In our culture there is a lot of talk about “spirituality” and how to obtain it. There are many people who consider themselves “spiritually” enlightened who have no relationship to the Bible.
“Those who speak of spirituality, outside of religion, often define themselves as “spiritual but not religious” and generally believe in the existence of many different “spiritual paths” – the emphasis being on the importance of finding one’s own individual path to spirituality. According to one poll, some 24% of the United States population identifies itself as spiritual but not religious.” (Wikipedia)
Secular spirituality also carries connotations of an individual having a spiritual outlook which is more personalized, less structured, more open to new ideas/influences, and more pluralistic than that of the doctrinal faiths of organized religions. (Wikipedia)
Many believe that with respect to religion spirituality takes on the following characteristics: faith becomes more personal, less dogmatic, more open to experimentation, and is based upon personal experience. From this perspective, religion and spirituality can be seen as merely two stages in the inner growth of the faithful aspirant, so much so that many followers of constituted religions consider spirituality to be an intrinsic and inseparable aspect of their religious experience. The relationship between religion and spirituality can, thus, be seen comparable to the relationship between container and content, between form and substance, or between theory and practice. (Wikipedia)
So, let me wade through all of this talk about “spirituality.” In our culture there is the thought that in order to find one’s path to God, one may search for an individual way that “feels” good and “makes sense” to the individual.
In the Bible we are given the “path” to true “spirituality” which will bring salvation. It’s a path that is given to us from the CREATOR of the universe. That “path” is the same for every person. Let’s open God’s Word and see what it says.
17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
19 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;
20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
We want to see clearly what verse 21 says:
“in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.”
God’s Word Saves! It is the TRUE path to “spirituality.” To see that clearly, let’s notice some things that the BIBLE teaches us about our relationship to God and His Word.
Jesus indicated that his heavenly father is the source of all he taught:
Jn. 12:49, 50
49* “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.
50* “I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”
So Jesus tells us himself that the source of His teachings came from the Father Himself.
It is also very interesting to notice that in the Old Testament Jesus is spoken of as “Prophet” of God. A prophet is one who speaks for another. Aaron is said to have been the prophet of Moses because he spoke for Moses. (Ex. 4:10-16; 7:1,2). Moses predicted that God would raise up a prophet and put his words into the mouth of that prophet who would speak all he commanded of him.
15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.
16 “This is according to all that you asked of the LORD your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.’
17 “The LORD said to me, ‘They have spoken well.
18 ‘I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.
19 ‘It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.
Peter quoted this prophecy and taught that Jesus fulfilled it:
22* “Moses said, ‘THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to everything He says to you.
23* ‘And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’
24* “And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days.
25* “It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.’
26* “For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.”
Jesus was the prophet predicted by Moses, therefore God put his words into the mouth of Jesus and he spoke all God commanded of him.
The Hebrew writer said of Him:
1:1* ¶ God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,
2* in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
From this we learn that…
the Father in heaven is the ultimate source of all that Jesus and the apostles and prophets have taught.
However – we do not want…
to leave Jesus out of the chain of the revelation of God’s word to a lost world. He came with a message from the Father and delivered it in such a way that men declared that no man had ever spoken with such power and effectiveness. Men were sent to arrest him, but came back saying:
“Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.”
In Jesus prayer to his Father Jesus said:
“the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them…”
However, Jesus did not give all the message to his apostles during his lifetime, for there were some things they were not able to received until after his death and glorification.
12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.