Welcome to All
BIBLE STUDY for
Thursday 28th May 2020
Today we continue our short series on ‘The Holy Spirit’
TOPIC : THE PURPOSE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The main passage we shall focus on is John 16:7-15.
(Please read this passage and pray before you begin)
Jesus continues to teach His disciples before going to the cross in less than twenty four hours.
He teaches them about abiding in the true Vine, that opposition and rejection are inevitable and that the disciples are His witnesses
Here in John 16:7-15, Jesus explains the role and ministry of the Holy Spirit. The disciples are worried and anxious. Sadness has taken over, their hearts are filled with sorrow and sadness now that Jesus is not going to be with them. He is going away. They are thinking life will not be the same.
Their focus seems to be more about ‘why is not God doing what I want’. Rather, their focus should be more along the lines of ‘what God is doing’ by Jesus returning to heaven.
They will need someone to sustain and keep them and ‘be there’ for them
>V7- What are Jesus’ words to them?
…. “it is for your own good that I am now going away…for unless I leave you, the Counsellor cannot come to you. But when I return to the Father, I will send Him to you.”
So the Spirit that would live in them would only be given when Jesus had returned to heaven
( Last week we spent some time studying the Ascension of Christ …you might remember?)
>>Do you think that you can handle life on your own?
Or who are you dependent on?
We are dependent on God by His Spirit - the Helper, the Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor is the One we are to be in close fellowship with. He is the One who will keep our focus on what Jesus has said and done.
The Holy Spirit helps believers and His help is beneficial to us. The Spirit is for our good.
While Jesus was physically present with His disciples, He could only be in one place at a time. Now the Holy Spirit is with us constantly …. “who will remain with You forever,” John 14:16.
There are three aspects of the Spirit’s work in this passage : -
-convicting the world : verses 8-11
-helping/ guiding the believers : verses 12-13
-glorifying Christ : verses 14-15
Verses 8-11 describe the wider ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit convicts the world : -
>What does it mean to ‘convict’?
To refute or prove wrong, giving a sense of guilt and shame in our hearts and so leads to repentance.
> Can you name any examples of where we see conviction? ( apart from yourself! )
-the teachers of the law and Pharisees bring a woman caught in adultery to Jesus—John 8:9
-Saul of Tarsus ,before he becomes Paul , the apostle—Acts 9:5
> Still in Verses 8-11, of what will the Holy Spirit convict the world?
Of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.
> Why convict of sin?
Because the world, the people refuse to believe in Jesus and His message. People are to be made aware of the true nature of sin, the ‘bad news of sin’ before they can embrace the Good News as they believe in Him.
Unbelief causes us not to respond to God's love. Because of the Spirit’s activity, people come to see their need of God, the sin that separates them from a Holy God. Then they become born again.
> Why convict of righteousness? Of a godly character ?
Because Jesus’ righteousness is proven.He is going back to the Father, so He is ascended as Lord. He is the perfect standard of godly, holy, and right living.
God teaches in His Word that our ‘righteousness’ is not sufficient- it cannot reconcile us to a holy God. Our works of selfish righteousness do not set us free. Rather they condemn us.
It is only in Christ’s righteousness that we are made completely free by the Spirit
> Why convict of judgment? Of the certainty of judgment ?
Because the prince of this world, Satan now stands judged and condemned. At the Cross, Jesus showed His awesome power by rising from the grave.This is Satan’s death blow! The ruler of this dark world has already received his sentence.
The world adopts wrong standards of judgment and values. God is the standard for judgment.
The Holy Spirit reveals what is sinful and what is right in God's eyes. He will warn of the judgment that is to come.
The Holy Spirit guides believers:-
Jesus is saying here that He has more things to tell or teach His disciples.Yet He realises that they are not able to grasp or handle all of these things. Not yet anyway.
>So what does Jesus say to them? Read v13
It is through the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ followers will receive the complete revelation of the truth.
This will not be His own message, but what He hears from the Father and the Son.The Spirit of Truth will reveal prophetically to the disciples what is to come (in the future).
>How can this take place?
The Holy Spirit takes things revealed in God's Word and shows or declares them to the believer.
So we are to have receptive hearts, to follow truth because we know Jesus ,unlike the unbeliever.
Jesus spoke only the words of His Father with the authority of His Father.Similarly the Spirit of Truth speaks the words of the Father and Son.
>>So too we should aim to speak only what God would have us to say…His words - they are life changing.
The Spirit glorifies Christ: this is the aim of the Spirit’s work - to promote the Glory of Christ
>How is Christ to be glorified?
When the Spirit takes the truths of Jesus and reveals them to His followers.
Everything about Jesus will be declared by the Spirit.
So the Spirit will keep pointing us to Jesus. Jesus is central to the life of the believer who is
Spirit-filled and who is growing in the Lord. The believer is enlightened by the Spirit and so Jesus is glorified through the believer’s fruitful Christian living.
This way we are believing what He says and desire to obey His commands out of love for Him.
Closing comments :-
Verse 15 - Jesus says that everything He has the Spirit will take and reveal to us in our experiences.This is an amazing truth .By faith you are to appropriate what is yours in God, in Christ.
For the believer: spiritual growth will be evident resulting in fruitfulness.
For the Church: we will grow in Jesus’ mission, outreach and caring for one another.
The Holy Spirit is our Advocate in difficult and dark times like when we face opposition to our faith. The Spirit comes alongside us helping us to be “strong in the Lord” as we remain faithful to Jesus, our Saviour and Lord.
Points to ponder :-
- God does not expect you to live a godly, holy life in your own power.
- What can you do to allow the Spirit to work in you?
- How can you serve God, so that Christ is glorified in and through your life?
PRAYER TO END
“Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me
Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me
Melt me, mould me
Fill me, and use me”
Jesus, for the glory of Your name we pray, Amen
PLEASE NOTE: Next week we shall be studying The Power Of The Holy Spirit
THURSDAY 21st MAY 2020
TOPIC: THE HOLY SPIRIT
Today we begin a short series of studies on The Holy Spirit
Over the the next few weeks we will study this very important and timely topic.
The aim: to grow together spiritually ,becoming Christ-like and increasingly dependent on Jesus.
We will be looking at various scripture references that will help us understand
-The purpose ,and
-The power of the Holy Spirit
( please pray before you begin where you are)
This week we are studying: THE PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
>Who is the Holy Spirit?
The characteristics or attributes of the Holy Spirit are those of God. The titles that are used to describe Him identify Him as part of the triune nature of the divine being: “ One God exists eternally in three persons namely Father , Son and the Holy Spirit”
There is complete unity and diversity. One common nature is shared, ‘the sameness of the Godhood’, yet the Father , the Son and the Holy Spirit are distinguishable - John 16:14-15
>Is the Spirit a ‘thing’ or a ‘force’ ?
The Holy Spirit is not impersonal but a real person with His own personality. So we refer to Him as ‘He’ and not ‘it’.So He , the Holy Spirit is involved in personal relationships
>What are those relationships..can you name one ?
Relationships: Firstly, with the Father and the Son -2 Corinthians 13:14, Jude 20-21
Secondly , in relationship with Christians -Acts 15:28
Further, the Holy Spirit can be treated in personal ways , as for example in Acts 5:3
The Spirit can experience emotion and pain - Ephesians 4:30
>>The Spirit lives within believers in Christ.This means believers are never out of God's presence.
How can we avoid grieving or hurting Him by our words and actions?
Descriptions of the Holy Spirit
The Spirit may appear in symbolic form and all that He does may be described with the use of metaphors ( figure of speech where you apply a word or phrase to an object or action yet it is not literally applicable to it)
>What are some of these descriptions for the Holy
The fire - Luke 3:16-17 , Acts 2:3-4
The dove - Luke 3:22
The wind or breath - Ezekiel 37: 9-14 , Acts 2:2
_____Are there any more that you can can remember?______
The oil of anointing - Isaiah 61
Water - Isaiah 44:3 , 1 Corinthians 12:13
A guide or shepherd - Isaiah 63:14
The power of God - Luke 1:35, Luke 24:49
God's gift - Acts 10:45
Jesus did not say much about the Holy Spirit until the Last Supper. His crucifixion was imminent. Despite this ,He took the time to explain to His disciples that the Holy Spirit who had been working with them, would soon come to live within them.
He was preparing the disciples to receive the precious gift of the Spirit, this third Person of the God head (the Trinity)
The Ascension of Jesus (which we commemorate today !)
>Why did Jesus ascend ,return to heaven ?
In John 14 :16-17 ,Jesus said, “ when I return to heaven I will ask the Father to replace Me with another Counsellor exactly like Me, who will remain with you forever. He is the Spirit of Truth …who lives with you and soon will be in you…” The Spirit will make His home in you and live inside you
V25-26 , Jesus says “I have told you all these things while I am with you. The Father will send you the Counsellor,-the Helper , the Holy Spirit in My Name. When He comes, He will teach you all you need to know and will remind you of everything I have already taught you”.
In Acts 1, after Jesus tells His disciples to wait until they have received the gift of the Holy Spirit as promised, He ascends ‘ until a cloud hid Him from their sight’.
The Spirit by His very nature will help and guide believers how to relate Jesus’ words / teaching to their present lives. Jesus’ ascension made way for the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (so assuming the ministry of Jesus Christ)
Like Jesus, the Holy Spirit would be another Counsellor. He would be their teacher and would remind them of everything Jesus had taught them
The Counsellor is the gift of the exalted, ascended Christ -John 16:7 Jesus says if He goes away, He will send the Holy Spirit to His followers
>>What would the Holy Spirit do as Counsellor?
- comforts, He is our Comforter (from the Greek word ‘ Parakletos’) - John 14:16-17
- reassures believers that they are God's children - Romans 8:16
- strengthens the church…helping us in our weakness, interceding on our behalf- Romans 8:26
>>What would the Holy Spirit do as Teacher?
As teacher, the Spirit of truth instructed God's people in the Old Testament and Jesus’ disciples in the New Testament. Revelation of the truth of God to believers continues by the Spirit
So the Spirit:
-instructs believers , testifying to truth of Jesus’ teaching-1 John 5:6-8
-teaches disciples what to say when there is persecution - Acts 6:10
- teaches the churches … ‘hear and heed what the Spirit says to the churches’ - Revelation 2:7
Points to ponder
> How will your understanding of the Person and activity of the Holy Spirit impact your life as a child of God?
>The Spirit points us to Jesus, always. This happens so that we might believe what Jesus says and in love obey what He commands
PRAYER TO END:
Heavenly Father, today we thank You for all that you are doing in our lives through the activity of the Holy Spirit
We thank You for the relationship we have with You where You live in us by Your Spirit and we live in You
We pray that we will continue to grow in Christ -like character and by the Spirit our hearts will be stirred and ready for what You want to do in our lives
You are not divorced from our needs and struggles Lord. We thank You that we can cast all our care upon You for You care for us. We praise You our loving ,merciful and gracious God.
For the glory of Your name we pray, Amen
————Please note: Next week we will be studying ‘ The Purpose of the Holy Spirit’—————
Christian Worship Centre
THURSDAY 14th MAY 2020
TOPIC : TRUE WORSHIP OF GOD
Welcome Friends, Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus, to today's Bible Study
The topic is on True Worship.
An understanding of what worship is all about helps the individual believer to live a life pleasing to the Lord. There are many scripture references, both from the Old Testament and from the New Testament in this study today
I encourage you read them all as we study today. God’s people worshipped in the Old Testament and in the New Testament God is still the object of worship
(WHAT) What is Worship?
Definition of worship: expressing to God the praise, honour and glory of which He is worthy, not only with our lips but in our lives
- the word comes from the old word ‘ worthship’ which is worthiness or merit, being worthy or deserving.It is a term used for the reverent devotion or honour paid
So to worship God is literally to give Him what He is worth , or is worthy to receive. We worship God because HE IS GOD.This worship is filled with thanksgiving for all He is and what He has done for us and has given us in Christ Jesus
(WHO) Who are we to worship?
God, and God alone. God alone is worthy of worship.-1 CHRONICLES 16:25, PSALM 96:4-5 (read)
No other God is to be worshipped, only the LORD God… He is “above all gods”.
(HOW) How do we worship?
Worship to God must be spiritual and real.- JOHN 4:23-24
As He speaks to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, Jesus says that “ a time is coming , in fact it is already come, when those who worship in a true way will worship the Father in the power of His Spirit and in the truth of His Word.
These are the kind of worshippers that the Father wants. God is Spirit.This is why those who worship Him must do so in Spirit and truth.”
The Spirit enables us to worship so our worship can be acceptable to God
This means the Father wants real worshippers. Worshippers who are worshipping from the heart, a right heart , sincere and not just going through a routine like a performer..It is not about where we worship, it's about our heart attitude.
This is true worship.It involves all of our being: heart ,soul and mind. Worship is the expression of holiness from a heart that loves and embraces God passionately
>>>> Since God seeks true worshippers who worship Him in spirit and in truth, do you think becoming such a worshipper should be your priority ?
Why is worship important to the life of the believer?
The reason we exist is to worship God for Who He is and what He has done
> It is a divine command
- REVELATION 14:7 “Fear God and give Him glory,….Worship Him who created heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Reverence God, worship the Creator …
--PSALM 150: 6 - “ Let everyone everywhere, who has breath praise the Lord.( hallelujah!)”
>We are to be a worshipping people
-ISAIAH 43:21 : “The people whom I formed for Myself, will make known My praise”
-1 PETER 2:9 : “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light…”
When we worship , what are we responding to?
We are responding to:
-God's love : EXODUS 4:31(read)
-God’s holy presence : 1 CHRONICLES 16:29 (. …. bring an offering and come before Him, worship the Lord in the splendour of His holiness)
-God’s greatness :PSALM 95 verses 1-3 ( O come , let us sing joyfully,…shout joyfully…for the Lord is great and a great King…”)
-God’s works/ deeds :
DANIEL 3:28 (“ Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and rescued His servants who believed in, trusted in and relied on Him…”. )
ACTS 3:8 (..and with a leap he stood up and began to walk…..walking and leaping and praising God..”)
-the fear of God:
HEBREWS 12:28 ( Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, and offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship with reverence and awe.” Offer God the purest worship as we lay down our lives in absolute surrender, filled with awe.)
Are there hindrances to true worship?
We can say the right words and just have ‘a form of worshipfulness’ without any ‘realness’.This
can happen when
1-we have a wrong relationship to God ,
( EZEKIEL 33:31 says ‘ So they come as though they are sincere and sit before you listening. But they have no intention of doing what I tell them to do; they talk very sweetly about loving the Lord, expressing loving devotion but their heart goes after their own gain.” (Read MATTHEW 15: 7-9)
2- we have a wrong relationship with others
(MATTHEW 5:23-24 says “So then , if you are presenting a gift before the altar in the temple and suddenly you remember a quarrel or grievance you have with a fellow believer, leave your gift there in front of the altar and go at once to apologise with the one who is offended.Then ,after you have reconciled, come to the altar and present your gift.”)
>>Therefore there is need for examination of our hearts so that where there hindrances to worship we can seek actively to remove them
In worship our ‘ presentation of worship’ is offered TO Him for His glory and pleasure. He is the focus , the aim being to GIVE Him praise and thanks. It is not to see what “I can GET” out of it.
It is about giving not getting.
It is centred on the Lord, not on ourselves or our feelings
It is a way of life so it is not confined to church services or meetings or special daily times only
In the book of Revelation, we are given some insight into the worship that goes on continually in heaven.This is the worship that is to be expressed in our lives daily. When we are worshipping here on earth we are joining in with the continual worship taking place in heaven
Scripture references include Revelation 4:9-11 and Revelation 19:5-8 (please read loudly)
The Holy Spirit enables us to focus on God the Father and the Lord Jesus reigning together in glory and triumph .Focussing on Him, raises you above your negative situation or problem for you are focussing on the One who is so much greater than the circumstances you face
POINTS TO PONDER:
What is one thing you can change in your current lifestyle to make truly worshipping God priority?
(Maybe you can write down some reflections and review in one week )
Consider having consistent, daily and ‘protected’ worship time with your Lord and Saviour. Spiritual growth will follow.Remember you are in a relationship with the Lord,and not doing a religious routine
In worship times, decree and declare truths about God and about what God's Word says about your identity in Christ
Since worship will be our never -ending activity in heaven , let us engage in true worship now
It will be our greatest joy in heaven. Practise worshipping God in this life so you are ready for an eternity of worship in His presence !
Romans 12:1 says “Beloved friends , what should be our response to God's marvellous mercies?
I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be His sacred , living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights His heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.”(TPT)
Surrendering ourselves to God…..this is our worship to Him. As we surrender of our lives to God unreservedly, Jesus’ life , power and love will be expressed and radiate through us as we serve one another
PRAYER TO CLOSE
Father we praise You today .You are the Holy and Almighty God.You are the God of grace ,the God of all comfort, and the God of love. Thank You for loving us with an everlasting love
Forgive us Lord when we have not given You the honour and praise that is due to Your name.
Thank You that in Your unfailing mercy ,You forgive us through the cleansing blood of Jesus
So we return to You, O Lord .By your Holy Spirit renew, revive and restore us so that we live our lives in continual worship to You, so that we live pleasing and holy lives radiating the character of Christ in our words and actions
This we pray for the glory of Your name and the good of Your kingdom, Amen
Song to use for reflection : heart of worship
Bible Study for 7th May 2020
Winning the Battle for Your Mind (3)
“Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice! [Ps. 37:4.] Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is coming soon]. Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.”
Philippians 4:4-9 AMPC
What positive things can we focus our minds on from this passage?
To rejoice in the Lord always. Joy is not based on our circumstances.
Whereas, happiness depends on what happens.
Having an unselfish, considerate, forbearing spirit.
The fact that the Lord is coming again soon.
To delight ourselves in the Lord.
To gladden our hearts in Him.
Through prayer & petition God gives us His peace which passes all understanding & is ours through our personal relationship of knowing Jesus Christ as Lord & Saviour.
(That peace is like a garrison or as secure as the Beefeater guards posted as sentries at Buckingham Palace, protecting the Queen of England).
Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
What negative things are mentioned in this passage?
How can they be resolved/overcome?
Through prayer & petition, resulting in peace.
Peace or ‘Shalom’ meaning total well-being, wholeness, peace that passes all understanding.
Www.peak313.com offers this good example :-
‘Thought check (based on Philippians 4:8).
Is what I’m thinking about ...
Of good report?
If no, STOP & think about something else.
Train your thoughts.
Scriptures to meditate on :-
2 Corinthians 10:1-5
What is achieved by focusing on Scripture?
We are not condemned.
We are set free from the law of sin & death.
When our minds are controlled by the Holy Spirit, we know true life & peace (total well-being, wholeness).
We are not conformed to the patterns of this world.
We are transformed by the renewing of our minds.
We can focus on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous & praiseworthy.
We can use the weapons we have have been given by God to demolish strongholds.
We can set our minds on things above.
We have the mind of Christ.
Another enemy to our mind which we need to engage in constant combat or battle against is ‘fear.’
The Apostle Paul writes the following verse to his son in the faith, Timothy :-
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7 AMPC
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
II Timothy 1:7 NKJV
Elisabeth Elliot once said this, ‘Fear arises when we imagine that everything depends on us.’
A useful acronym for FEAR, we heard mentioned many times when we were at Kingdom Faith Training College, Roffey was this :-
How does fear adversely affect us?
Fear would try to paralyse us.
Fear would try to make us timid.
Fear would try to make us believe that the worst case scenario imaginable will happen to us personally.
Or we could choose an alternative, more positive acronym. The one based on FAITH :-
What does this faith look like in practice?
The Holy Spirit gives us His power.
The Holy Spirit gives us His love.
The Holy Spirit gives us a sound or well-balanced mind. A mind that is calm, disciplined & self-controlled.
In summary :-
With God’s help we can train our thinking.
We do not have to live in fear.
We can live in faith.
The Holy Spirit enables us to live empowered, in His love & with a sound, well-balanced mind.
That means we can have minds that are calm, disciplined & self-controlled.
Two Scriptures for us to declare over ourselves, as we close this morning’s
Bible Study :-
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
II Timothy 1:7 NKJV
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
Philippians 4:8 NKJV
Bible Study for 30th April 2020Bible Study: For the next two Thursdays the topic 'Winning The Battle For Your Mind' continues. So look out for this as Pastor Rachel leads this relevant study.
Winning the Battle for Your Mind (2)