Discipleship Lesson 5: Holy Spirit
Who is the Holy Spirit? What is the role of the Holy Spirit? How important is the Holy Spirit in the life of the Believer? When do we receive the Holy Spirit? How can the Holy Spirit help us in our everyday life? What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? These and other questions will be answered in this lesson.
1. Who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the 3rd member of the Holy Trinity; equal in deity but unique in ministry.
The Holy Spirit is the 3rd member of the Holy Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are each equal in deity, yet distinct in function. God the Father sent the Son. God the Son died for our sins. And God the Holy Spirit empowers us to live the Christian life.
“Baptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Mathew 28:19
2. What is the role of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit empowers us to live a God-glorifying life.
The Holy Spirit is the invisible presence and power of God. He convicts people of sin in order to show them their need for Christ as Savior. He empowers the Christian to live for Jesus. He motives us to obey God. He works in our heart to change us from the inside out!
“But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” John 16:7-11
“And you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Acts 1:8
3. How important is the Holy Spirit? It is impossible to live for Jesus without the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is essential for our lives. It is impossible to live a victorious and fruitful Christian life without the power of the Holy Spirit. The Christian life is impossible to live in our own strength. We can rejoice that God has given us His Holy Spirit.
“On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit … But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’” Acts 1:4-5,8
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
4. When do we receive the Holy Spirit? We receive the Holy Spirit the moment we place our faith in Christ for salvation.
The minute we repent of our sins and place our faith in Jesus, we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit. In other words, when we receive Christ into our lives, we receive the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in the heart of all Christ-followers. He will never leave us. When we sin, the Holy Spirit is grieved, but He does not leave us. Instead, He convicts us in order to draw us to repentance and obedience.
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession — to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14
“You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” Romans 8:9-11
5. How can the Holy Spirit help us? The Holy Spirit gives us everything we need to follow Jesus and glorify God.
The Holy Spirit helps us in many ways. He enables us to live for Christ by empowering our lives. He shows us when we sin. He speaks to us in a gentle voice in our mind. He guides and directs our life. He transforms us into the image of Jesus. He gives us gifts to serve the Lord and His church.
“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you (i.e. through His Holy Spirit), both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:112-13
“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” Romans 12:4-6
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.” 2 Peter 1:3
6. What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Being filled with the Holy Spirit is to be controlled and empowered by God.
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery, but instead be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18
Why the contrast with being drunk and filled with the Holy Spirit? Because when one is drunk, he/she is controlled and empowered by the alcohol. In a similar way, God wants us to be controlled and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is to be controlled and empowered by God’s Spirit, each and every day!
7. How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit? We are filled by yielding our lives to God and asking Him to empower us.
In order to be filled with the Holy Spirit, we must surrender control of our lives to Jesus and ask Him to fill us with His Holy Spirit. Based on Ephesians 5:18, we must desire for God to control and empower our life. If we yield to Him and ask to be filled with the Spirit, we can be confident He will fill us because He wants us to be filled with His Spirit. Yield and ask! Do this every day. Do this every time you are in a situation where you feel the need for His direction and power. The filling of the Holy Spirit is to be an ongoing, daily, moment-by-moment experience.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:1-4
8. How do I stay filled with the Holy Spirit? We are continually filled with the Spirit as we abide in Christ, obey God, and allow our trials and difficulties to keep us dependent on Him.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is designed to be a continual, moment-by-moment experience. We need God’s Spirit each and every day. As we abide in Christ (John 15) we will experience the Spirit more and more. Obedience also helps to keep us filled with the Spirit, because when we sin, we quench the Spirit in our lives. The Spirit will never leave us, but He is grieved when we sin. In addition, trials, tribulations, and difficulties are designed to make us more dependent on the Spirit’s power. God doesn’t want us to “try hard” to be a Christian, but rather allow the life of Christ and the power of the Spirit to change us from the inside out!
Peter was among the 120 who were filled with the Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and yet we see him filled again in Acts 4:8
“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them ….” Acts 4:8
He is filled again in Acts 4:31
“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. “ Acts 4:31
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30 Take careful notice here that even when we grieve the Spirit we can still be assured we are sealed until the day of redemption.
“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
9. What about the gifts of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit gives us gifts so that we might effectively serve God.
The Holy Spirit manifests God’s power in numerous ways in our lives. One way He manifests His presence is by giving us gifts to be used in serving God. No one has all the gifts and no gift is for everyone. And let us never forget that the fruit of the Spirit (i.e., love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control) is just as important as the gifts of the Spirit.
“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.” 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10