Friday: Further Study: The Holy Spirit
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Further Study: Ellen G. White, The Power Promised, p. 19-23, in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8; The Gift of the Spirit, p. 47-56, in The Acts of the Apostles.

studymoreAt all times and in all places, in all sorrows and in all afflictions, when the outlook seems dark and the future perplexing, and we feel helpless and alone, the Comforter will be sent in answer to the prayer of faith. Circumstances may separate us from every earthly friend; but no circumstance, no distance, can separate us from the heavenly Comforter. Wherever we are, wherever we may go, He is always at our right hand to support, sustain, uphold, and cheer. — Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 669, 670.

The Holy Spirit was the highest of all gifts that He [Jesus] could solicit from His Father for the exaltation of His people. The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. -Page 671.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Given the human tendency to self-exaltation, what lessons does the humble and subordinate operation of the Holy Spirit teach us?
  2. In dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus compared the Spirit to the wind. What spiritual lessons may we learn from that comparison?
  3. Some people claim that the evidence of being filled with the Spirit is to be able to speak in what is commonly referred to as tongues. How should we respond to this claim?
  4. We tend to think of the work of the Holy Spirit on an individual, one-to-one basis, which is, of course, correct. At the same time, how can we, as a corporate body, experience the reality of His presence in our church as a whole?

 

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Friday: Further Study: The Holy Spirit — 13 Comments

  1. We may talk a good Sabbath School lesson, extol the virtues of God, make profound points, quote key texts and passages, but fail to implement these in our daily life.

    There is a difference between being knowledgeable and being spiritual. Our profession takes on significant meaning when we first surrender self, and practice this in the little things, such as in honor allowing others the preference when we hold the power, and yielding when we do not have to, and patterning Christ.

    Forgetting yesterday, why not give the Holy Spirit a chance today? The Savior is waiting through the Holy Spirit to enter our heart.

    Like(21)
  2. With our human tendency to self-exaltation I am amazed rather flabagasted at the Godhead tendency to submit to one another. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy are equal because each of them are self-existent yet God the Son submit to the Father and God the Holy Spirit submits to God the Son. We should learn from them so that there is harmony in the Church and the World. I pray that we adopt what the Apostle Paul said : "Let this mind be in you which was also in Jesus."

    Like(13)
    • Obey, your comment matches your name. You make the point well that there is no insecurity in being God; and submission to PERFECT LOVE is the measure of PERFECT LOVE. Jesus Christ lives in full submission to His Divine nature, as is expressed in Himself, in the Holy Spirit, and in our Father in Heaven.
      We long for the day when we are fully transformed, fully authentic, so that our submission is a submission to the Divine nature in humanity, as it is a submission to the Divine nature in our Father in Heaven. This is ultimate security. And we are blessed to be called into this sanctification. God bless.

      Like(1)
    • Obey,
      Excellent point! The infinite Godhead of co-equal beings applied the principle of submission to accomplish their purpose, if not because they had to, then certainly as an example for finite beings. Love demands submission.

      In a rights based world, especially in Western cultures, submission is somehow regarded as a dirty word to be frowned on. And some Christians have bought into this.

      The thirst for power, leadership, control and self assertion are more evident than submission, meekness, humility, respect for authority and regard for God's order - issues raised by the Three Angels' Message.

      Ultimately there are only two sides in the final conflict, those sealed by the Holy Spirit and the also ran.

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  3. May we surrender everything to God and allow the Holy Spirit to effectively work in our lives. Happy sabbath

    Like(12)
  4. My answer to the first lesson question is: I don't think of the Holy Spirit as subordinate. I think of the Holy Spirit as functional in motivation of the primary thoughts and feelings of God and all His children--being first in the process of getting anything done. He motivates the thoughts and feelings that are those of God in all who receive Him. I believe this is how we can work together in one harmonious function to do the righteousness of Christ as a whole unit not only individually but corporately. Because of the nature of the Holy Spirit, He has no other way to function except the way He functions and this is with the most basic motivation--Love.

    Like(2)
    • I think of God as humble and not puffed up. Therefore I do not see any member of the Godhead as bossing any other around. He doesn't even boss us around. He lets us decide if we will do His will but He never forces our will.

      I don't see God as above or beneath another--only loving and ready to serve His creation any way He sees fit. He is sovereign, however. Jesus was our example and was a visible, incarnate representation of God on Earth. He is always motivated by the Holy Spirit. This was the way of Jesus and is something we are invited to consent to. The motivation of the Holy Spirit is our way out of "selfishness."

      Like(1)
  5. My answer to question #2 is that we see a piece of the puzzle Jesus wants us to see by His comparison of the Holy Spirit to the wind in that the Holy Spirit is invisible. I think a person can be a person and be invisible as long as he has an individual function. I see the Holy Spirit as motivator--not like a bulldozer, rather like the driver of the bulldozer only invisible, yet with the ability to make great power within the person He is motivating not only to do great things but to produce the righteousness of Christ in us for us to work out if we are willing.

    Like(1)
  6. It is amazing how perfect the plan of salvation has been. Through these lessons we have seen how the three persons of the Godhead have been closely involved in our redemption. First we learned that the Father sent the Son to die for our transgressions, so we could claim our right to take part of eternal life. Then the son came and taught us about the true nature of the father, repairing our distorted perception of God. He (The Son) showed us the Father's love and infinite mercy. He revealed to us the true meaning of our mission as children of God. Through His testimony we know that it is possible to defeat satan; not by our own strength, but through the power of our heavenly father. It is on our battle with the devil that the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, comes in. As we read today "The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail" Jesus's death on the cross was not enough. He died for our sins; he was the lamb that had to die, so that we could be forgiven before God. However, Is that forgiveness all we need for our salvation? What about faith, our walk with Jesus, and obeying the law? None of these would be possible without the support of the Holy Spirit.

    I thank God for sending not just His Son but also The Holy Spirit.

    Like(4)
  7. My response to question #3 is that the first and most basic function of the Holy Spirit is to motivate the direction of the consenting person. A natural result of continuing in this walk of submission to the HS is to develop character in which we learn many things about God and develop habit patterns that can be used in the service of God. And after that, we can develop into the gifts that are needed in the service God has directed us to and fitted us for. The gifts are just the powers needed in the process of completing the tasks needed in the ministry the Lord has fitted us for through His Spirit.

    Like(1)
  8. In answer to Question #4 I would like to say that It is the same Spirit that motivates each and every child of God to function. If it is the same Spirit working in each person it is like the organs of the body working in harmony with one another because the same brain is motivating each one to function rightly with the other for the good of the whole body. In this way we can function smoothly as a unit throughout the whole world. Ellen White could write a letter from Australia, send it on a ship for several months to the United States, and it reach it's destination right on time half way around the world. This is an example of the way the Spirit of God can work for any of His children when necessary and when the children invite the Holy Spirit to have His way In them.

    Like(2)
  9. My first reaction upon beginning to read this comment was " Oh no, more rhetoric !" But then, as I continued to read my soul became edified and enriched. What a blessing!

    Like(1)
  10. I really do not know why we consider the operation of the Holy Spirit to be "subordinate"? Human opinion and human perception seems to have much weight, as I see several issues being repeated?
    What is "subordinate" about Jesus YAHWEH, Holy Spirit YAHWEH, Father YAHWEH?
    What iS "subordinate" about being Divine, THREE IN ONE, totally equal?
    What is "subordinate" about "I will send you ANOTHER PARACLETOS(Another Helper, Another Comforter, Another Counselor, Another Advocate)" to abide with you forever?
    Isa 9:6 "His name shall be called Wonderful, COUNSELOR, The Mighty God, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, THE PRINCE OF PEACE". All three persons of the Trinity being identified interchangeably in ONE.

    Perfect Plan mapped by the Trinity in all eternity, as to Who will perform what work in the salvation of humanity. Most powerful, most equitable team work ever.

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