Throughout our lives, we have all experienced the hurt of a friend leaving us. It could be that they moved away, transferred to a new school, or lost their fight with health complications. There is no doubt that this world can be a hard, cold, and lonely place. One of the best parts about being a follower of Jesus Christ is that we don't have to go through life alone. God has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us and to bring comfort through the high and low times. So often though many of us don't have a clear understanding of the Holy Spirit. For the next five weeks, we are going to take a more in-depth look at who the Holy Spirit is, what He does, and how He helps us.
Have you ever lost sleep because of a ghost story or scary movie? What was it and why was it so disturbing? Did you have the sense that you didn't want to be alone after seeing it?
1. Why are people often so confused about the Holy Spirit?
2. Read John 14:15-27. What does Jesus promise about the Holy Spirit in this passage?
“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name) said to him, “Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large?”
Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
3. How do we know that the Holy Spirit is God? (Genesis 1:1, Genesis 1:26, Mark 1:10, Matthew 28:19, 1 Corinthians 2:10)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”
As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove.
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:10
But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.
4. What makes the Holy Spirit unique as a distinct person within the Trinity? (Ephesians 4:30, Ephesians 1:13-14, John 16:7, 2 Corinthians 13:14)
And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.
But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.
2 Corinthians 13:14
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
5. How is the Holy Spirit active in the life of a follower of Christ? How have you seen Him be active in your own life?
6. What are some ways you have been relying on your own strength to overcome obstacles? How can you rely on the Holy Spirit's power in the future?
7. What is one huge take away or "aha" moment you have had about the Holy Spirit today in your Small Group? How can you use what you learned this coming week?
As you close your group, explain to them that over 900 years before Jesus walked the earth, King David got a taste of what life was like when filled by the Holy Spirit. Under the inspiration of the Spirit, he wrote Psalm 139. We would like to have all of our groups close their time by reading Psalm 139:1-12 together. As a group leader, have your whole group shut their eyes so they can think through these words. You are welcome to read it a second or third time if you need to. After you're done reading, take some time to pray together. Have your group members pray one sentence prayers thanking God for something that they heard in this passage of scripture. If they don't know what to say, a simple, "God, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit," is fine. When everyone has prayed, close your group in prayer.
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I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.