14 The Only True GodGod the Holy Spirit—The Faith Worker
INTRODUCTION When you watch the Super Bowl or any other sporting event, you rarely see thecameramen and engineers. Yet the workthey do is very important. Why? Is their “behind the scenes” work any less important?
STUDYING GOD’S WORD If Christ died for all people, whydon’t all people get the benefits of what he did?
John 3:16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Everyone who believes receives the benefits of what Jesus did. If I say that everyone in the room is going to get a birthday gift from the teacher this year, you won’t worry even if your birthday isover the summer. Your teacher said that it was for everyone. You believe that you will get it on your birthday like everyone else. Jesus died for all. No one s left out no matter what the circumstance.
Luke 14:15-2415 When one of those at the table with himheard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is theman who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” 16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invitedmany guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is nowready.’ 18 “But they all alike began to makeexcuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
Luke 14:15-24 19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought fiveyoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 “Still anothersaid, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ 21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the housebecame angry and ordered his servant, ‘Goout quickly into the streets and alleys of thetown and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
Luke 14:15-2422 ”‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ 23“Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out tothe roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”
Many lose the benefits of Christ’s death because they refuse to believe in him.You go to the doctor for tests and he tells you that you have cancer, but it is contained and you can be cured. If youdon’t believe that you have cancer that it can’t be cured, whose fault is it if you die? God gives us the cure for sin forfree. It is the person who rejects it’s own fault if he or she doesn’t believe it to be true.
Some people don’t receive thebenefits of what Jesus did for them because they refuse to believe in Him.
Why doesn’t everyone just naturally have faith in Jesus? Ephesians 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
By nature we are spiritually dead. If I walk up to a person who is dead and lying in acasket and offer her a $100 bill, the reason she won’t take it is because she is dead. She doesn’t hear what I am saying andwouldn’t be able to hold the $100 bill even if I put it in her hand. That’s what we are bynature when God tells us Jesus died for us and offers us the treasures of forgiveness and the riches of heaven.
Acts 26:17-18 17 I will rescue you from your own peopleand from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn themfrom darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
By nature we are spiritually blind. If I’m standing with a blind person on the top floor of the Sears Tower and ask theblind person to look at the beautiful sights in every direction, that person won’t beable to because they are blind. God sentJesus to ransom everyone. He tells us to look all around at God’s love for us and his plan of salvation, but by nature we can’t see anything that God is talking about.
Romans 8:6-76 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life andpeace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God.It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
By nature we are enemies of God.Let’s say that I am the quarterback formy football team and I’m walking up tothe line of scrimmage. If I shout to the other team that they better look out because I’m going to throw a long pass, they won’t believe me. That’sbecause I’m their opponent. That’s the way we respond by our nature to the good news about Jesus Christ. We don’t believe God is trying to help us.
Everybody doesn’t naturally have faithin Jesus because all of us by nature are spiritually dead, blind and enemies of God.
GOD’S WORD IN MY LIFEEvaluate this statement - There are someunbelievers that know more about Jesusthan some believers do.Agree or disagree and why? There isalways a little bit of good in everyone. Noone is totally bad.
STUDYING GOD’S WORD How does our spiritualblindness prevent us from having faith?
Matthew 13:14In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ”‘You will be ever hearing but neverunderstanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
Because we are blind we don’t understand the simple message of Jesus. Have youever had a teacher or a friend try to explainsomething to you - (math, science problem, joke, etc.) and no matter how many times they tried to explain it or how simple they made it, it just didn’t click. That’s what spiritual blindness does to everyone in regards to the simple message of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross isfoolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Our spiritual blindness leads us to conclude that Jesus’ death is foolishness. Let’s say that a teacher is handing out $100 bills to the class. Someone may not take itbecause it seems fishy that a teacher is just handing out money to a class becausenothing is for free. There has to be a catch. God is handing our salvation freely toeveryone. But by nature we think that therehas to be a catch or we have a foolish Godthat doesn’t expect anything back in return.
John 15:16a16 You did not choose me, but I choseyou and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.
Because of our spiritual blindness we could never choose to believe in Jesus. When you play the shell game you hide a marble then shuffle the shells. You would be suspicious if the person pointed to a shelland told you it was the one if there was $10on the line. Why would that person go to all the work and then tell you? We, by nature are suspicious of God; enemies of God. When God tells us to choose Jesus, we by nature make another choice.
Our spiritual blindness makes itimpossible for us by our own thinking or choosing to believe in Jesus because what he tells us seems like foolishness to us.
GOD’S WORD IN MY LIFEEvaluate this statement - Christ’s workis useless without faith.Agree or Disagree and why? I amsaved the minute that I accept Jesus intomy heart.HYMNOLOGY Hymn 380 Lord, ‘ TisNot that I Did Choose You
STUDYING GOD’S WORD How did we come to believe andso receive the benefits of what Jesus did for us?
1 Corinthians 12:3band no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. The only way that we can believe in Jesusis by the work of the Holy Spirit. What is thespecific work of the Father, of the Son - now we see clearly the specific work of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 5:5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. The Holy Spirit coming into our hearts is a gracious gift of God. What is the best gift you have ever received? Why is it so great? What makes you remember it? Think about the gift God the Holy Spirit gave to you. Why is it so great? What makes you remember it?
It is only by the gracious work of the Holy Spirit that we believe inJesus and so receive the benefits of what he has done for us.
CHRISTIAN VOCABULARYFaith: Believing in Jesus - being sure ofwhat we hope for and certain of what wedo not see.Our Natural Condition - We are bornspiritually blind, dead and enemies ofGod.
GOD’S WORD IN MY LIFE Agree or Disagree and why? Themiracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from thedead is a greater miracle than the HolySpirit bringing someone to faith.
How do you know if you have saving faith or not? Ask yourself these three question: • Does it bother me that I have sinned against the Lord?• Do I trust that God has cleansed me from all sin through Jesus’ blood?• Do I have the desire to serve God out of love?If (yes) then be assured the Holy Spirit has worked saving faith in your heart!!!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT Some people find the fact that theycan’t come to faith by their own thinking ordoing to be quite disturbing. You can find ita great source of comfort. You see, if itwere up to you to “decide for Christ” on yourown, you could never be sure that your“decision” was genuine or that yourmotivations were pure. I know that faith is aproduct of the working of the Holy Spiritalone and it is a gift of God. I can beabsolutely confident in faith and rejoice thatI did not choose Him, but that He chose me!
ASSIGNMENT FOR NEXT TIMEREVIEWING THE LESSON1. Review your notes; be sure you understand them. Be prepared for a written or oral quiz. Don’t forget about the vocabulary words!2. Make a flashcard for and memorize John 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 1:18. Be able to put the passage into your own words or answer questions concerning it.PREPARING FOR THE NEXT LESSONAsk your parents to help you with the following activity:1. Complete the Bible History Worksheet.Learn the Confession of our FaithMemorize: 3 rd Article up to “or come to him” (in the “What does this mean” section).
15 The Only True GodGod the Holy Spirit—The Power Source
If you are studying mathematics, there are certain terms you need to understand. If you don’t know what these terms mean,you won’t know what is going on, and as a result, you will get every problem wrong. For example, give several reasons why you need to know what the words“multiply” and divide” mean. Or the words, “divider and “dividend.” What is true ofmathematics is also true of Bible study. In today’s lesson, there are two expressionsin particular that it would be good for us to understand. Those expressions are “sanctify” and “means of grace”.
STUDYING GOD’S WORDWhy is the Holy Spirit’s work called sanctification?
1 Corinthians 6:11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, youwere justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
It is called sanctification because hewashed our sins away by bringing us to faith in Jesus’ saving work. Let’s say you have a pair of white pantsthat have grass stains. Mom washesthem carefully and gets them out. So too Jesus, took our sins (stains) on himself and washed them clean inhis blood. The only way he does thisis when H.S. sanctifies us - brings us to faith.
1 Corinthians 1:2To the church of God in Corinth, to thosesanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:
Bring us to faith, the Holy Spirit calls us away from the sinful world to be holy together with all other believers. Remember the story of Zacchaeus being brought to faith (Luke 19). He was a tax collector who was so attracted by money that he turned his back on being one of God’s people in or to work for the Roman government and make lots of money. By the work of H.S. he was called back tobeing one of God’s people. Sanctification+H.S. calls us away form sinful treasures and pleasures of the world to be holy.
The Holy Spirit’s work is calledsanctification because by bringingus to faith he washes all our sinsaway and turns us away from the sinful world to be holy with all believers.
Brought to Growth in Faith Faith Sanctification Sanctification begins increasesWhat “means” does the Holy Spirit use to bring us to faith and sanctify us?
Romans 10:1Consequently, faith comes from hearingthe message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. John 17:17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
The Holy Spirit brings us to faith and sanctifies us by means of His Word whichis the truth. The Holy Spirit doesn’t swoop down on people like a net dropping on a person. He doesn’t put a gun to our headand tell us to believe or else. No, the Holy Spirit enters people’s hearts as they read and hear God’s Word. That’s why it is so important that we share God’s Word with people who don’t know Jesus, It is only as they hear this word that the Holy Spirit can begin to work the miracle of faith in them.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 13 But we ought always to thank God foryou, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to besaved through the sanctifying work of theSpirit and through belief in the truth. 14 Hecalled you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To be more exact, the Holy Spirit brings us to faith and sanctifies us through theGospel. Remember what the law says - SOS - shows our sin. Remember the what the Gospel shows - SOS - showsour savior. Shows how much God lovesus. This is the good news the Holy Spirit uses to turn us away from the sinful world to trust in Jesus.
Acts 2:38Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized,every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit sanctifies us by the gospel in the sacrament of Baptism.God’s Gospel is connected through the water and word of Baptism. The Holy Spirit uses Baptism as a means ofworking faith. It reminds us of how God also washed our sins away.
Matthew 26:26-28 26 While they were eating, Jesus tookbread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat;this is my body.” 27 Then he took the cup,gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is myblood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
The Holy Spirit sanctifies us by thegospel in the sacrament of the Lord’sSupper. The Gospel is given to us in outward things - bread and wine - along with the assurance of Jesus’ true body and blood. The price thatwas paid for our sins. The Holy Spirituses this visible Gospel to sanctify us.
The means the Holy Spirit uses to bring us to faith and sanctify us is God’s Word,specifically the gospel in the word and sacraments (Baptism and Lord’s Supper). HOW SANCTIFICATION WORKS God’s Word (Bible) Your God’s THE GOSPEL Heart Means of Grace Reservoir Forgiveness Sacraments New Life Forgiveness New Life Salvation Salvation
GOD’S WORD IN MY LIFE Evaluate this statement - The HolySpirit hasn’t sanctified me yet because Iam still attracted to the treasures andpleasures of this world. Agree or Disagree and why? Thefact that the Holy Spirit only worksthrough the Gospel in the Word andsacraments really limits the amount ofmission work we can do.
CHRISTIAN VOCABULARYSanctification: (to set apart, to make holy)The Holy Spirit calls someone to faith andleads them to hate sinful things and live alife pleasing to GodMeans of Grace - The Gospel in Word(written and spoken) and Sacraments(Baptism and Lord’s Supper)
STUDYING GOD’S WORDWhat change in attitude did the Holy Spirit work in us as he sanctified us?
Psalm 119:104 I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. The Holy Spirit leads me to hate my every wrong and sinful path. Like a dog returningto its vomit or a pig to its mud pit, is what we do when we return to sin. Holy Spirit leadsus to hate everything that makes us spiritual dirty of the disgusting thing that comes out of our sinful flesh.
Titus 2:11-14 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himselffor us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
The Holy Spirit leads me to be eager to do what is good and what God desires.Not like a lazy or spoiled child that resists or hates to do anything for mom or dad, but with a new attitude that serves willingly and eagerly. That is the newattitude the Holy Spirit works in us at the time brings us to faith.
When the Holy Spirit sanctifies us, he changes our attitude so thatwe now hate sin and are eager to do what is good according to God’s will
GOD’S WORD IN MY LIFE The sinful world tempts us towardmaterialism - toward wanting desperatelywhat we cannot afford to have. How exactlydoes the Holy Spirit help us combat thisidolatrous sin? The sinful world tempts us towardhedonism (love of pleasure) - towardwanting desperately the so-called fun thatillegal drugs, alcohol abuse, or forbiddensex that is contrary to our Savior’s willseems to provide people. How exactly doesthe Holy Spirit help us combat this
STUDYING GOD’S WORD What motivates us to do what isgood according to God’s will?
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all,that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
The Love Christ shows usmotivates us to do God’s will. Two people that love each other do things for each other naturally because they love each other. No one is forced. Neither does Godforce us to do good things—people that love him do good for him.
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.We thank God for all his goodness to us. If you fell through the ice and were pulled to safety by a nearby fisherman, you would feel the need to thank him somehow. You wouldn’t be paying him back, but yourdeeds and gestures would show him thanks for all that he already did for you.
What motivates us is our love forJesus who loves us and our thanks for all the goodness Jesus has shown to us.
GOD’S WORD IN MY LIFE Agree or Disagree and why? Youcan tell a good Christian from a badChristian by the number of good works eachdoes in their lives. Agree or Disagree and why? AChristian finds it easy to do good worksbecause he is filled with love and thanks forGod’s goodness to him.HYMNOLOGY Hymn 186 O Spirit of Life, OSpirit of God
ASSIGNMENT FOR NEXT TIMEREVIEWING THE LESSON1. Review your notes; be sure you understand them. Be prepared for a written or oral quiz. Don’t forget about the vocabulary words!2. Make a flashcard for and memorize and 2 Corinthians 5:14-15. Be able to put the passage into your own words or answer questions concerning it.PREPARING FOR THE NEXT LESSONAsk your parents to help you with the following activity:1. Complete the Bible History Worksheet.Learn the Confession of our FaithMemorize: 3 rd Article in its entirety.