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Illumination (interior)

This morning we compared the requests of Moses in Exodus 33-34 (to see God's glory), and the prayer of Paul in Ephesians 1:15ff for the "spirit of wisdom and revelation" and the "eyes of the heart enlightened..." Both knew the truths of the respective covenant revelation which they had received (law or gospel), but both sought a deeper sight or experience of the glory of those truths.

Both Moses and Paul wanted to see and experience the weight and glory and goodness of the God of the Word. Here is a good summary quote from J. I. Packer on the doctrine of illumination by the Holy Spirit toward the believer:

The work of the Spirit in imparting this knowledge is called “illumination,” or enlightening. It is not a giving of new revelation, but a work within us that enables us to grasp and to love the revelation that is there before us in the biblical text as heard and read, and as explained by teachers and writers. Sin in our mental and moral system clouds our minds and wills so that we miss and resist the force of Scripture. God seems to us remote to the point of unreality, and in the face of God’s truth we are dull and apathetic. The Spirit, however, opens and unveils our minds and attunes our hearts so that we understand (Eph. 1:17-18; 3:18-19; 2 Cor. 3:14-16; 4:6). As by inspiration he provided Scripture truth for us, so now by illumination he interprets it to us. Illumination is thus the applying of God’s revealed truth to our hearts, so that we grasp as reality for ourselves what the sacred text sets forth. (from Concise Theology)

The important point is that we need to ask the Holy Spirit to make God and his truths real to us. We need to feel the weight and glory of God in his Word.

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