UNDERSTANDING THE HOLY SPIRIT

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As Christians, each one of us has the Holy Spirit living inside of us. And yet so many of us do not really understand what the Holy Spirit is and how it can help us.

1. Stay in the Spirit

2 Peter 1:19-21
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.


Q: According to this, how was the Bible written? [By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Ment wrote it down, but God's Spirit inspired it]

1 Corinthians 2:6-16
6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
7 No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.
8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"--
10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:
16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.


C: Here Paul speaks of God's wisdom (v7).

Q: Do you think that people understand the wisdom of God? What about during the time of Jesus - did those people understand God's wisdom? [Obviously not, because they killed God's son (v8)]

C: v9-10. The Bible says that no one has seen, heard or understood what God has prepared for us. Heaven is so awesome and God is so great that we can't even understand it. Yet God has revealed himself to us through his Spirit (v10). The Spirit wrote the Bible and the Spirit lives in us so we can understand what is in the Bible (v12).

C: In a family, the people understand each other without talking, because they have lived together for so long.

Q: Have you ever understood something before the other person said it? Do you know what the other people you live with are going to say?

C: It is the same way with the Spirit. God has given us the mind of Christ (v16). So that we can understand the BIble. But a lot of us read the Bible without ever understanding it. That is because we are not letting the Spirit inside of us work to give us insight.

C: Every day before reading the Bible, ask God to give you insight and understanding through the Spirit. And be fired up to share about reading the Bible. If we don't read the Bible the Holy Spirit who lives inside of us will get lonely. The Spirit inside of us longs to have a relationship with God. So let us stay in the Spirit by reading daily.

2. Pray in the Spirit

Ephesians 6:17-19
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,


C: The Bible repeatedly advises us to "pray in the Spirit".

Jude 1:20
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.

This point will explain how to pray in the Holy Spirit. Let's turn to Ephesians.

Q: What does v18 tell us to do? [Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests].

C: Prayer is not just us giving a list of requests to God. It is us having a relationship with God. It is God's Spirit in us talking to God the Father in Heaven.

Q: Think about your prayers - are they a ritual, or are they a personal time with the living God?

C: There are few practical keys to having great powerful, spiritual prayers. One of theses keys is in v19. Always we have to be alert. Sleepy prayers are dead prayers.

Q: Have an you ever fallen asleep praying? {Let them share and share yourself a funny story}

C: Another one of these keys is in v17. We must grab the sword of the Spirit the Bible, when we pray. The Bible is full of great examples of prayers that we can learn from.

Q: What are some of the great prayers of the Bible? [Let them share a few examples Nehemiah 1:4-10, 1 Kings 8, Daniel 9, 1 Chronicles 29:1, 2 Samuel 7:18, Psalms, Luke 1:40]

C: One thing you can do is to pray through a few verses of the Bible. Let's do that now? {Pray through Ephesians 6:21-24, reading each verse and then praying about that verse}

Ephesians 6:21-24
21 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing.
22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.
23 Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.


Few other keys to pray in the Spirit.

a. Power from the Spirit

Ephesians 3:16-21
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.


C: Here Pay prayed that God would use his Spirit to strengthen them with power, so that Christ could live inside of them (v16-17). Paul wanted them to know how much God loved them (v18-19). Praying about Jesus and his love will help you to get closer to God. Paul also wanted them to realize that God can do more than we ask or imagine.

C: The next time you pray, remember that Christ is in you. Remember that God loves you. And remember that God is very powerful. {Take a moment to pray about Jesus, God's love and God's power}

b. Rely on the Spirit

Romans 8:26-27
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.


C: Sometimes we don't know what to pray, but God's Spirit helps us. He interceds with God to tell God what we need. Jesus said in Matthew 6 that our Father knows what you need before you ask him.

C: Sometimes we back faith in our prayers because our words are simple and not impressive. That does not matter. God is looking for you to do your best. He will hear even the simplest, most humble prayer.

c. Adopted by the Spirit

Romans 8:15-16
15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.


C: This verse explains that the Spirit inside of us makes us God's adopted children, we do not need to be slaves to fear. We are God's sons and daughters and we can call him "daddy" or "Abba".

C: We need to approach God with a childlike dependance and trust and faithfulness in our prayers. (Pray to God as if he is your daddy).

d. You can be filled with Spirit

Acts 4:24-31
24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. "Sovereign Lord," they said, "you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.
25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: "'Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.'
27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.
28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.
29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.
30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."
31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.


C: Here the Government was persecuting the disciples.

Q; Di they get fearful? [No]

What did they do? [They prayed for boldness]

And what happened? [v30-31 says that the room where they prayed shook and they all were filled with the spirit and evangelized boldly]

C: Our prayers need to make us bold and courageous! You may start out down and discouraged, but your prayers need to change you and fill you with God's Spirit. We need to believe that God can fill us with spiritual power!

Conclusion

These four ideas spell PRAY. Let's all have awesome quiet times of prayer and Bible study.