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Bible Study Notes 7/2/2024

Word Alive! Bible Study ©2024

Summer Series: Experiencing The Holy Spirit In & With Us © 2024

Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton

Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor

Tues., 25 June & 2 July 2024 Lesson 4, Parts 1 & 2. pp. 56-68

Quiet Time: H&M Blackaby, Experiencing the Holy Spirit


A Gift That Is Only Given – The Holy Spirit’s presence in a person’s life does not come as a result of favor; bargaining; or through any human agency. The Holy Spirit’s presence is a “gift” given to us through Christ. Jesus, who along with the Heavenly Father, shares in unity with the Holy Spirit; fulfilled the promise made by the Father, that the Spirt would be given to believers.  Jesus said, “I will send the Holy Spirit…” (Read, Luke 24:49, NLT).  Jesus assured His disciples and followers, that the Holy Spirit was the gift they would receive, to empower them for ministry and witness of the faith. To be effective followers of Jesus Christ, we need the Holy Spirit. The impartation and understanding of the knowledge of our faith in Jesus Christ, can only be discerned through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is teacher; interpreter; and translator, for the voice of God. Otherwise, we would not be capable of grasping a true understanding of the Word and the Gospel message on our own.  This is why the Holy Spirit came after the Resurrection and ascension of Christ; to gift believers with the awesome and reverent responsibility, to diligently communicate God’s plan for all. (Read, Ephesians 4:7-8; 11-13, NLT). The of Spirit was given to mature all believers; and to lead the Church to permanent unity.  All that God has for His people; which has enduring and eternal value, cannot be attained through human effort. The tangible things we have accumulated through human effort (money, wealth, positions, etc.) could never sway nor influence God in our favor. The gifts of God carry no price tag. (Read, Acts 8:18-23, NLT). In their book, Experiencing the Holy Spirit, Henry and Melvin Blackaby emphasizes the fact that God calls all believers to join Him in Kingdom work here on earth. It isn’t that God can’t do this work alone; but He desires to have us work with Him, so He can work though us. We, as believers, must be committed to working with God. The Blackaby’s say: “When it comes to serving God, total dependence is better than talent and determination. Our best efforts will always come short of what God could do through our lives if only we would learn to trust Him.”  This partnership God desires with us, is where the Holy Spirit becomes revealed in our lives. The Blackaby’s further states: “When we talk about God’s work in His people, we’re talking about the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, the critically necessary element is our relationship to Jesus Christ – because Christ is the one who sends the gift of the Holy Spirit to shape and mold us into His image.” The work of the Holy Spirit in us, is inseparable from our relationship with Jesus Christ. It is Christ who preceded the Spirit – and who sent the Holy Spirit to indwell in the hearts and lives of believers. If our fellowship with Christ is negligent or compromised, this will reflect our relationship with the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit alone, who imparts gifts to us.  The gifts are purposeful, in that they are to build up each other. It is the Spirit’s wisdom, that determines which gift is appropriate for each recipient. Our spiritual gifts are never incompatible with the need for which they are given. (Read, 1 Corinthians 12:7a;11, NLT). As we remain in fellowship with Christ, so will we remain in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit always renews us, and will continuously transform our characters to be more like Jesus Christ!


A Gift That Is Only Given, Part 2 – The gift of the Holy Spirit to believers is both immediate and continuous. We receive the Spirit of God upon our spiritual birth; and we continue to gain more knowledge of His presence, as we grow in our relationship with Christ.  The Apostle Paul used the human growth cycle as a metaphor for spiritual growth in his great Love Hymn, recorded in I Corinthians 13. There, Paul speaks of growth as an infant; childhood/adolescence; and adulthood. Paul said, in infancy he grasped the world through sensory learning and parental engagement. In childhood and adolescence, knowledge came through directed learning; and understanding of his environment expanded rapidly. Then, as he went into adulthood, Paul gained increasing knowledge and maturity. (See 1 Corinthians 13:11, NLT). Paul used the realities of human development, to explain how we grow spiritually. The emphasis is how the gift of the Holy Spirit continues with us throughout our spiritual lives.  The Scriptures remind us, the spiritual life only can be attained through the work and presence of the Holy Spirit. Relatedly, Christians can only come to understand the wisdom of God through the Holy Spirit. Our mature knowledge of Christ and understanding of God’s plan for us, is dependent on the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the Word and in prayer.  (Read, 1 Corinthians 2:6-11, NIV). This was the lesson Jesus gave Nicodemus. the distinguish Jerusalem citizen, and great member of the highest court for the Jewish community. Nicodemus could not conceive of another life that required birth again. Jesus told Nicodemus the life he desired in the Kingdom of God, only could be obtained through a spiritual birth. Nicodemus would not experience a birth, as was his human birth – but he would experience a new birth. (Read, John 3:3-7, NLT). Peter, in encouraging early Christians, said: “For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal living word of God.” (See, 1 Peter 1:23, NLT). Our life in Christ is not without some trials; however, it is the holy Spirit who guides us through our challenges. The Scriptures are filled with instances where God leads His people through every iteration of space and time. God is with us in places; He guides us through difficult and foreboding places; we are “never far from” for the Lord is in fiery furnaces, and when we face ferocious lions. His presence. The early Christians faced much persecution. We read in Peter’s letters to the believers, encouragement to persevere regardless of the circumstances. A Christian is encouraged to be prepared always, to defend their faith in Christ -even in times of peril. (Read, 1 Peter 3:14-14, NIV). It is in difficult, and all, times, the Spirit rests on us. The Spirit who birthed us into life-anew continues with us. However, we must ever seek to be and remain fellowship with the Spirit. Failure to abide by the teachings of Christ and the Word, will compromise our relationship with the Spirit.  Seek daily, His wisdom!


Key Idea:

What We Believe!

  1. “The Holy Spirit is in you and accompanies you!


Key Verses:

Luke 24:49, NLT

“And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”

 

Ephesians 4:7-8; 11-13, NLT

“However, He has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures’ say, “Whenever He ascended to the heights, He led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to His people… Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.”

 

Acts 8:18-23, NLT

“When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power. “Let me have this power, too,” he exclaimed, “so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought. You can have no part in this for your heart is not right with God. Repent of your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps He will forgive your evil thoughts, for I can see that you are full of bitter jealousy and are held captive by sin.”

 

1 Corinthians 12:7a; 11, NLT

“A special gift is given to each of us so we can help each other…It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.”


I Corinthians 2:6-11, NIV

“Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world who are soon forgotten. The wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God – His plan that was previously hidden, even though He made it for our ultimate glory before the world began.  But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God imagined has prepared for those who love Him.” But it was to us that God revealed these things by His Spirit. For the Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know

 a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit.”

 

John 3:3-7, NLT

“Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus assured, “I assure you; no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.” So don’t be surprised when I say you must be born again.”

 

I Peter 3:14-15, NIV

“But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,”

 

I Peter 4:14, NIV)

“If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.”

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