Reaching back two posts, I listed three bulleted interactions between a person and the Bible. In a simplistic way, I intended to illustrate a common perspective on the Word. That is, people often don't know exactly what to do with the Bible on a personal level other than to read and attempt application. In that reading, they will be stirred emotionally, even if that is described by the reader as, "I'm not getting anything out of this." Dulled, disconnected emotional reactions are still emotional reactions. Most often, individuals will seek out others regarded as more knowledgeable in understanding scriptures for aid in the quest. This may or may not include a trained member of the clergy. Sitting under the instruction of designated teachers or seeking out a friend who is trusted as more mature in the faith is a basic way of gaining a handle over the meaning of those glorious words. Attending a Bible study is a different formula toward the same end of wanting to hear what others think.
Christian tradition focuses on the study of the Bible to divine its Truth. Therein has developed a constant focus on scripture reading in both formal and informal gatherings of believers and the fairly common practice--expectation?--of the discipline of a daily quiet time to include scripture reading pervasive among (as far as I know) most modern Christian circles. Nothing in the assertion I made in the previous post negates the validity of the Word in those practices. I fully receive the Word of God as the word of our living God and consider it a miracle living in and of itself.
Consider the statement made in the previous post, The mind and heart of Christ known through the in-dwelling Christ, the Holy Spirit, is the only source of truth and wisdom available to us within the current paradigm of the natural existence. Does this line suggest we live without the Bible? Only if someone reads that into it. If the Bible is to be revered as the Holy writ, infallible and trustworthy, is this perspective itself not based on a belief, no...more the faith, that the Holy Spirit inspired its writing? To call God the Author when we know men penned the words is a full acceptance of the Holy Spirit's Presence and actions. Coming to an understanding of the Word in line with God's intent and heart is recognized as a function of the Holy Spirit. We consider it revelation. Something active in the Holy Spirit of God must be received by the reader for the Bible text to become "spiritual knowledge," for the life in the words to spawn life in the heart of the reader.
My assertion is not an attempt to encourage spiritual life without the Bible. Rather it is an appeal to receive the words in the fullness of their meaning. The life of God has become available to sinful man. This is the wonder of both the grace in the Father's heart and the spiritual work of Jesus in the atonement at the Crucifixion. The life of the written Word, by faith, then becomes a real and continuing exchange of the dynamics of the emotions and dialogue of the intellects between the believer and the resident Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit is the living Spirit of the Living Word who became flesh, held in the Holy of Holies, the Ark of the Covenant within one's heart. This joining of the Holy Spirit to our spirit birthed by God removes the reading of the Word from the confines of our self-absorbed souls and the constructs of the traditional teachings of men and brings to fruition the maturing of our spirit, the new creature.
Life in the spirit then is beyond the written Word but a result of the same. Further use of the written Word is not stopped because this relationship is the core of faith but becomes more purposeful from this vantage point. I no longer use the Word to seek out my relationship with God. That treasure is fully mine. The written Word is part but not the center of my communion with the Living Word. Jesus living within me as the Holy Spirit is the center, the object, the sustainer of my spiritual life.