Can a person understand the Bible without the Holy Spirit's help?


Regarding the Ten Commandments:

Hi there. My advice is that you take and read the Bible. Do not put your ideas into it. There are other people who do understand Bible. Therefore, read Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32. This is exactly what you do on your web site. I am sorry. I do not try to be nasty, but you or anyone cannot understand Bible if you do not have Holy Spirit of God.


Your charge is two-fold:

  1. You believe that I'm taking away from God's word by teaching that since the Ten Commandments are a part of the Old Testament, they are no longer directly in effect.
  2. You believe that I do not have the Holy Spirit, so I have no understanding of the Bible.

Both charges are merit-less because no evidence is provided that either one is true. Assertion alone does not prove your point. What is amusing is that you ask someone you believe cannot understand the Bible to read the Bible.

The biblical teaching that we are not under the Ten Commandments given by God to the Israelites has been thoroughly discussed, so I won't repeat myself since no new passage was given for consideration. See:

The ironic fact is that you are actually taking away Jeremiah 31:31-34, ignoring God's clear statement that He would bring a new and different law into effect with Jesus. This passage is discussed in detail in Hebrews 7:18-10:18. I accept what God stated, you apparently deny His teaching.

So let's look at your second charge:

Does a person need direct aid by the Holy Spirit to understand the Bible?

At the root of this belief is that people are not personally responsible for grasping what God has taught. Either the Holy Spirit gives you understanding or He doesn't. If you aren't given understanding, then it does you no good to read the Bible because you won't be able to grasp what God is teaching.

It actually makes a very convenient excuse to ignore people with whom you disagree (as you have done). I laid out detailed evidence from God's word that the Old Testament, along with the Ten Commandments, were replaced with a new and better covenant. You merely claim that I don't have the Spirit; therefore, I don't understand; therefore, you can ignore the evidence and pretend it doesn't exist.

God commands that we understand His Will. "Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:17). Why command something that you claim cannot be done without God's help. If God withholds His aid in understanding, then it is God who is choosing who fails and not man. You are claiming that God has required an impossible task for most of mankind, and you are declaring that God is a respecter of persons, which He is not (Romans 2:11).

"For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles-- if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power" (Ephesians 3:1-7).

Truth is known when we read God's word. Reading what God has taught gives us understanding. You claim it is the other way around, that you must have understanding first before a person can read the Bible and grasp its teachings.

Paul and the other apostles understood their duty, which was to teach God's Word to men. Paul sought prayers, "for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel" (Ephesians 6:19). This is the method God chose for the revealing of His Will. "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe" (I Corinthians 1:21).

That message did not originate with men. "However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing" (I Corinthians 2:6). The wise men of this world could not come up with such a plan of salvation. But God did prepare it and kept it hidden from worldly men until the coming of Jesus and the apostles. "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him"" (I Corinthians 2:7-9).

God did not leave these things hidden, but revealed them to the apostles. "But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God" (I Corinthians 2:10-11). This revelation was promised to the apostles prior to Jesus' death. "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 things that I said to you" (John 14:26). By the way, this is not a promise to you and I. We don't have personal memory of what Jesus taught since we were not alive when he walked this earth and did not witness his teachings. This was a promise to the apostles only. So God by the Holy Spirit revealed His teachings to the apostles, who then passed them on to us through their writings. "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (I Corinthians 2:12-13).

But not everyone wants the truth. The natural, or worldly, man depends on worldly wisdom. The divine revelation looks like foolishness to him, so he rejects it. "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (I Corinthians 2:14). Paul, here, returns to the argument he made earlier in I Corinthians 1:18-24. The Jews wanted more signs, though any sign given was never enough. The Gentiles wanted more wisdom, though the wisdom given wasn't what they expected. Paul's conclusion is that they were unable to understand God's teaching because they weren't what they wanted.

The spiritual man, the one who depends on the spiritual wisdom from God, is able to accurately judge the truth of the matter. "But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one" (I Corinthians 2:15).

Now, think: What makes the difference between the two? Is it God causing some to reject or accept His teaching, or is it each person's attitude toward godly wisdom?

Not every one loves the truth. "That they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thessalonians 2:12). Some people prefer their own ideas. "This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness" (Ephesians 4:17-19). Notice, again, that it is the evil man's choice, not God's, which leads to their not understanding God.

When people claim that it takes direct action of the Spirit on an individual's heart to allow them to understand the Bible, they confuse the matter. Where is the action of the Spirit? Is it in the direct revelation of understanding given to select people, or is it in the revelation of God's will given through the apostles? Clearly the latter is true. The word goes forth, and some will always reject it because they don't like it. "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?" So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:14-17).

The Holy Spirit's aid to man was in delivering the Word of God to man. Man is then expected to learn it. "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (I Timothy 2:3-4). God doesn't prevent people from understanding His book. Man does this on his own through his love of sin. But the command of God isn't unattainable, everyone can understand if they desire the truth.

Hi! Sorry that I offended you by just asking questions. I believe that the ten commandments are directly in effect in the New Testament. I did not say that you do not have Holy Spirit, I said that Bible cannot be understand without Holy Spirit. Because God today calls only a few, and whoever He calls after repentance and baptism that the person receives the Holy Spirit. Anyone can read the Bible, but what is the result?  We have more than 2,000 Christian churches and denominations. Each of them saying that "I am right, you are wrong." People believe that Christ is not God, the law is nailed on the cross, no Sabbath, no tithing, no Kingdom of God and so on. A never ending story!

God exists, His law is in force, God never changed. Old and New Testament are God's Holy Words. But we can talk and write about it and looking in the Scripture to justify our saying, but are these Scriptures right according to God's Word?

I am simple man. I do not write good English, but I hope you will get through it. I hope that there is no hard feelings if I understand my way is not your way.

But John say "test all spirits" in 1 John 4:1.

Yes, John does say, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (I John 4:1). So far you are coming up poorly in the test. It is interesting that you reference this statement but earlier claimed that going to the Scriptures will not resolve what God has said. You can't have it both ways. I gave detailed reasons with numerous scriptural references to back up my points. You gave me a few scattered personal opinions.

The Holy Spirit was not promised to a few after baptism as you claim. "Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call" (Acts 2:38-39). The gift of the Holy Spirit (salvation, see Ephesians 1:13-14), was promised to everyone who repented and were baptized. You failed to even come close to proving that the Bible is not understandable, nor have you addressed the many passages I cited which show that God expects and commands that His book be understood.

Let's just take one of your opinions: You include the law being nailed to the cross in a list that includes the claim that Jesus Christ is not God. Therefore, I conclude that you believe that the statement that the law was nailed to the cross is a false statement. Thus, you oppose the apostle Paul who said, "And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross" (Colossians 2:13-14). Paul also stated, "For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity" (Ephesians 2:14-16).

Then there is the problem of your telling lies. You claim you just asked questions. Your original note contained no questions but wanted to give "advice;" false advise at that. You claim that you didn't say that I didn't have the Holy Spirit, but the fact remains that you did.

You are correct, your way is not the way I follow. I stand by God's Word. "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen" (I Peter 4:11). The solution to the many denominations and variations in teachings is for all to stop teaching their own opinions and return to teaching only what God said.

You neither offended me or leave me with hard feelings. My job as a Christian is to do as Jude advised, "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). This is necessary because people value their personal opinions above the truth. "Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation--as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen" (II Peter 3:14-18).