Quotes by Alwyn York
The Holy Spirit enlightens a person, not by giving an added content of knowledge, but by mysteriously operating on his heart so that he can see the revelation already given. The image used in Scripture is of removing a veil (2 Cor. 3:15-16)… The truth was there before them all the time, only they were prevented from seeing it.
The Spirit’s work is to drive home to the heart and conscience what the mind understands.
The scriptural doctrine of illumination gives no encouragement at all to those who desire to find a secret higher meaning in Scripture. It is also no encouragement to those who look to the word of the Spirit to give them a personal private revelation.
The Spirit makes it possible for our efforts to expound the Bible to bear fruit, but His work does not eliminate the need for careful, logical exegesis. In the design of God, the Spirit and the human mind are meant to work together, each performing its own proper function.
The doctrine of the Spirit’s illumination should be an encouragement to ordinary people that they can read the Bible with profit. Contrary to what the Roman church claimed at the time of the Reformation, we do not need some external human authority to present us with a sound interpretation of the Bible. And contrary to the fears of some people in the church, we do not need to have advanced degrees in Bible and theology to be able to read and understand God’s Word. Right understanding of the Bible is not dependent upon what the world considers great learning. As the Lord Jesus said, the truths of Scripture are often concealed from the wise and learned and revealed to babes. With the aid of the Spirit, all of God’s people can understand His Word.
We may preach with great eloquence, we may have unanswerable arguments, but if we are preaching to the lost, we must remember that they are people whose minds have been blinded by the god of this age. Our most eloquent appeals will make no impact unless a Sovereign God causes His light to dawn upon their hearts. Our approach in preaching should not be to say merely that we are offering something beneficial that you our hearer can and should take up at any time. We have a more disquieting message. We are to tell the lost, “You are slaves. You are blind. You cannot even understand what we are saying unless God in His mercy enables you.” The Lord must illumine. Our preaching can succeed only “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Cor. 2:4). That must be the starting point for preaching the Lord God will honor.