In the last chapter we studied about Jesus Christ and how He came to save us from our sins, how He died, and was raised from death. We also learned that even today He continues to pray for us.
But perhaps you think that still isn’t enough. If you’re going to get out of the mess you’re in, you need someone here on earth who will stay with you, encourage you, and keep you from making more mistakes.
Surprise! You’ve got someone, and that someone is the Holy Spirit.
God, please teach me about the Holy Spirit and what He can do to help me.
Before He died, Jesus explained to His disciples that He was going away to a place where they couldn’t follow Him for the time being. This made them very sad, but Jesus made them a promise.
Read John 14:18.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
1. What did Jesus promise He would not do?
Are you an orphan? If you are not an actual orphan, perhaps you feel as though you might as well be.
- Has your family washed their hands of you?
- Are you a person who has no family who cares about you?
I know I’ve felt like an orphan many times. I am an only child, and although I have two daughters, they live hundreds of miles away. They aren’t very good at writing or telephoning. So sometimes when I’m feeling down, I really feel like I’m an orphan, too.
But that is a phony feeling, because Jesus promised that He wouldn’t leave me as an orphan.
2. What else did He promise?
You might wonder how someone who died and went to heaven could come to us. Well, God provided a way. That way is the Person of the Holy Spirit.
Read John 14:16 in the Amplified Bible.
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby) that He may remain with you forever.
3. What kind of Comforter did Jesus say the Father would send?
Another Comforter. If God was going to send another comforter, then there had to be a first comforter. That first comforter was Jesus. Now Jesus tells us He will send another comforter – someone just like Himself to be with us.
4. What are some other names for this Comforter?
We could spend the rest of our time together just discussing what these different names mean. We all know what a counselor is – someone who gives us advice. We know what a helper is. An intercessor is someone who prays for someone else. An advocate is a person who stands up for another. Lawyers are advocates.
The Holy Spirit is also a strengthener, and how we all need strengthening in our lives. Finally the Holy Spirit is our standby. That means someone who will stand by us at all times and walk along with us.
Talk about a prize package. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we really get the whole package!
5. How long will the Holy Spirit stay with us?
Just like Jesus, the Holy Spirit will stick with us as long as we want Him. The only way He will leave us is at our request.
Read John 14:26 in the Amplified Bible.
But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.
6. Who does the Holy Spirit represent?
7. What two important jobs will he do?
In the sixteenth chapter of John, Jesus told His disciples more about the Holy Spirit.
Read John 16:13-14 in the Amplified Bible.
13But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future]. 14He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.
8. What else will the Holy Spirit do?
9. Where does He get the message He speaks?
Isn’t that wonderful? We don’t ever have to be confused about something we believe comes to us from the Holy Spirit. It will never disagree with Jesus or the Bible.
- Have you already had some experience with the Holy Spirit? If so, share your experience with the group.
Read John 16:7.
It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
10. What had to happen before the Holy Spirit could come to us?
Jesus had to die and return to heaven before the Holy Spirit could be sent to us.
Just before He ascended to heaven, Jesus gave His disciples some instructions.
Read Acts 1:4-5.
4 …“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift My Father promised, which you have heard Me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
11. What were the disciples to wait for?
12. What would happen to them?
That promised gift of the Holy Spirit was given on the day of Pentecost.
Read Acts 2:1-4.
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
13. What happened on Pentecost?
On that important day, the Holy Spirit was released to come and live permanently in the hearts of all those who believe in Jesus Christ. On that day they received power from God—the power to live godly lives and the power to tell others about Jesus.
Read John 16:8-11.
8 When He comes, He will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in Me; 10about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see Me no longer; 11and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
14. What three things will the Holy Spirit do?
15. What is the world’s sin?
In one sense, the Holy Spirit has a two-fold job, He works both personally in the life of the Christian, and He also works in the world.
First, the Holy Spirit brings people to Jesus. After that, the work He does in the individual’s life is called sanctification – a cleansing process that separates the Christian from the rest of the world and makes us fit subjects of His kingdom.
The Holy Spirit’s work in us lasts an entire lifetime. As we grow in Him and learn of Him, He gives us more and more gifts. Here are just a few.
16. List these gifts after the following scriptures.
- Read Romans 5:5.
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us
- Read Romans 8:2.
Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
- Read Romans 14:17.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
- Read Romans 15:13.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Read Galatians 5:22-23.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
- Read II Timothy 1:7.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
- Read John 16:13.
But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.
Read John 8:31-32.
31To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
17. What will the Holy Spirit do?
18. What makes a disciple of Jesus?
19. What does the truth do?
The work of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life: to reveal the truth to us, to give us power to lead a godly life, to cleanse us, and to set us free.
Now that is real freedom!
- Have you found this freedom in your life? If so, share it with your group.
Scriptures to Memorize
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever — John 14:16 Amplified Bible
31Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32
- He would not leave us as orphans
- He will come to us.
- Another comforter
- Counselor, helper, intercessor, advocate, strengthener, standby
- Teach us all things and cause us to recall everything Jesus has told us
- Guide us into all truth
- From the Father
- Jesus had to go away.
- The gift promised by the Father
- They would be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
- The sound of a violent wind came from heaven and they saw what seemed to be tongues of fire separate and rest on each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues.
- Convince the world of its sin, the availability of God’s goodness, and deliverance from judgment.
- Unbelief in Jesus
- Freedom from the law of sin and death
- Righteousness, peace, joy
- Joy, peace, hope
- Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
- Power, love, sound mind
- Truth, tell you what is to come
- Guide us into all truth
- Holding to Jesus’ teaching
- Sets us free
All scripture quotations in this publication are from the Holy Bible, New International Version
(unless otherwise indicated)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, New International Bible Society
Copyright © 1992 by JoAnne Sekowsky