Do you ever wonder if integrity as a virtue is perishing from the earth? Whatever happened to sheer honesty, or just being truthful—publicly, privately? Whatever happened to saying what you mean and meaning what you say, to keeping your word?
The God of the Bible is a God of integrity. It is impossible for God to lie (Heb. 6:18). Our Lord Jesus Christ has transparent ministry. The Holy Spirit is totally, thoroughly and completely honest. Jesus called Him the Spirit of truth (John 14:17).
As for Jesus, He said of Himself that He is "the way and the truth and the life" (vs. 6, emphasis added), and so equally the Holy Spirit is truth. As it is impossible for God to lie, never forget that the Holy Spirit is incapable of lying to you. He will never deceive you.
Jesus Himself was full of grace and "truth" (John 1:14). Truth means fact. It means what is reliable. What Jesus does and says can be proved, and He will not let you be ashamed. When a miracle was performed the enemy of truth was forced to say, "We cannot deny it" (Acts 4:16). Jesus is transparent integrity. Today we sometimes use the expression "the real deal." It is what people want to see in leaders, what people long for in relationships—no deceit, no infidelity, but honesty and trustworthiness. That is what we want in a friend—pure gold, the real thing.
Jesus is that. The God of the Bible is that—His words are "trustworthy' (2 Sam. 7:28), "true, and righteous altogether" (Ps. 19:9, ESV). Virtually the first thing Jesus said about the Holy Spirit was that He is "the Spirit of truth." This means genuineness, trustworthiness, faithfulness and integrity. It also means theological truth. The Holy Spirit will never lead you to error. You can believe what He reveals and stake your life on it.
To put it another way, the Holy Spirit is the opposite of the devil. Jesus said of Satan: "There is no truth in him...for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44, ESV). He is incapable of integrity and honesty. He exists to deceive.
Do you know the feeling of being deceived? Do you know what it is to embrace a person, recommend them, put your reputation on the line for them—then find out you were deceived? It can be very painful.
Dr. Francis Schaeffer used a phrase: "true truth." He believed Scripture is true truth, that it is trustworthy and faithful. Jesus believed in what can be called propositional revelation—that there is a body of truth that does not change. So when Jesus said that everyone who is on the side of truth listens to Him, it is because all who want what is really true and objectively true will embrace Jesus Himself and His words. John said, "Whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood" (1 John 4:6).
Those then who have the Holy Spirit will be drawn to truth wherever it is, and they will be willing to test their findings and opinion by Scripture.
In a word: if you have the Holy Spirit, you will believe that Jesus Christ the Son of God is the true God and that the Bible is infallibly true.
A good question to put to yourself is this: What would you go to the stake for? What would you die for? In my old age I have concluded that the only thing I will preach is what I would die for. If it isn't worth dying for, it isn't worth preaching—or believing. Granted there are gray areas on which we might have to give an opinion—e.g., eschatology (doctrine of last things) or ecclesiology (your view of the church or sacraments). I wouldn't die for these. But I would go to the stake for what I believe about the person of Jesus Christ, salvation, the Bible and the Holy Spirit.
"You have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth" (1 John 2:20). The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth, and that means we will be kept from error as long as we have the determination to do the will of God. For over fifty years I have kept John 7:17 in mind: "Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God." This also shows that your personal relationship with God—whether you want to do His will or not—will determine what you believe.
The Holy Spirit will never mislead you. You don't need to be afraid of Him. He may not be "safe," but He is "good."
Adapted from 40 Days with the Holy Spirit by R.T. Kendall, copyright 2014, published by Charisma House. If you are hungry for more of the Holy Spirit and want a personal encounter with Him that will change your life, this book is for you. Here's is a collection of inspirational readings that will draw you closer to the Holy Spirit in just 40 days. To order your copy click here.
Prayer Power for the Week of October 20, 2014
This week continue to embrace the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Godhead, and thank Him for being here to fulfill everything the Lord promised before His ascension. Take time to meditate on the Word. Sit in His presence and allow Him to reveal Christ, renew your mind by the Word and transform you as He wills. Continue to pray for the spread of the gospel at home and around the world. Lift up those persecuted for righteousness sake and those surrounded by terrorism, war and famine. Ask God to show you what you can do to help. Lift up President Obama and those working with him to solve the current national and international crises. Remember Israel and the Middle East. Continue to pray for more laborers for the harvest field and for worldwide revival (1 John 2:20; 1 Timothy 2:1-8).