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Words of the Spirit are the gentle whispers of God

Columbia Biblical Studies: Tuesday, April 29
Columbia Biblical Studies: Tuesday, April 29
Barb Ver Sluis

Today’s bible study is from the Gospel of John 6:63: It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

If this doesn’t throw everything we know about reproduction into a cocked hat, what does it do? Our lives came from our parents, from the fertilization of an ovum, from the biological process of mitosis and cell differentiation. We came into this world as flesh and blood. We had identifying features, genetic traits and, very quickly, a personality.

But is the flesh nothing? The simple answer is a resounding No. Just as a beautiful butterfly emerges from a cocoon or we walk out our front door, the human spirit needs a body in which to be housed. We are told in the bible to take good care of that body, since it is the flesh and blood home of the Holy Spirit within us.

We try to make our bodies a welcoming, comforting, safe home for Jesus. We tend out bodies, keeping them clean and healthy, and wait for Jesus to come into our hearts and our souls. He cannot be seen as the butterfly can be seen. He costs nothing as our houses cost many thousands of dollars. He simply exists within all of us who welcome Him as the son of God, the Holy Spirit and the risen Christ.

But trying to consider words that are spoken as being spirit’ is a bit more confounding. And, to make it even more difficult, these words are ‘life.’ This is huge! We can read, speak and write words. They are tangible. They can be seen and read. They can be heard. They can be preserved for long periods of time.

But words of the spirit are the gentle whispers of God that come into our hearts and minds. These are the words of reassurance, hope, peace and grace. These spiritual words often give us strength in times of trouble and hope in times of despair. And, yes, they give us life itself as children of God the Father Almighty. May we cherish these words of the spirit and ever be open to hearing them in our hearts.

References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.

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