Introducing the Holy Spirit


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Sermon-Based Small Group Leader’s Discussion Guide

Introducing  the  Holy  Spirit  

INTERACTING  WITH  THE  SERMON  

Rich  Nathan   February  11-­‐12,  2012   Holy  Spirit:  40  Days  to  Experiencing  the  Spirit  Series   Joel  2.28-­‐32    

SYNOPSIS  OF  THE  SERMON  

 

Pastor  Rich  began  a  new  series  about  the  Holy  Spirit.    He  opened  by  sharing  about  our  human  need  for   touch   both   from   each   other   and   more   importantly   from   God.   Romans   12:5   talks   about   the   spirit   being   poured  out  –  the  experience  of  abundance  in  the  Spirit.  We  need  God’s  touch.  Joel  Chapter  2  prophesized   that  the  Spirit  will  be  poured  out  on  all  people  and  Pastor  Rich  gave  examples  of  where  that  is  occurring   today.   The   kingdom   of   God   is   about   inheriting   the   precious   promises   reserved   for   the   end   of   time   and   enjoying  those  promises  now  –  the  forgiveness  of  sins,  the  writing  of  the  law  of  God  on  your  heart,  the   experience  of  a  measure  of  the  healing  of  your  body,  the  experience  of  the  reconciling  of  relationships,  the   spreading  of  justice  on  the  earth,  and  salvation,  regardless  of  race,  ethnicity,  or  age.    God  has  come  to  live   inside  of  human  beings  by  His  Spirit.    Christians  today  also  need  an  experience  of  the  Spirit.  The  internal   experience   of   the   Spirit   is   felt   by   God’s   leading,   his   prompting   for   action   or   restraint.   We   also   need   an   empowering  experience  of  the  Spirit  –  “Christianity  is  fire  setting”  Kierkegaard  said.  The  final  point  made   was   that   the   Spirit   is   not   sexist   or   racist   or   elitist   or   ageist.   The   Spirit   is   for   all   people   and   as   a   whole   church,  let’s  embrace  the  experience  of  God’s  Spirit.     In  5  minutes  or  less,  briefly  give  a  synopsis  of  this  week’s  sermon.    What  insight,  principle,  or  observation   from  this  weekend’s  message  did  you  find  to  be  most  helpful,  eye-­‐opening,  or  troubling?    Explain.  

GETTING  THE  CONVERSATION  STARTED   These  questions  can  be  used  as  ice-­‐breakers  in  the  beginning  OR  interwoven  between  the  questions  below   to  draw  the  group  into  the  discussion.     • What  stood  out  to  you  in  this  sermon?  Please  share  briefly.     • If  you’ve  had  an  encounter  with  the  Holy  Spirit,  please  share  briefly.   • What  has  caused  you  to  resist  asking  for  more  of  the  Spirit  in  your  life,  please  share  briefly?    

  SCRIPTURE  STUDY  

Disclaimer:  As  we  enter  the  Lenten  season  Vineyard  Columbus’  sermon  series  will  focus  on  the  Holy  Spirit.    VC   Small  Groups  staff  wants  to  share  parts  of  a  small  group  resource  produced  by  pastors  at  Vineyard  Columbus   called  Living  an  Empowered  Life.  This  study,  and  some  that  follow,  are  copyrighted  and  only  to  be  used  in  a   Vineyard  Columbus  small  group.  Please  limit  your  printing  and  distribution.  The  Bible  studies  are  formatted   differently  from  our  typical  Small  Group  Discussion  Guides.  We  will  return  to  the  former  format  when  not  using   these  copyrighted  small  group  resources.   1

Sermon-Based Small Group Leader’s Discussion Guide

        Introducing  the  Holy  Spirit   John  14:15—21  and  16:5—15     By  Marlene  Nathan     “Our  understanding  of  God  is  forever  marked  by  the  fact  that  in  Christ  he  has  been  “fleshed  out”  at  one  point   in  our  human  history.    Even  if  God  seems  distant…  we  are  not  in  the  dark  about  God  and  his  character…The   glory  of  God  has  been  imaged  for  us  in  the  one  true  human  who  bears  the  divine  image,  Christ  himself….     We  must  recognize  the  same  to  be  true  about  the  Spirit,  not  simply  theoretically  but  really  and  experientially.   The  Spirit  is  not  lightly  called  the  Spirit  of  Jesus  Christ.  Christ  has  put  a  human  face  on  the  Spirit  as  well...In   dealing  with  the  Spirit,  we  are  dealing  with  none  other  than  the  personal  presence  of  God.”                      Gordon  D.  Fee     “…the  point  is…the  Spirit  is  a  person!  This  can  be  confirmed  in  many  ways.  The  activity  of  the  Spirit  is  the   activity  of  a  person,  not  a  thing.  The  Spirit  speaks,  is  spoken  to,  teaches,  convicts,  intercedes,  and  calls.  The   Spirit  can  be  grieved  and  lied  to.  Even  though  the  Spirit  doesn’t  have  a  physical  body,  the  Spirit  is  a  Someone,   not  a  Something….  In  other  words,  when  we  receive  the  Spirit,  we  are  engaged  in  a  personal  encounter.”                    Rich  Nathan  and  Ken  Wilson     AIM  OF  STUDY     • To  help  convey  some  basic  truths  about  the  Holy  Spirit.     KEY  VERSES     “‘And  I  will  ask  the  Father,  and  he  will  give  you  another  Counselor  to  be  with  you  forever—the  Spirit  of   truth….’”                     John  14:16—17a     PREPARATION     Read  over  the  notes  on  “how  to  teach  the  Bible  in  small  group”  and  “some  practical  suggestions  for  leading  a   small  group  discussion”  in  Vineyard  Church  of  Columbus’  Small  Group  Leadership  Training  Manual.    As  you   read  over  the  Scripture,  pray  that  God  would  give  you  direction  for  leading  your  group  and  teach  each  of  you   something  relevant.    You  will  need  to  go  over  the  questions  and  choose  which  ones  you  want  to  emphasize   and  which  you  could  eliminate  if  your  time  is  limited.    Note  that  the  application  questions  are  marked  with  an   2

Sermon-Based Small Group Leader’s Discussion Guide

asterisk  (*).  Rather  than  leaving  these  to  the  end  of  the  study,  ask  one  or  two  as  you  work  through  the  passage   so  people  are  being  confronted  by  Scripture’s  truths  and  applying  them  to  their  own  lives.    If  you  find  you  are   falling  behind  schedule  and  need  to  move  ahead,  you  could  summarize  some  of  the  passage  and  then  go  to   the  final  questions.     These  studies  contain  more  background  material  and  information  on  the  passages  than  any  group  will  cover  in   a  meeting.    The  authors  are  providing  this  for  the  leaders’  benefit—to  help  reduce  your  study  and  preparation   time;  to  help  resource  you  for  possible  questions  group  members  may  raise;  and  to  clarify  some  gray  areas  of   doctrine  that  may  be  in  your  mind  as  you  prepare.  Obviously  we  cannot  exhaust  any  one  subject  in  a   document  like  this,  so  you  may  want  to  do  further  reading  and  discuss  doctrine  with  your  pastor.  We  highly   recommend  The  New  Bible  Dictionary  or  The  International  Standard  Bible  Encyclopedia  as  excellent  resources   for  study.     OPENERS     What  comes  to  your  mind  when  you  hear  the  words,  “the  Holy  Spirit”?       Allow  time  for  enough  people  to  reply  so  you  get  a  sense  of  what  your  group  members  think  or  feel   about  the  Holy  Spirit.  Then  continue  with  the  information  below.     If  you  have  ever  been  to  church,  then  you  probably  have  heard  the  phrase,  “...in  the  name  of  the  Father,  the   Son  and  the  Holy  Spirit.”    Most  people  can  understand  the  Father  and  the  Son.  These  are  ideas  and  images  we   are  familiar  with.  But  the  Holy  Spirit  is  another  matter.  He  is  clearly  the  most  confusing  and  mysterious  person   of  the  Trinity.  There  is  nothing  or  no  one  anywhere  in  human  experience  quite  like  Him.  The  closest  thing  we   have  to  the  Holy  Spirit  today  is  “the  Force”  from  Star  Wars  (e.g.  “May  the  Force  be  with  you”).     The  problem  many  people  have  with  the  Holy  Spirit  is  that  He  is  intangible.  We  cannot  touch  Him  with  our   hands,  see  Him  with  our  eyes,  hear  Him  with  our  ears,  or  even  picture  what  He  looks  like.  Yet  throughout  the   pages  of  the  Bible,  He  is  said  to  “fill”  people  (Ex.  31:3;  Acts  2:4);  “come  on”  people  (Judges  3:10;  Ezek.  11:5);   “speak”  through  people  (2  Sam.  23:2);  and  “move”  people  (Is.  34:16;  Ezek.  3:14).  He  is  referred  to  as  the   breath  of  God,  wind,  fire,  living  water,  and  a  dove.  Along  with  all  the  unusual  and  bizarre  things  that  have   been  attributed  to  Him  over  the  centuries,  it’s  no  wonder  some  people  prefer  that  He  be  kept  shut  up  in  the   pages  of  the  Bible  and  given  only  lip  service  at  the  appropriate  times.       The  Holy  Spirit,  however,  is  essential  to  our  lives  as  Christians.  We  know  this  because  Jesus  had  a  lot  to  say   about  Him.  During  His  three  years  of  ministry,  Jesus  spoke  often  of  the  Father.  He  said  that  if  anyone  had  seen   Him,  they  had  also  seen  the  Father  (John  14:9).  But  as  His  earthly  ministry  drew  to  a  close,  Jesus  began  to   speak  more  and  more  about  the  Spirit.  In  the  same  way  that  Jesus  revealed  God  the  Father,  He  also  revealed   God  the  Holy  Spirit.  As  one  theologian  said,  “Christ  has  put  a  human  face  on  the  Spirit  as  well.”1     1

Gordon D. Fee, Paul, the Spirit and the People of God (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996), p.25.

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Sermon-Based Small Group Leader’s Discussion Guide

On  the  last  night  He  was  with  His  disciples,  Jesus  began  to  prepare  them  for  what  lay  ahead.  He  would  be   leaving  and  the  Spirit  would  be  coming.  Naturally  the  disciples  were  upset  by  this  news,  but  Jesus  had  words   of  comfort  for  them.  He  began  by  telling  them  about  the  Spirit,  someone  they  would  soon  be  meeting  in   person!       Pray  that  you  would  grow  in  your  familiarity  with  God’s  Spirit  through  this  series.  Invite  Him  to  be  present  and   reveal  more  of  Himself  during  this  meeting.     STUDY  THE  PASSAGES:  John  14:15—21  and  John  16:5—15.     1.        Let’s  read  John  14:15—21  first.                  Throughout  this  passage,  Jesus  referred  to  the  Holy  Spirit  as  “He”  or  “Him”  and  not  as  an  “it.”  What  does   this  tell  us  about  the  Holy  Spirit?     The  Holy  Spirit  is  not  an  energy  force  or  an  impersonal  power.  He  is  not  simply  the  “power  of  God.”  He   is  a  person  just  like  Jesus  is  a  person  and  God  the  Father  is  a  person.       2.        What  are  some  characteristics  that  are  true  of  people  that  are  not  true  of  things?      People  are  alive  (!).  We  have  a  free  will,  a  moral  conscience,  feelings,  the  ability  to  communicate  with   and  a  desire  to  relate  to  others.  Because  the  Holy  Spirit  is  a  person  and  because  He  is  God,  He  cannot   be  manipulated  or  controlled  by  us.  He  is  not  like  a  machine  that  can  be  expected  to  do  the  same  thing   each  time  we  push  a  button  (e.g.,  if  we  pray  this,  the  Spirit  will  do  that).  He  is  free  to  act  and  respond   in  the  same  way  a  person  is  free  to  act  and  respond.  He  has  feelings  just  like  a  person.  Throughout  the   Bible,  we  read  of  instances  where  the  Holy  Spirit  was  grieved  (Is.  63:10;  Eph.  4:30).  He  can   communicate  with  us,  remind  of  us  what  God  thinks,  or  give  us  guidance.  We  can  respond  positively   and  be  led  by  the  Spirit  (Rom.  8:14),  or  we  can  respond  negatively  and,  for  example,  lie  to  Him  (Acts   5:3).       3.        According  to  Jesus,  what  should  we  do  if  we  love  Him  (v.  15  and  v.  21)?  What  will  God  do  if  we  love  Him   (v.  16  and  v.  21)?              If  we  love  God,  then  we  will  obey  Him,  because  real  love  is  more  than  just  words.  True  love  reveals   itself  in  actions  that  benefit  another  person  as  Jesus  revealed  in  dying  for  us  to  free  us  from  eternal   death  (Rom.  5:8).  In  this  way,  real  love  is  similar  to  genuine  faith  (James  2:14—26).  In  John  14,  Jesus  is   not  suggesting  that  God’s  gift  of  the  Holy  Spirit  is  contingent  upon  our  obedience  and  our  ability  to   love  Him.  What  He  is  saying  is  that  love  ought  to  be  the  motivation  behind  our  obedience.  We  must   always  keep  in  mind  that  it’s  not  that  we  loved  God,  and  then  He  responded  with  a  reward  of  our   salvation  or  the  outpouring  of  His  Spirit,  but  that  He  first  loved  us  (1  John  4:10).         *Why  do  you  think  loving  God  is  one  important  “prerequisite”  for  receiving  the  Holy  Spirit?     4

Sermon-Based Small Group Leader’s Discussion Guide

Jesus  is  not  suggesting  that  obedience  and  loving  God  are  the  “price”  for  receiving  the  Spirit.  This   would  be  inconsistent  with  other  passages,  which  say  we  receive  the  Holy  Spirit  as  a  gift  by  faith  (Gal.   3:2).  Rather,  Jesus  is  laying  out  the  context  of  relationship  with  God  for  the  giving  of  the  Spirit.  If  a   person  doesn’t  first  love  and  value  Christ,  how  can  they  love  and  value  His  Spirit?  

  4.        In  verse  16,  Jesus  told  the  disciples  He  would  send  them  “another  Counselor.”  The  Word  for  “Counselor”   in  the  Greek  is  paraclete  and  means  “someone  who  comes  along  side  to  help.”  The  word  another  implies   “another  of  the  same  kind.”  Explain  in  your  own  words  the  significance  of  this  title.          Jesus  wanted  the  disciples  to  understand  that  the  Spirit  is  not  someone  new  and  different.  They  have   had  one  counselor  already  (Jesus).  Now  they  will  have  another  (the  Spirit).  He  wanted  to  draw  a   connection  between  the  Spirit  and  Himself,  in  the  same  way  He  did  between  the  Father  and  Himself.   This  is  especially  significant  since  the  disciples  are  grieving  over  His  announced  departure.  God’s   presence,  however,  will  remain  with  them  in  the  person  of  the  Holy  Spirit.       5.        In  verse  16,  Jesus  informed  them  that  the  Holy  Spirit  would  “be  with  them  forever.”  This  is  quite  different   from  anyone’s  previous  experience  of  the  Holy  Spirit.  In  the  Old  Testament,  the  Spirit  would  “come  on”   someone  to  do  a  particular  task,  such  as  prophesying  or  performing  a  miracle  (1  Sam.  10:10;  11:6;  19:23;   2  Chron.  15:1).  But  the  Spirit  would  never  remain  permanently,  so  Jesus  is  saying  something  completely   new.  Why  is  this  significant  now?         Jesus  was  not  able  to  remain  with  them  forever,  which  caused  the  disciples  grief.  They  would  no  longer   enjoy  His  close,  intimate  fellowship.  But  Jesus  was  offering  them  comfort.  The  Holy  Spirit  would   replace  Jesus’  bodily  presence  with  them  and  would  never  leave  them.  In  this  sense  the  Spirit’s  coming   is  better  than  Jesus’  presence  since  He  was  limited  by  human  flesh  and  could  only  be  in  one  place  at   one  time.  The  Spirit,  on  the  other  hand,  will  be  able  to  be  with  all  believers  simultaneously.     *How  does  it  make  you  feel  knowing  the  Holy  Spirit  will  never  leave  you?       7.        What  did  Jesus  call  the  Holy  Spirit  in  verse  17?  What  do  you  think  this  means?                      (See  v.  26  for  ideas.)         Jesus  called  Him  “the  Spirit  of  Truth.”  Truth  is  associated  with  all  members  of  the  Trinity  in  the  Bible.   Jesus  had  just  referred  to  Himself  as  “the  Truth”  (v.  6).  He  had  said  to  the  Samaritan  woman  that  truth   is  required  when  worshipping  the  Father  (John  4:23  —24).  Soon,  Jesus  would  state  that  God’s  Word  is   “truth”  (John  17:17).  Now  the  Spirit  is  referred  to  as  “the  Spirit  of  Truth.”  In  contrast,  Satan,  God’s   enemy,  is  completely  devoid  of  truth.  Lying,  according  to  Jesus,  is  the  devil’s  “native  language”  (John   8:44).  The  Spirit’s  being  and  His  actions  are  characterized  by  truth.  He  will  lead  us  into  all  things  true— things  about  God,  salvation,  ourselves,  life,  etc.  (v.  26).     Occasionally,  people  claim  the  Holy  Spirit  has  told  them  something  that  may  not  seem  true  to   everyone  listening.  For  example,  a  person  might  share  an  insight  or  a  prophecy  in  a  small  group   meeting,  claiming  that  the  Holy  Spirit  has  revealed  this  to  him  or  her.  It  is  important  to  distinguish   5

Sermon-Based Small Group Leader’s Discussion Guide

between  what  the  Holy  Spirit  says  and  does  and  what  people  believe  the  Holy  Spirit  says  and  does.  This   calls  for  people  to  discern  truth  from  lies.  According  to  the  Bible,  people  are  not  entirely  dependable   (Jer.  17:9;  Rom.  3:4),  so  we  may  not  always  hear  or  perceive  the  Holy  Spirit’s  message  accurately.   Therefore,  we  use  the  objective  standard  of  God’s  written  Word  to  measure  and  evaluate  what  people   claim  is  the  Holy  Spirit’s  leading.  If  something  doesn’t  agree  with  Scripture,  we  ought  to  discard  it  as   not  being  from  the  Spirit  (1  Thess.  5:19—22).        

  *How  has  the  Holy  Spirit  brought  God’s  truth  into  your  life?         8.        Jesus  said  that  the  world  could  not  accept  the  Spirit  (v.  17).  Why  do  you  think  that  is?      The  world  cannot  receive  the  Spirit  because  it  does  not  even  perceive  Him  (“neither  sees  Him”).  The   world  is  completely  unaware  of  and  unfamiliar  with  God,  Jesus,  and  the  activity  of  the  Holy  Spirit   (“…nor  knows  Him”).  The  world  cannot  receive  Him  because  it  does  not  love  and  obey  Jesus—a   prerequisite  for  receiving  the  Spirit.  Finally,  the  world  is  under  the  influence  of  the  “prince  of  this   world”—the  devil,  who  blinds  people’s  minds  and  keeps  them  enslaved  to  him  (John  14:30;  Eph.  2:1— 3;  2  Cor.  4:4).     9.        If  the  disciples  had  never  met  the  Holy  Spirit,  how  could  Jesus  say  that  they  “know  Him,  for  He  lives   with…”  them  (v.  17)?          Unlike  the  world,  the  disciples  have  a  personal  relationship  with  Jesus  and  they  know  Him.  If  they  know   Him,  then  they  also  know  the  Spirit.             If  you  are  running  behind,  you  could  read  and  summarize  the  next  passage.           Then  move  on  to  the  Application  section  and  discuss  one  question  from  it.     10.    Let’s  read  one  other  passage  on  the  work  of  the  Holy  Spirit.  Would  someone  please  read  aloud  John   16:5—11  and  someone  else  verses  12—15?       As  the  disciples  were  trying  to  deal  with  their  grief  over  Jesus’  departure,  He  told            them  that  it  was  good   for  them  that  He  would  be  leaving  (vv.  5—7).  Why  would  He  say  that?     “Unless  I  go  away,  the  Counselor  will  not  come  to  you,  but  if  I  go,  I  will  send  Him  to  you.”  The  Greek   translation  literally  means,  “It  is  expedient  that  I  go  away.”  Jesus  was  saying  that  it  would  be  to  their   benefit.  But  to  the  disciples,  Jesus’  departure  seemed  disastrous.  How  could  it  possibly  be  to  their   advantage?  He  had  already  told  them  how:  He  would  prepare  a  place  for  them  (14:2);  they’d  be  able  to   do  greater  works  now  (14:12);  they’d  gain  more  knowledge  (14:20);  they’d  actually  be  drawn  closer  to   God  (14:28).  Also,  the  presence  of  God  [through  His  Spirit]  could  be  with  every  believer  at  all  times   unlike  Jesus  who  was  limited  by  His  flesh.  The  Spirit  would  not  be  limited  to  one  body,  and  He  would   never  leave.  Jesus’  “going  away”  also  alludes  to  His  death  on  the  cross;  His  resurrection  triumph  over   sin,  death,  and  Satan;  and  His  glorification  in  heaven.  All  that  He  accomplished  through  the  cross  made   6

Sermon-Based Small Group Leader’s Discussion Guide

the  coming  of  the  Spirit  possible.  So  if  Christ  had  never  left—if  He  never  goes  to  the  cross—the  Spirit   would  not  come.      

  11.    What  did  Jesus  say  the  Spirit  would  be  doing  once  He  came  into  the  world  (vv.  8—11)?  In  your  own  words,   explain  what  each  of  these  activities  means.     According  to  Jesus,  the  Spirit  will  do  the  unseen  work  of  bringing  conviction  to  a  guilty  world.  The   Greek  word  translated  “convict,”  elencho,  seems  to  mean  here  1)  to  prove  guilty  and  2)  to  awaken  a   consciousness  of  that  guilt.  According  to  Paul,  the  gospel  itself  proves  that  the  entire  world  is  guilty                             (Romans  1—3),  but  the  Holy  Spirit  makes  that  guilt  real  and  personal  (e.g.  Acts  2:37).  With  believers,   the  Spirit  is  like  a  defense  attorney  or  “advocate,”  but  with  the  world,  He  is  like  the  prosecutor!     There  are  three  things  the  Holy  Spirit  convicts  people  about:   •

“In  regard  to  sin,  because  men  [people]  do  not  believe  in  me.”  The  Holy  Spirit  could  convict   everyone,  believers  and  unbelievers  alike  of  sin,  because  all  are  sinners.  The  unique  sin  of  the   world,  however,  is  that  they  do  not  believe  in  Christ  but  reject  Him  (John  3:18;  15:22).  



“In  regard  to  righteousness,  because  I  am  going  to  the  Father.”  The  world  had  [and  still  has]  the   wrong  standards  for  righteousness.  Some  in  fact  believed  that  they  were  righteous  in  killing  Jesus   because  they  thought  that  He  was  a  sinner  who  deserved  to  die  (Is.  53:4;  Matt.  27:39—44).  By   going  to  the  Father  and  leaving  behind  an  empty  tomb,  Jesus  has  proven  His  own  righteousness   and  the  Father’s  approval.  Only  the  Spirit  can  convince  the  world—corporately  and  individually—of   this  truth.    



“In  regard  to  judgment,  because  the  prince  of  this  world  now  stands  condemned.”    The  cross   brought  about  Satan’s  defeat  (Col.  2:13—15),  which  was  a  form  of  judgment  against  him.  The   devil’s  final  demise  is  yet  to  come,  however,  and  he  is  still  at  work  in  those  who  do  not  believe     (Eph.  2:1—2).  As  certain  as  Satan’s  judgment  was  and  ultimately  will  be,  so  is  the  judgment  that   awaits  all  those  in  the  world  who  refuse  to  believe  in  Jesus.  The  Holy  Spirit  alone  is  able  to  convince   the  unbeliever  of  the  reality  and  certainty  of  this  future  judgment.  

  12.    According  to  Jesus,  where  does  the  Spirit  get  His  messages  (vv.  12—15)?  How  would  you  describe  His  role   in  the  Trinity—the  Father,  Son  and  Holy  Spirit?     In  John  14:16—17,  Jesus  said  that  He  would  “…ask  the  Father  and  He  [emphasis  added]  will  give  you   another  Counselor…the  Spirit  of  truth.”  In  John  14:26,  Jesus  said  that  “…the  Holy  Spirit,  whom  the   Father  will  send  in  my  name…”  would  teach  them.    But  in  John  15:26,  Jesus  stated,  “…I  [emphasis   added]  will  send  to  you  from  the  Father,  the  Spirit  of  truth  who  goes  out  from  the  Father….”  We  can   only  conclude  that  both  the  Father  and  the  Son  are  involved  in  sending  out  the  Holy  Spirit.2     Throughout  the  gospel  of  John,  Jesus  emphasized  that  He  did  and  said  only  what  the  Father  wanted   Him  to  (5:19;  7:16;  12:49).  Likewise,  the  Spirit  will  never  act  independently  of  the  Father  or  initiate  a   2

Leon Morris, “John,” The NIV Study Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985), p. 1626.

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Sermon-Based Small Group Leader’s Discussion Guide

message  or  ministry  of  His  own.  He,  like  Jesus,  will  submit  to  the  Father  in  word  and  deed.  The  Spirit   also  will  take  the  very  things  Jesus  did  and  said  while  on  earth  and  “make  them  known”  to  Jesus’   followers.  The  Spirit  enables  us  to  comprehend  truth  about  God  and  therefore  to  truly  know  God.      

    APPLICATION     *Share  one  thing  you  learned  about  the  Holy  Spirit  today.   *From  what  we  learned  today,  let’s  list  all  the  benefits  of  having  the  Holy  Spirit  live  in  and  with  us.   *What  have  we  learned  about  God  the  Father,  God  the  Son,  and  God  the  Holy  Spirit  from  these  passages?   How  can  this  help  deepen  our  relationship  with  God?      Once  the  Holy  Spirit  came,  the  true  nature  of  God  became  clearer  to  believers.  Jesus  was  the   incarnation  of  God—He  was  God  in  the  flesh.  Paul  wrote  that  Jesus  was  the  visible  “…image  of  the   invisible  God”  (Col.  1:15)—that  in  Him  “God  was  pleased  to  have  all  his  fullness  dwell”  (Col.  1:19).  The   teachings,  character,  and  works  of  God  that  Jesus  displayed  not  only  made  the  Father  more  evident  to   us,  but  also  introduced  God’s  Spirit  to  us.  The  Holy  Spirit  is  God  the  Spirit  (Rom.  8:9—11;  2  Cor.  3:17),   not  some  impersonal  power.  The  Holy  Spirit  made  the  true  nature  of  our  relationship  with  God  more   tangible.  God  actually  indwells  us,  corporately  and  individually,  by  His  Holy  Spirit  (1  Cor.  3:16—17;  1   Cor.  6:19).  All  believers  are  “in  Christ”  or  joined  to  Jesus  Christ  by  faith  in  His  death  and  resurrection  on   our  behalf  (Rom.  6:5;  Eph.  1:11—14;  Col.  2:6—7).  Because  He  lives  in  us  through  His  Spirit  (Rom.  8:9),   and  we  in  Him  (Col.  3:3),  we  enjoy  all  the  benefits  of  salvation:  forgiveness,  justification,  cleansing,   regeneration,  freedom  from  the  power  of  sin,  adoption,  access  to  God,  His  promises  and  power,  etc.   (Rom.  5:1—11;  Eph.  1:3—8;  2  Pet.  1:3—4).  The  Spirit  will  bring  all  these  truths  about  God  to  light  for  us   and  enable  us  to  understand  them.       As  we  connect  our  understanding  of  Jesus  with  the  Father  and  the  Holy  Spirit,  and  grasp  more  fully  all   we  have  received  through  our  relationship  with  Him,  we  may  learn  to  trust  God  more  completely,   believe  obeying  Him  will  be  to  our  advantage  [rather  than  disadvantage],  and  feel  more  “at  home”   with  each  Person  of  the  Trinity.  Thus  we  may  grow  in  our  ability  to  believe,  obey,  and  fellowship  with   God  to  His  delight  and  our  benefit.         WRAPPING  IT  UP     In  these  passages,  we  saw  Jesus  preparing  His  disciples  for  His  imminent  departure.    There  were  some  rough   times  ahead  for  them,  but  they  had  a  lot  to  be  encouraged  about  from  what  He  had  told  them.    They  could   expect  to  receive  “another  Counselor”,  someone  who  was  just  like  Jesus.    He  would  come  along  side  each  of   them  to  help  them,  and  He  would  never  leave.    This  other  Counselor  would  actually  be  their  link  with  Jesus   and  the  Father.    This  other  Counselor  knew  all  about  the  things  Jesus  had  taught  and  done  with  them  the  past   three  years.    And  He  would  remind  them  of  anything  they  may  have  forgotten.         8

Sermon-Based Small Group Leader’s Discussion Guide

As  Christians,  each  of  us  was  given  the  Holy  Spirit  when  we  were  born  again.    He  is  our  link  with  Jesus  and  the   Father.    He  will  be  with  us  always—in  every  situation  we  find  ourselves  in.    And  He  does  not  have  to  remain  a   mystery  to  us.      We  know  that  as  we  read  the  New  Testament  and  learn  about  Jesus,  we  are  also  getting  to   know  the  Holy  Spirit,  because  He  is  “another  Counselor,”  one  just  like  Jesus.        

  MINISTRY  APPLICATION  

Below  you’ll  see  some  options  for  ministry  time  with  your  group.  We  always  encourage  you  to  reserve   time  in  your  group  to  pray  for  one  another  and  wait  on  the  Holy  Spirit.       • Leave  some  space  to  at  the  end  to  wait  on  God.  Invite  His  presence  and  ask  God  to  begin  touching   people  in  your  group.  Wait  a  bit,  and  keep  your  eyes  open.  See  you  if  you  notice  the  Spirit  falling  on   anyone  and  continue  praying  and  ministering  for  those  individuals.   • If  someone  has  never  experienced  the  Spirit,  have  some  folks  who  have  experienced  the  HS  and  are   comfortable  praying  out  pray  for  that  individual.        

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