Class Two: How Can I Be Filled with the Holy Spirit?

Recap:  In the Old Testament the Spirit is indicative of God’s power and presence, equips mortals for extraordinary works, and comes in a time-limited fashion and only for specific purposes.

Our understanding of the Spirit culminates in the New Testament, when we learn from Jesus that the Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, and lives forever within every Christian. 

Life with the Spirit is EVEN BETTER than life with Jesus on earth before the Spirit came.

Challenge – We still find conflict within ourselves between the Spirit and the flesh.

Key idea:  The Spirit pilot-light can ignite a super-powered Spirit furnace in our lives.

Acts 2:38 vs Ephesians 5:18.

Nicky Gumbel - Pilot-light Christians vs furnace/exploding Christians

Start at the beginning – Acts 2:1-13 and Pentecost – exploding moment

-         Wind, fire, tongues

We don’t see the wind, we see the effects of the wind.  We don’t see the Spirit, we see the effects of the Spirit.  Physical manifestations – normal but not essential.

Love is the supreme manifestation.  Romans 5:5, Ephesians 3:14-19

We require the Holy Spirit understand the love of God.  We require the Spirit to experience the love of God.

Experience is a critical part of the Christian life.  Not about chasing highs.

Romans 8:16 – “the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”

Danger of a purely intellectual faith.  Acts 1:4-8

Self-powered faith will fail you.  Peter – self sustaining faith.  WAIT here.

Personal vs Corporate

Salvation has always been a corporate experience until Pentecost.

Pentecost makes salvation a personal experience (as well as corporate). 

Pentecost as the un-Babel – sort of.  Babel not as negative – now we can go out and know God in our own languages and in our own places.  The Spirit makes our life unique.  Touchstones will be the same.   Hence the body language (1 Corinthians 12:12-13).

How to be filled?

Begins by a profession of faith in Jesus Christ.  Surrender All.  Nothing held back.

Life of prayer, confession, repentance – turning from the flesh and to the Spirit.

Do not quench the Spirit.  1 Thessalonians 5:19.

Worship is central to being filled by the Spirit.  Ephesians 5:18-19

Released in praise to God – spontaneous praise.  Acts 10:44

Reliance on the Spirit – uninformed – Acts 19:1-6.

Relying on the Spirit means practicing the presence of God and experiencing his Love, cultivating the fruit of the Spirit (this happens when we are filled with his love), developing and sharing our spiritual gifts, living in community with other Christians and experiencing the Spirit through them.

Rain to refresh God’s people.  Ask the Spirit for refreshment.

Homework/Discussion Topics

1.       Have you experienced the Holy Spirit and the love of God?  When was the most recent time?

2.      Read some additional stories of people receiving and being filled with the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts.  Reflect on what is similar, and what is different, in each account.  Acts 2:1-13, 8:14-24, 9:17-22, 10:44-48, 19:1-6.

3.      Talk to a friend or family member about their experiences of the Spirit, their sense of their own spiritual gifts, etc.  How are they similar or different than yours?

4.      Are there places in your life where you worry you might be quenching the Spirit?  Are there places in your life where you are working to be filled with the Spirit?

Class One: Who is the Holy Spirit & What Does He Do?

Key idea:  The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, is the fullness of the promise of God-with-us.
Names of the Spirit: Spirit of God, Holy Spirit, Spirit of Christ, Holy Ghost, etc.

What is the Hebrew word for Spirit?  What does it mean?
What does the Holy Spirit do?  How is the Spirit involved in creation?
What sort of people received the Spirit in the Old Testament?
Future promise of God’s Spirit?
Where do Jesus and the Spirit connect?

What does the Old Testament tell us about the Spirit of God?
Hebrew – Ruah or occasionally Neshamah.  Wind, breath, spirit.  Invisible.  Energizing.
Genesis 1:2, Genesis 2:7, Genesis 3:8, etc.
Consider the following stories: Samson (Judges 14:19, 15:14) and Saul (1 Samuel 10:6-13).
In the OT, the Spirit is:  Indicative of God’s power and presence, equips mortals for extraordinary works, comes in a time-limited fashion and only for specific purposes, not an endorsement of individuals.
But … Joel 2:28-29.  Future vision of a universal outpowering of God’s Spirit.

What does the New Testament tell us about the Spirit of God?
Greek – Pneuma
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 – “The Lord is the Spirit.” 
John 14:16-17 - The Advocate (Paraclete) and a Person
Doctrine of the Trinity - Three hypostases (persons) in one ousia (substance). 
Spirit of Christ - All the Persons of the Trinity are distinguished by their devotion to one another and exaltation of the other.  If a spirit doesn’t point towards Jesus then it’s not the Holy Spirit.
What is the job of an advocate?
The Holy Spirit with us is BETTER than Jesus with us.  John 16:7-15.  But Jesus is > the OT, and they had the Spirit in the OT.  What changed?
1 Corinthians 6:19 – You are a temple of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit lives inside you. 
Change from the Old Testament – not time limited.  Still enables amazing acts – Pentecost – but not limited to them.  The extraordinary work of the Spirit in the life of every Christian is the union of God and human.
Note - This is not “breath” and not for non-believers.
How do we get the Holy Spirit?  Acts 2:38
If the Ruah of God, the Pneuma of God, brings life and vitality to the world, then we can acknowledge that there is conflict between the world and the Spirit.  Likewise, that conflict extends to our inner lives.
Romans 8:8-17
Conflict between Spirit and flesh
How can we be filled with the Holy Spirit?  How does the Spirit affect change in our lives?  Find out next week!

Homework/Discussion Topics
1.       Answer the question, “who is the Holy Spirit?”, as you would to a child.
2.      Read some additional Old Testament stories about the Holy Spirit (for example, Exodus 31:1-11, 35:30-36:1, or Numbers 11:24-30).  What do you learn about the work of the Holy Spirit in these stories?
3.      Direct some of your prayers this week to the Holy Spirit, instead of to the Father or Son.  How does this shape your prayers in new and different ways?
4.      How do you need the Spirit to advocate for you today?  How can the beachhead of the Spirit be expanded in your life?