“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 16:11-17)”
It is often pointed out that there is more than one kind of knowledge: Academic or book knowledge, Experiential knowledge or knowing something through an experience; such as, “what does love feel like?” Then there is that which can not be actually taught through books or through experiencing something; but rather something that can only be given through revelation or revelational knowledge.
Faith is based on what is written in the bible, however, it has to be coupled with a revealing that can only be instilled within a person’s heart by the revelation that comes from the Spirit of God. The written word can only tell you there is a God, the Spirit makes it a reality to you; by this Spiritual impartation faith is created by the Spirit through this revealing (or revelational knowledge).
We see this in this verse where Jesus is speaking to Peter. From the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry people were stating to Peter that Jesus is the Christ; even his brother Andrew said, We have found the Christ. But here we hear Jesus saying,”No man has revealed this to you”.
No one can come to the knowledge of who Jesus really is, except through this revelational work given by the Holy Spirit. It’s here where fairytale like statements are turned into the an undeniable truth or reality in a persons spirit. It’s here where words recorded by men, becomes the very word from God.
Through the Spirit the bible becomes more than ink on paper; through the Spirit’s revelation, it becomes the “Living Word of God”. It’s not about one’s IQ, it’s about a work of the Spirit in one’s heart. It’s one thing for a person to read that there is a God (or be taught there is a God); but there is a difference when God becomes a reality to that person.
Not everyone has this reality (faith) that the bible is the word of God, nor can they tell you the difference between the bible and some other writings of other religions. Or, why some writings were rejected and some writings were received as being inspired.
Some years ago I bought a used book called, “The Lost Books of the Bible”, in truth they were never really lost they have been known to exist (New Testament Apocryphal books) anywhere from the mid-200’s AD to 500AD. These were rejected for many reasons. Some contain obvious errors (historical and doctrinal) and some are known to be out-right forgeries, as well as, there are also (Old Testament Apocryphal books) which were probably written in the 2nd century BC.
I’m not here to discredit these books or to say these books have no useful purpose, (I may at some point explain how these apocryphal books, though they are not inspired by God, they can be useful.) But I am saying there are people who go around trying to discredit what has been accepted, (claiming some kind of conspiracy) by pointing to these Apocryphal books. And, like the serpent who deceived Eve, the question always comes to this; “Did God say?” Or, they try to add these books and they say, “Did God only say?” Where some question whether or not that the bible is inspired or that some knowledge may be missing without these books.
“And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. (2 Thessalonians 3:2)”
Again, faith is more than something taught, but it is revelational knowledge (or a Spiritual work done in one’s heart) that is given by the Holy Spirit. Here, Paul plainly states that, “All do not have Faith!” This statement is true for both, for some inside, but mainly outside of the Church building. These are people who are blinded by unbelief and until the Spirit removes this blindness, no amount of teaching can change their views.
It’s through reading or the hearing of the spoken words (scripture) that the Spirit of God gives revelation; and where an unbeliever becomes a believer, a believer is moved to become a student, a student is moved to be a disciple and a disciple is moved into his/her destiny or calling of God.
However, this revelational knowledge can either be received or it can be rejected. This is why some hearers can remain unbelievers or in some Christians maturity in Christ may be slowed down or even stopped , and some destinies with God may never be manifested.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)”
Without this work of the Spirit of God, a person can not see or understand the Kingdom of God. The context of John 3:3 isn’t about entering and physically seeing the kingdom, but rather it’s about understanding or being Spiritually aware of its operation. (Understanding the operation of an invisible kingdom.) The song writer of “Amazing Grace”; John Newton says it this way, “I was blind, but now I see”. Something clicked in his heart (spirit), now what couldn’t be seen, was now a seeable reality.