. The Holy Spirit’s job, as described in John 16:13 is “to unveil the reality of every truth within you. He won’t speak His own message, but only what He hears from the Father, and He will reveal prophetically to you what is to come”. And it’s important that we understand that “truth” is not another word for “doctrine”.
The revelation of God in the Bible is completely true, but I am discerning that it is not His Complete Truth. His Truth cannot be contained, and He has more to be revealed of what is to come in each Believer’s life — if we will be open to receive it as part of a Spirit-led life. As the Psalm said, to know the Father and Jesus is to experience a flowing fountain, meaning we can receive His revelation as part of an active and vibrant and fresh unveiling of His heart. I do not believe He wants our relationship to be stagnant or limited. The Bible is the gateway to His heart and to knowing Him and experiencing Him. And I treasure each new glimpse I get of Him, verified by His Word and His Spirit in me. I will never stop my quest for more of Him, and I invite you to the same thrilling journey!
Psalm 119:130 Break open Your Word within me until revelation-light shines out! Those with open hearts are given insight into Your plans.