426 To Regard Man’s Words as God’s Words Is Blasphemy
1 Paul’s identity was merely that of a working apostle, and he was merely an apostle who was sent by God; he was not a prophet, nor a foreteller. So to him, his own work and the lives of the brothers and sisters were of the utmost importance. Thus, he could not speak on behalf of the Holy Spirit. His words were not the words of the Holy Spirit, much less could they be said to be the words of God, for Paul was nothing more than a creature of God, and was certainly not the incarnation of God. His identity was not the same as that of Jesus. The words of Jesus were the words of the Holy Spirit, they were the words of God, for His identity was that of Christ—the Son of God. How could Paul be His equal?
2 If people see the epistles or words like Paul’s as the utterances of the Holy Spirit, and worship them as God, then it can only be said that they are too indiscriminating. Could the words of God be casually uttered by a man? How could a man talk on behalf of God? Could the epistles that he wrote for the churches not be tainted with his own ideas? If you say that his epistles are the words of the Holy Spirit, then you are absurd, and you are committing blasphemy! The Pauline epistles and the other epistles of the New Testament are equivalent to the memoirs of the more recent spiritual figures. The substance of these people is the same: They were people who were used by the Holy Spirit during a certain period, and they could not directly represent God.
Adapted from “Concerning the Bible (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh