Sunday, April 10, 2011

With Blinders On

John 14:17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

17 τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, ὃ ὁ κόσμος οὐ δύναται λαβεῖν, ὅτι οὐ θεωρεῖ αὐτὸ οὐδὲ γινώσκει· ὑμεῖς γινώσκετε αὐτό, ὅτι παρ᾽ ὑμῖν μένει καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν ἔσται.

Here Jesus is teaching His disciples about the Holy Spirit. He has a lot to say about Him, but this is one of my memory verses for Pneumatology and something struck me about it as I read it yesterday and reviewed it today. Jesus says that the world οὐ θεωρεῖ αὐτὸ οὐδὲ γινώσκει. The word θεωρεῖ is what is translated "sees" here i the ESV. When I learned it as a vocabulary word, I learned it as "look at, behold." The word "sees" captures that meaning, but I think that reading it in English it may not be strong enough.

I have met more than a few materialists who are materialists because they say that they only believe what they can sense. Of course, they believe in subatomic particles and all manner of theoretical things because scientists have proven them. They also tend to believe in the theory of evolution because they need something to tell them how we got where we are. My point is not to argue about subatomic particles or the theory of evolution. My point is just that folks who say that they cannot believe in an unseen God will happily believe in other things that they have not personally sensed because they trust the witnesses.

Jesus is telling His disciples that this would be the case and He was right (go figure). The world does not look at the Holy Spirit even though evidence of His work surrounds us every day. The world certainly does not know Him. How could it unless they are regenerated? This is the contrast that Jesus makes. You (the disciples) know Him, because (ὅτι) He dwells with you and will be with you. As Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19, Christians are temples of the Holy Spirit. That is how He is in us. As Jesus was speaking this the Holy Spirit was only dwelling with them because this was before Pentecost.

The point is that the world does not see the Holy Spirit, but if you have become a Christian you must know Him. After all, He is the one who changed your heart. He is in us. What do you do with this knowledge?

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