Jeremiah 30-32

“I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.” “And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord.”

He’s talking about the coming of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit dwells within us, she guides us personally. We each stand before the God. We are each of us capable of knowing God without becoming a formally educated scholar, a fully qualified member of the clergy. We are able to submit to the Spirit and follow her teaching in fulfillment of the covenant

The first covenant is complex, worked out in a detailed code with very specific and extensive requirements. The new covenant is written on our hearts, within each and every one of us.

He isn’t saying that no one should ever teach anyone else again. That is as ridiculous as it is extreme. Jesus himself sent out his own disciples to make disciples, which is to teach. There’s nothing wrong with formal education. In fact, it’s wonderful. Theology, hermeneutics, history, languages, they are all necessary to truly and accurately interpret and apply Scripture.

What he is saying is that, to the extent of our personal ability, the Spirit will move within each of us, personally guiding us, convicting us, deepening our understanding as we study, as we listen, as we read and live and submit.

What he is saying is that no one is inherently better or more qualified to understand the Spirit than anyone else. Plenty are more educated and more qualified to understand specific details of historical context or linguistic eccentricities, but they are not inherently more qualified to apply that understanding. Sometimes education can be distracting. But by the same token, those who never study the intellectual fields and rely solely on the leading of the Spirit are not inherently more spiritual, more ‘pure.’

It isn’t your circumstance, your education, your intelligence, your experience, or how many answers you have that makes you holier or more righteous. It is a matter of the heart. What is your intention? Are you humbly submitting to the Spirit?

When your heart is in the right place, you’ll want to study more, to deepen your understanding, just as you will live out the love of Christ, but no one else can teach you how to put your heart in the right place. We can provide information, that’s it. Perspective. Testimony. But the heart is a private matter between you and the Spirit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s