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Friday September 28 – The Word and the Spirit

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion…” – Hebrews 3:7-8

Scripture reading: Hebrews 3:7-19

Often, in the Heidelberg Catechism, there is a pairing of the Word of God with the Holy Spirit, but never with the sense that the Word of God and the Holy Spirit are in contradiction. We find Jesus Christ “governs by His Word and Spirit” (Q. 31) and that Christ gathers His church “by His Word and Spirit” (Q. 54). (See also Q. 21 and 123).

We are tempted to believe that God’s Spirit and Word can be at odds and that following the Word is “legalistic,” lacking spirituality. The temptation to reject the Word and substitute it with what we “feel” is right is very real.

Our passage, calling us to listen to the voice of the gospel Word, begins its quotation of Scripture by stating that it is the Holy Spirit that is speaking in the Word — certainly not in contradiction with the Word.

The blessing of the Spirit is never uncoupled from a believing appreciation for the Word of God as the sole standard for Christian faith and living. We cannot find ourselves spiritual without being Scriptural.

Suggestions for prayer

In light of God’s grace to you in Christ, pray for the grace of the Holy Spirit to conform you more and more to His will as directed in God’s Word.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. John Vermeer is the pastor of Doon United Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa.


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