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  • Writer's pictureEli Schnell

What is a Spirit-Led Christian?

Here and there, the idea of being “spirit-led” has been mentioned in conversation, especially with a capital “S,” meaning led by the Holy Spirit. What does that mean? And how can a person know if they are “Spirit-led?” And if I am “Spirit-led,” does that mean my conclusions are “from the Holy Spirit?” When I read or hear this phrase, I typically ask openly, “What do you mean by that?” The responses vary widely, with some claiming inspiration and others saying they are simply obeying God’s Word. Christians must communicate more clearly than that. Here are two suggestions to that end.

First, use biblical terminology accurately. Christians should speak about biblical subjects using biblical words the way the Bible uses them. I’m not looking for an argument about petty differences between translations. If someone converses with a Christian about biblical subjects like baptism, faith in God, sabbath, spirit, flesh, etc., they should find agreement between the Bible and their conversation with that Christian. Christians should not be creating new applications for biblical phrases that are disconnected from their biblical usage. It is confusing and does not lead people to Christ through His message.

Second, clarify your meaning where biblical words and phrases have been culturally abused. When a Christian converses about biblical topics with a religious person, the meaning of biblical words and phrases will likely need to be clarified since many have been misunderstood or misapplied by religious teachers. A simple clarifying statement typically suffices the first time a subject is broached. The Christian brings up baptism for salvation, using the clarifier “by immersion in water.” This clarifying remark will verify a common understanding of the truth or reveal the need for corrective study. Both are beneficial.

These are not new ideas. But I fear that some Christians, including preachers and teachers, are failing to speak clearly for the sake of general agreement and a cheapened, compromised form of unity. Speaking unclearly does not bring about unity. Misusing or misapplying biblical words and phrases does not create unity. It creates confusion, and the God we serve is not about that (1 Corinthians 14:33).

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