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1  The Spirit and the Word—December 31–January 6 5

2  The Holy Spirit: Working Behind the Scenes—January 7–13 18
3  The Divinity of the Holy Spirit—January 14–20 31

4  The Personality of the Holy Spirit—January 21–27 44

5  The Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit—January 28–February 3 57

6  The Holy Spirit and Living a Holy Life—February 4–10 72

7  The Holy Spirit and the Fruit of the Spirit—February 11–17 85

8  The Holy Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit—February 18–24 98

9  The Holy Spirit and the Church—February 25–March 3 111

10  The Holy Spirit, the Word, and Prayer—March 4–10 124

11  Grieving and Resisting the Spirit—March 11–17 137

12  The Work of the Holy Spirit—March 18–24 150

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The teachers edition components were written by the following:
The Lesson in Brief, Lessons 1–12, and The Learning Cycles, 1–12: Mark Finley, assistant to
the president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, Md., U.S.A.

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The Holy Spirit and Spirituality
M any of us have heard the words: “And I baptize you in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
And, if baptized, we surely heard them just before a minister
immersed us in the water (see Matt. 28:19).
Baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Spirit is
mentioned right there with the Father and the Son.
And no wonder. The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Fundamental Belief no. 5,
“God the Holy Spirit,” reads, “God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and
the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption. He is as much a person as are the
Father and the Son. He inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ’s life with
power. He draws and convicts human beings; and those who respond He renews and
transforms into the image of God. Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with
His children, He extends spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to
Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads it into all truth.”
Nevertheless, as we read the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, we see the direct
activity and work of God the Father. His actions are everywhere. In the New Testament,
especially the Gospels, we read again and again about the work and activity of Jesus, the
Son. Jesus—His life, death, and ministry in heaven—dominates the New Testament.
In contrast to the activity of both the Father and the Son, the work of the Holy
Spirit is not as openly depicted in either Testament.


Because of His crucial role in the lives of believers. Himself. God Himself. The Father and the Son are more directly revealed in the Word. and He gives evidence of God’s work in no person can. communicate. But there is a reason for this contrast: the Holy Spirit does not seek to be the cen- ter of attention. White. was dean of the Department of Theology at Bogenhofen Semi- nary in Austria. this quarter’s study will help us better understand the great gift we have in the Holy Spirit. kindness. Europe. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead. we will manner. The Holy Spirit also cleanses us from sin and sanctifies us. bringing forth the fruit of the Spirit within us—“love. of our God” (1  Cor. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. He As we study the work of reveals God to us in a trustworthy and reliable the Holy Spirit. reveals God to us in a you were sanctified. but in the fullness of divine power. we will see how central He is to our Christian experience. you were justified in the trustworthy and reliable name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit manner. peace. his wife died of cancer. self-control” (Gal. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries. peace. goodness. and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. italics supplied. And that’s because the Holy Spirit is there to point us not to Himself but to Jesus and what Jesus has done for us. God of our salvation through Jesus Christ (Rom. White Study Center when he wrote this Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide. The Spirit produces in us lifelong growth in holiness. 6:11. faithfulness. NASB).”—Ellen G. who would come with no modified energy. In 2009. PhD. patience. 671. thus. RSV). Frank M. gentleness. Since then he learns to trust God’s goodness in new ways every day and experiences the comfort. “You were washed. and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The Desire of Ages. “The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent. He us (1 John 3:24). As we study the work of the Holy Spirit. p. 5:22. and also the director of the Ellen G. knows God as no person can. and the Holy Spirit today guides us in see how central He is to our study of what He inspired these writers to our Christian experience. Hasel. thus. He plays more of a behind-the-scenes role. 3 . and transforming power of the Holy Spirit in his life. knows God as 8:16). The Holy Spirit first inspired the Bible writers. The Holy Spirit gives assurance The Holy Spirit. 23. The Holy Spirit. joy.

What do I need to know from God’s Word? Step 3—Apply: Provide learners with opportunities to practice the information given in Step 2. 2.) Help learn- ers answer the question. and those who want to get out and apply what they’ve learned. 3. 4 . Assist the learners in answering the question. This is a crucial step. And for teachers who haven’t had time to prepare during the week for class. Help them answer the question. Invite them to make a life response to the lesson. cultural. encourage learners to be “doers of the word. How can I apply to my life what I’ve learned? Step 4—Create: Finally. How can I practice what I’ve learned from God’s Word? (Apply). This step provides individuals and groups with opportunities for creative self-expression and exploration. the teacher. What do I need to know from God’s Word? (Explore). the plot or what’s happening. they will appeal to most every student in their class: those who enjoy talking about what’s happening in their lives. historical. information alone is not enough to help a person grow in Christ. Apply. and 4. based on the Natural Learning Cycle: 1. What can I do with what I’ve learned from God’s Word? (Create). apply. and not hearers only” (James 1:22). (Such information could include facts about the people. and/or geographical details. those who want to know how it all fits in with real life. All such activities should help learners answer the question.How to Use This Teachers Edition Get Motivated to Explore. those who want more information about the texts being studied. the setting. and create. Each weekly teachers lesson takes your class through the following learning process. Why is this week’s lesson important to me? Step 2—Explore: Present learners with the biblical information they need to understand the central concept of the lesson. and Create We hope that this format of the teachers edition will encourage adult Sabbath School class members to do just that—explore. and conflicts or tension of the texts you are studying. there is a one-page outline of easy-to-digest material in “The Lesson in Brief ” section. can approach each one: Step 1—Motivate: Link the learners’ experiences to the central concept of the lesson to show why the lesson is relevant to their lives. With God’s help. Here’s a closer look at the four steps of the Natural Learning Cycle and suggestions for how you. Why is this lesson important to me? (Motivate). what can I do with what I’ve learned from this week’s lesson? When teachers use material from each of these four steps.

NKJV). for instruction in righteousness. Thus. L esson 1 *December 31–January 6 (page 6 of Standard Edition) The Spirit and the Word Sabbath Afternoon Read for This Week’s Study: 2 Pet. 119:160. NKJV). He is involved with the Word of God in many other important ways even today. This is when we need the Holy Spirit. * Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath. Memory Text: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. 1 Cor. for correction. Scripture fulfills this role because it is the Word of God. 2:9–13. And perhaps the most impor- tant is our reading the Word and desiring to understand it properly. thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16. and is profitable for doctrine. the Spirit works with and through the Written Word to transform us into new creatures in Christ. that the man of God may be complete. that the man of God may be complete. for reproof. and is profitable for doctrine. for reproof. thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. This week we will trace the work of the Holy Spirit as it relates to the Scriptures. In the Bible. 17. 1:19–21. 5 . revealed to humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit was operational not only in the distant past but also in the origin of the Bible. for instruction in righteousness. 3:16. Ps. 17. for correction. January 7. the Holy Spirit reveals God’s will to us. This same divine Spirit awakens in us the desire to embrace the Word of God and to apply its teaching to our lives. John 17:17. T he Bible says the following about itself: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. showing us how to live a life that is pleasing to Him.

of something that otherwise is hidden. the Holy Spirit teaches us truths that have to be told to us (see. we are greatly limited in what we can learn on our own. We are dependent upon God to know His will. Hence. NKJV). Peter was very intentional in stressing the Spirit-inspired source of the prophecies: though written by men. They were merely the vessels of the message. What does this say about the origin of the bibli- cal prophetic message? What does the divine origin of the biblical message tell us about the authority of the Bible? According to the apostle Peter. 1:21. In the process of revelation. And it is this divine origin that gives the Bible its ultimate authority over our lives. as created (and fallen) beings. The prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit in such a way that the content of their message came from God. How can we be used by the Holy Spirit to do something similar today—not in writing Scripture but in proclaiming what has already been written? 6 . as finite and fallen beings separated from God because of sin. “prophecy never came by the will of man” (2 Pet. we are dependent on God’s revelation because we are not God and have only a very limited natural knowledge of Him. for example. God used human beings to proclaim His Word to the world. 2:19–23). That is. We need such a revelation because. or uncovering. human beings are dependent upon the help of Someone outside of ourselves to reveal things to us that we. not the originators. Revelation is a process in which God makes Himself and His divine will known to humans. These men did not create the message themselves. Read 2 Peter 1:19–21. otherwise. Dan. S unday January 1 (page 7 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit and Revelation How does God ensure that His will is faithfully transmitted to fallen human beings? He does this in two major related activities of the Holy Spirit: revelation and inspiration. the prophetic message of the Old Testament was not of human origin. The basic idea associated with the word reve­ lation is an unveiling. cannot know of ourselves. we could never know them through natural means.

In 1  Corinthians 2:9–13. To us. 15:26. not everything in the Bible was revealed in that manner. White. all parts of the Bible are revealed and inspired (2 Tim. 7 . As the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17. Thus. qualified men and enabled them to do His work. Read 2 Peter 1:21. 2:12.”—Ellen G. nonetheless. 3:16). but in those taught by the Spirit. was written for our instruction. While many parts of the Bible are a result of God’s direct supernatu- ral revelation. yet it is. What do these texts tell us about the biblical writers and about God’s involvement in the origin of the Bible? Being “carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2  Pet. he says. where he speaks of things “not in words taught by human wisdom. so that through “the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Rom. 15:4. by His Holy Spirit. 1:21. He guided the mind in the selec- tion of what to speak and what to write. 26. the apostle Paul credits revelation and inspira- tion to the Holy Spirit. p. from Heaven. The apostles have received this “Spirit who is from God. Luke 1:1–3) to reveal and communicate His message. The treasure was entrusted to earthen vessels. book 1. the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth. Selected Messages. The work of the Holy Spirit in the process of inspiration is the reason we find a fundamental unity in all of Scripture in regard to truth. 10:13. Paul had no doubt about the source and the authority of what he was proclaiming. and He Himself. NASB). 2:10). This is the reason Paul states that “whatever” was written. The God who speaks and who created human language enables chosen people to communicate in human words the inspired thoughts in a trustworthy and reliable manner. Sometimes God used biblical writers in their careful personal investiga- tion of things or in their use of other existing documents (Josh. M onday January 2 (page 8 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit and Inspiration Inspiration is the term used to describe God’s influence through the work of the Holy Spirit in transmitting His message through human instruments. which he mentions in verse 9. and 1 Corinthians 2:9–13. 16:13). combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words” (NASB). God revealed the hidden things that no eye has seen. Micah 3:8. Then in verse 13 he moves to the work of inspiration. so that we may know the things freely given to us by God” (1 Cor. NASB). NIV) is a strong affirmation of the work of the Holy Spirit in inspiration. “God has been pleased to communicate His truth to the world by human agencies. God revealed them through the Spirit (1 Cor. Deuteronomy 18:18.

so that their words have the full approval of God. God hates false witness (Exod. Why is it so crucial to submit our own judgment to the Word of God rather than vice versa? 8 . of course. have thrown out. In a similar manner. Sharper than any double-edged sword. sitting in judgment on the Scriptures. while claiming to believe the Bible. the Holy Spirit is called “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:17). joints and marrow. Though. 31:5. the Bible was written by those living in specific times and places and cultures (how could it have been otherwise?). it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit. 4:12. “For the word of God is alive and active. Read Psalm 119:160. inspiration is the activity of the Holy Spirit that safeguards the truthfulness of what the human authors wrote. the bodily resur- rection of Jesus. That’s not a path any of us should ever take. NIV). The result is that many people. 6:18). It is not our task to sit in judgment over Scripture. Once that door is opened. What does Jesus say to us here about God’s Word? The Word of God is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. T uesday January 3 (page 9 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit and the Truthfulness of Scripture While revelation is the supernatural act by which God reveals truth to chosen human beings. has the right and the authority to judge us. 65:16). we should not use that fact to water down or dismiss the message of the Bible to us. These are just a few of many biblical truths that fallible people. What does this teach about anything God reveals to us? Read John 17:17. Isa. 20:16) and cannot lie (Heb. Scripture. rather. and the literal Second Coming. a worldwide flood. He is called a God of truth (Ps. reject such things as a six-day creation. the virgin birth. it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb. the Bible becomes subject to humans and to their determination of what is truth.

This can happen. not only in giving us the Written Word of God but also in helping us understand it properly. “Many contradictory opinions in regard to what the Bible teaches do not arise from any obscurity in the book itself. There is no hope. How has your pride been a stumbling stone that has hindered you from implementing the truth of Scripture in your life? In what areas do your own desires keep you from accepting God’s truth in your life? How can you learn to surrender everything to God? 9 . Without the Holy Spirit there is no affection for God’s message. White. the spiritual significance of the biblical words is not discerned. Furthermore. alienated from God (Eph. not because we do not understand it but because we would prefer not to follow it. as sinful human beings we often are opposed to God’s truth. no trust. What the Spirit brings to life is in harmony with the truth already proclaimed in the Bible. January 27. W ednesday January 4 (page 10 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit as Teacher The Holy Spirit is instrumental. only its linguistic meaning. 1885. they are. we are dependent upon the Holy Spirit. That’s why the same Spirit who revealed and inspired the Word of God is the One who enables us to understand it. only if we approach the Bible with a humble and teachable heart. 4:18). who reveals Himself in the Bible. 14. but from blind- ness and prejudice on the part of interpreters. He brings the truth of God’s Word to our attention and gives us fresh insights into those truths so that our lives can be characterized by faith- fulness and a loving obedience to God’s will. Human beings are darkened in their understanding of truth. Men ignore the plain statements of the Bible to follow their own perverted reason. and no love in response. Without the Holy Spirit. though. The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald.” —Ellen G. Read 1 Corinthians 2:13. The problem is not that the Bible is an obscure book. by nature. The problem is our sin- tainted attitude toward God. What does the apostle Paul write about our need to interpret spiritual things spiritually? In our understanding of the Bible. The Holy Spirit is a Teacher who desires to lead us into a deeper understanding of Scripture and to a joyful appreciation of the Bible.

and the only standard we have to judge it with is the Word of God. It alone is a reliable norm for all matters of faith and practice. Whenever the inspired and Written Word of God is nullified and its clear message is evaded.”—Ellen G.”—Ellen G. 47 and John 7:38. Thus He exposes error. Read John 5:39. who has revealed and inspired the content of the Bible to human beings. p. He. “Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind. White. Ellen G. We can. We can be sure that when someone comes making claims that are in con- tradiction to the Word of God. What are some of the teachings that people are trying to promote in the church that are clearly contrary to the Word of God? What should our response be to (1) the people promoting these errors. and expels it from the soul. (2) the errors themselves? 10 . The Holy Spirit is never given to replace the Word of God. T hursday January 5 (page 11 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit and the Word The Holy Spirit. works in harmony with and through the Bible to draw us to Christ. We can’t judge hearts or motives. The Great Controversy. The Bible is our only spiritual safeguard. rather. The Desire of Ages. and impresses truth upon the heart. for the Scriptures explicitly state that the word of God is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. though. 671. What authority does Jesus refer to in these texts? How does the Bible confirm that Jesus is the Messiah? Some people claim to have received special “revelations” and instruc- tions from the Holy Spirit that go against the clear message of the Bible. 9. will never lead us contrary to God’s Word in any way. judge theology. that person is not speaking the truth. we walk on dangerous ground and do not follow the leading of God’s Spirit. For them the Holy Spirit has attained a higher authority than God’s Word. working through the word of God. that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself. p. 46. thus making the Bible the only norm for authentic biblical spirituality. White. It is by the Spirit of truth. White has made it abundantly clear that “the Spirit was not given—nor can it ever be bestowed—to supersede the Bible.

about Creation. 662–680. F riday January 6 (page 12 of Standard Edition) Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White. which was inspired by the Holy Spirit. What a contrast between what the Word of God teaches about how we were created and how humanity teaches we were created—that is. too. In class. about the second coming of Jesus and the resurrection of the dead at the end of the age. Think about all the truth that we know only because it has been revealed to us in the Bible. is a truth that we never could have figured out on our own. the most important truth of all. They have to be revealed to us.” pp. Think. through the process of what is now called “the neo-Darwinian synthesis. We know it only because it has been revealed to us. and they are. Such crucial truths are found only in the Bible. What should that tell us about why we must trust the Bible above everything else? 11 . for instance. In fact. White. in the Word of God. 593–602. that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that we are saved through faith in Him and His works for us. is completely contrary to the Bible message. in The Desire of Ages. not just what is true or what is not true but about what it means when we say that something is “true. Read also Ellen G. in The Great Controversy. These are truths that we could never learn on our own. that is. what should that fact tell us about how central the Word of God needs to be in our lives? Discussion Questions:  Why is the Bible a safer guide in spiritual questions than are subjective impressions? What are the consequences when we do not accept the Bible as the standard by which we test all teachings and even our spiritual experiences?  We often hear the word truth used in a variety of contexts. the latest understanding of evolutionary theory. Think about other truths that we know only because they have been told to us through the Word of God.” pp. “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled.” What does it mean for something to be “true”?  How should your church react if someone claims to have “new light”?  Flesh out the radical difference between how the Bible teaches we were created and what human wisdom teaches. talk about the concept of truth. What human wisdom teaches. “The Scriptures a Safeguard.” Look at how wrong humans have it! Think.

In 1795. so he began searching. the Adventist Church was reestablished and started to grow again. Poland emerged as a nation in the tenth century a.000. All church properties were taken away. “I believed that God wanted us to have Zatonie. two of Poland’s neighbors. During World War II. and have some basic buildings. In 1990. More than half of Poland is agricultural or woodlands. After the war. brown bear. became power- ful. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union both invaded Poland during World War II. Some 25 percent of European migratory birds breed each summer in Poland’s wetlands. including the wisent (European bison). gray wolf. free elections ushered in a new government. Some six million Poles—half of whom were Jewish—died during the war. the buildings. and some members were sent to Siberia. One day Ryszard found a place called Zatonie [zah-TOH-nee]. But Ryszard sensed that God was in the dream. To be continued in next week’s Inside Story. Poland regained its independence. At the close of the war. which began the fall of Communism in Europe. Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. In 1989. 12 Web site: www. “But as our committee discussed the possibilities. became a Christian in a. They wanted the camp to have electricity and water. or furniture. be on a . had a dream. the kingdom of Prussia (modern-day Germany) and the Russian Empire. these two countries divided Poland between themselves and removed it from the world map. The church had no land. Following World War I. It’s a haven for many animals. a government-owned camp on a lake in western Poland. and no idea where they would get either. but the union didn’t have money to buy the land. The Roman Catholic Church is still a powerful force in Poland.d. The campsite was worth $200. but they could be made useful. no money. The first king of Poland. During the next millennium. Germany and the Soviet Union outlawed the Seventh-day Adventist Church. the telephone rang. a place where they could see the Creator and learn to love Him.” Ryszard said. a Communist government was installed in Poland behind the Soviet iron curtain.” Ryszard said. and moose. the Polish Union youth leader at the time. Someone in Denmark was offering us free furniture—they would even deliver it!” Ryszard knew that God would provide the rest if this was His will.AdventistMission. He wanted a youth camp where young people could be trained for service. “We wanted a place where children and youth could spend time in nature and learn about God. Mieszko I.d. Ryszard Jankowski [ree-SHARD Yahn-kow-skee]. The buildings on the campground were in poor condition. 966 and formed Poland as a sovereign Christian state.i n s i d e Story A Gift in the Forest: Part 1 Situated in Europe.

Learning Outline: I. inspired by the Holy Spirit. and our minds are protected against the deceptions of the devil. Do: Experiencing the Power of the Word A Why is it so important to allow the Holy Spirit to shape our under- standing of the Word of God? B What are the steps God is leading you to take in your own spiritual life so that you may appreciate the Bible more and experience its life-changing power in a fuller way? Summary: When we decide to respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit and humbly accept the divine instruction in the Bible. Do: Choose to allow the Holy Spirit to shape his or her thinking through the Word of God and through the Spirit’s prompting and power. Feel: Approaching the Bible With an Attitude of Humility A How does the attitude with which we approach the Bible determine the Holy Spirit’s ability to change us through the texts of Scripture? B Why is it so easy to substitute human opinions about the Bible for what the Bible actually says? III. It is a safeguard to his or her faith and a standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. our lives are changed by God’s grace. how can we be certain that the Bible is God’s reliable revelation to us? C How does inspiration shape what God reveals through the Bible writers? II. teachers comments The Lesson in Brief Key Text: 2 Peter 1:19–21 The Student Will: Know: Understand that the Bible is the revealed will of God. Know: Understanding the Holy Spirit’s Role in Revelation and Inspiration A What is the difference between the terms revelation and inspiration? B Because the Holy Spirit works through the human agents who wrote it. leading the student to surrender any attitudes and actions not in harmony with God’s Inspired Word. 13 . Feel: Experience an attitude of complete submission to the Holy Spirit’s guidance through the Word of God rather than one of independent judg- ment and human pride.

and that we should all move into the country to grow our own crops immediately.’ but let me tell you. teachable attitude under the influence of the Holy Spirit. 17 Key Concept for Spiritual Growth: The Bible is more than merely a collection of inspirational writings. life-changing Word of God. yes. “No. The Holy Spirit has spoken through the Word. she raises her hand and says. “The Holy Spirit has impressed me that we are living at the time of the end. I am not setting a date for the coming of Jesus. Emphasize the fact that without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Without the Spirit’s working through the Word. because I know Scripture says. The end may be within two or three years. “Why. that God’s people should not have any debt at all. it has been revealed to me that it is sooner than any one of us thinks. I mean we are really close. ‘No one knows the day or hour of His coming.” Questions for Discussion:  In light of today’s lesson.” She continues. Just for Teachers: This week’s lesson opens our quarter’s study on the ministry of the Holy Spirit. About halfway through the discussion. God has revealed Himself in Scripture. it transforms our lives. The truths of the Bible tell the story of who God is and how He works in human lives. we would be left to our own human. I have been impressed that the economy is about to crash. misguided understanding of truth. teachers comments Learning Cycle STEP 1—Motivate Spotlight on Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:16. God’s Word provides clarity and certainty regarding knowing and understanding His will. Opening Discussion: Let’s suppose that Sister Jones attends your Sabbath School class for the very first time. know- ing God’s will and understanding His truth would be a matter of guess- work that would leave us uncertain and confused.” You respond. When prayerfully read with a humble. sister. It is the authoritative. Now. we certainly believe that. how would you respond to Sister Jones? What insights might you share that would be helpful to her and to the class?  How does this week’s lesson give you guidance for your answer? What principles in the Word of God would be helpful to Sister Jones? 14 .

applies at all times and in all places. God’s truth is both eternal and univer- sal. As the Holy Spirit guides us. Revelation has to do with the unfolding or revealing of God’s unchangeable truth. is the best. God’s truth. The same God who revealed truth guided the writers of the Bible as they wrote it down. we discover that Jesus’ words “ ‘I have come that they may have life. Culture does not shape or alter truth. is God’s working by His Holy Spirit through human agents to communicate His truth. God did not dictate each word of the Bible to the biblical writers. inspired their minds. It is universal in the sense that it applies to all people in all cultures. Each doctrine of the Bible reveals something of the beauty of the truth about the God who loves us and longs for us to be saved in His kingdom. The Holy Spirit: The Teacher of All Truth (Review John 16:13 with the class. the purpose of the Inspired Word is to reveal the truth about God’s character of unselfish love in contrast to Satan’s character of self-centered pride. What is this truth that the Holy Spirit guides us into? It is the truth about God. They wrote in their own words with the vocabularies available to them under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to communicate the infallible Word of God.) One of the functions of the Holy Spirit is to guide us into truth. Truth shapes and alters culture. and guided their pens. like the law of gravity. He does not force truth upon us. whether human beings accept and believe it or not. He directed their thoughts. on the other hand. teachers comments  Why is the Word of God a safeguard against speculative ideas? STEP 2—Explore Just for Teachers: There is a difference between revelation and inspiration. God’s truth is not dependent on human thought or activity in any way. It is eternal in the sense that it applies to every generation at all times. revealed in His Word. Truth is truth. NKJV). He gently leads us to understand that God’s way. and that they may have it more abundantly’ ” are true in our own lives (John 10:10. In light of the great controversy between good and evil. He “  ‘guide[s]’  ” us into “  ‘all truth’ ” (NKJV). Bible Commentary I. He does not compel us to obey. Inspiration. 15 . Notice that the Holy Spirit does not coerce us to follow truth.

When we come to Jesus. “ ‘Sanctify them by Your truth. forever secure in His love and grace. deceptions that distort God’s character. the Holy Spirit guides us to the truth of the Word. Truth frees us from the theological errors that have so captivated the religious world. and transformed by the Holy Spirit. 8:1). We were created by God. guilt. 2:19). Thought Questions:  What is it that keeps some people from understanding the truths of God’s Word? 16 . Jesus declares. NKJV). Your word is truth’  ” (John 17:17. redeemed by Christ. He also declares. First. or shame. What is the distinction between the two? What does this distinction reveal about how the Spirit leads us?  What truth does the Holy Spirit guide us into?  What does the truth set us free from? And how does it do that? STEP 3—Apply Just for Teachers: The religious world is filled with scores of so-called Christians with a very shallow Christian experience. Second. members of His family (John 1:12. as opposed to coercing us. Eph. teachers comments There are at least two more aspects of the Spirit’s guiding us into all truth. We are sons and daughters of God. Despite our own feelings of unworthiness. Define the words guide and coerce. “  ‘You will know the truth. infallible Word of God does not lie. Rom. Talk about why some Christians spend so little time contemplating God’s Word. NIV). the Holy Spirit leads us to understand the doctrinal truths of the Bible in order to protect us from the deceptions of the evil one. Discuss with your class how to avoid the trap of religious superficiality. Discussion Questions:  One of the functions of the Holy Spirit is to lead or guide us into truth. the Holy Spirit also guides us to the truth about ourselves. our guilt is gone (1 John 1:9. and the truth will set you free’ ” (John 8:32. The authoritative. We are His children.

God’s Word is authoritative and reveals His truth. through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Pet. invite them to share with the entire group the single most important thing that they have discov- ered personally in this week’s lesson for their spiritual lives. Help each class member to see that truth is not a matter of personal opinion. as they study God’s Word with prayerful hearts. teachers comments  Why do even some Adventist Christians fail to embrace the joy of being redeemed sons and daughters of God?  How can we better understand the Word and receive the full blessing that God intends for us? Application Question: What are some of the things that keep us from a deep. abiding experience with Christ through His Spirit-inspired Word? STEP 4—Create Just for Teachers: The apostle Peter summarizes the key thoughts in our lesson well with these words: “Having been born again. The focus of our lesson today is twofold. Guide your students also in understanding that. Second. First. God’s Word is life changing. Activities:  Invite each class member to turn to the person next to him or her and share the key thought that he or she will take home from today’s class. NKJV). their lives will be completely transformed.  After class members have shared with one another. 17 . Truth is found in God’s Word. 1:23. not of corruptible seed but incorruptible.

the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit was present at significant moments throughout sacred history. sustaining. From the testimony of Scripture. Job 26:13. and that’s because His role is to advance the work of Someone else in the Godhead—Jesus. we learn that the Holy Spirit will- ingly and gracefully accepts a supporting. * Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath. L esson 2 *January 7–13 (page 14 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit: Working Behind the Scenes Sabbath Afternoon Read for This Week’s Study: Ezek. He is not at the center of the biblical record. and equipping behind-the-scenes role. John 16:13. 5:16–23. 18 . All this so that fallen human beings might be saved from the eternal death that sin would otherwise bring them. helping. Nevertheless. 14. Exod. thus playing a key role in the writ- ing of God’s Word. He does not seek to stand in the spotlight. 37:5. but more in the background. for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you’ ” (John 16:14. at God’s creation of this world. Gen. He was at work. Memory Text: “ ‘He will glorify Me. 31:1–5. No matter whether it is in creation or redemption or mission. the Son of God—and to give glory to God the Father. Gal. January 14. He was also involved with the conception of Jesus Christ in Mary’s womb. Yet. T he Holy Spirit does not receive the same prominent attention in Scripture as do the Father and the Son. 9. At the beginning. and we know amazingly little about Him. regardless of His crucial role. 1:2. NKJV). He was active in the inspiration of God’s prophets. He remains in the background.

Who hasn’t at times been baffled by the sudden appearance of wind. This assumes power to the highest potency. Ellen G. From a light breeze to deadly blasts. of course. something that only God is capable of doing. In a similar manner. recognizes our creaturely limitations. and accepts our need for divine revelation. Yet. we can know where He is active and at work. This does not mean that we cannot know what the Holy Spirit accomplishes. Just like the wind. as now. the Holy Spirit is invisible but can be most powerful. Jesus describes the Spirit’s elusiveness. seem- ingly out of nowhere? Yet. His activity has been connected with the idea of bringing life to the dead.”—Ellen G. How this is accomplished remains a mystery. 9. God and His workings through the Holy Spirit are greater than what we can fully comprehend. then the Bible would not. bear the unmistak- able evidences of divinity. White. Why is the wind a fitting picture for the mysterious workings of the Holy Spirit? By comparing the Holy Spirit’s actions to that of the wind. even if we can’t see the wind itself. wind can be a very powerful force. What are some unseen forces in nature that can impact our lives? What should this teach us about the reality of unseen yet power- ful influences in our world? 19 . But we have to acknowledge that the appropriate virtue in dealing with divine mysteries is humility. as are so many things both secular and sacred. No one can control Him. S unday January 8 (page 15 of Standard Edition) The Elusiveness of the Holy Spirit Read John 3:3–8 and Ezekiel 37:5. When the Holy Spirit is described as wind. we can learn to become somewhat familiar with the move- ments and patterns of the wind. White has aptly stated: “The mysteries of the Bible. the Holy Spirit is active where He wills. can feel the presence of the wind and can often see its effect. The movements of the wind have something mysterious about them. Humility appreciates the grandeur of God. If it contained no account of God but that which we could comprehend. 170. It is difficult to predict with exact- ness where the wind comes from and where the wind is going. p. Education. so far from being an argument against it. We. if His greatness and majesty could be grasped by finite minds. are among the strongest evidences of its divine inspiration.

What was the role of the Holy Spirit at Creation? How is the Spirit of God related to the creation of life? The Creation story in Genesis 1:2 mentions the presence of God’s Spirit at Creation. Psalms 33:6. The Bible clearly mentions God (Gen. 1:16. Col. the Holy Spirit is present also. and through His moving He is present at the genesis of life on this earth. 104:29. Psalm 104:30 suggests that the Creation act was possible only through the work of the Holy Spirit and that He played an active part during this process. He is also active in the process of our re-creation. How are both of these activities related? What does the Sabbath tell us about this work of Creation and re-creation? 20 . as being active in the Creation of the world (see Isa. The Holy Spirit was not only present at the Creation of this world. The Holy Spirit is intimately involved in the creation of life on this earth and takes care of the newly created living beings as an eagle would do for its young. was made (John 1:1–3). He does not appear as the central actor in the Creation story. 1:1) and Jesus Christ (Col. 1:16. While the Bible clearly mentions God the Father and His divine Son. M onday January 9 (page 16 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit at Creation The first major work of God on this planet was its Creation. the surface of the earth that is used in Genesis 1:2 is the same word that is used in Deuteronomy 32:11. Read Genesis 1:2. Jesus Christ. Job 26:13. the Bible also mentions the presence of the Holy Spirit in the work of Creation. although in a more subtle manner. 64:8. 33:4.” or “hov- ering” (merahepeth) over. He is “hovering” over the void. The Hebrew word for “moving over. 30. 33:4. in which He gives us a new heart and new mind. Yet. in fact. 17) as the Creator of heaven and earth and of all that. 17). where God is compared to an eagle hovering over its nest of young. Psalm 104:29. Instead. Job 26:13. 30. and Psalm 33:6 support the active role of the Holy Spirit in the supernatural Creation of the earth.

what God had told them to do. we need not just a Creator but also a Redeemer. After the act of Creation. and He was going to do it in the sanctuary. Without Him. How was the Holy Spirit involved in the building of the sanctuary? How did the Holy Spirit assist those who con- structed God’s dwelling place? The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit was also present at the building of the sanctuary. in and of itself. 25:8). 40). Jesus Christ. It was here that the plan of salvation was revealed to the ancient Israelites (see Heb. In a fallen world. And it was the work of the Holy Spirit to enable human beings to accomplish. Without His help. 4:2). In the Old Testament it was the sanctuary and its service that illus- trated God’s forgiveness of sin and foreshadowed the work of Jesus. While much of the sanctuary service pointed to Jesus and His death for the forgiveness of sin. How and where can you encourage and assist other people to use their talents to further the kingdom of God to God’s glory? 21 . Considering the power of the Holy Spirit. The sanctuary was God’s model to illustrate His plan of salvation. Read Exodus 31:1–5. that I may dwell among them” (Exod. How thankful we should be that we have that Redeemer. what good would Creation be without the plan of Redemption? As sinners. He certainly didn’t need human help in building the sanctuary. we would be without hope in a world that. T uesday January 10 (page 17 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit and the Sanctuary “And let them make me a sanctuary. the Holy Spirit is depicted as being actively involved by enabling specific people to build the sanctuary according to the pattern God had revealed to Moses. 25:9. God was going to dwell amid His people in a special way. Israel would not have been able to accomplish this artistic craftsmanship. our Redeemer. God’s plan of salvation is of prime impor- tance in the Bible. the central place where reconciliation between God and human beings took place and a holy God met sinners. offers us none.with artistic skill and with beauty. but He enabled other people to do it with skill and beauty. It was God who communicated to Moses His plan to build the earthly sanctuary according to the heavenly original (Exod. which He told them to build.

Cole.” that is. get to know Him. p. 2 Thess. As important as the Holy Spirit is for our spiritual lives. Keep in Step With the Spirit: Finding Fullness in Our Walk With God. come to me.: Baker Books.’ The Spirit. With the coming of Jesus. the ministry of the Holy Spirit is intensified. although it does not appear that His work was as extensive as it was in the New Testament era. Read John 16:13. Ill. He Who Gives Life: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit [Wheaton. 57. While the New Testament tells us that the Holy Spirit is active in many different ways in our spiritual lives and in the life of the church. Wherever Jesus is exalted. Why is it so important for us to uplift the risen Lord in all that we do? After all. Packer. How can we show our gratitude (see. Any emphasis upon the work of the Holy Spirit that detracts from the Person and work of Jesus Christ is not from the Holy Spirit. He should never take the place that is due in our thinking and for our sal- vation only to Jesus Christ. the celestial marriage broker. Mich. 284). and hear His word. think about what Jesus has done for us. and taste His gift of joy and peace. and see His glory. followers of the Spirit (see Graham A. the promised Messiah. 58. whose role it is to bring us and Christ together and ensure that we stay together. I. 2007]. We owe everything to Him. His work consists in elevating the redemptive work of Jesus. This is highly significant. we might say. It has been aptly said that “the Spirit’s message to us is never ‘Look at me. 1:11.: Crossways Books. followers of Christ (compare with Acts 11:26)—rather than “Pneumians. and have life. His most important work is to glorify Jesus Christ. listen to Him. listen to me.”—J. revised and enlarged edition (Grand Rapids. He keeps Himself in the background and puts the floodlight on Jesus. the Holy Spirit is at work. This is why we are called Christians—that is. What does Jesus say is the work of the Holy Spirit? How is all other work of the Holy Spirit related to this central work? Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit speaks not of Himself but of Jesus. get to know me’ but always ‘Look at Him. 12)? 22 . is the matchmaker. W ednesday January 11 (page 18 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit in Glorifying Jesus Christ The Holy Spirit was active during Old Testament times. 2005). for instance. pp. go to Him. 14 and John 15:26. and He gives His gifts to all believers.

24. and the Holy Spirit enables us to walk in faithfulness to God’s commandments. 12:11). and loving life of ser- vice to others. 9:14) and made Jesus’ resurrection possible (1 Pet. the Holy Spirit remained in the background and helped to bring Jesus Christ to prominence. The anointing of Jesus endued Him with power to fulfill His Messianic mission and qualified Him to bestow the Holy Spirit on His disciples. if we would but read it in faith and submission. By teaching about Him in the Holy Scriptures in a trustworthy and reliable manner. 4:1. The Holy Spirit empowered Jesus for this redemptive work (Heb. By reproducing Christ’s character in us. 16). Nothing that is necessary for us to know about Christ and His salvation is missing or misleading. He anointed Jesus for His mission (Luke 3:21. 2:18. selfless. He calls men and women into specific lines of work for God and enables us to reach out to others in the attractive Spirit of Christ. NKJV. 3. Galatians 5:16–23. Luke 4:1. How does the work of reproducing the character of Christ in our lives bring glory to the Father? 23 . What do we learn about the work of the Holy Spirit in these pas- sages? How does the Holy Spirit glorify Jesus? The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus in at least the following ways: 1. He gives them understanding so that they understand spiritual things and so that they will be willing to place their trust in Jesus Christ and accept Him as their Leader and Redeemer. 2. Matt. 4. The Holy Spirit guided and sustained Jesus in His temptations (Mark 1:12. 35). The Holy Spirit gently works on people’s hearts and minds. Read Luke 24:44–49. 23). 3:18). By drawing men and women into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Through the blood of Jesus we are given victory over sin (compare Rev. compare with 4:15. 22). By enabling us to live a Christlike. It’s all there in the Word of God. T hursday January 12 (page 19 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit and Christ The Holy Spirit effected the incarnation of Jesus (Luke 1:34. 2. 14) so that Jesus “is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted” (Heb. 5:22. In all this. He thus brings to life Christlike virtues in our lives (Gal. and Ephesians 4:23.

F riday January 13
(page 20 of Standard Edition)

Further Thought: No question, the work of the Holy Spirit is crucial
to our walk with the Lord. Again, we might not be able to see Him work,
but we can see the effect of His work in our lives and in the lives of others. If
your life has been changed through faith in Jesus, it has been changed only
through the work of the Holy Spirit in it. “While the wind is itself invisible,
it produces effects that are seen and felt. So the work of the Spirit upon
the soul will reveal itself in every act of him who has felt its saving power.
When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life.
Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and
peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness,
and the countenance reflects the light of heaven.”—Ellen G. White, The
Desire of Ages, p. 173. These are wonderful promises, and an untold number
of lives have shown just how real they are. But the work of the Holy Spirit
is not instantaneous. We don’t automatically become the kind of people we
ought to be. A life of faith and submission to the Lord is a life of struggle,
of surrender, and of repentance when we fail. The Holy Spirit is the Divine
Agent that works in our lives to make us new creatures in Christ. This is,
though, the work of a lifetime. Although our faults and weaknesses should
spur us on to a greater surrender to our Lord, we must not let the devil use
them to discourage us in our Christian life, which he is always eager to do.
When taunted by our sins, we must always remember the death of Jesus
on behalf of sinners. It’s precisely because we are what we are—sinners in
need of grace—that Jesus died for us and gives us that grace.

Discussion Questions:
 What can the Holy Spirit’s example teach you about minister-
ing from behind the scenes? That is, doing the work of the Lord in
a manner that many people don’t know about, see, or even appre-

 How does the Holy Spirit elevate Jesus and put Him into
focus? How can you elevate Jesus without putting yourself at the
center of attention? Why is that sometimes so hard to do? How
can we fight the natural inclination to self-promotion?


i n s i d e
A Gift in the Forest: Part 2
The Polish Union decided to rent the camp, and soon a truck from
Denmark arrived, filled with military surplus beds and dressers and kitchen
supplies! The union stepped out in faith and started holding camps at
Ryszard [ree-SHARD] went to the local village council and explained
that the church wanted the campsite to train children and youth to be
good citizens. He reported on how the church already had used the camp
to benefit children from a coal mining region and children whose homes
had been destroyed during recent flooding. He explained the purpose of
Pathfinder camps and youth camps. Then he asked the council to consider
giving the camp to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. One member of the
local council objected, but in the end the council voted overwhelmingly
to give Camp Zatonie to the Adventist Church. A gift from Adventists
in Britain paid for the buildings (which were privately owned). God had
Besides summer camps for youth, the campground hosts Poland’s
annual camp meeting. Hundreds of people who are not Adventists come to
this camp, and many leave having turned their lives over to Jesus.
Children are encouraged to bring non-Adventist friends to camp, and
some of these young people have decided to follow Jesus. Literature evan-
gelists use the camp as a training site for colporteurs, who practice their
sales skills in the villages around Zatonie.
When Ryszard first found Zatonie, he noticed some words written on
a building: “God doesn’t exist.” Two years later during a camp meeting,
he asked the youth what should be done about the graffiti. A young man
stood and said that he had written those words in 1989 while at a camp
for troubled teenagers. When he returned home, he learned that one of his
friends had become an Adventist. The friend invited him to church, and
in time, he, too, gave his life to Christ. God took away his desire to drink
and smoke and made him into a new person. So this young man who had
written the words against God on the wall during a drunken act of rebel-
lion helped to paint over them as a brother in Christ.
In 2010, part of your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering went to renovate
the buildings at Camp Zatonie. Part of this quarter’s offering will fund
live television productions aimed specifically at children and youth on
Hope Channel Poland. Thank you for your support through the Thirteenth
Sabbath Offering.

Ryszard Jankowski, now president of the West Polish Conference, was
Polish Union youth director when Zatonie’s story unfolded.

Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission.
Web site: 25

teachers comments

The Lesson in Brief
Key Text: John 3:3–8

The Student Will:
Know: Recognize that the Holy Spirit is powerfully working in this world
and in his or her life, even if he or she is not able to fully discern and com-
prehend His ways.
Feel: Foster daily the feeling of openness to the ministry of the Holy
Spirit in his or her life.
Do: Submit to the guidance, conviction, and instruction of the Holy Spirit
in his or her daily life.

Learning Outline:
I. Know: Understanding the Background Role of the Holy Spirit
A Why does Jesus use the symbolism of wind to describe the working
of the Holy Spirit in His discussion with Nicodemus?

B How is the working of the Holy Spirit a divine mystery?
II. Feel: Creation and Redemption
A How do you feel knowing that the same power of the Holy Spirit that
brought this world into existence is available to us today to re-create our
lives in His image?

III. Do: Glorifying God
A One of the prime functions of the Holy Spirit is to glorify God. What
does it mean to glorify God, and how can we make glorifying God central
to our lives?

B How does the background ministry of the Holy Spirit, always “testify-
ing” of Jesus, provide a model of humility for each one of us today?

Summary: When we respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and allow Him
to take full control of our lives, we will glorify Jesus in all we do and will
reveal the fruit of the Spirit in our daily interactions with others.


teachers comments Learning Cycle STEP 1—Motivate Spotlight on Scripture: John 3:3–8 Key Concept for Spiritual Growth: The Holy Spirit’s role through- out the Bible is significant. The Holy Spirit played a significant role in the Creation of the earth. a hollow shell of religiosity. Just for Teachers: This week’s lesson especially highlights the ministry of the Holy Spirit in Creation and Redemption. 33:4. guided Him throughout His ministry. and spiritually dead. and accompanied Him at the Ascension. He presided at the Savior’s birth. The Spirit brings life to all living creatures. attended to Him at the cross. If you were Nicodemus and could make one request of Jesus. He provides us with power to overcome and strength to resist tempta- tion. what would it be? What was Nicodemus really seeking? Questions for Discussion:  What do you think prompted Nicodemus to come to Jesus? 27 . awaited Him at the Resurrection. We need not condemn him for coming in the darkness. He convicts us of sin and reveals the path of righteousness. testifies of Christ. The Holy Spirit sustained and strengthened Jesus throughout His entire life. and exalts Him in our lives. and our Instructor. It is the Holy Spirit who breathes the life of God into our souls. His role is to exalt Jesus and glorify the Savior and lead us to do the same in our own lives. We may have a “form of godli- ness” (2 Tim. powerless. Emphasize that without the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit par- ticipated with the Father and the Son in the beginning at Creation (Gen. “You send forth Your Spirit. 30). The psalmist declares. in reality. 1:2. we are life- less. Ps. 104:30. and He also played a significant role at the cross in the Redemption of all humanity. our Guide. [and] they are created” (Ps. 104:29. The fact that he came is an indication of the moving of the Holy Spirit on his heart. NKJV). Opening Discussion: Nicodemus came to Jesus by night. He is our Teacher. 3:5) but are. and Ps. It is a miracle that he came at all.

He works the miracle of re-creation in our lives. through that same power. hovering over” or blowing across the waters in Genesis 1:2 (NKJV)?  What does wind indicate? Why is it an encouraging symbol for each one of us? STEP 2—Explore Just for Teachers: The Holy Spirit first inspired the Bible writers. Now He strength- ens us to face those same temptations. It means permitting heavenly values to guide 28 . our Lord. teachers comments  Why do you think that Jesus used the symbolism of wind with Nicodemus?  How does the symbolism of wind compare with the “Spirit of God . Here the apostle Paul contrasts living in the flesh and walking in the Spirit. of eternal life through Jesus Christ. . The Holy Spirit encouraged Jesus with the hope of the Resurrection as He faced death. The Fruit of the Spirit (Review Galatians 5:16–24 with the class. or assurance. Bible Commentary I.) The verses of Galatians 5:16–24 are some of the most powerful ones in the New Testament. NKJV) simply means living a life in harmony with spiritual ideals through the power of the Holy Spirit. The expression “walk in the Spirit” (Gal. Now. and He encourages us with the hope of the resurrection as we face the end of our lives. The Holy Spirit gives us the assurance that we are children of God and places within our hearts the divine guarantee. The Holy Spirit strengthened Jesus to face the temptations of the devil. . The Holy Spirit was present with His mighty power at Creation. 5:16. Today He inspires us as we read their inspired words.

The same Holy Spirit—who breathed life into Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones. We do not remember this. It is the working of the Holy Spirit’s power in us that transforms us into the image of Christ. of the Holy Spirit is life changing (John 3:3–8). It is this Spirit that performs the miracle of divine grace in the hearts of believers so that we become a “new creation” in Christ (2 Cor. long-suffering. teachers comments your life. White wrote these insightful words to a missionary: “Appreciate the fact that God is our efficiency. Paul describes life in the flesh—a life governed by earthly passions. A person living in the flesh is one who yields daily to the desires of the natural heart. p. an angry. desires. or the lack thereof. while another succumbs to the lusts of the flesh? Christ’s counsel to Nicodemus reveals the answer: the endowment. Ellen G. and self-control. bitter spirit. The same Spirit who strengthened Jesus during His earthly life is available to us today. an envious mind-set. Discussion Questions:  What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? How can each one of us be more sensitive to the working of the Holy Spirit in our own lives? Why is it possible to have blind spots in our characters?  What work might God want to do in our lives that we do not yet recognize?  What other things may others see about us that we do not see? How might the Holy Spirit be using these things to convict us of some blind spot in our own characters? 29 . such as love. peace. causing a mighty army to stand on its feet—is available to us today (Ezekiel 37).”—Testimonies to Southern Africa. The wind. 5:17). In contrast to those enslaved by the lusts of the flesh. And it includes allowing the principles of Scripture to guide everything you do. We find throughout the entire Bible powerful indicators of the Holy Spirit’s working. there are those who are surrendered to. What a contrast! How could two lives be more apparently different? What enables one to walk in the joy of the Spirit. One whose life is dominated by the works of the flesh—such as lustful thoughts. joy. and controlled by. We work ourselves in place of being worked by the Holy Spirit’s power. and therefore we lose much in religious experience. In contrast to life in the Spirit. or a lack of self-control—lives in his or her own strength rather than in the power of the Spirit. re-creation does not take place on its own through some process of human works or activity. The same Spirit’s power that brought worlds into existence is available to us today. or the breath. Just as Creation did not take place on its own through some process of evo- lution. It means filling your mind with eternal principles. Their lives reveal the fruit of the Spirit. 81. and lusts. It involves satu- rating your thoughts with the life-giving Word. the Holy Spirit. of the Holy Spirit.

 Encourage class members to examine their hearts in light of these lists. 30 . He longs to fill each of our lives with His power. we can not conceive new life in our barren hearts without the Spirit of Christ. asking the Holy Spirit to empower them with the fruit of the Spirit. Invite them to pray silently as you end the class. Discuss with your class how this attribute of the Holy Spirit would solve most church conflicts in a very short amount of time.  Ask class members to reflect silently upon which character traits they are exhibiting from the list of the works of the flesh. Thought Questions:  How can we cultivate openness to the Holy Spirit’s working in our own lives?  How can we be more sensitive to the things that the Holy Spirit is attempting to reveal to us? STEP 4—Create Just for Teachers: Just as the Holy Spirit filled Jesus’ life with divine power. we are doomed to failure in the Christian life. Activities:  Invite your class to spend a few moments reading the list of the works of the flesh and the works of the Spirit in Galatians 5. teachers comments STEP 3—Apply Just for Teachers: The Holy Spirit testifies or glorifies Jesus and never seeks glory for Himself. We can no more re-create our hearts than we can create the world. We can no more breathe life into these lifeless souls than Ezekiel could into the valley of dry bones. Without the power of the Spirit. asking for the fruit of the Spirit to replace the works of the flesh in each of their hearts. Just as Mary could not conceive the Christ child unaided by the Spirit.

Isa. A ll through the Bible. and the love of God. NASB). It can be inferred from various indirect biblical statements. Memory Text: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. and we also should not “exceed what is written” (1 Cor. especially. 1 Cor. Rom. We find this truth expressed both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. The deity of Jesus also is affirmed in many places in Scripture. However. Here we need to compare scripture with scripture in order to study carefully what God has revealed in His Word about the Holy Spirit. 4:6. It is one of the most crucial and founda- tional of the many revealed truths in the Word of God. we should accept and testify to what Scripture affirms. 63:10–14. Titus 3:4–6. 1 Pet. L esson 3 *January 14–20 (page 22 of Standard Edition) The Divinity of the Holy Spirit Sabbath Afternoon Read for This Week’s Study: Acts 5:1–4. 8:11. NASB). 11. the deity of God the Father is simply assumed. we should not make our human reason- ing about God the standard of how the Holy Spirit should be under- stood. * Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath. This topic demands a teachable attitude of humility. Instead. we should not affirm less than what Scripture states. 2:10. be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14. both in the Gospels and the Epistles. January 21. In doing so. of course. no matter how hard some of the concepts might be for us to grasp fully. the deity of the Holy Spirit is taught in more subtle terms. and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. 31 . 1:2. in the New Testament.

Think how easily Ananias and Sapphira may have justified their sin. Lying to the Holy Spirit is lying to God. After all. is the fact that the apostle Peter puts God and the Holy Spirit on the same level. To lie with regard to the sharing was to deny the unity of the community and to belie the Spirit that undergirded that unity and made it possible. The Holy Spirit is God. Instead. and he contin- ues at the end of Acts 5:4: “ ‘You have not lied to men but to God’ ” (NASB). we find interesting traces that indicate that the biblical writers considered the Holy Spirit to be equal with God. In Acts 5:3. haven’t we sold our own property and given some of it to the church? What’s the big deal if we keep a little? What should this story tell us about how careful we need to be regarding how we justify our actions? 32 . Because the new faith community was at a crucial juncture. His point is that Ananias was lying not just to the apostles but to God Himself. God used drastic consequences to make sure that the new church would work in unison and truthfulness with one another and be willing to be led by His Spirit. he asks Ananias why he has lied to the Holy Spirit. however. Why such a harsh punishment for these two people’s actions? We must remember that the believers of the early church in Acts were “one in heart and mind” (Acts 4:32. Peter clearly equates the Holy Spirit with God. There are several biblical passages where the same activity is attributed to God and then also to the Holy Spirit. This unity was a product of the Holy Spirit. What can we conclude about God and the Holy Spirit from Peter’s words to Ananias? If the Holy Spirit were not God. Read Acts 5:1–4. S unday January 15 (page 23 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit and God The Bible does not present a systematic description of the divinity of the Holy Spirit. and this is the reason they voluntarily and freely shared what they possessed. The interesting aspect about the nature of the Holy Spirit. This is why the lie of Ananias and his wife falsified the divine work and presence of the Holy Spirit in the early church community. Such dishonesty toward God is destructive and hinders the Spirit of God from working effectively in the lives of believers. The point is made here very clearly. then Peter would have been speaking here in a very careless and fatally misleading manner. God wants us to serve Him undividedly. NIV).

If the Spirit is called eternal. If I cannot flee to a place where the Spirit of God is not. 139:7 _________________________________________________ Heb. But perhaps the most amazing work of the Holy Spirit is His ability to change human hearts and minds. What attributes and activities of the Holy Spirit are listed in the follow- ing Bible passages that. the Holy Spirit can do divine miracles. 14_______________________ Ps. Only One who is equal to God can know the deep things of God (1 Cor. Jesus also says that blasphemy against the Spirit is unforgivable (Matt. can be attributed only to God? 1 Cor. The Holy Spirit is said to be eternal (Heb. 15:19. 11). He is omnipresent (compare with Ps. 33 . There is no knowing God as does the Spirit. The presence of the Spirit is the presence of God. The Holy Spirit is indeed omniscient. “Like knows like” is the reasoning Paul employs here in his argument. compare with Isa. 104:30___________________ In his examination of the wisdom of God. 12:31. compare with 1 Tim. 11. for He knows God from the inside. According to the Bible. This is incomprehensible unless the Spirit is divine. Mark 3:28. It is the Holy Spirit who accom- plishes a new spiritual birth (John 3:5–8). In Romans 15:19. Indeed. 2:10. how many eternal beings are there? Only God is eternal (1 Tim. 2:10. 32. compare with Ps. 6:16____________________________ Luke 1:35. The Holy Spirit also is all-powerful or almighty. 139:7). He knows in a way that an outsider does not. M onday January 16 (page 24 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit’s Divine Attributes In several biblical passages. the virgin conception. 6:16). Rom. the Holy Spirit is described as having divine attributes. He has the power to accom- plish something that only God can do. 9:14). then He must be God. Paul argues that it is the Holy Spirit who makes this wisdom known to us. by the power of the Spirit of God” (NKJV). Here they refer to a miracle of the first magnitude. 40:13. 9:14. the apostle Paul acknowledges that his ministry was achieved by “mighty signs and wonders. otherwise. 29). In Luke 1:35 the phrases “the Holy Spirit” and “the power of the most High” (NASB) are synony- mous constructions.

How are the references to the Holy Spirit and to God used interchangeably in these passages? What is attributed to God and to the Holy Spirit alike? In 1  Corinthians 3:16. 20. For the apostle Paul. Read again Numbers 14:11. ‘How long will this people spurn me?’ ” (NASB). Obviously the biblical writ- ers saw God and the Holy Spirit on par with each other. as found in Numbers 14:11. whereas in the parallel statement in 2  Samuel 23:3. In 2 Samuel 23:2. we are told that “ ‘the Lord alone guided him. To whom was the writer referring in these pas- sages. we are told that it is God who is doing it. Again. Paul uses similar language as in 1 Corinthians 6:19. and what does this tell us about the divinity of the Holy Spirit? In Isaiah 63:10. the parallel account. and compare 1 Corinthians 12:11 with 1 Corinthians 12:28. How can we make sure we aren’t doing today what God’s people did thousands of years ago? 34 . 20. . In 1  Corinthians 12:11. the conclusion from this biblical parallel is that the Holy Spirit is considered to be equal to God. The basic message is clear: the Holy Spirit does the same action as God is doing. 17 with 1  Corinthians 6:19. the people rebelled and grieved the Holy Spirit. In what ways might this be applied to us today? Think about the miraculous ways God has worked in our church. Paul writes that it is the Holy Spirit who distributes the spiritual gifts to each believer. Think about all the reasons He has given us to believe. . to me’ ” (NASB). Compare 1  Corinthians 3:16. A few verses later in 1 Corinthians 12:28. powerful evidence that the Holy Spirit is equal to God. By equating the expression “God’s temple” (NIV) with a temple “of the Holy Spirit” (NIV). states that “the Lord said to Moses. we read that “ ‘the Spirit of the Lord spoke by me’ ” (NASB). T uesday January 17 (page 25 of Standard Edition) Biblical Hints There are various references to the Holy Spirit in the Bible that are interchangeable with references to God. to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit is to be inhabited by God. However. Paul points out that the Holy Spirit is God. and there was no foreign god with him’ ” (NASB). it says: “ ‘The God of Israel said . And in Deuteronomy 32:12. 17. Read Isaiah 63:10–14 and compare it with Numbers 14:11 and Deuteronomy 32:12.

God is said to be speaking and in which other biblical writers state that the Holy Spirit is said to be speaking. Read Titus 3:4–6. To whom do the biblical writers attribute the divine speaking? There are several biblical passages in which. 3:16). He is the agent of our new birth. Giving the Scriptures is another divine work of the Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who supernatu- rally imparted the Holy Scriptures to us (2 Pet. 1:21). Compare Isaiah 6:8–10 with Acts 28:25–27. something that elsewhere is described as God’s inspiration (2 Tim. Only a Divine Being is capable of such wonderful things. the Holy Spirit is God. What are changes you can make that would cause you to be more open to the leading of the Holy Spirit? That is. How does Paul describe the involvement of the Holy Spirit in the process of re-creation? The Holy Spirit is mentioned side by side with “God our Savior” (Titus 3:4. what practices might be keeping you from clearly discerning His leading in your life? 35 . which the Bible ascribes only to God. who saved us. and He is just as active in God’s re-creation of sinners. He is active in the divine work of the Creation. He awakens our desire to follow Christ. NASB) in the context of the washing of regeneration (bap- tism) and our spiritual renewal (Titus 3:5). What does Romans 8:11 teach us about the divinity of the Holy Spirit? The Bible states that the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead and will also raise us. He renews our hearts. Hence. on the one hand. Only God has the power to raise people from the dead. He helps us to be obedient to Jesus Christ. He is the Spirit of life (Rom. He is the One who sanctifies sinners and transforms our characters. 8:2). W ednesday January 18 (page 26 of Standard Edition) Divine Work of the Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit performs certain works.

All three persons of the Godhead are mentioned side by side and are affirmed equally. T hursday January 19 (page 27 of Standard Edition) The Importance of His Divinity What would be lost if the Holy Spirit were not God? If the Holy Spirit is not fully God. What great promises are found here for us in knowing that it is God who is working in us to change us into what we can be in Him? Why is this an uplifting and affirming truth? 36 . If the Holy Spirit is not God. If we know who He truly is. how can we be certain that He can do any of these things and do them in such a way that they are acceptable to God? Read 1 Peter 1:2. He dwells in us and fills us. The Holy Spirit occupies the same rank and position in the act of baptism as do the Father and the Son. What does the fact that the Holy Spirit is mentioned side by side with God the Father. It is an invocation of adoration where the Holy Spirit is praised just as are the Father and the Son. He makes Christ’s followers as God is: holy. The New Testament church without hesitation mentions the Holy Spirit side by side with the other two members of the Godhead. His divinity is the presupposition for a God-centered spirituality. Does it matter that the Holy Spirit is God? Yes. What is true in the act of baptism is equally true of the apostolic benediction. The Holy Spirit is affirmed as a proper object of worship in the New Testament. He has the power to resurrect. and recognize and acknowledge His deity. and Matthew 28:18. He renews our thinking and changes our characters. the Son. God Himself. in baptism and benedic- tions tell us about the place of the Holy Spirit in the adoration and worship of God? The divinity of the Holy Spirit helps us to relate to Him in appropri- ate ways that acknowledge Him for who He truly is. we will honor His work and rely on Him for our own personal growth and sanctification. not just in baptism and in the apostolic benediction but also in the constant requirement that we depend on Him for all spiritual good and should obey Him as our divine teacher and sanctifier. Baptism has a deep spiritual significance and is an ordinance of pro- found worship. Think about what it means that the Holy Spirit. very much so. and Jesus Christ. 19. the implications for salvation and worship are serious. The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is responsible for regen- erating believers. is working in your life. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

White. 37 . because the Lord has not revealed it to them. The Coming of the Comforter. and obedience. why is it better to keep silent about aspects of God and of spiritual truth in general that have not been revealed by Inspiration?  Sometimes it is helpful to reflect upon a theological position by asking the question: What would be lost if the proposal were untrue? For instance. faith in the divinity of the Holy Spirit means more than accepting the bare teaching of the Trinity. It includes reliance on and confidence in the saving work of God as it is commissioned by the Father and accomplished through the Son in the power of the Spirit. He is a divine Person. Discussion Questions:  Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once wrote: “What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence. who is to fill us.”—LeRoy Edwin Froom. What would be lost if Christ were not divine? With regard to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God. White. p. in Evangelism. but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. 51. pp. Truth goes far beyond human comprehension. Therefore it is not a question of our having more of Him.”—Ellen G. we are dealing with a divine mystery. 52. Regarding such mysteries. veneration. The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. but of His having more of us—yes. White wrote above. to be received with deep humil- ity. We reiterate the point: just as we cannot fully explain God and His nature. 613–617. . the principle is the same. which are too deep for human understanding.” Although his context was quite different from that which Ellen G. reflect on the following question: What would be lost if the Holy Spirit were not fully God?  What does the following quote say to us on a practical level? “The Holy Spirit. Men cannot explain it. is not some vague influence or mystic force. But remem- ber: in thinking about the Holy Spirit. . silence is golden. the biblical evidence for the divinity of the Holy Spirit is very convincing. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human con- struction on them. 159. F riday January 20 (page 28 of Standard Edition) Further Thought: Read Ellen G. At the same time. As we have seen this week. The Acts of the Apostles. “Misrepresentations of the Godhead. especially when that truth deals with the nature of God Himself. we have to resist the temptation to make our human comprehension the norm for how God should be. . That is.” pp. “It is not essential for us to be able to define just what the Holy Spirit is. all there is of us.

She knew that her parents wouldn’t be happy that she was attending a new church. and she told her mother everything she had learned at Bible camp and church. “We don’t have to confess our sins to a priest. “Why do you want to get involved in some strange church?” she . was interested in religious things. Roza decided to go.” “If you insist on becoming an Adventist. When she arrived at the Seventh-day Adventist youth camp. she started attending the Adventist church every Sabbath.” her mother said with a sigh. “We have a perfectly good church.” To be continued in next week’s Inside Story. Her parents were proud of her involvement with the church and of her other accomplishments. I want to learn what God teaches. Roza also explained what she had learned about having a personal relationship with Jesus. She was curious about what she might learn.” Grandmother knew that Roza.” Roza explained. But soon her excitement about what she was learning spilled over. You might learn something interesting. she was curious about this church that seemed to know so much about the Bible. so she didn’t tell them where she was going on Sabbath mornings. though she wasn’t much older than the youth she led. 38 Web site: www. “They follow the Bible. She liked making new friends and soon found herself enjoying the fellowship at the Bible camp as much as she did the Bible studies. She met a young man at the lectures who was about her age. Roza was a bit nervous about being among so many strangers. Roza took the pamphlet from her grandmother and looked closely at the colorful pictures on the front. “It’s an invitation to a series of lectures about the Bible.AdventistMission. She read the invitation and decided to attend the lectures. She was active in her par- ents’ church in Poland and even volunteered as a youth leader. When Roza returned home. You should go.” she told her mother. he invited her to attend a summer Bible camp that the church spon- sored. “don’t expect any financial support from me. Roza found a seat and settled down for the lecture. “Just tell God. Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. who was preparing to become a teacher.i n s i d e Story Finding God’s Plan: Part 1 “Roza. take a look at this. As they became acquainted. She told her mother that smoking was not healthy and urged her to quit.” “But these people really love Jesus.” Grandmother said as she gave Roza a color- ful pamphlet.” Roza’s revelation worried her mother. But the young man who had invited her introduced her to several young people from her hometown.

teachers comments

The Lesson in Brief
Key Text: 1 Peter 1:2

The Student Will:
Know: Grasp the reality that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Being, just as the
Father and the Son are Divine Beings.
Feel: Appreciate the Holy Spirit’s role in re-creating believers in the
divine image and in transforming them into the likeness of Christ.
Do: Resolve to allow the divine power of the Holy Spirit to change his
or her life.

Learning Outline:
I. Know: Recognize the Spiritual Significance of the Holy Spirit as a Member
of the Godhead.
A What biblical evidence is there that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Being?
B Why is this biblical truth so important? What implications would
there be if the Holy Spirit were not a Divine Being as are the Father and
the Son?

II. Feel: Cherish the Holy Spirit’s Role in the Redemptive Process.
A How does an understanding of the Holy Spirit’s role in Redemption
make a difference in your own spiritual life?
B Why is the sin of Ananias and Sapphira in lying to the Holy Spirit so
serious? Why do you think God’s punishment was so severe?

III. Do: Apply the Divine Truth of Who the Holy Spirit Is to Our Own Lives.
A Why is the story of Ananias and Sapphira so important for the church
B How do the Holy Spirit’s actions as the Third Person of the Godhead
make a difference in our daily spiritual lives?

Summary: When we understand the Holy Spirit’s role as the Third Person of
the Godhead, we are able to appreciate His ministry more and cooper-
ate with Him in making the positive choices for change that He points
out in our own lives. Grasping the reality of the Holy Spirit’s divinity
produces a heartfelt appreciation for who He is and a desire for Him
to change us.


teachers comments

Learning Cycle
STEP 1—Motivate

Spotlight on Scripture: 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20

Key Concept for Spiritual Growth: Just as the earthly tabernacle
was a dwelling place for the Shekinah glory of God, our bodies are
the temples of the Holy Spirit, designed to reveal God’s glory through
godly lives. The amazing truth of Scripture is that the God of the
universe longs to dwell in our hearts through the Person of the Holy

Just for Teachers: This week’s lesson is crucial to our understanding of
the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of each Christian. Understanding
that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Godhead with the attributes
of the Father and Son makes a major difference in how we relate to the
role of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit is not some force to be
used. He is not some power to be sought after. He is a divine Member of
the Godhead to whom we open our hearts and surrender our lives. We
are not to use the Holy Spirit. He is to use us to testify of the glory of the
crucified, risen, and soon-coming Christ.
The attributes of God are the attributes of the Holy Spirit. The Holy
Spirit is all-knowing, all-powerful, omnipresent, and eternal (1  Cor.
2:10, 11; Pss. 104:30; 139:7; Heb. 9:14). To be filled with the Spirit is
to be filled with the presence of God. The indwelling of the Spirit is the
indwelling of the Father’s presence in the temple of our hearts. It is
God dwelling within us through His Holy Spirit.

Opening Discussion: Throughout the Bible, the Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit are linked in an indissoluble union (Matt. 28:18, 19; 1  Pet. 1:2;
2 Cor. 13:14). They cooperated in the work of Creation and Redemption.
In what ways is Their work similar? How is Their work different? Which
of these Three is prominent in the Old Testament era? Who among Them
is the most prominently featured in the four Gospels? Why? Which One
is in the forefront in the book of Acts?
Some have called the book of Acts “The Acts of the Holy Spirit.”
Throughout the book of Acts and the epistles of Paul, the Holy Spirit
is present as the Third Person of the Godhead, convicting the soul of
sin, instructing in righteousness, testifying of Jesus, and changing lives.
Writing to Titus, the apostle Paul declares that we are saved “not by works
of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He
saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy


teachers comments

Spirit” (Titus 3:5, NKJV). It is through the Holy Spirit that our hearts are
renewed, our lives changed, and our souls refreshed.

Questions for Discussion:
 When you think of the Holy Spirit, what thoughts immediately come to
mind? Share with the class a few phrases that enter your mind when you
think of the Holy Spirit.

 How does an understanding of who the Holy Spirit is make a difference
in your life? In what practical ways does this knowledge make a difference
to us?

STEP 2—Explore

Just for Teachers: Throughout the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is
described as the divine regenerating, sanctifying, life-changing, and life-
giving Agent (Titus 3:5, 1 Pet. 1:2, 2 Cor. 3:6). In Romans 8, the apostle
Paul talks about living in the flesh and living in the Spirit. Living in the
flesh is the vain attempt to live the Christian life in our own strength
rather than in the power of the Holy Spirit. Living in the Spirit is living
a life of surrender to the Spirit’s convictions and claims. It is dying daily
to the desires of the carnal heart and being renewed by the sanctifying
grace of the Spirit.
Crucifixion is an exceedingly painful death. Christ’s crucifixion
certainly was. Christ died for our sins; but through the Holy Spirit,
we die to sin. Sin no longer is a way of life for the converted heart.
Our soul’s longing is to please Jesus, and this desire is accomplished
through the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit.

Bible Commentary
I. Understanding the Divinity of the Holy Spirit (Review 1 Peter 1:2 and Romans
15:19 with the class.)


As children of God. The Father and Son are present with us. The idea of the future being “open. His Presence can be felt everywhere (Psalm 139). 139:7). NKJV). provid- ing all the resources of heaven through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing that an all-wise God does not know. His power is limitless. What do His attributes mean in day-to-day Christian living? Consider This: Why are these attributes of the Holy Spirit so important in facing the temptations of the evil one? Why do some theologians declare that belief in the Holy Spirit is one of the most misunderstood truths in the Bible and that if we had a better understanding of who He is and how to experience His life-changing power. He is the great “  ‘I AM’ ” (Exod. all-knowing. He is the eternal. life-changing power. Here is an amazing truth. how could He offer us divine wisdom. all-powerful. 3:14. all-powerful. God? First. 2:10. sanctifying. The eternal nature of the Godhead is absolutely critical in our understanding of the significance of the Holy Spirit for Christian living. He is all-knowing. and omnipresent (1 Cor. Rom. 8:12–17). He never had a beginning and will never have an ending. 9:14). He is the One “who is and who was and who is to come” (Rev. He is both omnipresent and omnipotent. as well. Help your class to understand the renewing. the same harmful habits. The Holy Spirit is also eternal (Heb. teachers comments What are the characteristics of God? What makes God. is alien to the Bible. all-knowing. Application Questions:  How can we experience the life-changing power of the Holy Spirit that the Scriptures describe? 42 . all-powerful. sanctifying grace. He certainly could not offer us the assurance of eternal life. we have the assurance of eternal life and hope beyond the grave (Rom. Explore with your class the practical implications that the Holy Spirit is eternal. 2:20–22). and omnipresent. He is also omniscient or all-knowing (Dan. and eternal hope? If the Holy Spirit were a mere force. The same qualities that are attributed to God in Scripture are also attributed to the Holy Spirit. life-changing power of the Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Godhead. If the Holy Spirit were not divine. 11. Ps. we have been promised the wisdom and the power of the Spirit. His knowledge is neither limited nor partial. The fact that God has existed from eternity sets Him apart from all created beings in the universe. Through the Spirit. the grip of sin on our lives would be broken? STEP 3—Apply Just for Teachers: We often struggle with the same selfish attitudes. He is eternal. 15:19.” in that there are some things God cannot know before they happen. 1:4). and the same sinful tendencies for years. and omnipresent God.

attitudes. Help your class to understand with clarity this vital truth for Christian living. ask members to read the sentence they have written. Activities:  If supplies are available. 43 . Where supplies are unavailable. invite students to share their thoughts aloud with the class. provide a pencil and an index card to each class member. teachers comments  What are the things in our lives that distract us and keep us from enjoy- ing the fullness of the Holy Spirit’s power?  What can we do about these distractions? What is the key to victory over these lifelong habits. Invite the class members to write in one sentence the most significant thing they learned in class this week. and behaviors that are not in harmony with God’s will? STEP 4—Create Just for Teachers: This week’s lesson is especially designed to help each class member understand the divine power of the Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Godhead.  As an encouragement to the class.

whom the Father will send in My name. 15:13. the Holy Spirit. But the question is not whether some passages can be brought forward that denote more impersonal operations or influences of the Holy Spirit. John 17:17. Rom. This week we will learn more about the personality of the Holy Spirit as He is described in Scripture. L esson 4 *January 21–27 (page 30 of Standard Edition) The Personality of the Holy Spirit Sabbath Afternoon Read for This Week’s Study: John 16:13. some have concluded that He is impersonal. B ecause the Holy Spirit is occasionally depicted in the Bible in impersonal terms. 5:5. reverence. * Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath. There are texts. 44 . This truth will help us better understand the role of God’s divine Spirit in our lives. and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you’ ” (John 14:26. Only when we entertain right thoughts about Him can we render to Him that love. He is more like an electric current that empowers us rather than existing as a personal Being. The question is whether there are numerous portions of Scripture that positively do establish His personality. Rom. In their view. January 28. Rom. such as wind or fire. 14. And it will help us to gain a deeper understanding of the importance of the belief in the personality of the Holy Spirit for our spiritual life. John 14:6. He will teach you all things. Memory Text: “ ‘But the Helper. and we need to take them into consideration in order to gain a more complete picture of who the Holy Spirit is. confi- dence. and submission that are due to Him. 8:14– 16. NASB). a type of divine power.

and He convicts (John 16:8). speaks. allos indicates that Christ will send another comforter who is numerically distinct but is of the same char- acter. In other words. who is similar to Himself. S unday January 22 (page 31 of Standard Edition) Jesus’ Description of the Holy Spirit Read John 16:13. Just as Jesus is a Person. the Holy Spirit guides. 26). 12:11. hears. and John 14:17. The Greek word for “another” is allos. discloses. NASB). This idea is supported by the fact that personal attributes are often ascribed to the Holy Spirit (see John 14:26. He would not leave His disciples as orphans. Jesus promises One like Himself. 1 Cor. One who will take His place. How would Jesus’ promise be fulfilled? How are the disciples not left alone? Jesus cares for His followers. In the Greek language of the New Testament. Why is it so much more comforting to know that the Holy Spirit is a personality instead of a mere force? 45 . 27. He testifies (John 15:24. 14. for assistance—someone called to our aid. 1 Tim. 26. Rom. Read John 14:16–18. He dwells in us (John 14:17). and glorifies (John 16:13. Not a different one. 15:26. 8:26. One who will continue to do His work in us. The Bible here uses the Greek word parakletos (John 14:16) to describe someone who is called upon for support. the Holy Spirit is also per- sonal. and who is His representative.” The words that Jesus uses here are significant. He promised to send the Holy Spirit. These sound more like the actions of a sovereign personality than they do an impersonal force. He promises to send another helper. 14. 4:1). This work of the Holy Spirit is the work of a helper or comforter. What very personal characteristics does Jesus attribute to the Holy Spirit in these passages? What does it mean to you that Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as a Helper or Comforter ( parakletos)? According to Jesus. Jesus here specifically says that He will send “another helper” or “comforter. The Holy Spirit also teaches and reminds us (John 14:26). that is. Acts 15:28. John 15:26.

self- willing. 4:30. Rom. 15:30. True love is not conceivable in an abstract and impersonal manner. Can an impersonal force intercede in our behalf ? Does an imper- sonal spirit or power have the ability to reveal to us things about God? Does an impersonal influence have the ability to speak? All those bibli- cal statements make much more sense if the Holy Spirit is a personal being as opposed to some impersonal force. Evangelism. These predicates of personal- ity indicate that the Holy Spirit is a self-conscious. He is not a shadowy effluence or an impersonal essence. 12:11. Love comes with a very personal touch. What personal attributes are ascribed to the Holy Spirit in these passages? Eph. Only a personal being can be deceived and lied to. 20. capable of love. The will is perhaps one of the most distinctive elements and characteristics in any personality. Rom. And only a personal being has the capacity to love. The distinctive characteristics of personality are knowledge (or understanding). and will. M onday January 23 (page 32 of Standard Edition) Personal Aspects of the Holy Spirit: Part 1 As you read the following texts. Acts 8:29. The Holy Spirit is spoken of in these personal ways because God Himself is a personal God. 1 Cor. 10:19. p. Only a personal being has the ability to choose as he wills and has his own volition.”—Ellen G. He must also be a divine person. White. self-knowing. 27. 8:14–16. else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. ask yourself if they sound as if they are talking about an impersonal force or about a divine Person. 2:10. Only a personal being can be grieved. 617. 28:25. feeling. Read the following texts. Acts 5:3. else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. 1 Cor. 15:30. How does the biblical perspective that the Holy Spirit has char- acteristics of a personality impact our relationship with Him? What would be different if the Holy Spirit were just an imper- sonal power as opposed to God Himself? 46 . and self-determining Being. 9. “The Holy Spirit has a personality.

Instead. p.  . is presented in a very different manner. some draw the conclusion that the Holy Spirit is only an impersonal power. 47 . much the same as both the Father and Son are personal Beings. that idea doesn’t really do justice to the nature of the Holy Spirit. He is seemingly impalpable. all three are mentioned as being part of the same one name in whom we are baptized. the Father. In fact. too. T uesday January 24 (page 33 of Standard Edition) Personal Aspects of the Holy Spirit: Part 2 A challenge we face in understanding the Holy Spirit is that we can imagine God as a Father in a somewhat tangible way. He took our human nature and appeared to us in human form. Ellen G. a Person? Rom. Hence. and the Holy Spirit. as He is described in the Gospels. NASB) would be absurd if the Holy Spirit were only a power or an impersonal influence. Furthermore. is very clear about the existent personality of the Holy Spirit. She. however. the Holy Spirit is revealed here to be on the same level as God the Father and God the Son. much harder to comprehend than are the Father and the Son. how can believers be baptized “  ‘in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit’ ” (Matt.  . Many also have a concrete picture of Jesus. there are statements in the Bible that would make no sense if the Holy Spirit were just an impersonal force or (divine) power. Why do these texts make sense only if the Holy Spirit is. The Holy Spirit. Evangelism. The statement instead indicates another personal Being. the Son.”—Ellen G. Carefully read the following two passages and see if they make sense if you replace the reference to the Holy Spirit with the impersonal word power. 615. 2:4_________________________________________________ The statement of the apostles that “  ‘it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us’  ” (Acts 15:28. White. 15:13________________________________________________ 1 Cor. 28:19. NASB) if the first two who are mentioned are Persons but the third mentioned is not? That doesn’t make the best sense. indeed. White has perceptively stated that “there are three living persons of the heavenly trio  . Thus. As we have seen so far.

48 . When we ask for the leading of the Holy Spirit. a lot of what we understand as truth we understand as propositions. In the Western world it has been shaped by Greek philosophy. of whom the Scriptures speak. He will lead us to Jesus. Ps. We do tend to think of truth in terms of propositions. While God’s Written Word is truthful (compare with John 17:17. Thus. When Jesus talked with the woman of Samaria. because God has revealed Himself through Him. Truth encompasses a deeply personal and faithful rela- tionship to our Creator and Redeemer. Ps. NASB. such as the logical concept known as modus ponens. such as often appears in philosophy. Our contempo- rary understanding of truth often is very abstract and theoretical. He does this by pointing to Jesus Christ and by helping us to remem- ber what Jesus has said (John 15:26) and done for us. What is the meaning of truth in these pas- sages? In the Gospel of John. who is called “the God of all truth” (compare with Deut. How. there- fore B. the Holy Spirit is aptly called the “Spirit of truth” (John 14:17. who is the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6). W ednesday January 25 (page 34 of Standard Edition) The Spirit of Truth Read John 14:6 and 17:17. then B. 31:5). Truth in the Bible is no abstract thing or theory. 32:4. though. The truth into which the Holy Spirit leads us is very personal: He lifts up Jesus and leads us into a living and faithful relationship with Him. and particularly in John’s Gospel. A true knowledge of God is given to us in Jesus. 119:142). indicating not only His personal character but also His divinity.” And no question. we are told that the Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth. do you understand the idea of truth as a Person? Bring your answer to class on Sabbath. “If A. who is sent to us from God the Father (John 15:26). God’s truth is revealed in a supreme way in the Person of Jesus Christ. Read John 15:26 and 16:13. A. 16:13. in the Bible. truth carries a rather personal and specific meaning: Jesus is the truth (John 14:6). What function does the Holy Spirit have as the Spirit of truth? In John 16:13. NASB). However. He said that God must be worshiped in spirit and truth (John 4:24). the word truth is a key term.

or do you want the Holy Spirit to possess you? Do you resist His influence. Gal. we need to give more of ourselves to Him. p. White meant by that? How can the Holy Spirit use us? (See Phil. honor. And because we are fallen. 672.) 49 . we are rob- bing a divine person of the deference. and are you willing to glorify God with how you live? Read Romans 5:5 and Ephesians 2:18. 5:18–24)? Do you want to use the Holy Spirit according to your plans. 2:13.” —LeRoy Edwin Froom. God stands at the center of our Christian experience. How are the Holy Spirit and God’s love connected? What impact does that have on you person- ally and on the church? People consciously choose to cooperate with one another. whom you have from God” (1 Cor. We are invited to work together with the Holy Spirit. and we think of Him as an impersonal influence. to deafen our ears to His invitation. If we do not accept the Holy Spirit as a Person of the triune Godhead. “If He is a divine person. T hursday January 26 (page 35 of Standard Edition) Why Does It Matter? The question of the personality of the Holy Spirit is of utmost importance. 19. or do you rely on Him so that He can enable you to become more like Jesus Christ and do what He has in mind for you? Do you take seriously the fact that “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you. NASB). What do you think Ellen G. 1956). 40. Thus. it will be easier for us to ignore Him. while He leads and transforms us personally and God’s church corporately. “We cannot use the Holy Spirit. and to harden our hearts against His life-changing influence. in our acknowledgment that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person who wants to use us. sin-damaged beings in need of God’s transforming grace. If we think of the Holy Spirit only as a mysterious divine power. or are you willing to follow Him in joyful obedience (see Rom. our thoughts will be: How can I have more of the Holy Spirit? But if we think of the Holy Spirit as a divine Person. p. 6:19. we will ask: How can the Holy Spirit have more of me? The decisive point is: Do you want to possess the Holy Spirit. If anything. the last thing we need to do is ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit in our lives. and it has highly practical implications. The Spirit is to use us. The Coming of the Comforter (Hagerstown.: Review and Herald Publishing Association.”—The Desire of Ages. 8:12–14. and love that is His due. Md.

even to the end of the age’ ” (Matt. but just “name” (Greek onoma). how much more so will we not be able to fully understand the nature of the Holy Spirit Himself ? Discussion Questions:  In class. Cults. teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. we have the loving. and Holy Spirit. White wrote: “We need to realize that the Holy Spirit. White. in Evangelism. is walking through these grounds. it’s hard to fully understand. He didn’t say “names” of the Father.” pp. thus. no one questions the personality of the Father and the Son. an impersonal force or a person- ality? What are the implications of your answer? 50 . the Lord is one!’ ” [Deut. Also read “Dealing With False Science.”—Evangelism. He said to baptize disciples in the “name.” pp. Jesus Christ. I am with you always. “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled. baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. and comforting presence of God Himself working in us and through us. of the Father. why should anyone do that with the personality and personhood of the Holy Spirit? According to the Bible. What does that mean? Why would Jesus be the Truth? How do we understand “truth” that way—instead of seeing it merely as precepts or propositions?  Ellen G. go over your answer to Wednesday’s question about truth being a Person. where she speaks about the Holy Spirit. “And Jesus came and spoke to them. And how much nicer it is to know that this abiding presence is a Person. as Jesus gave them their calling and work. Son. caring. in The Desire of Ages. O Israel: The Lord our God. But so what? If we can’t fully understand the nature of something as basic as light or wind. p. NKJV). 28:18–20. who is as much a person as God is a person. Notice. F riday January 27 (page 36 of Standard Edition) Further Thought: Read Ellen G. 616. 613–617. 669–672. and Secret Societies. Son. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.  What can you better relate to. Yes. That’s who the Holy Spirit is and what He does. NKJV]). What does this tell us about the reality and presence of the Holy Spirit?  Go back over some of the traits and characteristics of the Holy Spirit that we have seen this week. and Holy Spirit. and lo. This is more powerful proof of the triune nature of our One God (“ ‘Hear. ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. As this week’s lesson has already pointed out. Which ones are especially com- forting to you? Which one means the most to you? Share in class why you chose what you did. just as much as the Father and Jesus are. 6:4. saying.” singular. Isms.

The two began writing to each other. and in time they began dating. After attending the church for several months. and she became convinced that this was where God wanted her to be. Roza asked to be baptized. and Roza began her career as a teacher. she met Krystov [Chris-toff]. and they have reconciled with their daughter. Krystov entered the ministry. Thank you! Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. and a Bible camp filled with friendly youth who welcomed her. She was permitted to sleep in her own bed. Her family saw that the couple was happy in their faith and in their work. Web site: www. Roza knew that her mother was worried about 51 . “How will you ever find a husband?” she asked. While Roza was preparing for baptism. but her parents no longer supported her financially. because there weren’t many Adventists in Poland. Thank you for your support through the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering. Two weeks later Roza’s mother sent her sister to ask her to return home. And her mother demanded that she leave the house. going home only to sleep.AdventistMission. Roza is grateful to God for leading her to the Savior through the influ- ence of her grandmother. She spent most of her time in class and studying in the school library. a young man who lived in another city and also was planning to be baptized. A scholarship paid her school tuition. Her parents were angry when she told them about her decision. This quarter you can help reach many more people for Jesus in Poland through your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering. Part of this quarter’s offering will fund live television programs aimed specifically toward children and youth on Hope Channel Poland. Roza managed to finish college on her own. but Roza took a job cleaning the church to pay for food and other neces- sities. She went to stay with an Adventist family who lived nearby. they were married. Did you know that you don’t have to wait until the last Sabbath of the quarter to give to this special offer- ing? Give online now at our secure Web site: giving. Eventually. her father hit her. a Bible lecture brochure.adventistmission . i n s i d e Story Finding God’s Plan: Part 2 Roza continued attending the Seventh-day Adventist church. Roza packed a few clothes and her school textbooks and left her par- ents’ home. Roza knew her mother had a point. Roza hopes that one day soon her parents will find the joy in Jesus that she and Krystov (choose “13th Sabbath Offering” from the pull-down fund menu). But she claimed God’s prom- ises to provide for her in every way. For the first time in her life.

teachers comments

The Lesson in Brief
Key Texts: John 14:16–18, 16:5–15

The Student Will:
Know: Recognize the importance of understanding that the Holy Spirit is a
divine Personality, not merely a force proceeding from the Father.
Feel: Experience a deeper appreciation of, and dependence on, the Holy
Spirit’s ministry in daily living.
Do: Develop sensitivity to the voice of the Spirit and a more complete
openness to responding to His leading.

Learning Outline:
I. Know: The Holy Spirit Is Just as Much a Divine Person as Are the Father
and the Son.
A What attributes of personality does the Bible ascribe to the Holy Spirit?
B How do you define “personhood”? What makes a person a person? How do
the qualities of the Holy Spirit, found in the Bible, give evidence of these traits?

II. Feel: The Holy Spirit Longs to Fill Each Believer.
A Why is it so important to recognize that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person
of the Godhead and as much a divine Personality as are the Father and the
B How do you feel knowing that Jesus has not left us orphans but longs
to be personally present with us through the ministry of the Holy Spirit?

III. Do: The Holy Spirit Longs to Reveal Jesus More Fully.
A The highest delight and greatest joy of the Holy Spirit is to “testify”
of Jesus in our lives. Determine to set aside time each day to read some
portion of the Gospels in order to give the Spirit space to glorify Jesus in
your life. What have you found most helpful in your own spiritual life to
allow you time to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit?
B What specific experiences could you share with the class regarding
times in which the Holy Spirit has revealed God’s love? How have they
been specifically meaningful to you?

Summary: When we open our hearts to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, realizing
that He is the personal Representative of Christ, the Third Person of the
Godhead, He will reveal Jesus to us in all of His beauty and glorify the liv-
ing Christ in our lives.

teachers comments

Learning Cycle
STEP 1—Motivate

Spotlight on Scripture: John 16:7

Key Concept for Spiritual Growth: The Holy Spirit is not limited
by time or place. Whenever we need Him, He is there. Wherever we
go in Christ’s name, He will be there, guiding, counseling, encourag-
ing, strengthening, and inspiring us with hope. As we grasp the reality
of the Spirit’s daily, continual presence, our hearts will be overjoyed.

Just for Teachers: This week’s lesson unfolds the personality of the
Holy Spirit throughout Scripture. Some want to deny that the Holy Spirit
is the Third Person of the Godhead. They believe that the Holy Spirit is a
force or an essence that proceeds from the Father, not a distinct Being and
divine Personality.
In our study this week, we will systematically review the Bible pas-
sages that clearly demonstrate both the divine nature and Personhood
of the Holy Spirit. Three basics of personality are a mind that reasons,
a will that chooses, and speech that communicates. The Holy Spirit pos-
sesses all three. We will examine the first two in more depth in this lesson.

Opening Discussion: When you think of the Holy Spirit, what do you
think of ? How clear is your own thinking on the nature, role, and ministry
of the Holy Spirit? It certainly is much easier to think of the Father and Son
as divine Personalities than it is to think of the Holy Spirit as such.
We often equate visibility with personhood. It is difficult to imagine a
person who is invisible. The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Infinite
things are difficult for the human mind to comprehend; but just because
we do not fully understand something does not mean that the thing we do
not fully understand does not exist.

Questions for Discussion:
 Why is understanding the nature of the Holy Spirit so important?
 Why do God’s people need the ministry of the Holy Spirit in their
daily lives?
 What can we learn from Jesus’ description of the Holy Spirit in John
16:13, 14?

STEP 2—Explore

Just for Teachers: When we approach divine mysteries, it is important

teachers comments

to discover what the Bible says and to be willing to leave unanswered what
it does not say. In this week’s lesson, we will focus on what the Bible teaches
on the divine Personality of the Holy Spirit, finding encouragement and
strength for our lives today.

Bible Commentary
I. “Called to One’s Side”: The Holy Spirit as Helper and Comforter (Review
John 14–16 with the class.)

In Jesus’ discussion of the Holy Spirit in John 14–16, He uses the term
“  ‘Helper’  ” (NKJV) or “Comforter” (KJV) on four separate occasions
(John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7). The Greek term used in these passages
is parakletos, which literally means “ ‘called to one’s side,’ i.e., to one’s
aid.”—Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, s.v. “para-
kletos,” accessed March 29, 2016,
/Dictionary/viewTopic.cfm?topic=VT0000499. In an ancient court of
law, when someone was tried, this person was assigned a parakletos, - who
would come to this person’s aid and provide for the needs of this person.
(Ibid.) These needs might be physical, such as the need for food, blankets,
or water. Additionally, they might be emotional or psychological needs,
such as the need for encouragement and hope. Or they might be legal
needs, such as the need for a defense or an advocate when the charges
were brought forward in court.
What an image to use in order to describe the Holy Spirit: One who
comes alongside of us to meet our physical, mental, emotional, and
spiritual needs! There is never a situation that we face as God’s chil-
dren when He is not there. There is never an experience with which we
are confronted that He is incapable of handling. Our divine Helper is
always there, ready to help in our times of need.

Consider This: What is the original Greek term for Holy Spirit that is used
in John 14:16, and what does that literally mean? How does its meaning
help us understand more fully the concept of the Holy Spirit as both Helper
and Comforter? How does He come to our aid? What needs does He fulfill?

II. The Person of the Holy Spirit (Review Romans 8:27 and 1 Corinthians 12:11
with the class.)

The apostle Paul uses two amazing terms to describe the Holy Spirit’s
divine Personhood: “mind” and “will.” In Romans 8:27, Paul speaks of the
“mind of the Spirit” (NKJV). In 1 Corinthians 12:11, he points out that the
Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to each believer individually “as He wills.”

God’s word to us is. Every one may place his will on the side of the will of God. Luke 8:35).’ Joshua 24:15. distinct Personality. he may stand where nothing can force him to do evil. 289. the demoniac is found to be in his “right mind” (Mark 5:15. In every experience of life. It is here that reason. lifts us above the animal creation.”—Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. 55 . under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Animals have minds. be a divine Person. and soundness of mind—qualities believers are urged to aspire to and pray for. And when speaking of the need for unity among believers. that a godly character is developed. or the ability to make rational choices. the Bible urges us to be of the “same mind” (Rom. The Bible uses the word mind to embody con- cepts of holiness. The Holy Spirit thinks. 2:5. Being endowed with a will reflects part of what it means to be fashioned in the image of God. unity. makes decisions. may choose to obey Him. as presented in the context of human believers and Christ. Because the Holy Spirit has both a divine mind that thinks and reasons and a divine will that chooses. 1  Cor. Just as the endowment of a mind is a defining characteristic of personhood for both the human and the divine. It is through the right exercise of the will. Ellen G. propelled by instinct and driven by biological desires. He is as much a real and divine Personality as are the Father and the Son. conscience. 4:2) and “one mind” (2  Cor. “sophro- neo.v. the power of decision. Let’s look more closely at the mind and the will in the Bible. by very definition. He is a separate. one aspect of God’s personal- ity. and chooses. a phrase that also can be translated from the Greek to mean “to be of sound mind. But the will. s. Coming into Christ’s presence imparts soundness of mind. as the story of the demoniac powerfully illustrates. He is not merely a force that proceeds from the Father. when the demons are cast out. 2:16).”—Education.blueletterbible.” accessed March 29. so is the will. God has given each of us the capacity to make moral choices through the right exercise of the will. His holy character. the Holy Spirit—mysterious though He may be—fulfills the definition of personhood. White states it succinctly: “The will is the governing power in the nature of man. We are not merely creatures. based on these criteria. 2016. reasons. teachers comments The mind and the will are two unique functions of personhood. /Lexicon. the Bible tells us we may have the mind of Christ (Phil. to infer more fully what it means for the Holy Spirit to be endowed with both. For example. or choice. https://www. and judgment influence decisions. He must. The mind is the center of thought. which is to say. 13:11). p. Phil.cfm?strongs=G4993&t=KJV. ‘Choose you this day whom ye will serve. and by thus linking himself with divine agencies. 12:16. Every human being possessed of reason has power to choose the right. Consider This: Define the characteristics of personhood and why.

we are not hoping for a mystical presence to lead us to some inner light.’ ” what does He mean when He says to His disciples that the Holy Spirit will lead them into “ ‘all truth’ ” (John 16:13)? Thought/Application Questions:  When we seek the Holy Spirit to be in our midst.  Invite your class to share ways they have found to hear the Spirit’s voice as they have meditated on the Word and works of God. As we give the Holy Spirit permission to fill our lives with His divine presence. NKJV).  Discuss with your class what it means to them personally that the Holy - Spirit is our divine parakletos. The Holy Spirit is available to strengthen us as we face temptation. 56 . We will rejoice in the victories that the Holy Spirit gives. We are asking the God of the universe to send the Third Person of the Godhead to give us the support we need. Activities:  Ask your class to share the most significant thought they will take away from this week’s lesson. If Jesus is “ ‘truth. we are not seeking some cosmic force to guide us. the truth. teachers comments STEP 3—Apply Just for Teachers: Lead your class into a practical discussion of how the Holy Spirit reveals the truth of God’s Word and how Jesus is “  ‘the way. to encourage us in times of discouragement. we will live life to the fullest rather than struggling in our own strength against the wiles of the evil one and living lives of frustrated defeat. When we seek guidance from the Holy Spirit. and the life’  ” (John 14:6. and to guide us in times of decision. Why does the Holy Spirit seem so mysterious at times? How can He become more real in our lives?  What can we do as individuals to be more sensitive to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives?  What practical things can we do to hear the voice of God speaking through the Holy Spirit as we read God’s Word? STEP 4—Create Just for Teachers: The Holy Spirit is a powerful Ally in overcoming sin and enabling us to live joyful and abundant Christian lives.

Acts 13:52. This week we will study what the Bible says about the baptism of the Spirit and what it means to be filled with Him. We might have learning. indeed. Eph. L esson 5 *January 28–February 3 (page 38 of Standard Edition) The Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit Sabbath Afternoon Read for This Week’s Study: Mark 1:8. He is the Creator of all life. we must be filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus. Acts 5:32. “ ‘I am the way. This fullness is possible only by being joined to Him. NIV). February 4. No one comes to the Father except through Me’ ” (John 14:6. He wants to give us life as it is meant to be—a life that is fulfilling and meaningful because it is rooted in the Source of all life: Jesus Christ. We will also look at some evidence that testifies that we are. but without the Spirit. Without Him. 5:16–26. talent. wants us to live life to its fullest. our witness will be powerless and our Christian lives nothing but a burden. Memory Text: “ ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. 5:18. We will not have the assurance of salvation and will not know the joy that comes from serving our Lord. Gal. * Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath. and eloquence. NKJV). 57 . however. the truth. and have it to the full’  ” (John 10:10. and this can happen only through the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives. filled with the Spirit. and the life. Luke 11:8–10. we cannot experience life as God intended for us to. We will be Christians in name only. and a Christian in name only is not really a Christian at all. A s Christians. I have come that they may have life. and the only way to eternal life.

3:11. What other rite of initiation goes together with the baptism of the Spirit? In the New Testament. The word all is crucial. and Acts 11:16. Paul emphasizes unity. In baptism we are identi- fied with Christ. After their eyes were opened to Christ. and John 1:33). there are only seven passages that speak about being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Here the Holy Spirit was given to usher in the beginning of “the last days” of salvation history. and all were made to drink of one Spirit. in contrast to the other Gospels. In 1 Corinthians 12:13. The ministry of Jesus consists in taking away our sins and in giving us the Holy Spirit. What has been your own experience in being baptized by the Holy Spirit? What has He meant for your life? What would you be like without the Holy Spirit working in your life? 58 . This twofold experience is also reported in Acts 2:38. and Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit so that we can live in His power and proclaim the good news. In the New Testament. He states that by one Spirit we all are baptized into one body. The same experience is reported about the believ- ers in the house of Cornelius in Acts 10:43. Acts 1:5. Instead. Water baptism is known as the baptism of repentance (Acts 19:4). however. the disciples received both: forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit. Luke 3:16. the receiving of the Holy Spirit and baptism belong together. Paul connects the initiation of all believers into the body of Christ with the baptism of the Spirit. when he talks about another important work of Jesus: the taking away of the sins of the world. 44 and later in Acts 11:16. he uses a present participle. indicating that this is something that has con- tinuing validity (see John 1:33). Four of those passages go back to John the Baptist and point to Pentecost. John. S unday January 29 (page 39 of Standard Edition) The Baptism of the Holy Spirit Read Mark 1:8 (compare with Matt. does not use the future tense when speaking about the baptism of the Spirit. The baptism of the Spirit is no second work of grace at a later stage in life that some associate with miraculous gifts. They signal our new birth. The same tense is used by John just a few verses earlier in John 1:29. Paul does not have in mind the unique expe- rience at Pentecost but rather the experience of all believers. When we repent of sin and are baptized in the name of Jesus. we also receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:28–39).

71. 14. Only when we commit all aspects of our life to the Spirit every day can He use us to God’s glory. Sanctifier. and Romans 8:9. and so we are empowered to live as we should. 67. There are numerous references in the New Testament where people are filled with the Spirit (Luke 1:41. M onday January 30 (page 40 of Standard Edition) Being Filled With the Holy Spirit Read Ephesians 5:18. While the Spirit is given by the hearing of faith (Gal. and thoughts will reflect Jesus. Acts 13:52. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul uses the word filling to say that a person has submitted completely to God and is open to the guiding influence of the Holy Spirit so that God’s own work can be accomplished in the person’s life. vol. signifying continuous action. 59 . 9:17. This filling has to be repeated so that every part of our lives is filled with His presence. just as surely receives the Holy Spirit to be his Counselor. Being filled with the Holy Spirit does not so much mean that we possess more of Him but that He possesses more of us. If we yield to the influence of alcohol. It literally means: “being [continuously] filled. talk. we need to seek the infilling of the Holy Spirit every day. have actually received the Holy Spirit. the term filled with the Spirit is in the imperfect tense. “I wish to impress upon you the fact that those who have Jesus abid- ing in the heart by faith. our walk. We need the infilling of God’s Spirit each day. It is something that we should seek and receive every day. Acts 2:4. 4:8. talk. Guide. p. White. What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? How does being filled with the Spirit happen in our lives? Once we are baptized and belong to Christ. In the Greek of Acts 13:52. Every individual who receives Jesus as his personal Saviour. we yield every part of our life to His transforming influence with the result that our walk. For this to happen we have to be filled with the Spirit.”—Ellen G.” Being filled with the Spirit is not a one-time event. and thoughts will be affected negatively. Manuscript Releases. We can’t live off a powerful experience that we had last year or last month or even yesterday. 3:14) at our baptism (Titus 3:5. we should live in the power of the Spirit. 6). and Witness. 13:9). 31. for each day brings its own challenges. 3:2) and is received through faith (Gal.

2:4. and self-­ surrendering in our own prayer lives? Why is it important that we do learn these things? 60 . regardless of what happens. We will look at some important ones during the next two days. diligent. Why can’t we receive the Holy Spirit without trusting God’s Word? Jesus has promised to send the Spirit as His representative. 13. trusting that God will keep His Word and not let us down. Our prayers simply reveal our determination. The only way that we can experience true repentance is to be touched by the love of God: “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience. Hearing the Word of God arouses our conscience and can lead us to an awareness of our true sinfulness and lost condition. and they prepare us for the gift. In faith we receive the promised gift. Our prayer changes us and brings us into God’s presence. more than we can be even to our own children. Faith is more than intellectual assent. It is putting our lives on the line. How can we learn to be more fervent. Read Galatians 3:14 and James 1:6–8. we are like a double-minded person and cannot expect to receive anything from God. NASB). Read Acts 2:37. 38. What is the first condition for receiving the Holy Spirit? One condition for receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit is repentance. Read Luke 11:8–10. God is good and benevolent. not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repen- tance?” (Rom. It is a thorough change of heart and mind so that we see sin for what it really is: an ugly evil and rebellion against God. T uesday January 31 (page 41 of Standard Edition) Conditions: Part 1 God’s Word points to certain conditions needed for the Spirit to abide in us. Why does persistent intercession make a dif- ference? God is not reluctant to give us the Spirit. True repentance is more than just feeling sorry for the dire consequences of our sins. Prayer doesn’t bring God down to us but brings us up to Him. But if we doubt God’s promise and do not trust His Word. Our persistent interces- sion does not change His mind.

pp. The choice is ours. he will keep My word’ ” (John 14:23. we will have peace of mind. If we trust God with all our hearts. White. Read Jude 18–21. W ednesday February 1 (page 42 of Standard Edition) Conditions: Part 2 Read Acts 5:32. The Holy Spirit reacts very sensitively to the existence of all sin and worldliness in our lives. Those are strong words. When we do what God has commanded. Obedience is a choice leading to a lifestyle that follows God’s will as expressed in His law. love. by the Spirit whom He has given us” (1 John 3:24. Jesus said: “ ‘If anyone loves Me. the Holy Spirit is granted to all who obey God. makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart. NASB). ‘I have come to know Him. “There is no limit to the usefulness of one who. by putting self aside. NASB). in him the love of God has truly been perfected” (NASB). Of course. Why do we need to avoid all impurity if we want to be filled with the Spirit? The fire of the Holy Spirit cannot keep burning in our lives when we are worldly minded. Therefore we need to keep ourselves in the love of God and be connected with God through prayer so that we will shun all impurity and display a spirit of power. The Desire of Ages. but whoever keeps His word. 251. and the truth is not in him. In 1 John 2:4. the battle comes down to our choice of either surrendering our wills to the prompting of the Holy Spirit or allowing the flesh to dominate. From John we also know that “the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him. In the Bible. 5 we are told that “the one who says. love and obedience go hand in hand. and discipline (2 Tim.’ and does not keep His commandments. Only through a close and fierce battle with self can we become the kind of people we should be. we can’t do it ourselves. and lives a life wholly consecrated to God. and He in him. How can you apply these words to your own spiritual life? 61 . 7). and true faith is expressed in obedience. we will obey His com- mandments.”—Ellen G. We must continue in obe- dience if we want to acknowledge Jesus as our Lord (Luke 6:46). 1:6. Why is obedience to God’s Word an important condi- tion for receiving the Holy Spirit? Then. We know by this that He abides in us. as now. is a liar. 250.

for sin is too deeply ingrained in us. “being confident of this very thing. 5:14. our values and behavior will change. We cannot transform ourselves. self-centered part come through. 3:3). T hursday February 2 (page 43 of Standard Edition) Self-Centered Living Versus Christ- Centered Living Read Galatians 5:16–26 and compare it with Ephesians 5:1–9. In what areas of your life do you see the selfish. The change from within can be successful only through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. Desires what is spiritual and pleas- pleasing to God ing to God Is controlled by sinful passions Is controlled by the Spirit Misuses his/her freedom and gets Is set free from the bondage of sin enslaved in sin and is called to freedom in Christ Is disobedient to God’s will Is obedient to God’s will Is self-indulgent Is self-sacrificing Displays the fruit of sin Displays the fruit of the Spirit Does not recognize the need for Recognizes the need for forgive- forgiveness and is boastful of self ness and praises Jesus for what He has done The life of a person who is filled with God’s Spirit is characterized by a loving obedience to God’s law and a gentle spirit of compassion for others (see 2 Cor. Self-Centered Person Spirit-Controlled Person Desires what is sinful and dis. Having been renewed in our minds and thinking and having received new hearts and a new outlook on life. The life of a person who does not live in the Spirit is radically dif- ferent from the life and values of a person who is filled with the Spirit. This is the work of a lifetime. We possess no real power to change ourselves. 17–20. No mere external change. 1:6. but a work that God promises to do in us if we surrender to Him. NASB). We want to live no longer in our own strength but in submission to the Holy Spirit (Gal. that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. NKJV). The renewing energy must come from God. The change has to come from a heart renewed by the Holy Spirit. a work that will have its up and downs. List the differences between a self-centered life and a life that is filled with the Spirit. such as correcting this or that bad habit. makes us Christians. and in what parts do you see a life that reflects the working of the Holy Spirit in you? What does your answer tell you about yourself and the choices you need to make? 62 .

 Compare the evidence of a self-centered life with a life that is Spirit-filled (see chart in Thursday’s study). p.  Why is it important to put self aside and consecrate our lives wholly to God before the Holy Spirit can work mightily through us? What could God do in you that would make you more of a blessing to others if you put self aside and opened your heart to the workings of the Holy Spirit in you?  “The Christian’s life is not a modification or improvement of the old. 119:45. We normally depend on our own efforts to achieve all that we can. John 8:34–36. He knows and loves you as nobody else can. But we need the desire for this power in our lives. 3:17. Luke 4:18. but according to the Spirit” (NKJV).”—Ellen G. not only are we no longer condemned (see Rom. And to be truly free in Christ. This human dilemma finds an answer only in God. 8:1). F riday February 3 (page 44 of Standard Edition) Further Thought: It is only natural for a person to seek control of one’s life. God doesn’t force Himself on any of us. as sinful and fallen beings. 5:1. and how you want to do it. The Desire of Ages. Instead. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit. but we live a life where we “do not walk according to the flesh. But there is no contradiction here. While many people spend their lives in a quest for control. but a transformation of nature. you will have His supernatural peace and boundless opportunities to be a blessing to others. and Gal. That’s the only true freedom that we. This opens the door for Him to work in your life. by surrendering to the Lord and making way for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. when you want. we need to be free beings. full control. Our freedom is found in liberation from the condemnation and power of sin. Your Creator and Redeemer. By choosing to submit your will to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit. can ever know. There is a death to self and sin. To be truly free. which always enslaves us and always leads to death. 172. and a new life altogether. White. Discuss with the mem- bers of your Sabbath School group what the greatest blessing of a Spirit-filled life could be for us. Discussion Questions:  Some people think that freedom consists of being able to do what you want. others have an unhealthy fear of losing control. Discuss in class the implications of these words. To be moral beings. What’s wrong with that concept from a Christian perspective? What is the biblical idea of true freedom? See Ps. we must be truly surrendered to the con- trol of the Holy Spirit. we need a sense of abandonment (that of wanting to abandon our old sinful and fallen ways) and a sense of abiding (that of abiding in the power of the Holy Spirit). 63 . 2 Cor. He wants you to give Him.

I Can’t Find You. but she had never heard of such a group. Hannele had sometimes attended Sunday School. Please find me. Hannele prayed that her daughter would find a good family to live with—and she did. this time comparing it with my Bible. The couple had children.” Hannele’s teenage daughter decided to study in Australia for a year. After finishing her university schooling. I found the book on the Internet and read it. She watched several programs and rejoiced to find that her life was changing for the better. Worried. Greg told Hannele about an Adventist television station available on the Internet. but she’d never heard of someone giving his or her life to Jesus. She attended several different churches and joined youth activities. so we could instant message one another. I sensed that I was finding answers to my questions and a closer walk with God. Hannele’s husband looked the church up on the Internet. Hannele bought a Bible and read it through. but she didn’t find what her cousin had described. Finland’s capital city. 64 Web site: www. “They were wonderful!” Hannele said later. Hannele had every- thing she wanted—except God. At last. Hannele invited him to attend church with her. I got to know Greg and told him of my search for God. As she continued visiting churches. the father. But that didn’t work. she did things that she thought Christians did. and life became busy. To be continued in next week’s Inside Story. There she met her future husband.” Greg’s father was a former missionary who answered Hannele’s ques- tions about God. What does that mean? Hannele wondered. but still she felt spiritually hungry. He told me that he had drifted away from his child- hood church. Hannele moved to .AdventistMission. I can’t find You. helped us set up our computer. “Lord. and Hannele was reassured by what she read. Please Find Me”: Part 1 Hannele tore open her cousin’s letter and began reading. It changed my life! I read it again. “I’ve given my life to Jesus. she prayed. “Greg. As we chatted. The Desire of Ages. Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission.i n s i d e Story “Lord. but he suggested that I read his favorite book. hoping that he would find God and then show her how to find Him too.” her cousin wrote. He told her that he was a Seventh-day Adventist. He explained that Adventists keep the Bible Sabbath and look forward to Jesus’ return. Hannele longed for a similar experience with God but wasn’t sure how to have it.

Learning Outline: I. biblical steps to be filled with the Holy Spirit. As we follow the practical. Do: Seek consciously the daily baptism of the Holy Spirit through thought- ful study of God’s Word. 65 . He or she also will discover the prerequisites for receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit today. Do: The Joy and Strength of Living in the Power of the Spirit A Why is living in the power of the Holy Spirit so challenging on a daily basis? B What are some practical things we can do to prepare our hearts for the infilling of the Holy Spirit? Summary: The right understanding of the baptism of the Holy Spirit leads us to sense the abject poverty of the soul without the fullness of the Holy Spirit. teachers comments The Lesson in Brief Key Text: Matthew 3:11 The Student Will: Know: Understand the meaning of the baptism of the Holy Spirit in Scripture. Know: The Meaning and Significance of Being Baptized by the Holy Spirit A Why is the baptism of the Holy Spirit so significant in the life of each believer? B What practical difference does the baptism of the Holy Spirit make in each one of our lives? C Why can’t you be a committed Christian without the baptism of the Holy Spirit? II. Feel: The Poverty of the Soul Without the Baptism of the Holy Spirit A How can our feelings of weakness and inadequacy actually drive us to seek the infilling of the Holy Spirit? B Why is the lack of knowledge regarding the baptism and infilling of the Holy Spirit so detrimental to our spiritual lives? III. and grasp the practical importance of this biblical teaching in his or her life. Feel: Foster a deeper desire to be filled daily with the Holy Spirit and to live with a sense of the presence and guidance of the Spirit. we receive strength and joy.

“Can we talk privately? I have a very important question to ask you. Here is the fundamental question: What is the difference between the unpardonable sin and the baptism of the Holy Spirit? They are two polarities on opposite sides of the Holy Spirit spectrum. in the state of Massachusetts. Additionally. We live in frustrated defeat rather than in joyous victory. “How do I know if I have committed the unpardonable sin? Why do I feel so spiri- tually empty? Is this emptiness a sign that the Holy Spirit has left me?” Pastor Finley patiently answered the questions one by one until this young man had new assurance in Christ and a sense of the daily presence of the Holy Spirit in his life. powerless to overcome tempta- tion. The loving heart of Christ desires that we have all the benefits that Heaven offers in overcoming the wiles of the evil one and in living the most abundant lives possible. We are caught in the grip of seemingly unbreakable habits rather than enjoying the freedom that the Spirit of Christ brings. concerned look on his face. Opening Discussion: Pastor Mark Finley. He asked. After one of the meetings. we live the Christian life in our own strength. what is the baptism of the Holy Spirit? How is one literally “filled” with 66 . Just for Teachers: This week’s lesson should help members of your class to be aware that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not for a select few or a small group of spiritually elite Christians. The young man launched immediately into his concerns. God is doing everything possible to enable us to be overcomers in the battle with evil. Our decisions are based on human wisdom rather than divine guidance. Anxiously. even if they may not fully understand the sig- nificance of the infilling and may not clearly grasp the steps of how to be filled with the Holy Spirit. teachers comments Learning Cycle STEP 1—Motivate Spotlight on Scripture: Matthew 3:11 Key Concept for Spiritual Growth: God longs to fill His people with His Holy Spirit. When we become insensitive to the infilling of the Holy Spirit. a young man in his late twenties approached Pastor Finley with a strange. conducted a series of evangelistic meetings on the East Coast of America.” Pastor Finley invited the young man to be seated in a quiet corner of the auditorium for their discussion. he blurted out the questions. a Seventh-day Adventist evan- gelist. The baptism or infilling of the Holy Spirit is for all believers in every generation.

the presence of God guarding the tree of life is sym- bolized by a flaming sword. urge class members to read the context of the passage. what is the meaning of the words in the passage they are studying? (At times. it is helpful to look at the original language of the text. Bible Commentary I. In Genesis 3:24. NKJV)? Notice the Bible says. we are filled with the Holy Spirit. teachers comments the Spirit? Why is the infilling of the Holy Spirit not simply an emotional experience? What kind of experience is it? STEP 2—Explore Just for Teachers: The major themes of today’s lesson are (1) the baptism of the Holy Spirit. God’s presence is manifest in a burning bush (Exod. 3:2–4). 3:11.” What does that distinction mean? As your students explore the answers to these questions. What comes before the text they are considering. 24:17). fire is used as a symbol of the presence of God. Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Review Matthew 3:11 with the class. and what comes after? Second. (2) the prerequisites to receiving the Holy Spirit. Under the larger umbrella of these themes. In Exodus. The same Holy Spirit that inspired the Bible fills and transforms our lives as we read it. God makes Himself manifest in the “consuming fire” on Mount Sinai (Exod. A good Bible commentary or dictionary can be useful here. it is impor- tant that they bear in mind that there are at least three prime ways that help in understanding a Bible passage: First. be sure to emphasize to your students that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is for all believers. who would baptize them with “ ‘the Holy Spirit and fire’ ” (Matt. Share the truth that baptism is immersion and that each one of us can be immersed daily in the presence of God through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He reveals Himself 67 .) Throughout the Bible. 13:21). and (3) the difference the infilling of the Holy Spirit makes in the life of each believer. “and fire” not “or fire. how are the words and concepts of this passage used in other places in the Bible? And third. It also is revealed in the pillar of fire that guides Israel by night (Exod. this commentary section will attempt to explore answers to the follow- ing questions: What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit? And what does John the Baptist mean when he points his hearers forward to Jesus.) Throughout the lesson. As we saturate our minds with the Word.

or immersed. it is rather that we are incapable of receiving the Holy Spirit in His fullness without meeting the conditions. God’s presence is revealed in the imagery of flaming fire. To be baptized in the Holy Spirit is to be immersed in the presence of God. Baptism in Scripture is neither sprinkling nor pouring. 40:34–38). to be committed to His ways. and we are witnesses of His grace. 22. Consider This: Give examples from the Old and New Testaments of how fire is used to symbolize the presence of God. 25:8. It is to be filled with His grace and to radiate His glory. fire is a unique biblical symbol that represents the glory. What does the baptism of the Holy Spirit mean to you personally? 68 . Empowered by the Spirit. 3:2. in the burning coal off heaven’s altar that touches Isaiah’s lips. It is immersion. reflecting His goodness and proclaiming His love and power. teachers comments in the Shekinah glory in the Most Holy Place in Israel’s sanctuary (Exod. His desire is that we live lives of victory. It is not that God is hesitant to give the Spirit. 4:1). and in the refining fire of Malachi (1 Kings 18:38. majesty. and power of God’s eternal presence through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. and to be surrendered to His purpose. 21. It is to reveal to a waiting world and a watching universe the greatness of His power in our lives. He is there in the fire that consumes the heathen altar on Mount Carmel. 6:6–8. When we are immersed in a water baptism as a testimony of our total commitment to Christ and His truth. in the presence of God? STEP 3—Apply Just for Teachers: The biblical conditions given in Scripture for the reception of the Holy Spirit are given not because God desires to hold back His Spirit from us but because He desires us to receive Him in His fullness. It is. no accident that in Acts 2 the presence of the Holy Spirit is revealed in tongues of fire. Thought Questions:  God longs to fill us with His Holy Spirit and radically transform our lives more than we can ever imagine. Isa. therefore. Mal. we are also baptized by the Holy Spirit and experience the infilling of the Holy Spirit. 3. Throughout the New Testament. It is to live in harmony with His will. our lives are changed. As we can see throughout the Old Testament. n What does baptism mean? Define “immersion.” What does it mean to be baptized.

Activities:  What is the difference between the self-centered person and the Spirit-controlled person?  Read Galatians 5:16–26 meditatively.  Surrender that area to Him and claim the promise of the Holy Spirit for victory. it must make a difference in every aspect of our lives. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Spend a moment reflecting on what the Holy Spirit brings to your mind. STEP 4—Create Just for Teachers: The essence of all Christian faith is Christ-centered living. 69 . and discuss them with your class:  Why is repentance a prerequisite to receiving the Holy Spirit?  What role does trusting God’s Word play in receiving the Holy Spirit?  How does obedience play a role in the reception of the Holy Spirit?  Why do you think God would not pour out His Holy Spirit on those who knowingly are disobedient to His will?  Why does impurity hinder the working of the Holy Spirit? Activity: Ask members of your class to share Bible passages that are the most meaningful to them about the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. it does not make much difference at all. For faith to be genuine and authentic. and ask God to reveal any area in your life that is not in complete harmony with His will. our lives are changed and the people around us take notice. If our faith does not make a difference in our daily lives. This transforma- tion is one of the reasons for the Holy Spirit. teachers comments  How has the Holy Spirit made a difference in your life?  What are some practical principles in receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit each day? Life Application Questions: Take each of the following conditions for the reception of the Holy Spirit individually.

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4333003499. Ellen White’s classic set of five volumes. 5–VOLUME SET Illustrated for a new century. US$89. US$39. is reintro- duced in hardcover and matching paperback bindings.99 ©2015 Pacific Press® Publishing Association Prices subject to change without notice. 4333002871.99 • Hardcover. Please contact your ABC for pricing in Canada. Paperback. spanning time from before the earth’s beginning to the fulfillment of God’s plan for His people. 145590966 .

are foundational to His nature. with- out His love. His name reminds us that God is holy and that it is God’s great desire to make sinners into the image of His own holiness. Memory Text: “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely. 2. Holiness. 1:8. His love would be in danger of sentimentalism. Isa. Heb. I t’s easy to become insensitive to the holiness of God and not to think much about God’s revealed hatred of sin and evil. and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete. * Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath. 1 Tim. The Holy Spirit is intricately connected with our pursuit of holiness. should be a priority for every Christian. however. we can easily forget what it means to live a pure and sanctified life. to become loving and pure like Jesus. Ps. His love and His holiness. 1 Cor. and He is called “the Spirit of holi- ness” (Rom. Without God’s holiness. 1:4. God’s love and His holiness inseparably belong together. The pursuit of holiness. 15:1. 1:14–16. at the same time. This week we will take a closer look at what it means to be holy and to live a holy life. February 11. Both attributes. NASB). 6:3. is a crucial theme in the Bible. 12:14. We are rightly appalled by the “I-am-holier-than-you” attitude. His name is Holy Spirit. NASB). 6:11. 72 . But. After all. God’s holiness would be stern and unapproachable. without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23. L esson 6 *February 4–10 (page 46 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit and Living a Holy Life Sabbath Afternoon Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Pet.

23:37) or by calling a name like “Martha. Jer. the for- mer an unlovely. His wisdom is holy wisdom. if our all-powerful God and Creator were not holy and loving? What does your answer tell you about why we should be so thankful that God is as He is? 73 . etc. omniscience (perfect and complete knowledge). 39:7. This indicates something of highest importance. It encompasses separation from sin and complete devotion to God’s glory. even detestable god. and rightly so. He is pure and good. If God possessed omnipotence (infinite power). 4:8). 89:18. only God’s holiness is mentioned three times in a row. 51:5. the idea of holiness is connected more often with the name of God in the Bible than is any other attribute (Ps. In this sense holiness is the most intimately divine word of all because it has to do with the very nature of God. He is the God whom we should love. 6:47. Ezek. To deny the purity of God’s holy being is. God is described as “Holy. holy. Jesus draws our attention to important statements by repeating the words “truly. 40:25. Jerusalem” (Matt. God’s holiness is the perfection of all His other attributes. While God is love. they repeated the word in order to draw our attention to what was said. Rev. perhaps. The latter makes Him nonexistent.” When the biblical writers wanted to emphasize something that was important. In Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8. In other words. holiness denotes a relational quality. and His love is holy love. God’s holiness means that He is separated from sin and entirely devoted to seeking the good that He represents in Himself.) or “Jerusalem. God’s holiness means that He is perfectly good and completely free from evil. and omnipresence (everywhere present) but did not have perfect holiness. How scared would you be. Martha” (Luke 10:41). S unday February 5 (page 47 of Standard Edition) The Holiness of God Read 1 Peter 1:14–16. His power is holy power. Isa. God’s nature is indeed holy. holy. Of all His attributes. He would be a power of whom we would rightly be terrified. Instead. His mercy is holy mercy. Holiness describes the purity and moral perfection of His nature. truly” (John 5:24. as well as a moral quality. Why is the ultimate motivation for holiness just the reality of God Himself? What motivates you to live a holy life? What does it mean that God is holy? It’s popular to emphasize God’s love while ignoring His holiness. worse than denying His existence.

where Paul calls the Corinthians holy ones or saints. Holiness. 65. for your vision will be clearer. Read Ephesians 1:4. but it changes them so that they can start to live a pure and holy lifestyle (compare with 1 Corinthians 1:2. Hence. God’s acceptance of each believer is perfect from the beginning. being more and more conformed into His likeness. is Christlikeness. 12:14). How will our pursuit of holiness be different if we know that we already belong to God and that we are accepted in Him because of the sacrifice of Jesus in our behalf? 74 . Holiness is the fruit of the Spirit displayed in our lives as we walk by the Spirit with Christ every day (Gal. On the other hand. and your imperfections will be seen in broad and distinct contrast to His perfect nature. M onday February 6 (page 48 of Standard Edition) The Nature of Holiness “The closer you come to Jesus. 22. we should pray for it and seek to manifest it daily. the more faulty you will appear in your own eyes. our growth in sanctification is a lifelong process and always needs to be extended further so that we become more and more transformed into the unblemished image of Him who has saved us. 25). that the vivifying influence of the Spirit of God is arousing you. without which no one will see the Lord (Heb. holiness also signifies an intrinsic moral and spiritual quality.”—Ellen G. namely. The basic meaning associated with the concept of holiness signifies a state of being separated. Being holy does not make them ethically perfect and sinless. and Hebrews 12:14. It means belonging to Jesus and living as His child in loving obedience and commitment. pp. 5:16. Believers are admonished to pursue holiness. that of being righteous and pure before God. yet. Steps to Christ. This is evidence that Satan’s delusions have lost their power. In the New Testament. White. 64. There is a tension between being holy and yet having to pursue holiness. even though they are not sinless and perfect). being set aside for a special service for God. in one word. believers are called holy because of their unique relationships to Jesus that set them apart for a special purpose. Both aspects need to be kept together. What is God’s pur- pose for all of His people and for the church? Holiness is both God’s gift and His command. 5:25–27.

by beholding our failures. NIV). we can get discouraged so easily. We focus too much on our victories and on our defeats rather than on God. 1 Pet. When the Holy Spirit helps us to look unto Jesus. 11:6) through the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Thess. and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. Read Hebrews 12:1. 3:18. and everything that so easily entangles us will be put aside (Heb. who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 75 . 2. Our being changed into His likeness “comes from the Lord. Read Galatians 5:16. and why? Bring your response to class on Sabbath. 17. NASB). 2:13. This leads to easy defeat because. but you were sanctified. “How do I get the victory over sin that is promised to me in the Bible?” what would you answer. 6:11. but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. However. What is the fight of faith that we are to wage against sin? The battle we are called to fight is to fix “our eyes on Jesus. Jesus produces in us lifelong growth in holi- ness. NASB). who alone can give us victory over sin. The apostle Paul knew about this battle when he declared toward the end of his life: “I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet. 7:20). the author and perfecter of faith” (Heb. bringing forth the fruit of the Spirit within us. NASB). 12:2. we will have no desire for sin. The apostle Paul writes: “but you were washed. 12:1). 14. The tension we all face stems from the fact that sin dwells in us (Rom. 3:13. But when we focus on our sins and shortcomings. we look at ourselves and not to Jesus. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. Too often we are self-centered in our religion. we will be encouraged and can live victoriously. by beholding Jesus. If someone were to ask you. What does Paul tell us in these verses? There is a battle going on in every believer. and Hebrews 13:12 tell us about sanctification? Our sanctification is accomplished by faith (Heb. 1:2). Titus 3:5. T uesday February 7 (page 49 of Standard Edition) The Agent of Sanctification What do 1 Corinthians 6:11. but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Love is the response to God’s saving acts and is mani- fested in faithfulness. Jesus affirmed that the law is not abolished. why should we keep His law if we cannot be saved by it? The answer is found in the idea of holiness. The law is never our way to salvation. W ednesday February 8 (page 50 of Standard Edition) The Rule of Holiness Is God’s Law We know that God calls us to keep His law. it is the path of the saved. and good. it is faithful- ness. The standard that the law sets does not change any more than does God Himself. 24:12. it is not possible to exhibit true love without keeping the law. ESV). is the pair of shoes in which our love walks and expresses itself. though. To keep the law is not legalism. These three attributes properly designate only God Himself. 5:17–19). Love diminishes when the law is not appreciated. Thus. It fulfills it. While it is possible to keep the letter of the law without love. Love does not abolish the law. It never can. Read Romans 13:10 and Matthew 22:37–40. Rather. the law is an expression of God’s character. You cannot be a good disciple of Jesus without being a conscientious and loving law keeper. but that every part is to be fulfilled (Matt. The law is the unchanging rule of His holiness. The law does not save us. True love desires to be faithful. the heart of His holiness is love. The question arises. Why is love the fulfill- ment of the law? While the rule and norm for holiness is God’s law. righteous. What attributes does Paul use to describe the law? How does the law reflect the character of God? The law is holy. so to speak. Read Romans 7:12 and 1 Timothy 1:8. The law. This is why Jesus could say in a most remarkable manner that when “ ‘lawless- ness will be increased. the love of many will grow cold’ ” (Matt. To live a spirit-filled life means that we live according to the law of God. Why is the law an expression of God’s love for us? How are love and obedience related? 76 .

and no lasting blessing associated with our work if it does not spring out of a divine calling. reap a habit. If we have not first taken the quiet time to hear the call of God. What do they tell us about holiness? Holiness is the precondition for enjoying the happiness of fellowship with God.” The only thing we will take with us to heaven will be our characters. and done many wonders in Your name?’ ” (see Matt. 1:6). There is a big difference between being called by God and being driven to do something for God. however. NKJV). 7:22. we might add. thus. and 2 Timothy 2:21. Lord. 77 . When the Holy Spirit has filled our hearts. 23. Activism is not holiness. have we not prophesied in Your name. This will give our work distinct credibility and convincing power. we really are too busy to be Christians. Perhaps our knowledge and success have made us so self-reliant and self-confident that we take for granted our skills and fine programs and. T hursday February 9 (page 51 of Standard Edition) Pursuing Holiness Read Psalm 15:1. 2. no power. faithfulness. We know the truth of the saying: “Sow an action. no peace.” And. sow a habit. But there will be no strength. Developing new habits and new characters. Ephesians 4:22–24. and yet they really were not follow- ing Him at all. love. When we are too busy to pray. ‘Lord. gentleness. we stand in danger of being self-driven to do whatever we do. There will be people who think that they have done great works for the Lord. kindness. and self-control. forget that apart from Christ and without the Holy Spirit we can accomplish nothing. “Many will say to Me in that day. cast out demons in Your name. Habits are all important in our Christian walk. goodness. “Character is destiny. we will no doubt be active for God. Our greatest need in our personal holiness is quality time with God when we hear His voice and receive new strength from His Word as led by the Holy Spirit. is not self- sanctification by self-effort. Habit forming is the ordinary way that the Spirit leads us in holiness. Sometimes we are so busy doing all kinds of things for God that we forget to enjoy time with Him in prayer. But too often we forget that it is God who sanctifies us and who will finish the good work that He has begun in us (Phil. reap a character. especially those habits that grow in connection with such biblical virtues as patience. It is the precondition for our usefulness to God.

Discussion Questions:  In class. The law is never our way to salvation. NKJV). What would you tell them?  What does it mean to have God’s law written in our hearts and minds? Why is this different from having it written only on tablets of stone?  When you think of God’s holiness. 19:2. . “Like Unto Leaven. and I will be their God.” How does this sentiment help us understand what the role of the law should be for sanctified Christians in whom the Holy Spirit is working? 78 . and they shall be My people’ ”(Heb. It never can. . Wednesday’s study stated: “The law does not save us. for I the Lord your God am holy” ’ ” (Lev. . F riday February 10 (page 52 of Standard Edition) Further Thought: Read Ellen G. We cannot be holy apart from obeying God’s law. “  ‘Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel. in Christ’s Object Lessons. What does Jesus reveal to us about God’s holiness?  What is the foundation for our holiness? How is holiness achieved?  Earlier in the week. says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts. 95–102. That’s part of what a covenant relationship with Him is about. the days are coming. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days. as the book of Hebrews says: “ ‘Behold. and law. In these texts we can see the connection between holiness. go over your answers to the question at the end of Tuesday’s study about what you would tell someone who asked how to have the promises of victory over sin realized in their own lives. Yet. and say to them: “You shall be holy. Rather. What a sacred privilege is ours: “that we may be partakers of His holiness” (Heb. here is the most amazing thing: God offers us the opportunity to participate in His holiness.” pp. says the Lord. 12:10. what do you think of? Go around the class and let each person talk about what he or she envisions God’s holiness to be like. NKJV). White. 8:8–10. which we express by loving obedience to His law. when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. How do we even begin to grasp the holiness of God when our nature is fallen and corrupt and His is uncompromisingly holy? His holiness defines Him as singular and separated from the world of sin and death that we humans experience. it is the path of the saved. Or. and we obey His law only as He Himself. covenant. NKJV). the Holy Spirit. writes His law in our hearts and minds.

She was amazed to hear the deep Bible discussion. Please Find Me”: Part 2 Greg invited Hannele to visit an Adventist church. but that was their last conversation about religion. Thank you for your generos- ity in helping your brothers and sisters around the world through the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering! For more mission stories from the Trans-European Division. “I couldn’t understand why God would take away my husband so soon after I had given my life to the Lord. Hannele struggled with attending church on Saturday until she understood the preciousness of the Sabbath. As usual. Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. i n s i d e Story “Lord. where I studied the Bible deeply with fellow seekers and came away spiritually refreshed.adventistmission. She didn’t expect much. “I returned the following week. she shared her love for God with her husband. where she helps others who are struggling with some of the same issues she had. “That summer I visited the church’s Bible camp. “Now I understand that God gave me a church family to support me and pray with me during those difficult days.” Hannele later recalled.AdventistMission. and the two married. but this time she felt compelled to urge him to make a decision for Jesus. The Bible texts I had memorized gave me peace.” Hannele went to work for the church’s Bible correspondence school. I Can’t Find You. I sat by the lake and prayed for my husband. she was overwhelmed by the warmth and friendliness of the people. Finland.” said Hannele. Hannele met a good man at 79 . visit www .” At first. but Greg helped her to find answers to her questions. but eventually she agreed to go. and she continued attending the church. She hesitated because she had been disappointed so often. God surely works in mysterious ways! In 2010. just as my cousin had done so many years ear- lier. and the Holy Spirit comforted me. She didn’t know it then. “These people knew so much about the Bible! I loved the sermon too. a portion of your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering provided funds to help build a bigger place of worship for an Adventist group who were meeting in a school in Nummela. “God has given us a ministry together. Two days later he died in an automobile accident. Web site: www. “I fell in love with Jesus.” she says. As for Greg in Australia. but when she arrived at the church. he returned to the Lord as well.” Hannele returned home from camp rejoicing. During or download the Adventist Mission app. Several other aspects of the Adventist faith puzzled her as well. Eventually.” she said.

Learning Outline: I. and how can you implement them in your life? B How can we develop new habits when old habits seem so deeply entrenched? Summary: The pursuit of holiness is the calling of every Christian. Do: Resolve by the power of the Holy Spirit to live a life of holiness. B Why should the pursuit of holiness—to become loving and pure like Jesus—be the pursuit of every Christian? III. we are seeking God Himself. Do: Determine by the Grace of God to Seek Holiness Through Prayer. the Study of the Word. A Compare the biblical expressions “walking in the Spirit” and “fighting the good fight of faith. the divine Helper. and Christian Meditation.” How are these statements similar. Feel: Foster an increasing desire for holiness and godly living. and more deeply appreciate. Know: Holiness Is the Essence of Who God Is and the Heart of What It Means to Be a Christian. It is the Holy Spirit. teachers comments The Lesson in Brief Key Text: 1 Peter 1:14–16 The Student Will: Know: Recognize anew. 80 . the Holy Spirit’s appeal in Scripture for holiness. who comes to our aid to strengthen us in our pursuit of the holiness that is the very essence of the character of God. A Why is it so popular today to emphasize God’s love while at times ignoring His holiness? B What difference would it make if God were all-powerful and all- knowing but not holy? C How does God’s holiness relate to His love? What difference does this relation make in His relationship to us? II. Feel: The Joy of Pursuing Holiness Through the Power of the Holy Spirit A Is holiness a destination we achieve or a journey we are on as Christians? Explain. who is holy. When we seek holiness.

what comes to your mind? If you had to draw a picture of a holy God. For others. 1 Pet. it includes His righteous. A holy God is a just God.”—Patriarchs and Prophets. p. so. Ellen G. 1:15. 47:8. graciousness. There is no one else like Him in the entire universe (Lev. “It is a law of the mind that it gradually adapts itself to the subjects upon which it is trained to dwell. Holiness is not a state of perfection that we struggle to achieve. Opening Discussion: When you think of God’s holiness. justice. pure character that is intrinsically part of His nature. The purpose of this week’s lesson is twofold: to help class members to understand the importance of pursuing a life of holiness and to encourage them to develop that holiness in their own lives by beholding God’s holiness in His Word. His actions are always righteous. His justice is the very basis of a universe free from the ravages of sin. teachers comments Learning Cycle STEP 1—Motivate Spotlight on Scripture: Ephesians 1:3–6 Key Concept for Spiritual Growth: God chose us before the foun- dation of the world. He blessed us with every spiritual blessing so that we may reflect the grace of His character and seek His holiness. Holiness is the result of beholding the beauty of Christ’s character. pure. Just for Teachers: God’s holiness consists largely of two major elements. 19:2. 3:18). 81 . In this week’s lesson. God’s holi- ness sets Him apart from all created beings. and because they know that they have sinned. Ps. It is continually becoming more like Jesus. White states clearly. they are overwhelmed with their own guilt in the light of God’s holiness. Second. Meditating upon God’s holiness leads us to reflect His holiness in our own lives (2 Cor. the thought of a holy God instills reverence and awe. we will discover that love is at the very foundation of God’s holiness and that His grace flows from His holi- ness. it instills fear and condemnation. and compassion are infinite. and just. goodness. His love. how would you draw it? Are the images of a holy God in your mind positive or negative images? Why? What emotions does the thought of God’s holiness evoke in you? For some people. In Christ. a state achieved daily through the power of the Holy Spirit as we fellowship with God in prayer and through His Word. First. 596. God cannot act contrary to His own nature. There are those who equate God’s holiness with His hatred of sin. 16).

This tension is between what we are and what we long to be. 5:14. As Scripture says. 1:6. we long to reflect the image of Jesus in all of our actions. As committed Christians. not by achieving some state of superholiness (Eph. and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Heb. In the context of His love and grace. His love motivates us to seek His holiness (2 Cor. Living a Holy Life (Review Hebrews 12:2 with the class. The good news is that we are accepted in Christ. let us lay aside every weight. 7. we seek to be like Him. 2:8. teachers comments Questions for Discussion:  Why do you think it is popular to emphasize God’s love but neglect His holiness?  Is God’s holiness a gift or a command. or both? Why?  What is the difference between holiness and perfection? STEP 2—Explore Just for Teachers: There is a tension in the life of each Christian. 5:8–10). but. NKJV). The metaphor of the “cloud of wit- nesses” conveys the idea of an athlete competing in an ancient stadium 82 . Bible Commentary I. NKJV). We receive salva- tion through His sacrifice. we fall far short of our desires. and justified by Christ. redeemed by Christ. 15). at times. 2). 12:1. Concentrate on this thought throughout this week’s lesson: we seek holiness because we have been redeemed by His grace and long to imitate His character. Rom. It is the tension between the real and the ideal.) In Hebrews 11. since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses. We desire to be like Him because we have been redeemed by His grace (1 John 3:1. Chapter 12 begins with these words: “Therefore we also. God outlines His Hall of Fame of the faithful. and the sin which so easily ensnares us. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19.

12:2).” STEP 3—Apply Just for Teachers: In our feel-good. The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary puts it this way: “To keep the eye of faith fixed upon Jesus is to maintain uninter- rupted contact with Him who is the source of power. Help your class understand that the very essence of the Christian life is that believers. teachers comments with thousands of witnesses cheering him on. and holiness may seem unintelligible to most people. It is depending on our weakness rather than on Christ’s strength. and we long to be like Him in character.”—Volume 7. 3:18). If these are the characteristics of both God and the law. It is the fatal flaw that focuses on human endeavors rather than on divine grace. 481. naturally seek holiness. Christ’s love wins our hearts. He is the One who justifies and sanctifies us. Their examples also encourage us to pursue lives of holiness. which means the one who com- pletes. Throughout the Bible. perfects. 25:8). what does this equivalence tell you about the very nature of the law? What relationship does living a Spirit-filled life have with the law of God? Discuss this statement with your class: “You can attempt to keep the law without love. just (1 John 1:9). 6:3). He is the One who began a good work in us and will finish it. Consider This: In Romans 7:12. often self-centered society. God also is described as holy (Isa. When you admire someone. but you cannot truly love without keeping the law. the “author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. The word for “finisher” in Hebrews 12:2 is the Greek word telei-ot-es. and good (Ps. or finishes. the apostle Paul describes the law of God as “holy. saved by grace and transformed by God’s love. The “sin which so easily ensnares us” is simply a lack of faith that directs our eyes from Christ’s righteousness and leads us to depend on our own. you strive to be like the one you most admire. and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. the con- cepts of self-denial. we who are unholy are accepted as holy and through His grace made holy. we “grow in grace. The apostle urges each believer to look to Jesus. Him who can strengthen us to endure and to overcome. p. He is the One who died for us and the One who lives for us. the Third Person of the Godhead. Application Questions: 83 83 . righteous and good” (NIV). Jesus is both our Savior and Lord. Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Through Christ. The apostle Paul here states that the examples of past heroes of faith should encourage us as we race toward the kingdom. obedience.

teachers comments

 How can we develop new habits and practices to guide us on our journey
to holiness?

 What are the things in our lives that distract us from living holy lives?

 Why does living a life of holiness seem so challenging at times?

STEP 4—Create

Just for Teachers: Pursuing holiness is really pursuing God and
desiring to be like Him in character. Help your class understand that
the Holy Spirit will produce holiness in the lives of all who spend time
seeking God through prayer and His Word.

 Ask your class to share what new concepts of holiness they discovered
in this week’s lesson.
 Pass out a blank four-by-six-inch index card to each class member. Ask
each student to write a prayer for holiness on his or her card in just three
or four sentences. (Where supplies are unavailable, ask class members to
quietly compose their prayers in their hearts.) Here is one example of a
prayer for holiness.

Dear Lord,
Today, I long to be more like You. At times, I feel too rushed to spend
time in Your presence. Please forgive me for my busyness. Slow me down
long enough to hear Your voice. Change me by Your Holy Spirit, and may
I live the life of holiness that You have called me to.
In Jesus’ name, amen.


L esson 7 *February 11–17
(page 56 of Standard Edition)

The Holy Spirit and
the Fruit of the Spirit

Sabbath Afternoon
Read for This Week’s Study: John 15:1–11, Gal. 5:22,
1 Corinthians 13, Rom. 14:17, Eph. 5:9, Matt. 5:5.

Memory Text: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such
things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, 23, NASB).

he fruit of the Spirit is the true essence of the Christian life.
While the apostle Paul lists nine different aspects of this fruit,
it is nevertheless one fruit and has to be seen in its entirety. The
fruit of the Spirit does not tell us what a person might be able to do for
God through spiritual gifts and talents. Rather, it shows how the person
lives for God. It tells who the person is. All the virtues that are listed
in Galatians 5:22, 23 are present in Jesus Christ. Hence, the fruit of the
Spirit is the life of Jesus Christ in us, made possible through the power
of the Holy Spirit.
The fruit of the Spirit is not something we achieve by purely human
effort. It is possible to produce and display some of the same virtues
through the exercise of our willpower. But that is not the same as what
the Holy Spirit does in us. What we produce ourselves is like a wax
fruit compared to the real. Wax fruits are artificial. From a distance
they look just as beautiful, but the taste is immeasurably inferior to
the real. Real fruit is not manufactured. It grows out of a relationship.
When the Holy Spirit connects us with Jesus, through His Written
Word, His characteristics begin to reveal themselves in our own lives.

* Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, February 18.


S unday February 12
(page 57 of Standard Edition)

The Condition of Fruitfulness
Read John 15:1–11. Why can fruit come forth only out of a living
relationship with Jesus, the Vine? Why is abiding in Jesus so impor-
tant? How do we abide in Him?

The first secret to genuine Christian fruit bearing is to abide in
Christ. Apart from Christ, we cannot produce genuine spiritual fruit.
The fruit of the Spirit is not imposed upon us from outside; it is the
result of the life of Christ within us. In John 15:1–11, Jesus tells us
that fruit bearing is the result of the life of Christ, the Vine, flowing
through the branches of the believers. The growth of the fruit is God’s
work through Jesus Christ.
The responsibility of the believer is to abide in Christ. When Christ
dwells in our thoughts, He will become visible in our actions. Jesus
lives His life in us. The life Christ lived will be reproduced in us, in the
sense that we will reflect His character.
The fruit of the Spirit is the character of Jesus, produced by the Holy
Spirit in the followers of Christ. When Christ dwells in us, we will
“walk by the Spirit, and . . . will not carry out the desire of the flesh”
(Gal. 5:16, NASB).
In the words of Jesus: “ ‘Every good tree bears good fruit; but the rot-
ten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a
rotten tree produce good fruit’ ” (Matt. 7:17, 18, NASB). The good fruit
is the natural product of our abiding relationship with Jesus through
the Holy Spirit. When we cooperate with the Spirit’s inner promptings
on our hearts, the fruit of the Spirit becomes evident in our lives. Our
characters will be transformed to reflect the character of Jesus Christ in
what we say and do and even think. The Holy Spirit will give us power
to live victoriously and to develop the virtues that are characteristic of
those who are God’s children.

In 2 Timothy 3:5, the apostle Paul describes people who “will act
religious, but they will reject the power that could make them
godly” (NLT). What is the difference between a religious life and
a life that is filled with the Holy Spirit? How can we know which
kind of life we ourselves are living?


however. Love is the evidence that we are God’s children. by our love for each other the world will know that Christians are indeed followers of Jesus Christ (John 13:35). Even the superior gifts are nothing without love. Those two chapters deal with the gifts of the Spirit. deals with love: the fruit of the Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit without the fruit of the Spirit are powerless and do not produce the blessing that God intends. Why is love the first and foremost aspect of the fruit of the Spirit? How does love affect all the following aspects of this fruit? Love appropriately leads and crowns the various characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit and permeates the whole fruit. 28. however. In a sense all other quali- ties listed can be seen as aspects of love. It alone has the power to transform. This love is far more than mere human affection. Chapter 13. In its tender yet strong nature. Remember that God also loves us through other people. It cannot be pro- duced by human effort. Love has the power to unite—even those who formerly were enemies (Luke 6:27. divine love leads the sinner to repen- tance and awakens the desire for something better. Thus. Love. Because God is love (1 John 4:8). This fruit of love will also lead Christians to manifest understanding and sensitiv- ity toward others. It is interesting that the master description of love in 1 Corinthians 13 comes right between chapters 12 and 14. Rom. God’s love is the foundation and source of every other goodness. 5:8). the greatest Christian virtue is love (1  Cor. M onday February 13 (page 58 of Standard Edition) The Fruit of Love Read Galatians 5:22 and 1 Corinthians 13. How can you show others love? How does love affect those other virtues mentioned in the fruit of the Spirit? 87 . God’s love is poured out to us within our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Rom. It comes as a result of abiding in Christ. 13:13). 5:5). is the glue that binds all other virtues of the fruit of the Spirit into a united whole and gives authenticity to everything we do. Such love is generous and unmerited. Where does your life lack the quality of love? Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with love toward those people with whom you are deal- ing on a daily basis.

Instead. Peace. But our trust in God will give us abundant reasons to rejoice with unspeakable joy over what He has done for us and in us. 5:1). Peace comes as a result of being justi- fied by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. It is not motivated by surrounding conditions. and patience. but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (NASB). How much of this fruit do you experi- ence in your life? In which of these areas do you need more work done in you? 88 . Spiritual joy is the result of active faith. Because the God of peace will be with us (Phil. human joy often is focused upon earthly things and is affected by the conditions that surround us. joy is love’s reaction to the blessings of God and His great mercy and forgiveness. which is a characteristic mark of the believers in the end time (Rev. 14:12). we are to be joyful. How does patience reflect the character of God? Patience is not a prevalent characteristic of human beings. Read 2 Peter 3:9. Joy. T uesday February 14 (page 59 of Standard Edition) Joy. Now. It means putting up with others or with circumstances. we will not be quarrelsome and vengeful toward oth- ers. 4:9) through the Holy Spirit. God sustains us through His Holy Spirit and builds patience. however. This does not mean that we have to smile all the time. Read John 14:27 along with Romans 14:17. even in trials. Only those who aim at a worthy goal can be patient. even though a friendly smile expresses much. The joy that is rooted in the fruit of the Spirit. 12:18). peace. As God’s people. and Patience Romans 14:17 reads: “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking. When we are at peace with God. How is peace related to the work of the Holy Spirit? Peace is more lasting than joy. even when things do not run smoothly. we are not alone. Yet. we will seek to live as peaceably as possible with everyone (Rom. the Holy Spirit will lead us to be peaceful and patient toward others. focuses on God and what He has done for us. That is.

W ednesday February 15 (page 60 of Standard Edition) Kindness. 1:9. Testimonies for the Church. 5:24. who is called “the faithful witness” (Rev.”—Ellen G. vol. 10:13. Why is it important to be trustworthy and faith- ful in our Christian walk with God? What we are looking at here is the faithfulness of character and conduct brought forth through the Holy Spirit. we need not become unkind in our dealings with others. 510. What accompanies goodness in this passage? Goodness is love in action. but it can open the door to the heart of the other person. 89 . and Faithfulness Read 1 Corinthians 13:4. 2. whatever their faults and issues. 1 Thess. but the motives from which we act. NASB). Yet. Read Galatians 5:22. 2 Thess. 3:3). “It is not the great results we attain. Why does genuine kindness have such posi- tive appeal to other people? Where do you see God’s kindness in His dealings with humanity? “Kindness” is the word frequently used in describing God’s deal- ings with His people. Faithfulness is also a characteristic of Jesus Christ. pp. God could be quite harsh in dealing with our faults. No matter how firm we must be in reproof. Read Ephesians 5:9. To reprove in kindness is perhaps the greatest sign of nobility of character. Kindness also describes our dealings with others in their failures. who keeps His promises and is faithful in what He does (1 Cor. It does not cost money to be kind. He prizes goodness and faithfulness more than the greatness of the work accomplished. Perhaps nothing discredits our Christian testimony and minis- try more frequently than unkindness. 11:1–4). When the Holy Spirit lives in us. there will be a positive outflow of goodness to the people with whom we come in contact. The goodness that grows as the fruit of the Spirit also includes works and acts of goodness. we reflect the image of God in our lives. Goodness. 511. Those who are faithful do what they promise to do. 1:5. and of God the Father. In our faithfulness. He treats us as a loving father would treat a learning child (Hos. that weigh with God. It is goodness shown to others in practical works of love. Faithfulness means trustworthiness or reliability. White.

Here is where we all need to be careful. the ethical aspects of holiness have priority over the charismatic gifts. True temperance is control. All the above-mentioned aspects are parts of the one fruit of the Spirit. it produces a visible unity in His church. Meek people are not boisterous. they serve in a gentle spirit. boisterous. What misery comes when we do not exercise self-control? What blessings do we gain if we are self-controlled and temperate in our lives? The last aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is temperance or self-control. through the power of God. yet. Why is meekness. Think about areas of your life in which you should be more self-controlled. does not mean weakness. so important for Christlike leadership? Gentleness. one has to be able to control his or her own spirit. quarrelsome. Because the fruit of the Spirit is the common distinguishing mark of all believers everywhere. a community. Read Galatians 5:23 and Proverbs 16:32. On the contrary. those who are loud. When the Bible describes God’s work in our lives. Instead. for who doesn’t struggle. It is not cow- ardice or lack of leadership. in one area or another. Perhaps you are in one area but not so much in another. 90 . control over all areas? Bring your answer to class on Sabbath. he was a powerful leader of God’s people. T hursday February 16 (page 61 of Standard Edition) Gentleness and Self-Control Read Galatians 5:23 and Matthew 5:5. or self- ishly aggressive. and assertive are covering up insecurities and fears. but in the power of God. with self-mastery? Before one can rule a city. Christlikeness in all its facets is what really matters in the life of the believer. of course. 12:3). Oftentimes. or meekness. Moses was called the meekest man on earth (Num. or gentleness. which works within us. or a church. Meekness can be the outward expression of an inward faith and confidence—not in oneself. not only over food and drink but over every phase of life. Why is it important to have.

d. a sympathetic insight and tactful helpfulness. Chadwick. in all things self-mastered and self-controlled. which is the final mark of perfecting. you will talk of the truth.: Logos Bible Software. humility that forgets self in the joy of others.”—Ellen G.). 53. think of the character of Judas and what the sin of covetousness did to him. If a word is dropped that is detrimental to the character of your friend or brother. but by trusting. 5. vol. Wash. generous judgment and a big-souled charity. This is the kind of character that is the Fruit of the Spirit. Why does Paul put such a big emphasis on the need for love? How can we learn to love the way that Paul talks about show- ing love here? Why is death to self and abiding in Christ so crucial.  Why is the fruit of the Spirit more important than any gifts of the Spirit?  Read aloud 1  Corinthians 13 in class and talk about what it means. isn’t the gospel about forgiveness of sin? At the same time. Discussion Questions:  In class. if we are saved by grace. It is not by striving. Everything is in the word Fruit. p. White says here help shed light on the question of the need for victory? “One wrong trait of character. “If the love of the truth is in your heart. talk about the final question at the end of Thursday’s study regarding the need for self-control. do not encourage this evil-speaking. in Arthur Walkington Pink. a forbearing patience in provoking circumstances and with trying people. but by abiding. is victory over sin so important? After all. Ye Shall Receive Power. but of faith. 23 could read something like this: ‘The Fruit of the Spirit is an affectionate. The Holy Spirit (Bellingham. not by worrying. not of works. If you have love in your heart. how does what Ellen G. you will seek to establish and build up your brother in the most holy faith.”—Testimonies for the Church. p. will eventu- ally neutralize all the power of the gospel. especially in loving those whom we truly dislike? 91 . one sinful desire cherished. What can we learn from his example about the answer to the question about the need for victory? Also. loyalty and reliableness under all circumstances. lovable disposition. 76. F riday February 17 (page 62 of Standard Edition) Further Thought: “In modern language the passage in Galatians 5:22. chapter 30. a tranquil mind and a quiet manner. a radiant spirit and a cheerful temper. You will talk of the blessed hope that you have in Jesus. It is the work of the enemy. White. Why. n. Kindly remind the speaker that the Word of God forbids that kind of conversation.’ ” —S.

she turned on the computer and searched for a Seventh-day Adventist church in Copenhagen. She obtained the necessary visa and found a job with a won- derful family who treated her well. But Leila didn’t care. Tanzania. she copied down the address. 92 Web site: www. Philippines. In Kenya. Suddenly. and she was homesick. yet they find unity and fellowship in their adopted country and their new church home. It was Sabbath. But in Denmark. and America. She feels loved and nurtured there and in turn welcomes and nurtures others who come. so Leila decided to take the bus. When the woman suggested that Leila find work as an au pair (a live-in babysitter).AdventistMission. But she hadn’t found a church home. Arriving at the place where the Adventists normally . she had been so busy in the two months since she had arrived that she hadn’t thought much about finding a church either. and Leila was determined not to miss another Sabbath of fellowship and worship! Leila rejoices that she has found her spiritual home in Denmark in the international congregation. Thank you! Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. Rose introduced Leila to other members of the English-speaking church. so Leila hurried to catch a bus to the region outside the city where the retreat was being held. Quickly. She remembered her mother and brother. She found a map and hurried to catch the bus. it seemed that nearly everyone went to church. as well as from Denmark.i n s i d e Story A Place to Belong Leila awoke with a heavy heart. Leila had come to Copenhagen to visit her aunt. She got lost several times before she found the retreat center and arrived just as the sermon was ending. She began saving money to attend college when she returned home. who invited her to join her for lunch. The letter gave directions. She met people from around the world—Iceland. She had found fellow believers! She met Rose from Uganda. Leila agreed. A portion of your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering in 2010 helped to provide funds for a new place of worship for this international Adventist congregation. it seemed that few people attended the fine churches scattered across the city. In fact. The members welcomed her warmly and invited her to join them the next Sabbath. who would be going to church today. where Leila now lived. She was thrilled to discover an inter- national Adventist congregation that worshiped in the city. But how could she get there? Her aunt wasn’t an Adventist. The international English-language church in Copenhagen represents Adventists from at least 16 countries. Leila was dismayed to find the room empty! Then she noticed a letter explaining that the members were on a retreat.

It is a result of abiding in Jesus that produces a supernatural change in the life of each believer. The fruit of the Spirit is evidence that we have a deeply rooted relationship with Christ. 93 . Do: Daily Living and the Fruit of the Spirit A Determine to set aside some time every day to spend time with Jesus and take inventory of your own spiritual life. John 15:1–8 The Student Will: Know: Recognize the absolute necessity of abiding in Christ in order to develop the fruit of the Holy Spirit in his or her life. Know: Spirituality and the Fruit of the Spirit A Can you be an authentic Christian without manifesting the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your own life? Why. Healthy trees produce healthy fruits in abundance. Do: Resolve to spend time with Jesus in prayer. we do not struggle in our strength to produce the fruit of the Spirit. or why not? B Of what is the fruit of the Holy Spirit evidence? II. what does that do for you? For the relationship? B How do you feel when you do not exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in tense circumstances? What feelings do you have when you are unloving. teachers comments The Lesson in Brief Key Texts: Galatians 5:22–26. and Christian meditation to develop the fruit of the Spirit in each aspect of his or her life. B Commit a specific amount of time each day to abide in Christ through prayer and a study of the Word. Bible study. patience. As we abide in Jesus. or unkind? III. Summary: The fruit of the Spirit is not a natural human character trait. Feel: Experience a deepening desire to spend time with Jesus and develop the fruit of the Spirit. As Christians. He develops this fruit in us. and self-control. kindness. impatient. Learning Outline: I. through Bible study and prayer. Feel: Abiding in Christ and the Fruit of the Spirit A When feelings are raw and someone speaks an unkind word and you respond with love.

kind. we will become like the One we most admire. 668. the apostle Paul talks about “walk[ing] in the Spirit” (Gal. revealed in Christ. the human heart is naturally selfish and incapable of genuinely loving. It is impossible to really love God and not love the people around us. 4:9–11). NKJV) and “glorify” (John 16:14) Jesus. Loving God enables us to love others. God’s love is the fountain from which all genuine love flows. Apart from God. As we place priority on our relationship with Christ. To “walk in the Spirit” (Gal. through communion with God. Understanding His love changes us.”—The Desire of Ages. As we behold Him. It is to “abide in [Christ]” (1 John 4:13. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ. p. NKJV) is to fix our minds on Christ. 5:16) and the “works of the flesh” (Gal. We will study each of the character qualities known as the fruit of the Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit was sent to “ ‘testify of’ ” (John 15:26. It is to spend time with Christ. as we submit to His promptings and yield to His convicting power. we are able to love. our life will be a life of continual obedience. When we spend time beholding God’s love. Loving Him. These character qualities are really the attributes of Christ’s character. 94 . we love one another. in His heavenly Father. 23. the more His love flows through us to others (1 John 4:12–16). we are changed. or trust. 5:25. The love of Christ will be revealed in and through us (1 John 3:1–3. His love will flow into our hearts. patient. Jesus is loving. outlined in Galatians 5:22. White states it beauti- fully: “When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him. Opening Discussion: In Galatians 5. He reveals faithfulness to the Father’s will and perfect peace. Each of the fruit of the Spirit grows out of our love for God and His love for us. He always exhibits gentleness and self-control. good. the Holy Spirit will testify of and glorify Jesus in our lives. God’s love for us is life transformating. 23 Key Concept for Spiritual Growth: The greatest motivation for obedience and service is love. The more we love God. Just for Teachers: This week’s lesson focuses on developing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. and unselfish. and the fruit of the Spirit will be manifest in our lives. teachers comments Learning Cycle STEP 1—Motivate Spotlight on Scripture: Galatians 5:22. Ellen G. sin will become hateful to us. NKJV). As we receive His love.

envy. and I in you. He stated this eternal truth: “ ‘Abide in Me. jealousy. 5:17. Eating a wide variety of fruits. 5:24. and ask class members to describe how each one of us can manifest the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. most cancers. and lust all have the same cure—Jesus. and where does the strength to develop it come from? STEP 2—Explore Just for Teachers: Modern medical research has discovered that a plant- based diet reduces the risk of heart disease. stroke. nuts. Anger. unkindness. NKJV). As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself. Branches do not grow and produce 95 . (See Gal. You do not need a different diet to reduce the risk of each one of these diseases. Growing in Christ and the Fruit of the Spirit (Review John 15:4 with the class. and our hearts are overflowing with His love. He urges us to “crucif[y] the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. Have class members share ways that help them to “crucif[y] the flesh” and “walk in the Spirit. Questions for Discussion:  What can we learn from the apostle Paul’s expression “walk in the Spirit” (Gal. To abide in Christ is to develop a con- tinuous. obe- sity. hatred. The fruit of the Spirit is the external evidence that we have spent time with Christ. teachers comments 5:19). Impatience.) Jesus is the ultimate solution to all of our spiritual problems. The same is true of spiritual growth. and vegetables reduces not only the risk of coronary artery dis- ease but also the risk of other killer diseases of the twenty-first century. grains. daily relationship with Him. If we develop it. NKJV). envy. 5:16) about living a life that reveals the fruit of the Spirit?  Is the fruit of the Spirit something we develop. unless it abides in the vine. neither can you. or is it a gift somehow given to us automatically by God? Explain. Bible Commentary I. and type 2 diabetes. and bitterness all find their solution in Him. unless you abide in Me’ ” (John 15:4.) Ask your class what walking “in the Spirit” means in our daily lives.” How have they discovered ways to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself in their lives? Invite class members to share experiences in their devotional lives that they feel are meaningful to their Christian growth. We do not need a different approach for each of the spiritual maladies that afflict us. how do we develop it. What does it mean to “crucif[y] the flesh”? Read Galatians 5:22–24.

mystical experience. will we allow Him to do so? Will we spend time getting to know Him as a Friend? All friendships require time. When a farmer’s fruit trees produce an abundant harvest. and resting in His love. Ask different members of the class to define one of the nine characteristics 96 .’ said Jesus. The key to manifesting the fruit of the Spirit in our lives is not placing each one of its characteristics on some spiritual checklist and checking it off when we supposedly have achieved our goal. It is similar with God. So Christ communicates the current of spiritual strength to every believer. He or she glories in the overflowing harvest. off-again experience. does Jesus long to abide in us? The question is. Rather.’ When we live by faith on the Son of God. not one will be missing. the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing. abiding in Him. and self-controlled. ‘He that abideth in Me.”—Ellen G. p. constant communion with Christ. it is focusing on knowing Jesus and letting Him reveal the fruit of His Spirit within us. we become lov- ing. White. By coming to Him. “The life of the vine will be manifest in fragrant fruit on the branches. the fruits [sic] of the Spirit will be seen in our lives. he or she rejoices. vol. p. the character of God is vindicated before the universe in the controversy between good and evil. meaningful relationship with Jesus that reflects the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the life is not an on- again. It is a daily. A vibrant. When. Some individuals ride high on a wave of religious emotion one day and seem to walk in the valley of neglect the next. 7. through divine grace. or are there some very real ways in which Jesus lives in our lives? Explain. teachers comments fruit if they are united to the vine one day and broken off the next. Briefly review each one of the characteristics of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.  What relationship does developing the fruit of the Spirit have with abid- ing in Christ? STEP 3—Apply Just for Teachers: Read Galatians 5:22–24 with your class. patient.) Discussion Questions: The question is not. The Desire of Ages. 676. 1043. ‘and I in him. there is no danger that it will wither or decay. What relationship does abiding in Christ have with reading the Word?  How does Christ abide in us? Is this some vague. we become partakers of the divine nature. 7. (See The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary. Consider this powerful statement: “The root sends its nourishment through the branch to the outermost twig. kind.  Read John 15:4. gentle. So long as the soul is united to Christ. Our heavenly Father rejoices when we allow the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit in our lives (John 15:11).

” They are the natural outgrowth of spending time with Jesus. Have them write down the areas in which they struggle most. teachers comments of the fruit listed in Galatians 5. avail- able only for “supersaints. 97 . asking Him to develop the fruit of the Holy Spirit in his or her life. Help your class to recognize the vital importance of spending time with Jesus every day so that the Holy Spirit can develop His fruit in their lives. What are the issues in your life that keep you from a vital. Which of these nine characteristics of the fruit of the Holy Spirit do you have difficulty manifesting in your life? What do you think the reason is for this difficulty? What can you do to remedy the situation? 2. For example. life- changing relationship with Christ? Commit to surrendering those issues into His hands.  Encourage each class member to spend a moment in prayer at the end of the class. 1. STEP 4—Create Just for Teachers: The different characteristics of the fruit of the Holy Spirit are not some unrealistic ideal for the average believer. surrendering these undesirable character traits to God. what is love? How do you define joy? What is peace? How would you describe a person who manifests long-suffering or kindness? Take this approach with each of the fruit of the Spirit. Activities:  Ask your class to spend a few minutes reviewing the list of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22–24.

12:3–8. This week we will study the Holy Spirit as the Sovereign Giver of God’s remarkable gifts. He gave them a specific task: preach the good news of the gospel to the world. 12:14–31. . Frustrated. but in His name and through the power and help of the Holy Spirit. Rom. G oing away on a long business trip. Likewise. Paul gives thanks “for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus. but the same Spirit. And there are diversities of activities. the son had to leave it undone. and look at the difference between the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. when Jesus left His disciples and went to be with His Father in heaven. a man left his son in charge of the household with a specific task to do. There are differences of ministries. 12:4–7. that in everything you were enriched in Him . * Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath. What He commanded them to do He enabled them to do. 1 Cor. Memory Text: “There are diversities of gifts. Spiritual gifts are given through the Holy Spirit in Christ to build His church. . But Jesus did not leave His disciples unequipped. L esson 8 *February 18–24 (page 64 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit Sabbath Afternoon Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Cor. 1 John 4:1–3. February 25. but it is the same God who works all in all” (1 Corinthians 12:4–6. 11. 4:7. NKJV). But the son soon realized that his father had not provided him with the necessary means and tools to accomplish that task. In 1  Corinthians 1:4–7. Eph. 98 . so that you are not lacking in any gift” (NASB). but the same Lord.

They are bestowed to further the cause of God. there are many gifts. and some are greater than others. Therefore. such as speaking in tongues. they are not the same. By loving others. There is no command that all should have one particular gift. Yet. What is the essence of what Paul is teaching here? While all aspects of the fruit of the Spirit are designed by God to be visible in the life of His followers. It is interesting that within the context of the spiritual gifts. S unday February 19 (page 65 of Standard Edition) The Fruit of the Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit The fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit have the same Author. Spiritual gifts do not necessarily testify to spirituality. The gifts of the Spirit are given so that we can serve others and build up the body of Christ. spiritual gifts are worthless without the fruit of the Spirit. speak about love (see Rom. These gifts are not given for our own pleasure and glory. Why is love so central to all that we do as Christians? How does love. The gifts are. we are revealing the love of God to them. 13:13). love is often alluded to. They are given out of love and serve the love of God in reaching other people. after all. 10). but the fruit of the Spirit does. “empower” our witness? 99 . 12:9. Immediately after 1 Corinthians 12 comes the supreme description of love. but everyone should manifest the fruit of the Spirit. God sovereignly equips His believers with different gifts as He sees fit. While there is only one fruit. Instead. Read 1  Corinthians 12:4–7. they are gifts of love. His church. Ephesians 4:11–13 is followed in verses 15 and 16 with references to love. A loving and omniscient God provides the means to accomplish what He has commissioned His people to do. that is. not every believer has the same gift or gifts. 11. in chapter 13. gifts of grace. Perhaps that is why love is the greatest gift of all (1 Cor. where the gifts of the Spirit are mentioned. The next verses after Romans 12:3–8. in a sense. No one is required to manifest a gift of the Spirit.

We do not earn them by our status. But it is the Holy Spirit who distributes them to the members of the church. God also can use a natural talent for that purpose when the person acknowledges that even such a talent ultimately comes from God and then prayerfully and submissively dedicates that talent to the Lord’s work. distributed and given by God Himself. They are gifts. Many non-Christians are blessed with such providential talents. What does Paul tell his readers in 1 Corinthians 12:14–31 about the distribution of the gifts? Why is this perspective so important for understanding how spiritual gifts function in the church? The Holy Spirit is the one who distributes the gifts according to His wisdom and will. M onday February 20 (page 66 of Standard Edition) God. or our spiritual performance. God has decided to equip His believers with special gifts in order to bless the lives of other Christians and to build up His church. we do not need to be envious of others and their gifts. The Greek word for the gifts of the Spirit is charismata—they are gifts of grace. Those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and believe in Him will be equipped by the Holy Spirit with spiritual gifts “as He wills” (1 Cor. our position. Spiritual gifts are not the same as natural talents that a person might develop through intense edu- cation. We often think that the Holy Spirit is the One who bestows spiritual gifts. The bestowal of the gifts is God’s sovereign decision. While every good thing and perfect gift is ultimately from God (James 1:17). NASB). Innate ability as such is not a spiritual gift. our honor. Read Ephesians 4:7. our education. The apostle Paul also connects Jesus Christ with the giving of the gifts. To envy other gifts is a sign of ingratitude toward God and of doubting His wisdom in the distribution of His gifts. the Sovereign Giver of the Spiritual Gifts It is not we who decide what gifts to have. 12:11. Since He loves us and knows best how we can serve Him most efficiently. freely given out of love so that we can fulfill the task God has assigned us to do. What gifts has God granted to members of your church? What message can you take away from the fact that different people have different gifts? 100 . How is Jesus involved in the giving of the gifts? Paul says that the grace of Christ secured the right to give us gifts.

4:11. diverse gifts are needed. 4:10. Why do you think that a primary purpose of the gifts is church unity? How can believers with different gifts aim at unity in the church? What needs to take place so that different gifts in the church become blessings rather than sources of division? 101 . When we try to recover a God-centered perspective of the spiritual gifts. T uesday February 21 (page 67 of Standard Edition) The Purpose of the Spiritual Gifts Read Romans 12:3–8 and Ephesians 4:8–12. This is the reason why the gifts are never given to please us. 4:10. 26). nor are they given as an antidote to boredom. To reach that goal. individuals receive undue prominence. 11). When this happens. are mis- used so that only certain individuals are elevated. 4:10). It is more focused on us than on God. It is a tragedy when God’s gifts. not for our sanctifica- tion. They are given to bring spiritual profit and edification to the whole church. we might say that spiritual gifts are certain capaci- ties given supernaturally by God through the Holy Spirit. we should keep in mind that in bestowing a spiritual gift the Holy Spirit also always gives a specific task or ministry that goes along with it (1 Pet. Too often we think about spiritual gifts only in terms of ability and talents that we receive. which are supposed to foster unity in the church. While talents are involved in spiritual gifts. we realize that the gifts God gives fulfill multiple divine purposes: they are given to further the unity of the church and for building up the church (Eph. 1 Cor. They are given to carry on the divinely commissioned ministry of the church (Eph. 14:12. And ultimately they are given to glorify God (1 Pet. This in turn fosters disunity and gives way to divisiveness. These gifts fit the person for a special type of service that will build up the church. 4:12–16). They are to edify others (1 Pet. Often we think about the gifts of the Holy Spirit in terms of fulfilling our spiritual needs or as empowering us in our walk with God. They are not miraculous tricks that satisfy our curiosity. Thus. What is the purpose of the spiritual gifts that God gives us? The spiritual gifts were clearly given for service. The result is a view of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that is more Christian-centered than Christ-centered. 12).

God will not leave the members of the church without help in fulfilling their mission. and Christ has come again. Were those gifts given only to the New Testament believers? Why are the gifts available today? There are some Christians who think that the spiritual gifts men- tioned in the New Testament were restricted to the times of Jesus and the apostles. Rather. we have to assume that He intends them to remain until the church has completed its mission. In support of such a view. where the apostle Paul states that “when the perfect comes. and prepare the world for the soon coming of Jesus. when we no longer see as through a dark glass. But they will cease only when the perfect has come. that is. They argue that. In the absence of any scriptural proof that God has abolished them. the special spiritual gifts also have ceased to be present in the church. As long as the church is called to prepare the world for Christ’s second coming. the partial will be done away” (NASB). 12:28). especially verse 13. Yes. but face to face. The Bible tells us that the spiritual gifts are given to build up the church (1 Cor. 12. Read Ephesians 4:11–13. they quote 1  Corinthians 13:10. 14:1. to a perfect man. nor occupy the same place as the Bible. when Jesus comes again. Romans 12:3–8. What does this tell us about the present need for the gifts in the church? 102 . with the death of the first apostles. Then and Now Read 1 Corinthians 14:1 and compare the different lists in 1 Corinthians 12:7–11. W ednesday February 22 (page 68 of Standard Edition) The Gift. 27–31. Paul admonishes the believers to “desire earnestly spiritual gifts” (1 Cor. NASB). they are a fulfillment of the biblical promise to equip the believers so that they can build up the body of Christ. They are nec- essary to the well-being of the body. and Ephesians 4:11. there will be a time when the gifts will cease. to the measure of the stature of the full- ness of Christ” (NKJV). which says: “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God. The work of God will be completed at the end of time with power and strength far exceeding the first beginnings. But these gifts will never supersede the Bible.

We are warned that there are demonic powers seeking to mislead the church and that there are devilish reproductions of the genuine gifts of the Spirit. their consistency. Only through testing everything by the Word can we know for sure whether what we are hearing or seeing is truly from the Lord or. misleading signs and wonders. 14:29. the Bible also warns us not to believe every spirit but rather to test the spir- its by their conformity to Scripture. perform wonders that will appear to be genuine miracles. pp. and whether they exalt Jesus as the Lord.”—Ellen G. T hursday February 23 (page 69 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit and the Gift of Discernment Read 1 Corinthians 12:10. . God gives the church the gift of discernment. knowledge. such as false teachings. Why is the gift of discernment important? While there are genuine spiritual gifts present in the church. book 2. we may be among the number who will see the miracles wrought by Satan in these last days. and faithfulness to God’s Word in belief and prac- tice are needed to make proper evaluations. NASB). In order to preserve the church in truth and unity and to safeguard the members from following false prophets and being deluded by false signs and miracles. The basis for all discernment. . 12:10. have placed a special emphasis on some spiritual gifts and have given unwarranted prominence to the presence of special signs and wonders. through a species of deceptions.  . from somewhere else. . occult healing powers. Let not the days pass by and precious opportunities be lost of seeking the Lord with all the heart and mind and soul. 103 . Selected Messages. counterfeit tongue-speaking. ESV) because not everything that pretends to come from God is really from God. “The man who makes the working of miracles the test of his faith will find that Satan can. and 1 John 4:1–3. which should be regarded as deceptions manufactured by the father of lies. 12:10.  . lying visions. has to be the Word of God. however. If we accept not the truth in the love of it. Biblical maturity. White. 52. instead. It is necessary to “distinguish between spirits” (1 Cor. It is interesting that Paul lists the gift of discernment imme- diately after he mentioned the gift of “effecting of miracles” and the gift of “prophecy” and before he mentions the gift of tongues (1 Cor.  . Men under the influence of evil spirits will work miracles. and believe them. Many strange things will appear as wonderful miracles. how- ever. et cetera. 53. Some who accept the validity of the spiritual gifts even today. false proph- ecy.

Ellen G. for Satan will exercise his power by working miracles. And surely some people have seen them firsthand. Sanitariums are to be established. in The Great Controversy.”—Selected Messages. 593–602. But I am instructed that we cannot now work in this way. What crucial admonition is given to us here? How “highly” should we think of ourselves? 104 . and with these institutions are to be connected workers who will carry forward genuine medical missionary work. things back then were the way they are today: people being taught the Word of God and then responding to the Holy Spirit. through the grace given to me. today that were seen in Bible times?” First. White wrote: “The way in which Christ worked was to preach the Word. such as the miraculous healings. “Why don’t we see the same kinds of miracles. will be wrought. Thus a guarding influence is thrown around those who come to the sanitariums for treatment. “The Scriptures a Safeguard. 511–517. we can get the impression that miracles always were happening. to everyone who is among you. 12:3. Some have asked. and to relieve suffering by miraculous works of healing. because spurious works of healing. we do hear stories about miracles. combined with the teaching of the Word. NKJV). when reading the Bible. Discussion Questions:  What is the difference between the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit?  How can the understanding that the gifts are given by a lov- ing and wise God help us to appreciate the various gifts in our church?  Why are miraculous healings and wonders in themselves not a safe guide for determining truth? What do we need along with them?  “For I say. not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think. and most of the time. finally. p. But we get that impression only because the Holy Spirit inspired the authors to write about events that were crucial in establishing the early church. God’s servants today could not work by means of miracles. but to think soberly. and these events often included miracles. “Agency of Evil Spirits. For this reason the Lord has marked out a way in which His people are to carry forward a work of physical healing.” pp. too. book 2.” pp. We could imagine that in most cases. claiming to be divine. Second. And. 54. as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Rom. F riday February 24 (page 70 of Standard Edition) Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White.

but his failures frustrated him. but he was careful not to overwhelm them with too much information. He turned the page and continued reading. Kim wanted to meet Him. that he had been searching for. He shared what he was learning with his family. sensing that it offered some- thing that he needed. and he reasoned that if evil existed. To be continued in next week’s Inside Story. Kim had always been interested in spiritual things. As he read books on health. they teach that God exists within every person as a force for good. He read the ad again. Kim always believed in good. but his mind returned to that small advertisement. His eyes fell on a small advertisement in the lower corner of the page. wasn’t religious. i n s i d e Story The Newspaper Ad: Part 1 Kim leafed through the newspaper. Was He real? Did He care about humanity? Could He love a person and help him or her in times of trouble? If God cared about him. Over the course of time his parents saw the wisdom in his healthy lifestyle. He began to question God. he was introduced to the New Age movement. Web site: www. He tried to live a good life. then stopped and read it again. instead. New Age teachings don’t deny God. Although his family. He searched for ways to embrace goodness without realizing that the good he was looking for was God. Kim adopted a healthy lifestyle and became a vegetarian. The few sentences in the advertise- ment invited readers to join a Bible study that was meeting on Tuesday evenings. He had seen evil in the alcohol and drugs and violence that he’d encountered. He read it absently. But salvation through Jesus Christ isn’t a part of New Age teachings. then somewhere good must exist as well.AdventistMission. if not in God. Kim sensed that life was filled with struggles between good and evil. scanning the headlines and reading the stories that caught his interest. like most in Denmark. drawn to the ad as a moth is drawn to a flame. Kim flipped back through the newspaper. When Kim faced some personal problems. In his search for goodness. Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. There had to be something more to life that he hadn’t yet discovered. he realized that the New Age movement didn’t hold all the 105 .

Analyze the difference between the two. Feel: Understanding Our Individual Gifts A Why is it so easy to overlook the spiritual gifts God gives to us? B When we feel envious of other multigifted people. the Holy Spirit imparts gifts. Feel: Appreciate the gifts of the Holy Spirit. to serve the community at large. what does this really say about our attitude toward God? III. or divinely endowed capacities. Learning Outline: I. and discover the Holy Spirit’s divine purpose for spiritual gifts. in order to build up the body of Christ. teachers comments The Lesson in Brief Key Text: 1 Corinthians 12:4–11 The Student Will: Know: Contrast the fruit of the Spirit with the gifts of the Spirit. and foster a desire to use his or her God-given gifts to build up the body of Christ. Know: Understanding the Gifts of the Spirit A How do we define the gifts of the Spirit? What is a spiritual gift? B Who determines who receives each gift? C What is the difference between the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit? II. to each one of us. and choose to use these gifts to glorify God. and to glorify God. Do: Understanding the Purpose of Spiritual Gifts A What is the purpose of the gifts that the Holy Spirit imparts? B How do the gifts of the Holy Spirit enable us to relate positively to other church members? C What function do spiritual gifts have in building up the body of Christ and ministering in the community? Summary: When we respond positively to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to know Christ intimately. Do: Be sensitive to the working of the Holy Spirit in the impartation of spiritual gifts. as He wills. and reach out in service to others. 106 .

When we recognize the gifts that God has given us and use them to His glory. Do you think her parents bought her a baby elephant to keep in the backyard? Certainly not! They were much wiser than this little girl. teachers comments Learning Cycle STEP 1—Motivate Spotlight on Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:4–11 Key Concept for Spiritual Growth: The Holy Spirit imparts gifts to each believer to build up Christ’s church and to accomplish Christ’s mission in the community. He has not given us a mission without giv- ing us the necessary gifts to fulfill the mission. Our Lord has not given us a task without equipping us for that task. God has given every member gifts for ministry in the church and in the com- munity. 107 107 . 28 and Romans 12:6–8. She longed for a baby elephant as a pet. Just for Teachers: This week’s lesson reveals one of the most powerful principles in the entire Bible for growing healthy churches. When we are sensitive to the working of the Holy Spirit and are completely com- mitted to Christ and His work. the church functions as a healthy body. Encourage your class members to pray that God will help them recognize their gifts. which one would you choose? Why would you choose that particular gift? What makes that gift desirable to you? Can you remember a special birthday or Christmas as a child when you wanted something badly but were disappointed when you did not get it? This disappointment happened to a little girl who prayed for an elephant. Share the thought that the same Holy Spirit that imparts the gifts will reveal to each one of us which gifts He has imparted and how to best use them in Christ’s service.” but God is much wiser than we are and imparts the gifts to us that He best knows we will use to glorify His name in service for Him. the Spirit will guide us in discerning our gifts. Opening Discussion: Let’s read together the gifts of the Holy Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12:27. The gifts of the Spirit are given to each believer in order that he or she may fulfill a role as a member of the body of Christ in glorifying God through ministry in the body. but the Holy Spirit has imparted them. and guide them in using these gifts to advance His kingdom. He or she may not realize what those gifts are. If you could choose to have any one of these gifts. There was nothing she wanted more than a real elephant. and teach us how to best use them to glorify God. There are times when we pray for our “elephants.

and each one is called by God to use those gifts. 11. . There were arguments over eating meat that had been offered to idols. Some members even threatened to take others to the civil courts to solve their problems (1 Cor. for the advancement of His kingdom. 4). Although these gifts vary. in the body just as He pleased. an abuse of the Lord’s Supper.) The Corinthian church was fraught with serious spiritual problems. each one of them. 12:30. NKJV). Every gift is essential. 12:18. teachers comments Questions for Discussion:  Why do you think the Holy Spirit chooses the gifts for each believer and does not encourage us to pray for a specific gift?  What gifts are we encouraged to seek? (See 1 Cor. There are no superior and inferior gifts. 5:1). 31. As the apostle Paul so aptly puts it. 3:3. they all are necessary for a healthy. and a misuse of spiritual gifts (1  Corinthians 8. 108 . The Holy Spirit Imparts Spiritual Gifts for Service (Review 1 Corinthians 12:11 with the class.)  What is the difference between a spiritual gift and a natural talent?  Why is the topic of spiritual gifts so encouraging? STEP 2—Explore Just for Teachers: Each of God’s gifts is given to us out of the abun- dance of His grace and love. the gift of hospitality. 14). . . 22. Can you imagine a church without those who had the gift of helps. 6:1). Bible Commentary I. or the gift of generosity? It certainly would be a cold. Although each Christian cannot do everything. self-centered. Each one has been given gifts for service. whether they are large or small. Those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary” (1 Cor. envy. It is because He loves His church so deeply that He imparts to us gifts to build up His church. each one of us can do something for Christ. and strife among the members (1 Cor. Immorality crept into the church (1 Cor. The gift of hospitality is just as important as the gift of proclama- tion. Help your class to under- stand that each member is necessary. each one has been given gifts by God. functioning church. The gift of generosity is just as important as the gift of admin- istration. inward-focused group of people. The gift of helps is just as important to the church as the gift of healing. “But now God has set the members. There was jealousy.

Look for some affirmation from other members of the body of Christ that God has gifted you in particular areas. He chooses which gifts He gives. We do not choose which gifts we receive. Point out that the same Holy Spirit who has imparted gifts will reveal those gifts. vol. “To every person is committed some peculiar gift or talent which is to be used to advance the Redeemer’s kingdom. NKJV). filled with conflict.”—Testimonies for the Church. A sovereign God gives the gifts as He chooses. Remember that our gifts do not come developed fully. The more we use the gifts that God has given. Every gift is necessary in order to build God’s kingdom and advance His cause. Ask Him to reveal those gifts. No one is left out. and threatened with a schism. White adds. teachers comments The church at Corinth was divided. distributing to each one individually as He wills” (1 Cor. 618. p. and the more efficient we will become in using them. 4. Paul makes this point too plain to be misunderstood. 2. He outlines three key points about spiritual gifts in the life and ministry of the church: 1. 3. Consider This: What is the function of spiritual gifts? How do the gifts serve as a unifying force in the church? STEP 3—Apply Just for Teachers: Guide your class in a practical discussion on how to discover their gifts and how to use them in Christ’s service. Every believer receives at least one specific gift imparted by the Holy Spirit. the more they will grow. unifying the body of Christ. “But one and the same Spirit works all these things. under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. and reaching out in mission to the com- munity. 109 . 2. and thank Him for the gifts of the Spirit He has given you. It is in this context that the apostle Paul. Here are a few steps to help your class discover the gifts God has given: 1. Each one of us has been given a particular gift by Christ to be used in His service. The function of all of the gifts is to glorify God by building up the church. Analyze the areas of witness and service you feel God is calling you to and then get involved in service. 4. Commit your life to Christ. 3. writes to them about spiritual gifts as a unifying force. 5. 12:11. It is the same Holy Spirit who imparts each gift to believers. Ellen G.

we fail to recognize our gifts?  How can we know which gifts God has given us? Application Questions:  How can we help one another to discover our spiritual gifts?  What gifts do other class members have? Consider your Sabbath School class. and use them to build up His church and to witness in the community. How can you collectively use your gifts for the cause of Christ? 110 . Activities:  What gifts has God given you. Invite members to name some of the gifts they see in other members of the class. and how can you more effectively use those gifts in service. because we know that they are gifts given by a loving Lord to advance His cause. at times.  Think of some creative project for your Sabbath School class that uniquely uses the gifts of each member. STEP 4—Create Just for Teachers: As we discover the gifts that God has given us. He promises to send His Spirit to strengthen us in order that we may face the temptations of Satan and to impart spiritual gifts for service. We take no glory for these gifts. we will find joy in service. Why is it that. Spiritual satisfaction occurs when we use the gifts we have been given in order to bless others. teachers comments Thought Questions:  When we commit our lives to Jesus and are baptized.

Yes. Rom. Memory Text: “Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. The Holy Spirit is ultimately responsible for the existence of the church of Christ. NASB). Without the work of the Spirit. God wants to achieve His glorious plans for the church. Eph. 23. 6. one Lord. But this work in individuals is the foundation of a spiritual community. * Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath. 111 . There is one body and one Spirit. The Spirit-inspired Bible is the founda- tion for the theological unity of the church. and to do so with our help. as its authority for faith and practice. inspired by the same Spirit. however important these are. We are often tempted to think that the church exists and grows because of our various evangelistic and missionary activities. S ometimes we think of the Holy Spirit at work only on the indi- vidual level in the lives of individual believers. 6:3–7. 12:13. nor is it the result of our efficient organization and effective administration. 1:22. 1 Cor. The church exists because of what God has already done and continues to do for us through the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:4–11. But the real reason for the church lies not in what we do. March 4. one faith. the church would not exist and could not continue to fulfill its united mission. just as also you were called in one hope of your calling. It is the Holy Spirit who creates a spiritual community and fellowship that has the Written Word of God. one baptism” (Ephesians 4:3–5. 4:5. L esson 9 *February 25–March 3 (page 72 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit and the Church Sabbath Afternoon Read for This Week’s Study: Eph. Acts 17:11.

NASB). there is a sweet “fellowship of the Holy Spirit” (2 Cor. because all we have in the Lord comes from Him. 23. 1:22. and the One upon whom all other parts of the whole building are erected. we have access to God the Father. 2:22. NASB). Read Colossians 3:12–14. Jesus is the Rock. The work of the Spirit on the individual level then leads to a specific community of faith: the church. What do they tell us about the role of Christ and the Holy Spirit in the creation of the church? Through the Spirit. He must be the foundation of our entire Christian experience. and our final glorification—are all received through our union with Christ. As ­followers of Christ we should be eager “to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. we need to seek for unity in the fellowship of believers. the foundation of our salvation. our living victori- ous lives over sin. 7. Christ is the head of the church (see Eph. we are effectually united to Christ Himself. How can you exemplify these attributes and contribute to unity in the church? Why are these attributes so crucial to the unity of the church? 112 . 20–22. our justification as well as our sanctification. When we have experienced salvation through faith in Christ Jesus alone. without com- promising what cannot be compromised. We would not exist as a church if the Holy Spirit did not unite us first with Christ. S unday February 26 (page 73 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit Unites Us With Christ The Holy Spirit unites us in manifold ways. 13:14. 5:23). NASB) in the church. In every way possible. Through the Holy Spirit. Individual believers are being built into a new spiritual house of God “in the Spirit” (Eph. and 1 Peter 2:6. 4:3. Being united with Christ is the foundation of all the blessings of salvation. Our adoption as sons and daughters of Christ. and have been touched by the love of God. Thus. Read Ephesians 2:18.

baptism marks true repentance. we cannot live by ourselves. man is laid in his watery grave. represents the crucifixion of the old life and the public confession of accepting Christ as our Savior. the crucifixion of the old life. In other words. the Son. The believer promises to be faithful to God and His commandments. White Comments. How does baptism unite us with Christ and with the Spirit? It is the Holy Spirit who unites us into one body of believers. Baptism is a positive step with which all who wish to be acknowl- edged as being under the authority of the Father. our Lord and Savior. and in the presence of the whole heavenly universe the mutual pledge is made. To fol- low Christ means following Him in the fellowship of other believers. and the Holy Spirit. the Son. vol. In the name of the Father. p. As fol- lowers of Christ. Self is by pro- fession dead to a life of sin. 1074. It also encompasses mutual covenant obligations. “Baptism is a most solemn renunciation of the world. Read Romans 6:3–7. What is symbolized through biblical baptism? The act of being buried with Jesus Christ through baptism into death in the watery grave and being raised to new life in fellowship with Jesus. The SDA Bible Commentary. M onday February 27 (page 74 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit Unites Us Through Baptism Read 1 Corinthians 12:13. how has your baptismal covenant impacted your spiritual walk with Jesus? 113 . Thus. The waters cover the candidate. and the Holy Spirit must comply. The public entrance into Christ’s spiritual kingdom is through baptism. baptism and the church have a visible component to them. We are baptized into a specific church body. baptism has a distinct communal dimension and important communal implications.”—Ellen G. encouragement. and it signals the new birth or conversion. and God guarantees that we can depend on His help whenever we need it. Thus. and raised from the water to live the new life of loyalty to God. what hinders you from following Christ in baptism? If you have been baptized by immersion. And we certainly cannot fulfill the divine mission alone. 6. buried with Christ in baptism. That is why God has created the church. We all need the support. Have you made a decision for believers’ baptism? If not. and help of others.

go beyond. how can you learn to submit to its teachings? 114 . Paul commended the Bereans as noble-minded (Acts 17:11) because they diligently studied and searched the Scriptures in order to find out if what they had heard was true. He makes us appreciate the divine authority of Scripture. What is a distinguishing mark of a true disciple of Christ? Why is the Bible so indispensable in pointing us to Christ and in helping us to follow Him faithfully? The primary means by which the Holy Spirit unites us with Christ is through the Written Word of God. and willing submission to both. T uesday February 28 (page 75 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit Unites the Church Through the Word of God Read Acts 17:11 and John 5:39. conscious. Any reformation and spiritual revival—no matter whether it affects us individually or as a church corporately—must be based on Scripture. Instead. 32. The unity of the church is the work of the Spirit with and through the Written Word of God. How much time do you spend in the Word? More important. what is the basis for this unity? The Word of God is truth (John 17:17. According to John 17:17. Instead. the unity of the church would be destroyed. 47. criticize. meanwhile. That is why reading Scripture and memorizing its content is so important. Were we to lessen or weaken our implicit belief in the Bible as God’s Word of truth to us. The Bible is the foundation on which our faith is built. or fall short of Bible teaching. Ps. 46. the love of Jesus and for His Written Word is the bond that keeps us together. The Holy Spirit never draws us away from the Written Word. Read John 17:17–21. The Bible is the authorita- tive source for discerning spiritual truth and error. The Holy Spirit will never lead us to doubt. He keeps us in constant. 119:160). The Bible is a trustworthy source for knowing Jesus and the will of God. 8:31. The Bible is the foundational source for any theological unity worldwide. Here Jesus speaks about unity as a distinguish- ing mark of Christian discipleship. any more than from the Living Word.

forms a spiritual bond with every believer. The influence of the gospel is to unite in one great brotherhood. one faith. and the same judgment. White statement above. Any appeal to the Spirit without the Written Word can lead to suspect doc- trines and practices. The gospel of Christ is to reach all classes. White. Only in joyful faithfulness to the Word of God will we be able to see unity within our church. all nations. the same obedience to the Word of God. For unity is not so much a work to be achieved but a gift of the Holy Spirit. While we are called to submit to the Word of God and to do every- thing we can to maintain peace with everyone (Rom. ultimately we cannot bring about theological unity or unity of purpose as a church body. “We have one Lord. and through all. enabled by the Holy Spirit. who is the same yesterday. there will be no unity in mission. The same new birth. and in you all” (Eph. 12:18). p. having the same mind. The theological foundation of this unity is the Word of God. The Lord. and with one mouth glorifying God. one faith. nationalities will blend in Jesus Christ. 171. who works on each believer individually and on the church corporately. speak- ing the same things. Because there is only one Lord. generated by the Holy Spirit. but only yourself. ask: What can I do to help reach this wonderful goal of unity? 115 . today. And if there is no unity in faith and doctrine. 4:5. At the same time. we shall be in perfect harmony.”—Ellen G. there is only one faith that leads to one baptism. one baptism. We have only one Model that we are to imitate in character building. W ednesday March 1 (page 76 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit Unites the Church in Faith and Doctrine “One Lord. Look at the Ellen G. any appeal to the Written Word of God without the Holy Spirit dries up the Word and makes it barren. 6). one God and Father of all. Not worrying about others and what others do. leads to a unity of faith and practice that transcends all human and cultural differences. Our High Calling. and then we all shall have Christ’s mold. and for- ever. who is above all. one baptism. all tongues and people. What is Paul telling us here about unity and where it comes from? Unity in faith and doctrine is accomplished only in faithfulness to the Word of God.

Read Acts 2:42–47. possibly a reference to united worship (Acts 2:42). They were united in Bible study and continually devoted themselves to the apostles’ ­teachings (Acts 2:42). when the work needs to be finished before He comes again. God can do more through a small group that is united in their devotion to Him than He can through a large group divided in their loyalties. But God can do even greater things when we all have devoted our lives and our ener- gies. NASB). 16–21. They were united in proclaiming “the mighty deeds of God” (Acts 2:11. They were united in serving those in need when they freely shared what they possessed and had all things in common (Acts 2:44. In what other things were the New Testament believers united? The Pentecost mission enterprise was accompanied by a number of other factors where the early church stood united. They were united in fellowship and the break- ing of bread. to Him. The Holy Spirit will open our eyes to the needs of those around us. What activities in your local church help to reveal the unity of your church? What more could be done? 116 . 45). Out of the unity in life and mission of the believers grew the New Testament church. The same God who was active in New Testament times will continue to be active at the end of time. our talents and our resources. What was the result of the Holy Spirit’s being poured out on the New Testament believers? The Holy Spirit was responsible for the most powerful missionary outreach that history had witnessed to that point. T hursday March 2 (page 77 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit Unites the Church in Mission and Service Read Acts 2:4–11. United Bible study and fellowship will result in the desire to share the good news with others and to help others in very practical ways. They were united in prayer (Acts 2:42) and in praising God (Acts 2:47). A small and timid group of believers was changed into a powerful troop that became an effective tool that reached people from many different cultures and languages.

we are to yield ourselves to the control of the Holy Spirit. White. and until God works for His people. But why can’t there be unity in mission and service if there is division in doctrine? Why is a commonly shared faith a powerful factor for united and effective mission?  At the same time. White. pp. 2:3. White mean when she says that “every individual is striving to become a center of influence”? Why is that such a natural tendency of all of us. The Holy Spirit will create unity. for all who are assimilated to Christ will be in harmony with one another. 186. Selected Messages. we are wisely to improve present opportunities. at the same time. book 1. not doc- trine. to give the bread of life. book 3. Instead of living in expectation of some special season of excitement. 20. p. His transforming grace upon human hearts will lead to unity that has not yet been realized. F riday March 3 (page 78 of Standard Edition) Further Thought: “This is the work in which we also are to be engaged.)  Some argue that what will really unite us is service. they argue that doctrine tends to divide people. thus. allowing for minor differences that will arise? How do people in your local church deal with differences in understanding and yet still maintain unity?  How can the Bible be an instrument that will bring unity? What attitude is needed in our study of the Word of God so that we can be united as a church in mission and in faith? 117 . Selected Messages. and withheld from men. doing that which must be done in order that souls may be saved. “Every individual is striving to become a center of influence. How can we be united as a church while. Instead of exhausting the ­powers of our mind in speculations in regard to the times and seasons which the Lord has placed in His own power.”—Ellen G.”—Ellen G. 21. they will not see that subordination to God is the only safety for any soul. 4. how much room is there for theological dif- ferences? Few people are going to understand truth in the same way. and what can we do to fight this tendency in our own lives? (See also Phil. unadulterated with human opinions. In fact. to souls who are perishing for the truth. it should not be made prominent. Discussion Questions:  What does Ellen G. to do present duties.

Norway. He yearned for something . something to satisfy his mind as well as his spirit. its people have lost their sense of need for God. Eight months after Kim found the newspaper ad.AdventistMission. The church in Denmark is small. He enjoys sharing with others the truths he has come to love and wants to help others find God as he has. To learn more. Kim was amazed at what he learned during the Bible study. hoping that one day they will come to know Jesus as he has. Kim realized that God was not only logical but the author of perfect logic and meaning. He decided to attend the Bible study meeting. This quarter a portion of your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help to build an international evangelistic youth center in Oslo. visit www. Kim is learning how to share his faith with others and how to find answers to his per- sonal questions in his Bible. as in most European countries. and. He never realized the depth of God’s love and the plan of salvation. Kim has kept sharing. It lies south of Norway and Sweden. He continues to share truth and testimony with his family. and few are interested in religion. It’s a wealthy and modern nation. He continued to attend and built his life on the truths he was learning. He hosts a weekly dinner and Bible study that 10 to 12 people attend. but in time Kim realized that the worship services were more about experience and feelings than about reason and logic. hoping that his family will eventually accept his faith in God.i n s i d e Story The Newspaper Ad: Part 2 Kim met some Christians who introduced him to a church. Perhaps there he would find the answers he was looking for. just as they accepted his principles of healthful living. 118 Web site: www.adventistmission. Then Kim found the newspaper ad. but he could tell that they weren’t really interested. Denmark is a small country made up of a peninsula and almost 500 islands. He wondered whether he would always be search- ing and never really finding. He discarded the twisted philosophies that had clouded his understanding of God. They listened politely. His spiritual life grew as he studied for himself God’s great truths. But Kim wants to help the church grow. he was baptized into Christ and joined the Seventh-day Adventist Kim shared small bits of what he was learning with his family. He attended the worship services and enjoyed the music. Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission.

Unity is the outgrowth of converted hearts. Feel: Preserving Unity A How do our attitudes affect the unity of the church? B What attitudes contribute to unity. as a church. Know: Understanding the Principles of Unity A What is the role of the Holy Spirit in producing the unity of the church? B How does our individual unity in Christ lead to a corporate unity within the church—the body of Christ? C Why do the Bible and doctrine play such critical roles in unifying the church? II. and service and witness become our passions. Learning Outline: I. Do: Choose to allow the Holy Spirit to eradicate self-interest for the larger cause of the unity of the church. apply these principles more effectively? Summary: When we respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to allow Jesus to be both our Savior and our Lord. and His mis- sion to the unity of the body of Christ. 119 . anchored in God’s Word and com- mitted to Christ’s service. The Word of God becomes our guide. teachers comments The Lesson in Brief Key Text: John 17:17–21 The Student Will: Know: Understand the Spirit-inspired principles of church unity. His Word. attitudes of pride and self-inflated importance give way to humility and submission. Discover the relationship of his or her commitment to Christ. Do: Practicing Unity A What do the principles outlined in Acts 2:41–47 teach us about unity in our local congregation? B How can we. and what attitudes contribute to disunity? C Why is it not possible to have an experience of unity in the Holy Spirit independent of the teachings of God’s Word? III. Feel: Experience an attitude of humility toward others and submission to the truths of Scripture as the foundation of unity.

Together. 23. Or think of the pyramids. 2:19–22 Key Concept for Spiritual Growth: One of the most important func- tions of the Holy Spirit is to testify of. Each block fits so perfectly into the next that you cannot even place a piece of the thinnest paper between them. United to Christ—the Head of the church—we are united by the same Spirit to one another. so united. the apostle Paul uses two of His favorite metaphors to describe the unity of Christ’s church—the human body and a glorious temple. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin. and reveals the matchless charms of Christ to us. Paul describes God’s church as a building with Christ as the Chief Cornerstone. so Spirit led that there is nothing between members. 2:19–21. All are united to one another through the Holy Spirit in God’s temple of eternal truth. 16:14). NKJV). Through the Holy Spirit. built of massive stones. and it is through the Holy Spirit that we are led into the body of Christ—the church. impresses us with the need of a Savior. they give Him glory and witness to the beauty of His truth. we “are no longer strangers and foreigners. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that our hearts are changed. being joined together. but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. teachers comments Learning Cycle STEP 1—Motivate Spotlight on Scripture: Ephesians 1:22. Paul’s use of the body as a metaphor of the church is a powerful illustration of the unity Christ desires His people to have. Just as the members of the body are joined in an indivisible union. Jesus (John 15:26. Think of a glorious stone church with one handcrafted block tightly fitting in place beside the next block. grows into a holy temple in the Lord” (Eph. Each one gladly and humbly fills his or her role. and give glory to. the members of Christ’s body are united through the Holy Spirit in the church to Christ. Christ earnestly prays for the unity of His church. In His great intercessory prayer in John 17. Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone. in whom the whole building. Opening Discussion: In the book of Ephesians. Just for Teachers: Both of the apostle Paul’s favorite illustrations for the church—the body and a building—vividly speak of the close-knit unity of believers. Why do you think Paul chose these two symbols? What is it about the human body that so clearly communicates 120 . having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. many between two and two and a half tons. It is through the Holy Spirit that we are drawn to Christ.

Just as the body is com- posed of varied members that have different functions yet contribute to the well-being of the entire body. We are baptized into Christ. ethnicities. why not?  What role does the Holy Spirit play in the unity of the church? STEP 2—Explore Just for Teachers: Although baptism is a symbol of union with Christ in His death. At baptism. It welcomes people of all cultural backgrounds. From a small group of fledgling believers in Acts 1. the heart. If the body as a metaphor illustrates more difference than sameness. contribute to the health and life of the church. the New Testament church exploded in growth. and resurrection. so the church is composed of different members who. the lungs. United with Christ through baptism. burial. The brain. The eyes are certainly different from the ears and nose. the Head. teachers comments unity? Think of the different functions of the body.000 added to the church at Pentecost (Acts 2:41). There were 3. Baptism is a unifying element. 12:13). early believers grew to become a mighty force in the Roman Empire. it is also a symbol of union with Christ’s church (Acts 2:41. and the stomach all have different functions.) The book of Acts is one of the most thrilling books in the entire Bible. The record states that another 5. and languages into fellowship with the liv- ing Christ and His church. Seemingly against all odds. The feet have a decidedly different function from the hands. with their individual gifts. and the church. Bible Commentary I. 39).000 men 121 . Unity in the Church (Review Acts 2:41–47 and 1 Corinthians 12:13 with the class. we are united to one another through the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ. 1  Cor. how does that distinction help us to understand the concept of unity? How can we be unified yet different? What is the difference between unity and uniformity? Questions for Discussion:  How would you define unity? What is the very basis for unity in the church?  Why do you think that the apostle Paul uses both the body and a build- ing to illustrate unity? Would one symbol be complete without the other? If not. His body. the Holy Spirit empowers and equips believers for their ministry in Christ’s church (Acts 2:38.

’ Acts 4:13. and in prayers. were united on the essentials of biblical doctrine. worship together. In mind and character they had become like their Master. Consider This: The New Testament church exploded in growth because these early believers were committed fully to Christ. prayer. were baptized shortly after this initial baptism. Note carefully these principles in verse 42: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship. benefit from applying the principles of unity we have discovered in this week’s lesson? STEP 3—Apply Just for Teachers: Lead your class in a practical discussion of how best to achieve unity in a local church. but even persecution did not hinder the growth of the church. They also were united in fellowship. and men ‘took knowledge of them. Ellen G. and a Roman jailer accepted the gospel. NKJV). and enjoy one another’s social fellowship. an Ethiopian govern- ment official accepted Christ. and our local congregation. There was cross-cultural growth. A common church organization brought them together. in addition to women and children. Acts 6 adds that “the Word of God spread. and the number of disciples multiplied greatly” (Acts 6:7. and personal animosity gave way to passionate vision to save the lost. With people of different backgrounds and different viewpoints. “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preach- ing the word” (Acts 8:4. Lydia. 45. was baptized in Philippi. the advancement of His kingdom was their aim. Conflict gave way to conquest.”—The Acts of the Apostles.’ ‘of one heart and of one soul. and in the breaking of bread. teachers comments (Acts 4:4). Christ filled their thoughts. a businesswoman from Thyatira. They were of ‘one accord. and were focused on God’s mission of winning the lost.” These New Testament believers were united through their belief in the truth of Scripture. p.’ Acts 2:46. What led to this rapid growth? What elements did the Holy Spirit use to bring the church together in such unity that the entire world was affected? Acts 2 reveals some profound insights about the unity of the early church. how can a local congregation have true biblical 122 . 4:32. that they had been with Jesus. was baptized with his entire family. Cornelius. NKJV). The Holy Spirit leads us to unity as we pray together. Doctrine is a unifying element of Christ’s church. This unity in Christ and doctrine and fellowship led to a commit- ment to mission and service. Churches were planted and multiplied throughout the Mediterranean world (Acts 9:31). and worship. a Roman centurion. This powerful proclamation of the gospel created a strong reaction on the part of the Roman authorities. White shares this thought: “No longer were their hopes set on worldly greatness. What principles can the Holy Spirit teach us from the unity of the early church that can make a difference for the church today? How can each one of us.

and inspires our witness to a lost world. and (5) a passion for witness and service. Activities:  This week meditate on this thought. Is there someone in the church with whom you do not feel in harmony? What might you do to bridge the gap? Pray this week that God will open the way for you to be reconciled to that individual. and a channel of blessing to foster the unity that Christ prays for in John 17.  This week ask God to help you to be a peacemaker. shines light on Scripture. The Spirit-inspired Word of God is the foun- dation of all unity. The Holy Spirit leads to conviction of personal sin. we can be sure that the Holy Spirit is not leading them. fosters unity. which bring division to the church. 123 . Union with Christ unites us to one another. typically it is not the work of the Holy Spirit. When the church is torn apart by conflict and strife. (2) commit- ment to Christ. Application Questions:  How can the unity of the church become a spiritual priority in each of our lives?  What can the church do to initiate a greater emphasis on unity?  How might our Sabbath School class foster unity in our congregation? STEP 4—Create Just for Teachers: The Holy Spirit is a unifier not a divider. (4) social fellowship. as outlined in the book of Acts. taking extreme theological positions not firmly rooted in the Word. leads to personal duty. When individuals arise. teachers comments unity? How do the elements of unity. (3) faithfulness to Scripture. apply today? Discuss the role of each of these five foundational principles of unity with your class: (1) the guidance of the Holy Spirit. an ambassador of good- will.

27. L esson 10 *March 4–10 (page 80 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit. but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Matt. James 1:6–8. nor focusing our prayers on suspect con- templative and meditative practices. 4:19). Prayer draws us closer to God. The good news is that even in our prayers we are not left without the help of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who awakens in us a desire to seek God’s presence in prayer and to lift up one another in our supplications. Our lives are trans- formed when we claim the blessings God has promised in His Word. T rue spirituality and prayer go together. 7:7. and both are rooted in His Written Word. True prayer and authentic spirituality always have God at the center of our attention. per- haps one of the greatest and most urgent needs is a revival of our prayer life. Memory Text: “The Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses. the Word. it lifts us up into His presence. Ps. The prayer of faith enables us to live in response to the abundance of God’s promises. 15. We should not be basing our spiritual lives on our unsteady experi- ence and subjective feelings. because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26. 124 . Acts 2:38. Rather. * Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath. God is more than able to supply all of our needs according to His riches (Phil. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is. 66:18. March 11. 1 John 5:14. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought. and Prayer Sabbath Afternoon Read for This Week’s Study: John 15:7. There is no real spiritual life without vigorous prayer. NKJV). After the need for repentance. our spirituality has to be guided by the Bible and to follow God’s will as revealed in His Word.

”—Ellen G. We might pray for success in God’s work because we are playing an important role in it. What a powerful quote! It captures so much of the reality of what prayer does to us and for us. Read John 15:7. We will start to see our whole lives through His eyes. 93. Prayer does not bring God down to us. p. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are. We can talk about these things with Him as with a good friend. and so forth. He longs to be part of all aspects of our lives: our worries. Often our prayers center more on what we want rather than on what God wants. when you pray. Prayer alone makes us open receptacles for the grace. If God comes first in our lives. our wishes. and the presence of God in our lives. we will want to do what He wants. why you pray. but in order to enable us to receive Him. This perspective ennobles prayer. God is deeply interested in us. many prayers are guided by questionable motives. we will begin to pray from His perspective. our joys. And we look at all of it through His eyes. Prayer that is pleasing to God has a different focus. our hopes. but brings us up to Him. Once God is the center of prayer. our successes. Who hasn’t at some point experienced the reality of how prayer can draw us closer to God? Think about your prayer life—that is. “Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. S unday March 5 (page 81 of Standard Edition) Prayer That Is Pleasing to God Even though clothed in pious cloaks. what you pray for. We might pray that someone’s life be spared because we do not like living alone. it changes us. What does it tell you about your own spiritual state and your own relationship to God? What changes might you need to make? 125 . Steps to Christ. White. His thoughts will shape our desires. because we are brought into the life-changing presence of God. We might pray for the conversion of a person because then our life will be easier. Why is it important for our prayers that we abide in Jesus and His Words abide in us? What other focus will our prayers have if we don’t abide in Jesus? To seek God first and to enjoy His companionship is more impor- tant than anything else He might give to us. the power. our failures—everything. Prayer does not change God. our desires. our fears.

He desires every one who believes. 1 John 5:14. God will not answer our prayers (see Isa. “All His [God’s] gifts are promised on condition of obedi- ence.”—Ellen G. we also publicly give Him permission to become active in our behalf. Jesus said: “ ‘Ask. 10. and you will find. 1:20). White. For everyone who asks receives. 59:1. Yet. No request is too small or u­ nimportant for Him. 15. Why is no prayer request too big for God? Why is it good to know that God is gener- ous and loves to give out of His abundance? What is the prerequi- site for God to fulfill our prayers? We truly can ask God for anything. When we ask God. and it will be opened for you. 126 . seek. it will be opened’ ” (Luke 11:9. 2). p. No request is so big that God cannot handle it. 1901. By faith we may claim every promise in the Bible and receive the promised gifts from His hands according to His will (2 Cor. God wants to be asked. 7. we have to ask for it. If we do not ask Him. M onday March 6 (page 82 of Standard Edition) The Foundation of Biblical Prayer: Ask God Read Matthew 7:7. He is omnipotent. If we are not willing to submit fully to God. Christ’s Object Lessons. 145. An important condition for the fulfill- ment of our prayers is our willingness to follow God’s will and to be obedient. Signs of the Times. Knowing that God is generous. knock. there are some conditions to be met in order to receive what we are asking.”—Ellen G. and it will be given you. and he who seeks finds. White. Why is our asking so important. Read Mark 11:24. Through prayer we approach Him. “The Lord is not glori- fied by the tame supplications which show that nothing is expected. and if our requests reflect only our selfish and sinful desires. Aug. from whom we seek support and help. to approach the throne of grace with earnestness and assurance. NKJV). and to him who knocks. we will not receive the gifts He has promised. we can come boldly to Him. Before we can receive anything from God. He desires that we bring to Him our prayer requests. since God knows everything anyhow? Asking reveals our desire and expresses our trust in God. and Psalm 66:18.

and forever (Heb. NASB). When we entertain doubts that God will keep His promises. what other aspect does Jesus men- tion in connection with prayer? Asking alone is not enough. There is a second important aspect that needs to be present in our prayers: faith. Effectual prayer must be accompanied by a belief not only that God can answer. but that He will do so according to His divine will. 6:18. 11:6. Faith opens the door to the divine treasure-house. Faith clings to God’s promises because we trust what He has said (Heb. yesterday. Faith knows that for God nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). To believe means to take God at His word. believing is related to trusting. It means that we depend on God and His promises. even when our feelings tell us otherwise. we waver and cannot expect that we will receive anything from Him. God is the same. we must believe that He exists and that He will reward those who seek Him. to fulfill His promises in our behalf. How does the text describe the person who lacks faith? Why is faith a prerequisite to receiving the promised gifts? If we come to God. 13:8). today. God moves the hearts of men and women to trust the Word of God. we have to believe that He will do what is best for us in His time. What helps you to grow stronger in faith? What aspect of Jesus helps you to have confidence in His willingness and ability to help you in your times of need? 127 . T uesday March 7 (page 83 of Standard Edition) The Foundation of Biblical Prayer: Believe Read Mark 11:24. and through faith. When we kneel down before God and open the Bible to any of the more than three thousand promises and then ask God. with the simplicity of a small child. Read James 1:6–8. NASB). We can trust someone only when we know the other person to be trustworthy. Besides asking. 11:1. In the Bible. 11:11). For “faith is the assurance of things hoped for. our prayers move the arm of omnipotence. Faith knows that “it is impossible for God to lie” (Heb. NASB). The book of Hebrews tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please” God (Heb. Through the Holy Spirit. the conviction of things not seen” (Heb.

He bids us be instant in prayer. ‘Call upon Me in the day of trouble. we are to offer to Him our sincere. John 11:11 tells us that He was willing to do God’s will and that He was obedient. The example of the resurrection of Lazarus in John 11 illustrates that Jesus prayed in this way. Even though we can’t explain everything. and our ­heavenly Father is moved by our supplications. We receive the promised gift by faith even before we might feel or see it. He did receive the fulfillment of His request. Thus. 258. As soon as diffi- culties arise. and return thanks to God that we have received. then we are to believe that we receive. p. earnest petitions. 15. He invites us to present to Him our perplexities and necessities. “The Lord says. After asking God and believing His promises. By our importunate prayers we give evidence of our strong confidence in God. White. Jesus compares the Word of God to a seed. we can trust His promises. In John 11:39–41. We claim God’s promise by returning thanks to God that we have received it. 172. we may ask. p. we already possess the gift He has promised. White said that “for any gift He has promised. The sense of our need leads us to pray earnestly. the gift of God is contained in His promises. Christ’s Object Lessons. In the same way that the whole apple tree is contained in an apple seed. the promises are applied to our hearts. Why is it so important to always bring everything to God in prayer? 128 . Ellen G. W ednesday March 8 (page 84 of Standard Edition) The Foundation of Biblical Prayer: Claim God’s Promises All faith is useless if we do not claim the things for which we have prayed.”—Ellen G. When Jesus had thanked God. we need to claim what He has promised. In Luke 8:11. As God’s children we are to live on God’s promises. we read that Jesus thanked the Father in advance that He would resurrect Lazarus.’ Ps. What is the reason that we can be confident that God hears us and that we receive what we have requested from Him? The third aspect of Bible prayer is reception. even though Lazarus was still in the grave. not on His explanations.” —Education. Read 1  John 5:14. 50:15. and our need of divine help. Jesus knew exactly what God’s will in this situation was. When we claim the promise and thank God for it.

all our needs are supplied. what could be added to Divinity Himself ?). to reproduce Christ’s charac- ter in our lives. we will fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to give us His Holy Spirit. The blessing of the Holy Spirit will bring in its train all other blessings. NASB). White. As in the days of the New Testament church. What do these texts tell us about receiving the Holy Spirit in our lives? There are many things we can pray for. the gift of the Holy Spirit is never an end in itself. So any worship practice. the church.”—Ellen G. but there is one great need in this time of peril in which we live: it is the gift of the Holy Spirit. Then all we have to do is to ask God. then repentance for sin is the firstfruit of the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. however. 284. we need to confess our sins so that He can cleanse us from all unrighteousness. when we respond to His prompting. 2:18. Why is the gift of the Holy Spirit the greatest gift that Jesus could give to us? What has been your experience with the reality of the Holy Spirit in your life? How different would your life be without this gift? 129 . Without Him. Thus. and He will gladly grant us His Spirit. “The heavenly Parent is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him than earthly parents are to give good gifts to their children. one major obstacle—and that is ourselves. He is given to elevate Jesus. For it is through Jesus that we “have our access in one Spirit to the Father” (Eph. This is the greatest gift that Jesus could give. There is. We need to understand just how fallen we are and how much we need God and His grace in our lives. public or private. Through Him and His work in our lives. T hursday March 9 (page 85 of Standard Edition) Praying for the Holy Spirit Read Ephesians 3:16 and Acts 2:38. Yes. in earnest prayer. As with other spiritual things. and doomed to eternal loss. that elevates the Spirit above Jesus Christ is wrong. p. In humility and faith. it is only the prompting of the Holy Spirit that even allows us to do that. God could not have given His people more. Ye Shall Receive Power. However. In giving the Holy Spirit. dead in our sins. and to enable us to serve others in building up the body of Christ. we have to realize that we first need to repent and surrender our lives fully to Jesus. To this gift nothing could be added (after all. we are lost. because we are often unprepared to receive the Holy Spirit.

89. read Ellen G. White. What have you learned about prayer that could help others who might be struggling with understand- ing the purpose of prayer?  Why is it important to pray even if we don’t fully understand how it all works? 130 . 1982). F riday March 10 (page 86 of Standard Edition) Further Thought: Read Ellen G. He does not give men that which will gratify their ambition and work simply for ­self-exaltation. we would have no spiritual power in our lives. God Has Promised (Washington.”—Ellen G. The Lord sees that prayer is often mixed with earthliness. and the Lord does not fulfill their requests in the way which they expect. And. “Asking to Give. such as the healing of a sick child or the like? How do we learn to trust God even in situations like this?  In class. Men pray for that which will gratify their selfish desires.” pp. talk about your own experiences with prayer. Without prayer. even when we have sought to meet all the conditions to the best of our God-given ability? “But be not discouraged if your prayers do not seem to obtain an immediate answer. In Heavenly Places. Discussion Questions:  In what ways does prayer impact our whole spiritual exis- tence? That is. Without prayer we would have no vital link with God.: Review and Herald. D. no question. because prayer connects us to the Source of that power. For a helpful collection of encouraging promises. He takes them through tests and ­trials. He brings them through humiliations. p. in Christ’s Object Lessons. We would become empty ves- sels who might have “a form of godliness” but would be devoid of the power and promise of the gifts from on high.C. until they see more clearly what their necessities are. as we have seen all this week—we have been given wonderful promises about God’s answering prayer. White. When we come to God we must be submissive and contrite of heart. and about what it means to you. what effect does prayer have on you when you pray? In what ways are you different after you have prayed than before you did?  What do you say to someone who has prayed and prayed for something and it hasn’t happened as the person had hoped and prayed for. He does not give to men those things which will gratify a debased appetite and which will prove an injury to the human agent and make him a dishonor to God. White. 139–149. subordinating everything to His sacred will. But what about the times when we don’t get what we pray for.

I moved to another town. My chest hurt. but they had reasons why I could not come and stay with them. and had lots of nice clothes. the beautiful things around me seemed filthy and disgusting. “Have you taken the medicine you were prescribed?” the doctor asked. but I refused to go back on drugs.AdventistMission. I would feel better. I had been staying with a friend. I started calling my relatives. Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. He and my aunt were kind and took me to see a nearby doctor. Kim Laovin from Stockholm. and after he examined me. owned a good car. more than half my life. and I could not walk more than a block. Your heart is enlarged and is working hard. But I had no real home to go back to. lonely. “I have just kicked a drug addiction. The doctor gave me medicine and sent me 131 . Sweden. I was sick. But when I gave up drugs. I had a lovely big house. “No. and I don’t want to become addicted to these drugs. I knew I would get sick if I stopped taking drugs. and homeless. tells how God transformed her life of misery into something beautiful. the drugs I had been taking had masked these symptoms for years. I knew if I could only tough it out long enough. I went to the doctor. “You have a serious heart problem. I used heroin to get through the day. They were happy to hear from me and happy to hear I was no longer taking drugs. but I was determined to get clean. Weeks went by. and I was still very weak and tired. the first thing I did every morning was inject heroin into my veins. The pain you feel is angina.” To be continued in next week’s Inside Story. I sold or gave away everything. They had been purchased with drug money. he declared. Drugs were not only my life—they were my livelihood. For 25 years. Then with only a suitcase of things left.” I realized that. I suffered all the symptoms of withdrawal. an uncle took me in. ironically. but it is doing only half the work it should.” I admitted. Finally. It is pain caused when the heart does not get enough oxygen. but my friend could not keep me forever. i n s i d e Story Something Beautiful: Part 1 Editor’s Note: In the following three-part story. Web site: www. Then one July morning I awoke and knew that I was done letting drugs run my life.

Do: The Power of the Spirit A What specific things can you do to improve the quality of your devo- tional life in order to live daily in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit? B As we read the promises of Scripture. and by faith claim His promises. Learning Outline: I. The Holy Spirit is Christ’s personal Ambassador and most precious Gift. 27 The Student Will: Know: Discern the absolute necessity of prayer and Scripture in living a Spirit-filled Christian life. teachers comments The Lesson in Brief Key Text: Romans 8:26. we seek His glory. with humble hearts and submissive attitudes. As we surrender our lives to Christ. The secret of receiving the Holy Spirit in the fullness of His power is not a secret at all. rather than something we have simply read in the Bible? Summary: God longs to fill our lives with His Holy Spirit. When we submit our lives to Christ. The Holy Spirit will fill our lives. Know: The Promise of the Spirit A Why is the Holy Spirit’s presence so important in the Christian life? B What relationship is there between prayer and Bible study and the infilling of the Spirit? II. we will live in His pres- ence. He will fill us with His Spirit. and claim the promise of the Spirit. how can they become ours. He will be poured out on us in abundant measure. believe His Word. 132 . Feel: The Presence of the Spirit A How can we experience more of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power? B How do you feel when you have a vibrant. not our own. Do: Cultivate a love for quiet times of communion with Christ through the min- istry of the Holy Spirit in regularly scheduled times of prayer and Bible study. meaningful devotional time with God? C How do you feel when you repeatedly miss your devotional time? III. As we spend time with Jesus in prayer and in Bible study. believe. As we pray. Feel: Sense the need to experience more of the Holy Spirit’s presence through prayer and Bible study.

When we pray. for others it is more duty than delight. we are talking to God.’ The Bible should be studied with prayer. because they are spiritually discerned. that we long to have a relationship with Him. When we read His Word. 84:11. Suggest that they read a portion of Scripture. 1889. Enjoying His fellowship is our hearts’ desire. June 4. Ask your class to follow this divinely inspired counsel of combining Bible study with prayer this week. and so appreciative of what He has done for us. and we are drawn closer to Him. and report back to the class next Sabbath on the difference it made in their devotional lives. Begin with a section of the Psalms or one of the Gospels. We pray not just because we want something for ourselves. When our hearts’ desire is to know Him. He will reveal insights in God’s Word that draw them closer to Jesus. We pray because we are so filled with love for Christ. Prayer is the environment in which Christ’s Spirit speaks to our hearts. It has become a monotony 133 133 . Just as a parent longs to give good gifts to his or her children. believing we will receive. ‘The natural man receiveth not of the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them.”—The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald. Being in His presence is a delight. James 1:17). and then silently talk to God about what they have read. He is speaking to us. White gives us this practical counsel: “If you search the Scriptures with a meek and teachable spirit. we become the recipients of Heaven’s richest blessings. Just for Teachers: One of the most meaningful ways to experience a deeper devotional life is to blend prayer and Bible study. The Holy Spirit will impress their minds with areas in their lives that need to grow spiritually. our heavenly Father longs to give good gifts in abun- dance to each one of us. By asking in faith. teachers comments Learning Cycle STEP 1—Motivate Spotlight on Scripture: 1 John 5:14. 15 Key Concept for Spiritual Growth: Many Christians misun- derstand the true purpose of prayer. Ellen G. Our Lord is the Giver of all good gifts (Ps. we are open to receive His richest blessings. your efforts will be richly rewarded. Opening Discussion: Although prayer is extremely meaningful to many Christians. and claiming His promises. Encourage your class to kneel before the Lord with their Bibles open.

It is not in our prayers. He hears us” (NKJV). It is not even in our faith. “This is the confidence that we have in Him. 2. Jesus had specific places that He prayed and specific times to pray (Mark 1:35). that if we ask anything according to His will. The passage says. What have you found to make your prayer life meaningful? Do you have a favorite place to pray where you feel especially close to God? Do you have a scheduled time to pray daily that you do not want to miss? What are some aspects of your personal prayer life that you would like to share with the class? When we observe Jesus in prayer. 4. we see Him in prayer often (Luke 11:1). John gives us this assurance: “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him.” Our confidence is in Christ who cannot lie and whose promises are sure. It is not in our good works or righteous deeds. God seems silent and far away. we notice at least four things: 1. 8). Praying for God’s Promises (Review 1 John 5:14. Questions for Discussion:  How can Jesus’ prayer life be a model for our own?  Why is it important to blend prayer and Bible study?  What role does faith play in answered prayer? Why do you think that faith is so important in our prayer lives? STEP 2—Explore Bible Commentary I. We can have absolute confidence that what Christ has promised He is able to accomplish. 5:7. Throughout the Gospels. 15 with the class. Jesus completely was surrendered to the Father’s will in all of His prayers (Matt. 26:39). Jesus recognized that prayer was essential to His spiritual life. Jesus regularly prayed aloud (Heb. 3.) In 1 John 5:14. It is in Jesus Christ. 134 . Notice where our confidence is. teachers comments of repeating the same phrases over again.

” In his Bible commentary on the letters of John. Invite your class members to share their favorite promises from the Bible. Nothing is too great for Him to bear. your sorrows. Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice.’ and whose only request is for grace to accept that will and strength to do it. and your fears before God. “Lord. No calamity can befall the least of His children. He rules over all the affairs of the universe.”—William Barclay. your joys. no sincere prayer escape the lips. White states. Your will be done. there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. In Heaven’s eyes. We are encouraged to come boldly or confidently to the throne of grace (Heb. Ellen G. your cares. Take to Him everything that perplexes the mind. 135 . you cannot weary Him. You may want to ask someone to make a list of your class’s ten favorite promises and share them with the entire class next Sabbath. The original meaning of this word was freedom of speech—the freedom in any truly democratic society to speak openly and boldly. and their victories and defeats. we have this perfect freedom. . There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read.”—Steps to Christ. or in which He takes no immediate interest. 137. p. 4:16). delighted when His children come with their joys and sorrows. . 1960). Discussion Questions: What is the only true source of our confidence? What does it mean to have full confidence in Christ when we pray? How does the original meaning of the word confidence in the Greek help to deepen our understanding of what it means to come to God without any fear or reservation? What does it mean to pray according to God’s will? STEP 3—Apply Just for Teachers: Lead your class in a practical discussion on claim- ing God’s promises. You cannot burden Him. The Daily Study Bible Series (Philadelphia: Westminster Press. John rightly states that the great principle of prayer is asking according to God’s will. their hopes and fears. In one of the most amazing passages ever written on prayer. of which our heavenly Father is unobservant. He is there. William Barclay states this concept succinctly: “In the last analysis the only true prayer is the prayer which says. “Keep your wants.” but rather. p. 100. God is waiting for us to come. The Letters of John and Jude. ‘Thy will be done. for He holds up worlds. no joy cheer. God invites us to come to Him and speak freely about anything that is on our minds. no anxiety harass the soul. always listening. teachers comments - The Greek word for “confidence” is parresia. We do not pray. We need hold nothing back or hide anything from the One who knows us best and loves us still. Your will be changed. “Lord. .

if it is Your will.  Ask God to guide you to a prayer partner with whom you can seek the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. why should we then pray for the outpouring of the Spirit?  How might our local Sabbath School class place more emphasis on praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our own lives and on our church? STEP 4—Create Just for Teachers: There is real spiritual strength when God’s people seek the outpouring of the Holy Spirit together. teachers comments Thought Questions:  Why do you think God’s people often are more preoccupied with getting something from God than knowing the God they desire some- thing from?  Although the Holy Spirit is in our midst. The Holy Spirit came in mighty power when the disciples prayed in unity. Individual Activities:  This week choose one other Sabbath School class member with whom you can share your favorite Bible promises. to face Satan’s temptations and to accomplish Christ’s mission of evangelizing the world. The New Testament church was a praying church. why does He seem so far away at times? What can we do to cultivate a keener awareness of the presence of the Spirit? Application Questions:  Can you think of any promises in the Bible that do not need to be prayed in this manner: “Lord. 136 . I ask You to do this for me”?  If God longs to give us His Holy Spirit even more than we long to receive Him. without the power of the Holy Spirit. gently leading us to a deeper experience with Jesus. Believers recognized their absolute inabil- ity.

the Holy Spirit is opposed to sin in every form. and with the sin that will not be forgiven. * Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath. NKJV). As powerful as the Holy Spirit is. and He is grieved when we sin and are unwilling to give it up. Yet. His positive impact can be quenched. It is diametrically opposed to God and His pure holi- ness and goodness. He also awakens in us a desire to accept Jesus and His forgiveness of our sins. Mark 3:28. The Holy Spirit possesses a matchless power to make us overcomers and to enable us to reflect the beautiful character of Jesus. by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30. L esson 11 *March 11–17 (page 88 of Standard Edition) Grieving and Resisting the Spirit Sabbath Afternoon Read for This Week’s Study: Acts 7:51. 1 Thess. Heb. Eph. 4:25–5:2. At the same time. March 18. 32). 12:31. The Gospels even tell us that there is one sin that can- not be forgiven: blasphemy against the Spirit (Matt. This week we will study biblical aspects that deal with grieving. Reflecting this divine holiness. 25. this powerful and mighty Holy Spirit can be resisted by feeble sinners. T he Holy Spirit has the unique ability to lead sinners to an aware- ness of their true sinful states. and resisting the Holy Spirit. quenching. 29. very appealing. Memory Text: “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. 137 . and we can resist Him when we continue in our sinful lives. it is highly deceptive and leads to death. Sin is very alluring. 5:19–21. 10:24. He does not force Himself upon us.

They resisted the Holy Spirit because they refused to listen to what the Holy Spirit would impress through God’s prophets upon their hearts. to obey God’s Word. we also have a corporate responsibility: we should encourage one another to be faithful. He does not force Himself upon our free will. However. are able to resist the work of the Holy Spirit and ultimately the grace of God. This pattern of opposition to God and His plan ultimately led some to reject the claims of the Lord Jesus Christ. 25). as were the rebellious Israelites when they worshiped the golden calf (Exod. and to stay close to Jesus (Heb. either for good or for evil. He respects our choices. either for life or for death. with the power to make moral choices. Stephen points out that his accusers are stiff-necked. and how does it apply to us today? There are a number of sins specifically mentioned in Scripture as sins against the Holy Spirit. What warning was given here. as we can conclude from Acts 7:51. But what about our own poor choices? How would you feel if they were made as public as were the mistakes of ancient Israel? What are ways we can help others toward “love and good works”? How are you responsible for fostering “love and good works” in others? 138 . As powerful as God is. It is an amazing thought that frail human beings. 10:24. After all. Many of those sins are on the individual level. there is also a corporate dimension involved. S unday March 12 (page 89 of Standard Edition) Resisting the Holy Spirit Read Acts 7:51. created by God and dependent on Him. 33:3). Instead of following Jesus. What a sacred—and costly—gift we have each been given! While everyone is responsible for his or her own decisions. We resist the Holy Spirit today when we resist the Word of God and when we do not heed the message of His prophets. if God wanted to force us to obey Him. why didn’t He do it in Eden with Adam and Eve and thus spare the whole world the crisis of sin? God has made us free beings. they made external worship a substitute for obedience to the living Word of God. It’s so easy to look back at ancient Israel and judge and criticize them for all their mistakes.

Here Paul uses an imperative and admonishes us not to grieve the Holy Spirit. What does it mean to grieve the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is a personal being. and so we do not walk in the vanity of our minds.” This means that He hates sin. then the Spirit is sad and grieved. about the grieving of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand. The context of Paul’s statement in Ephesians 4:30. and think and speak what is pure and holy. Why is the Holy Spirit grieved by these things? 139 . forbearing one another in love. M onday March 13 (page 90 of Standard Edition) Grieving the Holy Spirit: Part 1 Read Ephesians 4:30. Grieving the Holy Spirit is a serious thing. God’s Spirit is called “holy. and what came after that conversion. But He rejoices when we are obedient to God in all things. 3). He leads us to Jesus. as the Gentiles do (Eph. 4:15). Whenever we allow any of the negative things mentioned in these verses in chapter 4 to find room in our hearts. Read Ephesians 4:25–31. 4:23). Any determination on our part to hold on to sin or to downplay the seriousness of sin grieves Him. Being renewed by the Spirit (Eph. who forgives our sins and sanctifies us. 4:24–31). As new creatures in Christ. That is why He can be grieved. and when they manifest themselves in our words and deeds. 4:17). not just a divine force. 4:2. Grieving the Holy Spirit means to spurn His sanctifying presence and His life-transforming power because we continue to willfully sin. we should be patient and gentle with each other. Instead. After all. this also means that He is grieved when we cherish anything that is unworthy of our divine calling. and list the specific moral behaviors that grieve the Holy Spirit. we are now following Christ. deals with the lifestyle one lived before being con- verted by Christ. our new head (Eph. But how do we grieve the Holy Spirit? Perhaps we should remember that one of the tasks of the Holy Spirit is to open our eyes to sin (John 16:8). and diligently preserving the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. we live a life that is pleasing to God (Eph. The Holy Spirit is not indifferent to how we live.

When we confess that we believe in the Truth but contradict that confession by how we act and behave. How we treat one another in the church. and when we are kind. is a crucial part of not grieving the Spirit. yet live as though Christ had never come and our lives are not affected by His leading and His love. How we relate to one another in the church. 4. tenderhearted. God is affected by what we decide and how we live. 16. when we work with our own hands and use the product of our labor to do good for the needy. Read Ephesians 4:25–5:2. those who have nothing to offer you in return? 140 . 4:32). 32. the three angels’ messages (Rev. but ask yourself this question: How do you treat others. It’s fine to know the truth. Our outreach efforts must not be divorced from our ethical behavior. The idea of unity is mentioned several times. really does matter to God. Read Ephesians 4:3. 15. How we consider one another in the body of Christ is of prime importance to God’s Spirit. and forgiving. If we live in such a way that others realize that we truly are His children and reflect Jesus. If we claim to be Christians. and how differ- ent would our lives be were we to follow these biblical commands? In positive terms: we delight the Holy Spirit when we speak the truth in love. when we are angry about sin. when we speak in an edifying manner and impart grace to our hearers. T uesday March 14 (page 91 of Standard Edition) Grieving the Holy Spirit: Part 2 That the Holy Spirit can be grieved tells us that God is not indifferent to us and what we do. What are we told to do here. then we grieve the Holy Spirit. 4:3. What do these texts reveal about the communal aspects of living in the Spirit? How does a spirit-filled life reveal itself in the community with other believers? It is interesting that in Ephesians 4 there is also a distinct communal aspect. 3:16. that is. but do not sin in our anger. Paul is concerned that we maintain the unity of the Spirit because we live the life of God in the context of “one another” (Eph. Lack of moral integrity also grieves the Spirit. which is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1  Cor. 14:6–12). “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. NKJV). 17). we grieve the Holy Spirit. especially those who are under you or those who can do nothing for you. we bring joy to the heart of God.

Also. While we are to be open to the Spirit in our congregational life and should not quench the work of the Holy Spirit. One way we can avoid quenching the Spirit is to “not despise prophetic utterances” (1 Thess. 5:25). 5:21). is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Ps. How can the Holy Spirit be quenched? The word “quenching” suggests the idea of a fire. indeed. The Bible tells us how to “walk in the Spirit” (Gal. and through His indwelling power He enables us to change our lives according to this knowledge. The Spirit-inspired Word of God. Both are related to sanctification. robbing them of any real power in their lives. We do that by surrendering ourselves to the teach- ings of the Word of God and by obeying the promptings of the Holy Spirit as He points us in the ways that we should live. we also need discern- ment. because false teachings and false prophets will continue to plague the church. 5:20. Many who profess to believe that the Bible is the Word of God inter- pret it in ways that all but denude the Scriptures of any real authority. we are snuffing out this lamp that is given to lead us on our way and to stir our consciences toward good works. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:7. We should remember that the Holy Spirit does two signifi- cant things for us: He gives us knowledge of sin. Through the Word of God. 119:105). however. when we despise the Word of God and treat it with disrespect or neglect to apply it to ourselves. NASB). and yet he called for their discernment (1 Thess. This suggests that something about the Holy Spirit is like a fire that we can extinguish. you are acting “in holiness”? 141 . Not all spirits are benign. In biblical times such a lamp involved a burning wick that shed light before the feet of those who walked in the night. the Spirit tells us what we need to know in order to live a holy life. What does it mean to be called “in holiness” (NKJV)? In what areas of your life might you need to ask yourself if. and He gives us power to overcome sin. 8. Paul instructed the Thessalonian believers not to despise prophetic utterances. W ednesday March 15 (page 92 of Standard Edition) Quenching the Holy Spirit Read 1 Thessalonians 5:19–21. By it we have a standard to measure even new prophetic utterances. The same Greek root word is used in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 and in Ephesians 6:16.

we are not living in opposition to God and resisting the Holy Spirit? (See. he or she does not accept forgiveness through Jesus. and Matthew 12:31. of course. 156. 8:14. that all sins are heinous to God. It occurs when an individual willfully and obstinately resists the Spirit’s testimony of Christ and His salvation and grace. they held right on to their wicked purposes. This sin is beyond the possibility of forgiveness—not because God is powerless or unwilling to forgive. This attitude. Some think that Jesus has in mind some specific sins that are particularly grievous. must be understood as the deliberate and per- sistent repudiation of Jesus’ saving work. Let’s remember: the work of the Holy Spirit is to lead sinners to an awareness of their sin and to awaken in them the desire to accept Jesus. T hursday March 16 (page 93 of Standard Edition) Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit Read Mark 3:28. and said. But what did Jesus mean when He spoke about the unforgivable sin? Actually none of these texts say that this sin cannot be forgiven. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is committed only in the context of an attitude of persistent unbelief and open hostility toward Jesus. He performed this wonder- ful work through the devil. than has the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.) 142 . has eternal consequences. consciously refuses to give Jesus His due—the heart is hardened and fails to acknowledge the truth of the Holy Spirit’s testimony to God’s saving sacrifice in Jesus Christ.” —Ellen G. and has been more misunderstood. for instance. in the place of recognizing in Christ’s works the endowment of heaven. even though some sins might have more drastic consequences than do others. How can we be sure that. regardless of whatever we profess about ourselves. White. what is it that cannot be forgiven? Perhaps no other sin has caused greater uncertainty and anguish among Christians. thus. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is not a single episode. just that it will not be forgiven. Therefore. This was the sin against the Holy Ghost. Jesus isn’t talking about someone uttering a few slanderous words. therefore. When the human heart is settled in stubborn opposition to God and. Luke 12:10. it is a determined way of life. p. We do well to remind ourselves. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. 32. If all sins and blasphemies can be forgiven. 1 John 5:3 and Rom. 29. but because the person is not able to recognize his or her sin. however. who alone forgives sin. “In the place of receiving the evidence offered them. Loma Linda Messages.

it is the firm. they are still open to the Spirit’s leading. What’s wrong with that idea. F riday March 17 (page 94 of Standard Edition) Further Thought: The mere fact that people anxiously ask whether they have sinned the unforgivable sin reveals that they most surely haven’t.” —Page 1093. with Job. Such was the case. Their worry is all the evidence they need that. The SDA Bible Commentary. and that is the person who persistently refuses to come to Jesus for forgiveness. and. only one person God cannot forgive. what would you say. and why is it not the biblical model for a Christian to follow? 143 . Where are we in danger of quenching the Holy Spirit? That is. Discussion Questions:  If someone were to come to you in fear that they had com- mitted the unpardonable sin. some pull away completely from the body and strike out on their own. What the person should do is claim the righteousness of Jesus. and what texts would you use to help? Why is an understanding of salvation by faith alone so crucial when helping someone who feels he or she is hopelessly lost?  We quench the Holy Spirit when we refuse to act or speak as He leads. p. and how can we learn to make the needed surrender?  Sometimes God allows certain circumstances to come into our lives that we resent or that we don’t understand. There is. 10:3). clinging to Jesus’ merits. The sin against the Holy Ghost is the sin of persistent refusal to respond to the invitation to repent. White Comments. even during the most difficult times?  Fearful of being “tainted” by what they feel are corrupt influ- ences in the church. Only under the covering of Christ’s righteousness. indeed. 1093. for instance. 5. really. Why can a resentful mind-set dampen the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives? How can we trust God more fully and submit our lives completely to Him. “The sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit does not lie in any sud- den word or deed. If they had committed it.”—Ellen G. which is the “righteousness of God” Himself (Rom. “No one need look upon the sin against the Holy Ghost as something mysterious and indefinable. in what aspects of our lives (if any) do we find ourselves resisting God’s leading. press on ahead in faith and obedience. determined resistance of truth and evidence. they certainly wouldn’t be worrying about it. vol. can they have the peace and assurance that they so sorely lack now.

This rekindled my desire to know God better. Many of the patients were Adventists. But I did not understand that I could just be a Christian. I would one day be able to take that hike again. but I started attending the Adventist church at the rehabilitation center. “But these are good drugs. I moved into the two-room cabin and soon was busy carrying water and other supplies. It was wonderful. really enjoyed?” I thought hard. When I returned to the doctor.i n s i d e Story Something Beautiful: Part 2 “I understand your concern. I went home willing to try. I wanted what these people had. I started in Genesis and read about 100 pages. he was pleased with my progress. If it was God who had helped me get over drugs. except to attend an occasional wed- ding or funeral. The doctor told me about a health rehabilitation center run by Adventists and suggested I go there to regain my strength and energy. and they are not addictive.AdventistMission. “Well. Tell me: What have you done in your lifetime that you really. Somehow I found this simple lifestyle attractive and comforting. once my uncle and I went on a long hike for more than 100 miles in northern Sweden. I could rent it for less than what I had spent each day when I was on drugs. I fell in love with the place and the people. I wanted to be a Christian too. until I bogged down in Numbers and put it aside. Then I learned that he was a Seventh-day Adventist. I found a little cabin on a lake. He told me that he and his wife had been praying for me. Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist . I borrowed a Bible from a friend and started reading it. I inquired and found that while it had no electricity or running water. and they talked about what Jesus was doing in their lives. To be continued in next week’s Inside Story. then I needed to know Him better. I had never gone to church.” The doctor promised me that if I took the medicine. I thought there were some things I had to do before I could become a Christian.” the doctor said. 144 Web site: www. I was impressed by the Bible study. I could walk my uncle’s dog in the forest and enjoy it. They will help you. Three months later. One day when I was out walking.

or quench the Spirit’s working in our lives. Feel: Appreciate the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Resisting. teachers comments The Lesson in Brief Key Text: Ephesians 4:25–32 The Student Will: Know: Examine what it means to avoid rejecting the claims of the Spirit on his or her life. responsive to His promptings. resist. Feel: Developing a Sensitive Conscience Toward the Promptings of the Spirit A How can the promptings of the Holy Spirit make us aware of our need for spiritual growth? B Why is ignoring the promptings of the Holy Spirit so destructive in the Christian life? III. and what practical steps can we take to avoid such thoughts and feelings? C What can we do to avoid the pitfall of having an oversensitive con- science and living in a state of fear and guilt? Summary: The right understanding of the ministry of the Holy Spirit leads us to be sensitive to His claims. and sense anew the ways in which the Holy Spirit works in his or her life. A How can we avoid grieving the Holy Spirit? B What does it mean to resist the Spirit’s promptings? C Why does Paul use the expression “Do not quench the Spirit”? What picture does this expression raise in your mind? II. or Quenching the Holy Spirit. Do: Responding to the Promptings of the Holy Spirit A How can we develop positive attitudes of receptivity to the Holy Spirit’s promptings? B What attitudes inhibit the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Do: Resolve to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s working and to respond to His promptings. and submissive to His will. we love Jesus so much that we would not want to do anything that would grieve. 145 . Know: Avoid Grieving. In understanding that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Godhead and Christ’s personal Gift to each Christian. Learning Outline: I.

As he was preparing for baptism. Pastor Finley agreed to approach the 146 . the reli- gious leaders rejected these divine messages. whether they recognize it or not. teachers comments Learning Cycle STEP 1—Motivate Spotlight on Scripture: Acts 7:51 Key Concept for Spiritual Growth: The Father. he accepted Jesus Christ into his life and was deeply moved by the new truths he learned. resist. Eventually. Once again. he was con- victed he needed to make things right. he sensed an overwhelming desire to make something right in his life that had occurred a number of years before. He longs to save them. whether they respond to His love or not. God appeals to us through His Spirit and urges us to respond to the promptings of the Spirit and to learn from the lessons of the past. they are to lead us to Jesus. Carefully outline what it means to grieve. he developed a plan. the Source of all freedom from guilt. and Holy Spirit are in the salvation business. a young man in his mid- twenties attended one of Pastor Mark Finley’s evangelistic meetings in the northeastern part of the United States. Now after his conversion. or quench the Holy Spirit. In consultation with Pastor Finley. he broke into a home and stole some audio and stereo equipment. in this generation. This young man had been involved in a robbery in the city. Encourage them to develop sensitive attitudes toward the ministry of the Spirit in their own lives. Son. God repeatedly sent His prophets and inspired messengers to His people. help your class members to be sensitive to God’s promptings through the Holy Spirit. Opening Discussion: A number of years ago. Throughout the Old Testament. This week’s lesson is of vital importance in understanding the essential role of the Holy Spirit in preparing a people for the coming of Jesus and getting them ready for translation. Highlight the fact that the Spirit’s prompt- ings are not to instill guilt. God longs to save His people. Along with a gang of teenage friends. they are to free us to enjoy the life of faith by imparting to us the power to obey. In spite of the strongest and most urgent appeals. They are not to shackle us in the chains of legalism. He appealed to them. In these prophetic utterances and heaven-born communications. Just for Teachers: In this week’s lesson.

freedom. If these traits grieve the Holy Spirit. restitution for our offenses (Matt. Grieving the Holy Spirit (Review Ephesians 4:25–32 with the class. it is because the Holy Spirit is leading you to confess it. dishonesty. letting them know that the young man was willing to reimburse them for the goods that were stolen. evil speaking. wrath. Because we desire to have a “conscience void of offence toward God. He longs to replace dishonesty with 147 . 24). 5:23. Among those he includes are lying. and toward men” (Acts 24:16) and a positive Christian witness toward any that we have wronged. bitterness. and anger. they are forgiven (1  John 1:9). Bible Commentary I. it is because the devil wants to keep you from enjoying the fruits of forgive- ness. Would his feelings of guilt have gone away? Would they have disappeared because he ignored them? How can we tell that we are being moved by the Holy Spirit and not prompted by an overzealous conscience? Here is an important fundamental principle of how the Holy Spirit works. we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings to make. If you have a vague feeling of unworthiness. The Holy Spirit always convicts us of something specific. teachers comments family and share the young man’s conversion story. and joy as a Christian. wouldn’t you think that the Spirit would convict us of these tendencies and empower us to overcome them? One of the prime functions of the Holy Spirit is to get us ready for heaven. the apostle Paul lists a litany of behaviors that grieve the Holy Spirit. Be sure to emphasize the impor- tance of knowing and listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit in living a life of peace. If you feel guilty before you confess your sin. Imagine the peace and joy that flooded into this young man’s life as he heard the good news. this shame is also often the devil’s way of robbing you of your assurance in Christ. where possible. anger. When we confess our sins.) In Ephesians 4. They were impressed that his conversion was genuine and forgave him all of his debts. Let’s suppose this young man had ignored the promptings of the Holy Spirit. STEP 2—Explore Just for Teachers: The major theme of this week’s lesson is sensitivity to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The family was overwhelmed at the thought that this young man was willing to make restitution. If you feel guilty after you have confessed your sin.

NKJV). This continual grieving. 12:31. God longs more for us to be saved. It is not adultery. It is not that God will not forgive. coarseness with kindness. murder. through persistent resistance and refusal to yield to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Jesus succinctly states. and bitterness with forgiveness. resisting. Every sin will be forgiven. is clear evidence of the divine personality of the Holy Spirit. every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men. and rejecting can lead to the unpardonable sin. teachers comments integrity. However much we long to be saved. In Matthew’s Gospel. willful sin. this passage. refusing to repent. The unpardonable sin does not occur because God stops loving us. among many others. to testify of Jesus. but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men’ ” (Matt. It is not that God’s heart is no longer tender toward the sinner. it is that the individual no longer desires forgiveness. The function of the Holy Spirit is to draw us daily to Christ in order to receive the precious gift that He longs to give us. meaning to cause pain. It is a state in sin wherein an individual no longer desires or wants salvation. The word grieve in Ephesians 4:30 is the Greek word lupeo. Discuss each of the varied func- tions of the Holy Spirit—to convict of sin. and is now incapable of responding to the strongest appeals of the Holy Spirit and affirmations of God’s love. To grieve the Holy Spirit is to resist His claims and reject His pleadings. 29. it is that. has hard- ened his or her heart against God through willful rebellion. The unpardonable sin is mentioned three specific times in the Gospels (Mark 3:28. Matt. Because it is not possible to grieve a force or something without per- sonality. It is an appeal to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompt- ings and to no longer bring pain to the heart of God by known. Consider This: How do we grieve the Holy Spirit? What is the unpardonable sin? We need never fear committing the unpardonable sin while desiring salvation. How does He empower us to be more like Jesus every day? STEP 3—Apply Just for Teachers: Lead your class in a practical discussion on how to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. “ ‘Therefore I say to you. 12:31). to guide and 148 . or stealing. lying. Here is a simple way to think of the unpardonable sin. Luke 12:10. the sinner’s heart is no longer tender toward God. The unpardonable sin is not a type of sin. It occurs because an individual’s heart becomes so hardened that the per- son no longer loves Him. a critical tongue with kind words. an angry spirit with a calm demeanor. Notice Jesus’ clear emphasis. and continuing to cling to sin in spite of know- ing better. It is knowingly resisting the claims of the Holy Spirit.

” Ever present. When the storms are raging sore. Faithful Guide. to instruct in righteousness. follow Me. truest Friend. hearts grow faint and hopes give o’er. “Wanderer. My weary soul forever rejoices. Leave us not to doubt and fear. come. a pilgrim in a desert land. “Wanderer. I’ll guide thee home. Encourage your class to pray this simple prayer often: Holy Spirit. Gently lead me by the hand. our Counselor and Guide. our Friend and Companion. Activities:  Do you have a favorite song about the Holy Spirit? Why is this song meaningful to you? Look through the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal for songs about the Holy Spirit. follow Me. our Ally in the battle between good and evil. Whispering softly. faithful Guide.  What name or function of the Holy Spirit do you most appreciate or admire? 149 . come. groping on in darkness drear. How can we respond to the Spirit’s leading in each of these areas? Application Questions:  How can an awareness of the ministry of the Holy Spirit become an inte- gral part of our daily lives?  How can we receive the spiritual advantages the Holy Spirit so freely offers?  In what ways can we encourage one another to be more conscious of the working of the Holy Spirit? STEP 4—Create Just for Teachers: The Holy Spirit is Christ’s personal ­Representative. ever near Your aid to lend. while I hear that sweetest voice. ever near the Christian’s side. I’ll guide thee home. teachers comments strengthen believers.” —Adapted from the song “Holy Spirit. to empower our wit- ness. Whispering softly.” by Marcus Morris Wells. and share aloud a verse that speaks to your heart.

NASB). 1 John 5:12. At the same time Jesus also announced the work that this Advocate would do: He will “convict” the world concerning sin and righteousness and judg- ment (John 16:8. a “Helper” or “Comforter” or an “Advocate” who intercedes for us. whom the Father will send in My name. He promised to send them the Holy Spirit. Heb. we will focus on one other decisive work of the Spirit that has not yet received our attention. and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you’ ” (John 14:26. Rom. NKJV). 5:10. that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13. L esson 12 *March 18–24 (page 96 of Standard Edition) The Work of the Holy Spirit Sabbath Afternoon Read for This Week’s Study: John 16:8–11. 4:15. 13. 5:8. 16. When Jesus announced to the disciples that He would go to the Father. the Holy Spirit. “ ‘But the Helper. the Holy Spirit is a parakletos. During our final week we will study in more detail this specific work of the Holy Spirit. Memory Text: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing. He will teach you all things. According to Jesus. * Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath. NKJV). A s we come to the end of our study this quarter on the Holy Spirit and spirituality. 9. We also will learn how this work of the Spirit is related to two other important aspects of His ministry for us: our assurance of salvation and the glorious hope that propels our life as disciples of Jesus Christ. that is. Ps. March 25. 150 . 1 Pet. 31:24.

9. rather. In trying to convict other people of their sins. often approach sinners with an accusing spirit rather than a helping one. not His prosecutors. Only a comforter will be received as a helper. What message must we take from these verses? We are His witnesses. It is a great tragedy that Christians. a word rich in ­meaning and one that conveys the idea of helper. If we go around pointing out sin in the lives of other people. The Holy Spirit does not enter into this important work of conviction as the accuser of the brethren or as our prosecutor. This is the sin that puts self at the center of things and refuses to believe the Word of God. we assume a work that is not ours. We are called to be witnesses of His redemptive power. and. not to condemn others for their wrongs. He goes to the most fundamental sin of all: unbelief in Jesus Christ (John 16:9). to help us see our need of grace. and just how destructive it can be. S unday March 19 (page 97 of Standard Edition) Conviction of Sin Read John 16:8. The fundamental problem of all sin is that we do not believe in Jesus. and comforter. thus. It is the Comforter—not us—who shall “convince” (John 16:8. who are we to point out sin in others when we are hardly sinless ourselves? Read Romans 2:1 and Matthew 7:3. reject the only One who can save us from our sin and guilt. advocate. RSV) the world of what sin really is. What crucial work does the Holy Spirit do for us. however well-intentioned. and why is this so important? Jesus has called the Holy Spirit the paraclete. He is sent by Jesus not to condemn us but. 151 . People who have not committed their lives to Jesus often have no real sense of what sin truly is. After all. Our deepest misery and alienation consists not in our moral imperfection but in our estrangement from God and our refusal to accept the One whom God has sent for the purpose of rescuing us from this condition. The idea here is not that the Spirit will list specific erroneous acts. then we do something that Jesus has not called us to do. it is the work of the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can open our hearts and minds to our great need of repentance and of the Redemption that is found through Christ’s death in our behalf. Instead.

who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Gal.” Even our best religiously motivated. In Isaiah 64:6. NKJV). 18). It counts with God the Father. But the righteousness of Jesus is sufficient for us. it is no longer I who live. and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God. such as obedience to the law of God. does not know what true righteousness is either. not just of sin but also of righteousness. 3:2–5. the world. Have you experienced the reality of just how filthy your own attempts at righteousness really are? What does this teach you about your need of Christ’s righteousness instead? 152 . Now Jesus lives to intercede for us (Heb. and He applies the merits of His death in our behalf because we do not have the righteousness needed for salvation. and receive new spiritual life through the power of the Spirit (compare with Gal. The Father’s exaltation of Jesus in heaven is revealed in Christ’s pow- erful presence among us through the Spirit. By means of the Resurrection. the prophet describes all self-made righteous acts of the people of his day as “filthy rags. 8:4). His disciples live in growing conformity to Christ. He died in our behalf. Thus. When Jesus lives in us. “I have been crucified with Christ. we walk by the Spirit (Rom. But our acts of obedience to the law can never justify us before God. Read Romans 5:10 and Hebrews 4:15. 16. In other words. 5:16. 2:20. How is our righteousness related to Christ’s living ministry in the presence of the Father in heaven? The righteousness that is demanded by the law is fulfilled by Jesus’ perfect life. It meets all the claims of the law of God. 4:15. but Christ lives in me. They desire not the righteousness of God but their own righteousness. 16). Empowered by the Holy Spirit. They desire a righteousness that comes from their outward acts. we can live because He lives in us. self-perceived righteousness is in fact the opposite: unrighteousness. which does not know what sin really is. God the Father placed the stamp of His approval upon Jesus’ life and redemptive work. And we can claim it for ourselves through faith in Jesus Christ alone. He was welcomed by the Father in heaven. M onday March 20 (page 98 of Standard Edition) The Need of Righteousness John 16:8 said that the Holy Spirit will convict the world. Unconverted people imagine that external morality will suffice. Although rejected by those who put Him to death here on earth.

the great enemy of truth. 11. as He did in John 12:48. knowing that his time is short and that he has been fatally defeated at Calvary. Instead. 9. In doing so. T uesday March 21 (page 99 of Standard Edition) Conviction About Judgment Read John 16:8. Why is judgment good news? Who is our surety in the judgment? How can we preach about the judgment in such a way that we instill hope rather than fear? 153 . 5:7. the aspect of the judgment that Jesus now refers to is the good news that Satan has already been judged at Calvary. Often a discussion of sin and righteousness seems to lead many professed Christians to pronounce warnings about the judgment on those who reject Christ. How is Satan described by Peter? How can we resist him? The devil. but the focus here is on an awareness that the prince of this world now already stands con- demned (John 12:31). it was clear that Hitler was defeated. trying to devour as many as he can. Similarly. because He cares for us (1 Pet. they want to warn sinners. during World War II. is now l­iving on borrowed time. the eleven months between D-Day (when the attack was initiated) and VE Day (May 8. is nevertheless still alive. The devil. of the future judgment that awaits them. 1945. In these challenging times we are called to be sober and alert and to cast all our anxiety upon Jesus. Read 1 Peter 5:8. Here is where much of our preaching on this passage seems to go in a wrong and harmful direction. when the war ended in Europe) were the bloodiest of all. Judgment will come. The blood of Jesus makes us free. The language indicates that the Lord is not talking about future judgment. Yet. he stubbornly fights and tries to devour as many as he can. And he is furious. And although that judgment is a reality. When. Jesus has won the victory. Satan knows that he was decisively defeated at the cross. the Nazi troops received the decisive blow with the successful Allied invasion of France on June 6. But he is a defeated enemy. What judgment is Jesus referring to? Why is this judgment good news? There remains one last great conviction that is part of the work of the Spirit: the conviction about judgment. 1944. Yet. 8). often with fearful overtones. this is not what Jesus talks about in John 16:11.

8:10). 14. Having heard and believed the gospel of our salvation. He also seals in our hearts the assurance that we truly belong to God. or the pledge toward the ultimate gift of eternal life and immortality that will be given to us at Jesus’ second coming (1  Cor. Keep thinking of the open door that Christ has set before you. Once we have accepted Christ as our Savior. why can we have the assur- ance of eternal life? What is the basis for this assurance? The Holy Spirit is the One who leads sinners to Jesus. but we walk according to the Spirit (Rom. 154 . The same powerful life that raised Jesus from the dead is now active in us and makes us. What does it mean to be sealed by the Spirit? Those who accept Christ are born again. Read Ephesians 1:13. who were spiritually dead. 8:5). who dwells in us. 1889. He testifies to us that we belong to Jesus and that we are heirs of God and heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:9. and set our thinking on the things of the Spirit (Rom. if you will give him a chance. If we did not have the Spirit of Christ. God will close the door to all evil. and you will be all light in the Lord. Now we are no longer God’s enemies (Rom. we would not be His children and would not belong to Him (Rom. talk faith and hope. NIV). the Spirit of the Lord will lift up for you a standard against him. 8:17). alive (Rom. that is. 14. 13). and 2 Corinthians 5:5. “Talk courage.”—Ellen G. the deposit. 5:10). NASB). Jesus’ forgiveness sets us free to live new lives as God’s adopted children. The Holy Spirit is the down payment. Even more than that. We now have a consciousness that God is our loving Father and we are His dear children. we are sealed in Jesus with the Holy Spirit. The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald. 8:4). Romans 8:15–17. W ednesday March 22 (page 100 of Standard Edition) The Assurance of Salvation Read 1 John 5:12. 15:51–54). 8:9). 13. 5). The Holy Spirit identifies us as belonging to Christ. This is the hallmark of authentic faith. When the enemy comes in like a flood. 1:13. April 16. The Holy Spirit seals this fact in our hearts so that we can have assurance of being saved. It is difficult to see how Christians can witness with convincing power without having such assurance. and experience the joy that comes from being a child of God. who is given as a pledge of our inheritance (Eph. Jesus’ substitu- tionary death has reconciled us with God. Every believer may have this certainty (1 John 5:12. they do not belong to Christ” (Rom. But now we have the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit. born “ ‘of the Spirit’ ” (John 3:3. White. that no man can shut. “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ.

and 1  Corinthians 13:13. it is grounded in God’s faithfulness and in the promises that He has given in the past. T hursday March 23 (page 101 of Standard Edition) The Holy Spirit and Hope Read Romans 5:4. as fallen and temporal beings in a vast cosmos. the school grades. instead. He connects us to God and makes God’s love dwell in us. we can find hope. Thus. et cetera. is not blind optimism. 15:13. Read Psalm 31:24. we have the wonderful hope that He will come again and take us home to where He is. Hope lets us sing and be joy- ful. what is the purpose of life? Having hope. Hope. Rather. Only love generates hope. not in ourselves or in whatever “great” things we accomplish but in our God—a God who has revealed Himself to us on the cross. God has proven to be dependable. How is the Advent hope grounded in God’s faithful promises? How does hope influence our lives? How can we develop a life- style that reflects hope instead of despair? 155 . Without love there would be no hope. God’s steadfast and unchanging love is the reason and the bedrock of our hope. is something different from being optimistic. Because God’s love is combined with His faithfulness. The Cross. with Jesus dying for our sins. How are love and hope related to each other? How is the Holy Spirit instrumen- tal in giving us love and hope? The Holy Spirit is the One who has poured out the love of God within our hearts. the economy. Hope gives new strength. we can see in the most powerful way possible the reality of God’s love for us. and He does not waver. however. gives us and the universe an unparalleled revelation of just what our God is truly like. Without hope. What effect does hope have on us? Hope inspires. Hope is essential for life. His steadfastness and truth are the foundation for our hope. The optimist thinks that everything will get better: the weather. No question: the foundation of our hope is found in Jesus on the cross. Hope believes that God will fulfill what He has said because He is faithful and true. 5. the finances. When we look to the cross.

What are the reasons for this hope? That is. NKJV). have a different understanding of what sin and righteousness are than do those who don’t believe in the Bible? What are those differences? What does the Bible teach us about sin and about righteousness that other sources do not?  Share with the members of your Sabbath School group what aspect of the work of the Holy Spirit has been most valuable to you. He gives us assurance of salvation because He always points us to Jesus and to what Jesus has done for us. What is assurance of salvation? And if we have it. White. why do we have it? On what must it be based? And how does it differ from presumption? 156 . He enables us to fulfill God’s will and effectively engage in mission. and why? How convincing an argument could you make?  The lesson this week talks about the question of assurance of salvation. He conforms us to be more like Jesus. especially the October section. We can summarize the activity of the Holy Spirit by saying that the Holy Spirit works harmoniously together with God the Father and God the Son to accomplish our salvation.”—Ellen G. as Christians who believe in the Bible as the Word of God. White. 3:15. who alone can meet the needs of our innermost being. He generates the Written Word of God as our safe guide and norm for our Christian life and doctrine. and how has this impacted your life?  In class. “The Holy Spirit was the highest of all gifts that He could solicit from His Father for the exaltation of His people. talk about the hope that we have in Jesus.” pp. 283–313. Why should we. F riday March 24 (page 102 of Standard Edition) Further Thought: Read selections of Ellen G. Discussion Questions:  Dwell more on the questions of what is sin and what is righ- teousness. Where would we be without the Holy Spirit? What could we do without the Holy Spirit? We would be miserable and lost and could do nothing that would give God the glory and honor. 13. He keeps us faithful in our walk with God. The Holy Spirit awakens us from our spiritual death. what answer would you give. Thanks be to Jesus for having promised and sent the Holy Spirit. He leads us to an awareness of our sinfulness and opens our eyes to the fact that we are in and of ourselves lost. p. Ye Shall Re­ceive Power. if someone were to ask about the “reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet. “Ready for the Spirit. He kindles in us the desire for change and leads us to Jesus Christ. Why was it so important. Ye Shall Receive Power.

I asked a Seventh-day Adventist pastor to visit me. My friend was imprisoned for life. and soon I had more letters and visitors than anyone. I realize that God saved me from myself. and others joined my prayer group. They would serve their time without visits from loved ones. “What kind of church do you belong to that cares about others like this?” I was glad my Adventist friends followed through with these needs. Other prisoners treated me badly when they learned that my confession had put my friend in jail. I was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison. I had a checkup because of my heart problem. When the Adventists learned about these people. While I was in prison. my friend had killed someone. i n s i d e Story Something Beautiful: Part 3 While I was at the rehabilitation center. Some of these prisoners joined a Bible study correspondence course. and then He made everything in my life so beautiful. they visited them and helped them with practical needs. and this knowledge weighed on me. I accepted Jesus as my Savior during this time. God provided work for me and a place to live. and then asked me for my name. Web site: www. As I look back. Some of the prisoners were not Swedish citizens. Other church members also vis- ited me. The doctor per- formed the test three times before she called in another doctor. Your angina is completely gone. I went to the police and confessed that I had driven a getaway car while a friend committed a robbery. “We were not sure you were the same patient. When I left the rehabilitation center. and we studied the Bible together. I see no health problems here at all. the church mem- bers kept in touch with them. Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission.” When I was released from prison.AdventistMission. I had committed some crimes while I was selling drugs. I tried to pass the love that they showed me on to other prisoners when I could. saved my life from death. He came 157 . thanks to the spirit of family among the Adventist members. During the robbery. Some of these women asked. It took a long time for them to accept me. Now that they have been released. making me an accessory to murder. I pray that they will search for God. I spent a lot of time think- ing about straightening out my life. and when the prisoners left prison. He performed the test again. because your heart is normal size and is working perfectly.

He draws us to Jesus in whom we have the gift of eternal life and the assurance of eternity. allowing Him to reveal Christ’s righteousness in his or her life. assurance. and strength that the Scriptures promise to give us through the ministry of the Holy Spirit? Summary: The Holy Spirit’s goal is to lead us to an intimate relationship with Jesus and place within our hearts the guarantee of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Sin is not merely something we do. The Holy Spirit reveals who we are and who Jesus is and what He means to us. 158 . goodness. Know: The Spirit’s Work A What is the difference between conviction and accusation? How do you feel when you are convicted to do something? How do you feel when you are accused of doing something? B What does it mean that the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin? Is there a difference between sin (singular) and sins (plural)? II. as well as the assurance of salvation. Do: The Spirit’s Goal A What is the Spirit’s ultimate goal in our lives? How can we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in making that goal a reality? B How can we receive the hope. we are lost.” who brings strength and hope into his or her life. The Spirit testifies of Jesus’ righteousness. it is a state of being. apart from Christ. Do: Resolve to listen to the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit. grace. our Lord. and power. teachers comments The Lesson in Brief Key Text: John 16:8–11 The Student Will: Know: Rejoice in the “Comforter. He does this marvelous work by convicting us that. Learning Outline: I. Feel: The Spirit’s Desire A How can conviction of sin make us feel our need for Christ’s righ- teousness? B Why is a lack of knowledge regarding the ministry of the Holy Spirit so detrimental to our Christian lives? III. Feel: Nurture a deepening sense of the Spirit’s presence in daily living.

”—The Desire of Ages. the Holy Spirit is there to help us in our journey heavenward. the glory of the Cross. White makes this remarkable statement: “At all times and in all places. our Teacher. and the wonder of the atonement. It is the revelation of the righteous character of Christ and His unconditional love for us that leads us to long to be like Him and to surrender to the claims of the One who promises never to let us go. the Comforter will be sent in answer to the prayer of faith. sustain. in all sorrows and in all afflictions. Jesus promised His disciples that He would give them “  ‘another Helper. He would be nearer to them than if He never ascended on high. support. In fact. Unfettered by time and space. He convicts of sin and reveals our need of a Savior. that He may abide with you forever’  ” (John 14:16. can separate us from the heavenly Comforter. and we feel helpless and alone. not some vague shadowy force. no distance. Wherever we are. NKJV). and our Guarantee of eter- nal life. or indefinable power that proceeds from God. but no circumstance. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher. Circumstances may separate us from every earthly friend. our Ally. 669. teachers comments Learning Cycle STEP 1—Motivate Spotlight on Scripture: Romans 15:13 Key Concept for Spiritual Growth: The Holy Spirit is a precious gift sent by Jesus to encourage. Jesus would be with His disciples. our Comforter. uphold. when the out- look seems dark and the future perplexing. He is always at our right hand to support. we are 159 159 . and cheer. Ellen G. and strengthen us in our Christian life. He would not leave them “ ‘orphans’ ” (John 14:18. Just for Teachers: This lesson is our last of the quarter and an excel- lent time to review some of our past lessons. Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. some impersonal being. pp. Remind your class that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Godhead. He would be accessible to all. wherever we may go. but He also shines a spotlight on Christ’s righteousness in all of its luster and beauty. As the personal Representative of Christ. The Holy Spirit is our Friend. NKJV). 670. guiding us to understand the magnificence of grace. our Encourager. In the Person of the Holy Spirit. our Strength.

and perplexed. The Holy Spirit longs to fill our lives with His presence. that they began to understand the meaning of Jesus’ words. reveal Christ’s righteousness in all of its beauty. Christ as our all-loving Savior and all-powerful Lord. and led to accept. NKJV). Opening Discussion: Imagine the confusion and bewilderment of the disciples when Christ told them that He was going away. Jesus lists three major roles of the Holy Spirit. teachers comments impressed with. The Role of the Holy Spirit (Review John 16:8–11 with the class. Questions for Discussion:  Ask your class members to describe a time when they felt the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit is just as much for us as it was for these New Testament believers. confused. They could not understand fully what He meant when He told them He would send the Comforter to them. Bible Commentary I. The Spirit 160 . when the Holy Spirit came in the fullness of His power at Pentecost. STEP 2—Explore Just for Teachers: The major theme of this quarter’s lessons is the Holy Spirit’s role as the Third Person of the Godhead to convict us of sin. “ ‘It is to your advantage that I go away’ ” (John 16:7. His promise is not limited. worried. they understood the meaning of Christ’s words. and continually impress our hearts with a longing for heaven. uncertain. What circumstances led to this experi- ence?  What special times of closeness to Jesus have your students had? What were their devotional lives like at this time? Invite class members to share times when the Holy Spirit obviously has been present in their lives. they must have felt anxious. It was not until later. sensing the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. It focuses especially on the Holy Spirit’s role in each of our lives in extremely practical ways. Then. inspire us with hope. What must they have thought when He informed them that He would soon ascend to the Father? Certainly. guide us into divine truth.) In John 16:8–11. This week’s lesson highlights these themes.

The last expression in our trio of the Spirit’s convictions is judgment. His righteousness is the source and stan- dard of all righteousness. Here sin is used as a state of being.’ ” On the cross. 2:15). NKJV). there is no way we can be lost. we have no hope of salvation. The victory over evil. “ ‘Of judgment. Notice that Jesus does not say that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of their sins. Jesus has overcome. Make a list of all the things the Holy Spirit promises to do in our lives. The Holy Spirit reveals our desperate state without Christ. the Holy Spirit certainly does convict us of our sins or acts that are not in harmony with God’s will. there is no way we can pass the final judgment. It is who we are. The word for righteousness used here in the original language is dikaiosyne. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin. Jesus triumphed over the principalities and powers of hell (Col. plural. Outside of Christ. He not only convicts us of sin. Discuss this list with your class. Praise God! The Holy Spirit does not leave us in this hopeless state. Now do not misunderstand. and of righteousness. The Spirit nurtures faith within our hearts to receive Christ’s righteousness as our own and to live as children of God. our unworthi- ness. but of sin. It is not necessarily merely what we do. NKJV). He then reveals to us the perfection of Christ’s righteousness and the wonder of His grace. How does the Holy Spirit lead each one of us into the assurance of salvation? What role does the Holy Spirit play in leading us to accept the righteousness of Christ? Why is the ministry of the Holy Spirit so vital in the life of each Christian? STEP 3—Apply Just for Teachers: Lead your class in a practical discussion on what it means to live a Spirit-filled life. teachers comments “  ‘will convict the world of sin. Satan is a defeated foe. We are in a lost condition with no possibility of salvation without a Savior. Let’s explore each of these terms a little more deeply. and our absolute lost condition without Christ. adopted into Heaven’s family through grace. 8:1. but in Christ. and of judgment’  ” (John 16:8. The Holy Spirit reveals to us that we are on the winning side. and the grave is won. We are born with fallen human natures into a state of sin. and by Christ. - which is Christ’s own righteousness. singular. because the ruler of this world is judged. But the intent of this passage is something deeper. Christ won the battle for our salvation on Calvary. through Christ. death. but He also convicts us of righteousness. Jesus explains why the Holy Spirit convicts us of judgment in John 16:11 by stating. We are sinners both by birth and by choice. Why is each one of these things important in our Christian experience? 161 . We are not only sinners. Left to ourselves. Consider This: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom.

I was impressed with the thought that Jesus is present with me daily through the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit.”  Invite your class members to share with the class the testimonies they have written down or meditated upon. He will break down every barrier that stands between Jesus and us. and lead us to rejoice in the salvation our Savior so freely offers. (Or instead of writing things down. Give them three to five minutes to write two or three sentences.) An example of what they might write is listed below: “This quarter I was reminded again that the Holy Spirit is the personal Representative of Christ. who is ever longing to draw me nearer to Christ. Activities:  Pass out an index card to each member of your class. teachers comments Application Questions:  What are some of the different names of the Holy Spirit? How are these names important to you?  In what specific ways does the Holy Spirit inspire us with hope?  How is hope different from optimism? In what is the hope that the Holy Spirit gives us grounded? STEP 4—Create Just for Teachers: When we respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. and ask them to write down the most significant thing they discovered in class about the Holy Spirit this quarter and the difference it will make in their lives. allow students to ponder the question prayerfully. 162 .

paralysis. Web site: www. the central mes- sage of the Bible. Phone: 402-488-0981. by Robert McIver. NE 68506-0097. accident. because of arthritis. 26:74. Peter sums up his view by saying. 16:13–17) Tuesday: Walking on Water (Matt. 3:8. who was with Jesus at most of the important moments in His ministry. 2017 Bible Study Guide for the Second Quarter In our study guide for next quarter. Box 6097. 1:13–21) Thursday: Love One Another (1 Pet. even in the first few verses. Having experienced for himself the grace of God. e-mail: info@christianrecord. 1:1) Monday: Elected (1 Pet. Lincoln. it was Peter. Lesson 1—The Person of Peter The Week at a Glance: Sunday: Depart From Me! (Luke 5:1–9) Monday: Confessing the Christ (Matt. and to move on ahead in faith and humility. Peter remains a powerful voice for us all. to be for- given. These two epistles are examples of Peter doing just that: feeding the Lord’s sheep. 163 . saying.christianrecord. 54–62) Thursday: Peter as Church Leader (Acts 2:14–36) Memory Text—Matthew 14:30. This includes individuals who. Peter’s epistles are a fervent proclamation of the gospel. as well. 1:2) Tuesday: Key Themes (1 Pet. Christians should love one another (1 Pet. Lessons for the Visually Impaired The regular Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide is available free each month in braille and on audio CD to sight- impaired and physically handicapped persons who cannot read normal ink print. Lesson 2—An Inheritance Incorruptible The Week at a Glance: Sunday: To the Exiles (1 Pet. and a humble mind” (1 Pet. “I do not know the Man” (Matt. If anyone knew the saving grace of the Lord. love for one another. 4:8). and so forth. we will be reading the words of Peter. who need to experience the same grace. NKJV)—was the same one who was later told by Jesus: “Feed my sheep” (John 21:17). titled Feed My Sheep: 1 and 2 Peter. centuries removed from when he wrote. Peter also was a prominent leader among the earliest Christians. have unity of spirit. Peter has a lot of important truth to reveal to us today. all of you. a tender heart. cannot hold or focus on normal ink-print publications. 1:3–12) Wednesday: Living the Life of Salvation (1 Pet. 14:22–33) Wednesday: Denying His Lord (Luke 22:31–33. 31 Sabbath Gem: Peter knew what it was to make mistakes. This same Peter—who so openly denied His Lord. multiple sclerosis. But these letters take on added interest given that they were written to churches that faced persecution from without and the danger of false teachers arising from within. sympathy. Contact Christian Record Services for the Blind. 1:22–25) Memory Text—1 Peter 1:22 Sabbath Gem: As we will soon see. First and Second Peter also have practical words on how Christians should live. First and foremost. “Finally. These facts alone would make his letters worth NRSV).

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