What does it take to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Is there a point when a person is filled or baptized that is a sign they are a follower of Jesus Christ? These questions are ones that people in the church have had to work through over the past hundred years. It is important that we get past all the debating to what the Bible says about being filled with the Holy Spirit. This Small Group takes a look at how God fills us when we completely surrender to His will.
Do you tend to be more of a half glass full or half glass empty type of person? Why would you describe yourself that way?
1. What is the benefit of living a life that is full versus a life that is empty?
2. In your own words, what does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
3. Read Acts 2:1-12. How were the disciples filled with the Holy Spirit? What was the result of being filled?
On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.
They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!” They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other.
4. Why does Paul describe tongues as a spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:11)? What does this mean for us today?
1 Corinthians 12:11
It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
5. What is the difference between a life that allows the Holy Spirit to take over versus a life that keeps Him wrapped up or in a box?
6. What does it take to fully surrender your will to the leading of the Holy Spirit? (Romans 12:1-2, Mark 10:28, Luke 9:23, 1 John 2:6) What is at stake if the church is surrendering to the power of the Holy Spirit?
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Then Peter began to speak up. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said.
Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.
1 John 2:6
Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
7. What do you need to surrender in order to allow the Holy Spirit access to every area of your life?
As a group, have every member put together a snapshot of their daily schedule. After they have jotted down a quick overview, have them ask the following questions:
What would it look like if you took the Holy Spirit seriously and surrendered every moment to Him?
What things on your schedule would have to change?
What place does repentance have in your time alone with God?
How could you better involve Him in your day? (Don't forget the reminder to pray short prayers throughout the day to be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit)
Have your group members write in some ideas that would help them to be more open and available to the Holy Spirit. Share these ideas together and pray that God would give us a heart that is full of the Holy Spirit.
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And the believers were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.