The Connection Between the Holy Spirit and the Word of God

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Depending on your Christian tradition and your experience in churches, you might have noticed that sometimes the Word of God and the Spirit of God get emphasized differently depending on the denomination, preacher, or theological background. Taken to the extreme, sometimes one or the other is all but neglected.

This is a tragedy. The Spirit of God and the Word of God (the Bible) were never meant to be separated or pitted against one another.

An Unnatural Divide

Here’s a story that might help illustrated the point I am trying to make.

Awhile ago, I came across a very sad headline on the news, you may have seen this also – it said:

Elderly couple forced to live apart after 62 years of marriage because they can’t get into the same care home.”

The story was about an elderly Canadian couple who, because of different health issues, couldn’t live together in the same care facilities due to a lack of openings. The couple had never been apart in their 62 years together.

The main picture in the article showed the couple, sitting together and weeping during one of their visits with each other that took place every other day.

The picture was taken by the couple’s granddaughter who said, “My grandma can’t even kiss him goodnight now. He calls out for her when he sees her” even though his dementia is worsening. Needless to say, the couple’s family was extremely concerned about the emotional damage the situation is creating for the couple.

The health authorities said they are working hard to get them a place where they can be together and hoped to have the situation resolved in a few weeks.

The photo and story went viral on the Internet due to the obviously incredibly sad circumstances.

The story is heart rending because of the situation. The couple needs adequate care for their health issues but at the same time, at what expense? Is it worth being separated from your spouse of 62 years to get treated for dementia and lymphoma? It is a very hard issue to think through. What is the cost of separating these two faithfully devoted people to meet their physical needs?

Even though this situation might be a bit of a moral dilemma, it is good to know that there are some things in life that obviously go together and should never be separated.

A Big Problem – A Troubling Spirit and Word Divide in Evangelicalism

This is a bit of an oversimplification but you may have noticed these trends yourself.

On one side you may have some Charismatic churches emphasizing the “Spirit” but sometimes neglecting God’s Word and getting into all kinds of strange practices that are nowhere justified in the Bible.

On the far other end you may have some very intellectual churches that heavily emphasize the “Word” but can seem somewhat dry and perceived as lacking spiritual enthusiasm.

And then you have all kinds of churches in between that may emphasize the Spirit and Word in varying degrees.

Have you seen this divide in your own church?

Here are some of my own observations:

  • Christians do not have a very good understanding of how God’s Spirit and God’s Word work together.
  • Some people split the Spirit and the Word in unhelpful ways when critiquing a church’s worship service or even when critiquing their own spiritual lives.
  • This split can be seen in comments that essentially boil down to, “I don’t need more Bible, I need more of the Holy Spirit” or “Our church doesn’t need more Bible teaching, we need more Holy Spirit” or comments similar to those.

Here is what this kind of thinking is missing:

God’s Spirit and God’s Word should never be separated. From Scripture we must see the Holy Spirit’s role in the authorship, transmission, and reception of the Bible and its message.

Maybe you have noticed this but twice in the Gospel of John Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit twice as “The Spirit of Truth” – John 14:15-17, 16:12-15. In the rest of this article, I hope you can see why Jesus calls the Spirit by this title.

The Holy Spirit Wrote the Bible

If we wanted to see the connection between the Holy Spirit and the Bible, I don’t think you could explore a more significant connection than this one.

In my study, I uncovered numerous places where the Bible talks about the Holy Spirit’s central role in the authorship of Scripture.

There are a lot of Scripture references here so to avoid getting bogged down, I am just going to quote the parts about the Spirit speaking rather than entire passages. And I am only going to pick out some representative examples so that this article isn’t longer than it needs to be.

Examples of the Spirit Speaking God’s Word in Scripture

“They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. “

– Zechariah 7:12

The law, which is usually what the Jews called the first five books of the Bible, was sent by the Lord through His Spirit. Zechariah also says the Spirit brought the word through the prophets that came before him. Thus, we see a good portion of the Old Testament ascribed to the Spirit in this verse.

There are also a few times the Psalms are connected with the Spirit. When the Apostles were praying, they noted that the Holy Spirit spoke through the mouth of king David in Psalm 2.

And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “ ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’

– Acts 4:24–26

Jesus also said that David spoke by the Holy Spirit in Psalm 110.

He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet” ’?

– Matthew 22:43–44

Those are two examples of the Holy Spirit inspiring David to write those psalms.

Interestingly, there are a few examples of Bible passages that clearly emphasize that it was the Holy Spirit himself speaking through the human author.

In Acts 28:25, when Paul was speaking to the Jews at the end of the book, he says, “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet” and then quotes Isaiah 6:9-10 to show the Jews were still hard hearted like their ancestors. Notice how Paul is saying Isaiah is simply the conduit through which the Holy Spirit spoke. Here Paul explicitly emphasizes the Holy Spirit speaking.

This same pattern can be seen in the epistle to the Hebrews where the writer of Hebrews doesn’t even mention the human author and ascribes passages directly to the Holy Spirit. For example,

  • Hebrews 3:7 — “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says” – then quotes from Psalm 95 and doesn’t bother mentioning the human author.

Later in the epistle, the writer does the same thing in Hebrews 10:15

  • Hebrews 10:15 — “And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us” – and then quotes Jeremiah 31 without mentioning Jeremiah.

In these examples, it’s as if the writer of Hebrews sees Jeremiah and the author of Psalm 95 as unimportant for his purposes. He simply wants his readers to know that the Scripture he is citing comes directly from the Holy Spirit.

There are more examples I could provide but I think that covers a fair amount of the Old Testament from the Law to the Psalms to the Prophets.

Now moving on to the New Testament, we have two mentions of the Spirit’s involvement in the writing of the Gospels from Jesus himself.

Notice these two verses from the chapters in John. Jesus, speaking to his disciples on the night before his death says,

“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.“

– John 14:25-26

Jesus is promising the apostles here that when he leaves, the Holy Spirit will come and remind them of the words Jesus had spoken. Why? So that they could share them with others and also write them down for us in the Bible.

Fortunately, Jesus does not trust his teaching to the faulty memories of the disciples. He entrusts the transmission of his teaching to the power of the Holy Spirit to ensure it will get written and passed down accurately.

But interestingly, a couple chapters later, Jesus not only promises that the Holy Spirit will remind them of what was said in the past, but that the Spirit will also tell them of the future.

“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.“

– John 16:13

Again, Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of truth. He will guide the apostles into the truth, keeping them from error, and he will declare to them, from God, things that are to come in the future so once again, these things can be written down for us in Scripture.

These last two examples cover the entire Bible, not just certain parts. Consider this from 2 Peter:

“knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.“

– 2 Peter 1:20-21

Peter wants his readers, and us, to know that the Holy Spirit is the source of all Scripture. The Bible is not merely a human book. God’s Spirit guided the entire process of its creation.

Last example:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.“

– 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Every bit of Scripture comes from God. God breathes it out by the power of His Spirit through the writing of human agents to produce the book we call the Bible.

Hopefully those 10 examples from Scripture help you see the Holy Spirit’s role in creating the Bible.

So what should we do with these truths?

Applying the Truth of the Spirit’s Authorship of the Bible

  • First, we should not separate the Holy Spirit from the book He wrote. The Bible and the Holy Spirit should not be put at odds with one another. We shouldn’t see the Bible as merely a source of academic knowledge that is somehow separate from God’s Spirit. It is a spiritual book that speaks to all aspects of our being from our minds to our hearts to our actions. God wants all of what we are to conform to Christ and He uses the Spirit and His Word to do that.
  • Second, if the Bible is the Spirit’s book, I don’t think it is correct to say that we need more Spirit and less Bible. I think what we need to do is to pray that the Spirit would use His book in and through us for His purposes. I will get into this more in the next point.
  • Third, we should have confidence that the Bible is true since the Spirit is its ultimate author. There is a huge attack on the authority and sufficiency of Scripture in our culture and unfortunately that doubt and skepticism has invaded the church. Christians struggle with having confidence in God’s book, that it really is the trustworthy Word of God as it says it is. I hope we can have a greater confidence in God’s book after we have seen a bit more of the Spirit’s role in writing it.
  • Fourth, if we want to hear God and His Spirit speaking to us, we should go first and foremost to the book that He wrote. If we think God is speaking to us outside of the Bible in some way, we should probably go back to the book the Spirit wrote to make sure we are hearing the Spirit’s voice correctly. After all, the Spirit is not going to contradict himself by saying one thing in Scripture and saying something completely contrary to someone privately. The Spirit is the Spirit of truth, not the Spirit of deceit or contradiction.

The Holy Spirit Helps us Understand the Bible and Its Message

The Spirit has not merely written the Bible and left us to ourselves to figure out what it means. The Spirit also plays a role in helping us understand it. Theologians call this ministry of the Spirit “the doctrine of illumination” and it refers to the Spirit’s work in helping us understand God’s Word.

One of the primary texts for this doctrine is found in 1 Cor. 2:10-16.

“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. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”

– 1 Corinthians 2:10–16

Up to this point in 1 Corinthians, Paul has been telling his readers that he has brought them the wisdom of God in the form of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This wisdom is superior to the wisdom of the world that God views as foolishness.

But the problem is that this wisdom from God in fact is seen as foolishness by the world. Why? Why would anyone think God’s wisdom is foolish?

Because they don’t understand it. They see the message of the cross as weak and useless. Their minds cannot comprehend the gospel’s significance and value. A crucified Savior makes no sense to them. Because we are sinners, we don’t like to hear that our sins have consequences and that we need a Savior to avoid God’s judgment upon us.

So how can man come to value the wisdom of God and the glories of the gospel message?

Paul says in 1 Cor. 2:10-16 that the Holy Spirit has been given to believers to overcome this problem and to help them receive the gospel message in faith.

Paul explains the necessity of the Holy Spirit in this process in three ways.

First, Only the Spirit Knows God’s Thoughts

Paul starts by giving the Corinthians some good Trinitarian theology. Paul argues that only the Spirit knows God’s thoughts. All the world’s religious gurus, and all their philosophers, and their worldly wisdom, all those who think they know and understand God, are wrong because they do not have access to the mind of God.

Only the Spirit knows the depths of God. He knows the secrets of the Father and the Son. All that the Father and Son know, the Spirit also knows.

The Spirit knows all the intentions of God before the world began. He knows God’s mysterious working in the world, how He guides the world toward its intended goal, how He sustains the world in ways man will never see.

The Spirit knows all the details of how God is working out his plan of salvation in the world.

The Spirit knows all of God’s intentions for the future, all the events that haven’t happened yet. The Spirit knows all that God has prepared in the future for His elect when they will enjoy God for eternity. Anything the Father and Son knows, the Spirit also knows.

Second, the Spirit Declares the Thoughts of God to Man

Unless God makes His thoughts known to man, there is no way that man has access to those thoughts. Man thinks he knows God and His ways. He makes up religions about God or creates gods of his own. Or man seeks the wisdom of philosophy to try to figure out the meaning of life and the answers to life’s big questions.

God calls this wisdom of the world foolishness. Why? Because man doesn’t have all the information. And even the little information God gives man, man sinfully ignores or twists. At best, man’s philosophy and religions are a mix of lies and truth.

For man to have God’s wisdom, the Spirit of truth must declare the thoughts of God to man. As we have already seen, the Spirit has done this through the Bible, the Word of God.

Third, the Spirit Helps Us Understand the Thoughts of God

The Spirit also helps us understand the thoughts of God and interpret them because natural man – unsaved man who has not been born again by God’s Spirit – cannot understand the things of God (2:14). Natural, unregenerate man thinks the thoughts of God and His wisdom are foolishness.

“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

– 1 Corinthians 2:14

Natural man, without God’s Spirit, does not have the faculties to understand the thoughts of God.

But the Christian, who has been made alive spiritually by the regenerating, life-giving power of the Holy Spirit, has been given a new heart and a new mind. Because of the Spirit and His work in us, we can now begin to understand the thoughts of God as revealed in Scripture.

As Paul says in 1 Cor. 2:12

“Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.”

– 1 Corinthians 2:12

We need God’s Spirit working in us to help us understand the thoughts of God as revealed in Scripture.

The Bible is Hard to Understand Without God’s Spirit

I would like to give an illustration of this from my own life. Before, I became a Christian, I had a really hard time understanding the Bible. Maybe you also can relate to this.

I remember in high school, during a time when I was trying to get away from the party scene and reconnect with my faith, I asked for a Bible for Christmas.

I remember trying to read it here and there but I couldn’t understand it. So much of it seemed strange to me. It didn’t seem relevant to my life except for one book – the book of Ecclesiastes. By reading that book, I learned that life is futile without God. And God used the truths of that book to help draw me to salvation a couple years later.

But after I became a Christian, the Bible was opened up to me and I could understand so much of it. I remember my first year in college, right after becoming a Christian, all I wanted to do was read the Bible.

It took me a year and a half but I read through the whole Bible. I was astounded when I finished. I couldn’t believe how real it was, how it showed people in such a realistic sense. I couldn’t believe the wisdom that was found in its pages. The Bible quickly became my passion.

So in just a couple of years, how did I go from only being able to understand just a little slice of the Bible to being able to read and understand massive portions of it?

The answer is the Holy Spirit. At the point of my salvation, the Holy Spirit came into my life and made me born again spiritually. He opened my mind to understand God’s Word and he gave me a love for God’s Word in my heart.

Maybe you’ve had a similar experience as I had, where at one time the Bible was incomprehensible to you, or maybe you didn’t even care about it, or maybe you flat out hated what it said. I love hearing testimonies of how God’s Spirit has worked in people’s lives and how God’s truth has been opened up to them.

Pray for the Spirit’s Help Every Time You Encounter God’s Word

How do we apply this doctrine of illumination, that we need the Spirit to help us understand Scripture? We should pray for His help.

Sermons – if you want to experience the Spirit on Sunday mornings, are you praying beforehand that the Spirit would use the worship and the sermon to minister to your heart?

Small groups – do you pray before you attend Bible studies that the Spirit would work through the word?

Personal Bible readings – pray for the Spirit to show you what he wants you to see when you read

This is a way we can show our dependence on God’s Spirit by acknowledging in our natural state, we cannot understand the things of God. We need the Spirit’s help.

Every time we encounter God’s Word we should see it as a spiritual event. The Holy Spirit wants to open our minds and hearts to the truths in the book He has written so that we can become more like Christ.

Reading or studying the Bible shouldn’t merely be an academic activity for us. It should be a spiritual process in which we get to know God better and a means by which God changes us into His image.

The Holy Spirit shapes our minds, our desires, and our character through the Word of God. Consider what is said about God’s Word in Hebrews 4:12:

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.“

– Hebrews 4:12

How is a book living and active? It is because the Holy Spirit is living and active and uses the truths in the Word of God to penetrate the depths of our souls.

Think about it – how many times have you heard a sermon, or been to a Bible study, or been reading the Bible on your own, and you felt that the truth you were encountering was written just for you, that it was speaking to you right to the depths of your soul? That’s just one example of the Holy Spirit applying His Word to your heart.

Therefore, whenever we encounter God’s Word, we should yield to the ministry of the Holy Spirit who wants to use that Word to shape us into the image of Christ.

What does yielding to the Spirit look like when we encounter God’s word?

Faith – If God gives you something to believe in the word, do you believe it? We have the choice to respond to God’s truth in faith or unbelief. Yielding to the Spirit means we believe what God tells us in His word.

Obedience – Also, when God gives us a command in Scripture to follow, do you seek to obey it? Think about it for a second. Does the Spirit want you to obey or disobey God’s commands? If we respond to God’s Word with rebellion and stubbornness, that is resisting the Spirit.

Know and Love God – When we encounter God’s Word, do we week to know and love God through it? The Spirit wants us to grow in our relationship with God. God reveals himself through the Bible. It is a primary way we get to know him. The Spirit wants to use the word to help us know Him.

Bottom line – The Spirit doesn’t want to just fill our minds with Bible facts. He wants to make us more like Christ from the inside out but we must cooperate with the process and not resist the Spirit’s work through the word.

The Holy Spirit Helps us Speak and Teach the Bible and Its Message

The Spirit wrote the Bible, helps us understand it, and also helps us communicate it others.

We need to understand that the Bible wasn’t just written for us, it was written for others too. We should have a desire to share God’s truth with other people, whether they are Christians or unbelievers. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit helps us with this task as well.

Examples of the Spirit Empowering People to Speak God’s Words

Jesus – let’s look at an important example near the start of Jesus’ ministry:

And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

– Luke 4:17-21

The Spirit anointed Jesus to proclaim good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to the captives, and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. These were all statements regarding Jesus speaking God’s Word to people. The Spirit empowered Jesus to speak the message He was sent to speak.

Other examples:

Peter

In Acts 2, the Spirit comes at Pentecost and empowers Peter to deliver a sermon about how the Old Testament predicted both the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the suffering and resurrection of Jesus. 3,000 people became Christians after that sermon. This was the same Peter that just a few weeks prior had denied Jesus three times out of fear. What happened? Peter received the Holy Spirit and it changed him.

The Apostles

And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

– Acts 4:31

The Spirit’s initial empowerment of the Apostles was the ability to speak the Word of God with boldness. The Spirit was empowering evangelism in a very hard situation under the threat of death or imprisonment by the Jewish authorities. God wanted the gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed and personally empowered the Apostles to do so, just as Jesus promised in Acts 1:8-9.

Paul

“For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit

– 1 Thessalonians 1:4–6

Not only did Paul preach the gospel to the Thessalonians in the power of the Holy Spirit, but the Thessalonians received the message in the joy of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit was working in both Paul as the speaker and in the Thessalonians as the listeners; in both the transmission and reception of the message.

The Spirit Empowers the Preaching of the Gospel

Does the Spirit still work this way today? Yes He does. He still empowers people to preach the gospel. Therefore:

  • We should pray for the Spirit’s help in evangelizing the lost to help us overcome our natural cowardice. I think most Christians have a fear of sharing their faith. The good news is that the Spirit of God has been given to us to help us in our weakness. Thus we should pray for His help to bring us the boldness we need.
  • We should pray that the Spirit will open the hearts of those who we speak to so that they will understand and believe. Man cannot believe unless God’s Spirit makes him spiritually alive and opens his heart to receive the Word.

The Spirit is also concerned with the teaching of God’s Word to believers.

The Spirit Empowers Bible Teachers and Preachers in the Church

In 1 Corinthians 12:28, several of the gifts given by the Spirit involving proclaiming and teaching the Word of God:

And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.

– 1 Corinthians 12:28

Apostles, prophets, and teachers are all empowered by the Spirit to bring God’s Word to God’s people.

I believe it is right to say that the Holy Spirit wants His book, the Bible, taught accurately and skillfully to build up the body of Christ for God’s glory.

What to do With This Truth

We should pray for the Spirit’s help every time we teach God’s Word whether it is:

  • to our kids
  • to our friends in a private conversation
  • or in a more formal teaching setting like Youth Group, Growth Group, preaching, or any other setting.

It is right for us to ask for the Spirit’s help when we are handling His book so that it can have God’s desired effect in us to make us more like Jesus.

Also, please pray for all the teachers in your church – from kid’s church to Sunday school to youth ministries and up to adults – there are a lot of people who teach from week to week and we all need the Spirit’s help to teach His word faithfully.

Conclusion

I hope that we can see the relationship of the Holy Spirit to the Bible in three ways:

  1. The Holy Spirit wrote the Bible
  2. The Holy Spirit helps us understand the Bible
  3. The Holy Spirit helps us speak and teach the Bible

The Holy Spirit is vitally connected to the Bible’s authorship, transmission, and reception. The Bible is a central part of the Holy Spirit’s ministry.

Lastly, consider this exhortation from Ephesians regarding the spiritual warfare we engage in constantly as Christians. Listen for both the Spirit and the Bible in this passage:

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.“

– Ephesians 6:12–18

Notice that the word of God is called the sword of the Spirit. The Spirit uses the word to accomplish God’s work in us and in the world and to help us fight spiritual battles.

Therefore:

  • Embrace God’s Word as the Holy Spirit’s book, the sword of the Spirit, and never separate the two in your thinking.
  • Do not resist the Spirit’s work through the Word but receive the word with faith, hope, and love.
  • Rely on the Spirit as we interact with God’s Word and share it with others.
  • Pray for the Spirit’s emboldening power to live and proclaim the gospel as you seek to live out the Great Commission to the ends of the earth.

May God bless the teaching of His Word and apply it to the hearts of His people for their good and for His glory.

Jim Rosenquist

Jim Rosenquist

Jim is Founder, Editor, and Author at 4Elect. He holds a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary. Jim rejoices that God chooses insignificant people to bring glory to Himself.

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Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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