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The Holy Spirit in the New Testament Letters Introduction In the Old Testament, the Gospels, and Acts, we saw the Holy Spirit revealing God’s will, equipping men for service, facilitating God’s work, providing signs, and pouring out blessings. We will see more of the same in our discussion of the activity of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament letters. Lesson Plan: We will first cover the work that the Holy Spirit completed in the 1 st century. Then we will turn our attention to the Holy Spirit’s activity that began in the 1 st century and yet continues today. Work of the Holy Spirit in the 1 st Century (Completed Work, Yet Critical to us in the 21 st Century) - announce the gospel 1 Pet 1: 10 -12; Eph 2: 20; 1 Pet 1: 22 -25 - confirm the gospel Heb 2: 3 -4 - meet the needs of the church until the full revelation of the gospel 1 Cor 12: 4 -11; 14: 5, 12, 26; 13: 8 -13 The time was coming when there would be nothing left to reveal, what was revealed was confirmed and was sufficient for the edification of the church. At this time, the gifts of the Holy Spirit would be done away. (cp. intention that they be temporary- their transmission by laying on of apostle’s hands) Holy Spirit in Salvation - facilitated the means of salvation, the crucifixion and resurrection Heb 9: 14; Rom 1: 4 - announced the salvation (see above) - prompts both renewal (repentance) and baptism Tit 3: 5; 1 Cor 12: 13 - is the cause of the results of obedience to the gospel: washed, sanctify, justify (1 Cor 6: 11); access to the Father (Eph 2: 18); identification as a child of God (Eph 1: 13; Rom 8: 15 -17); confidence 1 Jn 3: 24 Holy Spirit, the Christian’s Gift Rom 5: 5 (remember Jn 7: 37 -39) He serves to us as “firstfruits” (“birth certificate”- Arndt and Gingrich lexicon) (Rom 8: 23) and a “pledge” (earnest or down payment; Eph 1: 14) of blessings to come. One Blessing the Holy Spirit Supplies- His Intercession in Prayer Rom 8: 26 -30 (Paul’s thorn, 2 Cor 12: 7 -10)
The Christian’s Relationship with the Holy Spirit - very close as indicated by various synonymous figures of speech (cp. Father and Son Jn 14: 23): filled with the Holy Spirit Eph 5: 18 (cp. Col 3: 16) Spirit dwells in you Rom 8: 9 in the Holy Spirit 2 Cor 6: 6 Spirit rests on you 1 Pet 4: 14 fellowship of the Spirit; partakers of the Holy Spirit 2 Cor 13: 14; Heb 6: 4 - what makes this close relationship possible? We walk according to the Spirit; we are led by the Spirit Rom 8: 4, 14 How a Christian is Led by and Lives by the Holy Spirit - by not carrying out the desires of the flesh Gal 5: 16, 19 -21, 24 - by demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit Gal 5: 22 -23 - by making a step by step transformation to become more like the Lord 2 Cor 3: 18 -by His strengthening our inner man we let Christ dwell in our hearts we become rooted and grounded in love we will be filled up with all the fullness of God Eph 3: 14 -19 Conclusion: “The Greatest Influence in My Life” Invitation: 1 Pet 1: 2 - The Father planned, the Son shed His blood; the Spirit will sanctify you, sprinkling you with His blood, if you obey Jesus Christian, is the Holy Spirit influencing your life as it should? How has the gospel come to you? Is the gospel performing its work in your life (1 Thess 1: 5; 2: 13) or are you grieving the Holy Spirit? (Eph 4: 30)
“The Greatest Influence in My Life” Through Him I came to know and to appreciate the love of God (Rom 5: 5). The knowledge of God’s love that He gave to me changed my life completely. He has made me a new man (Jn 3: 3, 5; Tit 3: 5). He is helping me to become more like the Lord (2 Cor 3: 18). Because of Him, the fruit of godliness is seen in my life (Gal 5: 22 -23). Instead of letting the flesh control me, I let Him lead me (Rom 8: 13 -14). He shows me the right way to live, reproves me when I am wrong, and warns me of the judgment (Jn 16: 8). He gives me confidence in my standing before God. Though I am sinful, with His help I have been made holy (1 Pet 1: 2). He has identified me as one who belongs to God (Eph 4: 30). He tells me that I am God’s child (Rom 8: 16; Gal 4: 6) and He assures me that Jesus lives in me (1 Jn 3: 24). He provides strength for me to face Satan’s challenging temptations and trials (Eph 3: 16). Through His daily guidance, I live a life full of peace and joy (Rom 14: 17). He powerfully builds up my hope of heaven (Rom 15: 13). In fact, all that I have mentioned that He has done for me is my guarantee of heaven (Eph 1: 14). His influence on me is so complete that you might say that He lives in me (Rom 8: 9 -11). He so affects every aspect of my life that you could say that I am filled with Him (Eph 5: 18). I don’t want to disappoint Him by living contrary to His wisdom, for He would be grieved (Eph 4: 30). And, I know that, after all that He has done for me, to willfully ignore His directions for my life would insult Him (Heb 10: 26, 29). Who is the greatest influence in my life? The Holy Spirit How does He influence me? By His letters!! The Holy Spirit has told me in human language what is on the mind of God, all that God has prepared for those who love Him, the things that God has freely given (1 Cor 2: 9 -13). As a Christian, I am a letter of Christ (served by teachers), written by the Spirit of God on the tablet of my human heart (2 Cor 3: 1 -3). The Holy Spirit produced in me true conversion. The gospel that was confirmed with power came to me “in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” and I accepted it “not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God” which continues to perform its work in my life (1 Thess 1: 5 -10; 2: 13).