The Spirit of God dwells within human beings.

God’s Spirit is the Spirit of wisdom. God’s wisdom dwells within me. When there is conflict between dueling texts, I will go with the understanding that corresponds with the truth that I know to be true in the deepest part of my being. I trust the voice of truth and love that is God’s presence dwelling in my being.

The voice of truth and love within always tells me that it is wrong to intentionally harm another person. It tells me that I should seek to avoid violence and strive as much as is within my power to live peaceably with all people. The truth I know within calls me to live with respect towards all people. It tells me that the human community will always work more effectively when we listen deeply to one another and stay open to the possibility that no one of us has the full truth about anything. In my deepest being, when I am honest, I know that I may be wrong and therefore remain open to the possibility that I may not be seeing the full truth from my limited perspective.

Truth dwells at the heart of every human being.

The Bible can open us more deeply to that truth within; it can deepen our grasp of the truth and help us to search our own hearts more honestly in order that we may know the truth more deeply. But, when Scripture appears to contradict my deepest inner knowing and perception, I will always go with that deeper inner wisdom that resides within.

It is only honest to acknowledge that on many topics I am following my experience ahead of the plain literal meaning of ancient words recorded in the Bible. I can have confidence in this process that, my deepest inner experience of life will never guide me in a direction that is contradictory to the true intent of the counsel of Scripture because I trust the Spirit of truth that resides within my deepest being and who inspired the words recorded in the Bible.

The challenge in the Bible is not to mount up one convincing text over another. The counsel of Scripture is found when I listen to the whole scope of biblical teaching and seek to conform my life to the wisdom of the whole book as it corresponds with my deepest awareness of the nature, meaning and power of love that is my deepest experience of what it means to be fully human.

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Here are further texts that support my awareness that God’s Spirit is alive and at work in my life:

I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. (Ezekiel 36:27)

God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts. (Galatians 4:6)

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth… (John 16:13)

we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ‘I will live in them’ (II Corinthians 6:16)

you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. (Romans 8:9)

your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God (I Corinthians 6:19)

Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us. (II Timothy 1:14)

The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me. (John 17:22,23)

Christ is all and in all. (Colossians 3:11)

it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)

As for you, the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and so you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, abide in him. (I John 2:27)

In the end, if this inner Presence is the Presence of God, it is the Presence of love. So, love must be my guide.

When reading the Bible, I would do well to take as my interpretive template the words of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States who said,