Spirit help us pray lesson 9


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Lesson 9: "Prayer in the Church Age - the promised Holy Spirit" - Who is the Holy Spirit, what does He do, why is He here?

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  • "The Holy Spirit could pray a hundred fold more in us if we were only conscious of our ignorance, because we would then feel our dependence upon Him. May God teach us our ignorance in prayer and our impotence, and may God bring us to say, “Lord, we cannot pray; we do not know what prayer is.” Andrew Murray Opening prayer
  • “ If the church is going to be effective in our postmodern world, we need to stop paying mere lip serve to the Spirit and to recapture (the early church’s) perspective: the Spirit as the experienced, empowering return of God’s own personal presence in and among us, who enable us to live as radically eschatological people in the present world while we await the consummation.” Gordon Fee
  • So the question we have before us tonight is, who is the Holy Spirit?
  • (After slide) “It is noteworthy, I believe, to see that the Spirit’s coming upon men was the sovereign choice of God, rather than God’s response to the initiative of men. Generally speaking, men did not expect the Spirit of God to come upon them, nor did they do anything to prompt it. It happened. God took the initiative, and men responded accordingly. There is clearly no “pattern” for those who would wish to find some method or formula for obtaining the Spirit’s power. Men did not dispose of God or of His Spirit; rather God disposed of men, using His Spirit to do so.” Gordon Fee
  • Now let’s turn our attention to His coming.
  • The result of Peter’s Holy Spirit powered sermons was that: “those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” How often we major on the incidentals, the minor issues like wind, tongues of fire and spoken tongues , and miss the significance of what really happened that day. The Holy Spirit was given for no other reason than to fill and empower believers for the Church age; in fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy that follows.
  • (After slide) What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? Greek = “pleroo” (pla ra o) 1) to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full a) to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally 1) I abound, I am liberally supplied 2) to render full, i.e. to complete to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim 3) to fulfil, i.e. to cause God's will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God's promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfilment Be filled with the Spirit : The filling of the Holy Spirit is not a one-time event that we live off of the rest of our days. It is a constant filling, asking to be filled, and receiving the filling by faith. There is a wonderful and significant first experience with the filling of the Holy Spirit, often thought of as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit ( Matthew 3:11 ; Acts 1:5 , and 11:16 ). This is an experience valid and important for every believer. ii. Much of the weakness, defeat and lethargy in our spiritual lives can be attributed to the fact that we are not constantly being filled with the Holy Spirit. iii. The ancient Greek grammar for be filled also indicates two other important things. First, the verb is passive , so this is not a manufactured experience. Second, it is imperative , so this is not an optional experience.
  • Read Acts 8:1-25 – Commentary: “As the church advances across another cultural threshold, from Hellenistic Jew to half-breed Samaritan (compare Acts 1:8--"in all Judea and Samaria"), it encounters a society steeped in occult magic and syncretistic religious practice. It learns through its missionaries, who must also be theologians, that the power of the gospel is not magic and cannot be bought. In the process it discovers again the true power of the gospel. The Gospel's Power Is Superior to Magic (8:5-13)” Now let’s unpack this passage: Point 1: The Samaritans were a mixed race – a blend of Jews left behind after Israel’s exile and Gentiles forcible settled in the region by Assyria (2 Kings 17:24). Point 2: First, Philip is one of the 7 chosen by the Apostles in Acts 6:3; he was a Grecian Jew, selected because He was “known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.” Philip was commissioned for the role of prayer and care Point 3: The Samaritan religion was based on the Pentateuch (first five OT books). The Samaritans were awaiting a “Restorer” (Deuteronomy 18:18). The Samaritans responded with joy at Philips preaching of Christ. Point 4: Simon, due to his sorcery, had previously been a great influence on the people of this Samaritan city but now was following Philip because of the greater power on display in the healings and deliverance taking place.
  • Point 1 – The Holy Spirit had not yet been received under the preaching of Philip by the believing Samaritans. But why does God sovereignly delay the coming of the Spirit in this case? In order to preserve the unity of the church and the integrity of the church's cross-cultural mission to all nations in the face of the inbred animosity between Jew and Samaritan. If God had not withheld his Spirit until the Jerusalem apostles came, converts on both sides of the cultural barrier might have found Christ without finding each other. Neither Samaritan nor Jewish Christians would have been assured that the Samaritans were truly regenerate and the spiritual equals of regenerate Jews (compare Acts 15:8-11). Point 2 - today when God chooses to do signs and wonders through his servants as his church advances, the immediate "quantitative" effect, amazement, may be expressed in outward profession of belief and even baptism. But if the signs and wonders, when combined with the Spirit-empowered preaching of the word of salvation, do not have a "qualitative" effect, regeneration, then the convert will adopt a syncretized Christianity. (After slide) One commentator has this to say on this account: “The clear teaching of the apostles and their customary practice is that the giving of the Spirit is a birthright of every Christian, received at conversion (Acts 2:38; 1 Cor 12:3, 13). Acts gives no consistent pattern for a second-stage giving of the Spirit by apostolic laying on of hands, as Roman and Anglo Catholic teaching on confirmation would assert, or with extraordinary manifestations such as prophesying and speaking in tongues, as Pentecostal and charismatic teaching on baptism with the Spirit would contend (Acts 8:14-17; 10:44-48; 16:31-34; 19:1-6). Therefore the Samaria experience must be viewed as extraordinary, not normative.”
  • What does Cornelius’ experience tell us about God?
  • I find what one commentator says useful in understanding the Baptism of the Holy Spirit: “Perhaps it is more useful to describe the baptism of the Holy Spirit more like a condition than an experience . We should perhaps ask, “ are you baptized in the Holy Spirit?” instead of asking, “ have you been baptized in the Holy Spirit?”
  • Spirit help us pray lesson 9

    1. 1. “ The Spirit Helps Us Pray” A Biblical Theology of Prayer
    2. 2. Lesson 9 Prayer in the Church Age the “promised” Holy Spirit
    3. 3. Who is the Holy Spirit <ul><li>He is called God – “ Then Peter said…how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit …What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.&quot; (Acts 5:3-4) </li></ul><ul><li>He is eternal – “ How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” ( Hebrews 9:14) </li></ul><ul><li>He is Omniscient – “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.” (1 Corinthians 2:11) </li></ul><ul><li>He is Omnipresent – “ Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. (Psalm 139:7-8) </li></ul>
    4. 4. Who is the Holy Spirit <ul><li>He is Omnipotent – “So he said to me, &quot;This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.” (Zechariah 4:6) </li></ul><ul><li>He proceeds from the Father and Son – “ … He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (John 16:13) </li></ul><ul><li>He was promised by the Father – “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.“ (Luke 24:39) </li></ul><ul><li>He inspirited the Bible – “ For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21) </li></ul>
    5. 5. The Holy Spirit in the OT <ul><li>He was active from the beginning – “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” ( Genesis 1:2) </li></ul><ul><li>He contended for man – “ Then the Lord said, &quot;My Spirit will not struggle with man forever. He will die. He will have only 120 years to live until I judge him.&quot; (Genesis 6:3) </li></ul><ul><li>He is the source of life – “The Spirit of God has made me. The breath of the Mighty One gives me life .” (Job 33:4) </li></ul><ul><li>He was a teacher – “You gave them your good Spirit to teach them. You didn't hold back your manna from their mouths. And you gave them water when they were thirsty.” (Nehemiah 9:20) </li></ul><ul><li>He led the faithful to right living – “Teach me to do what you want, because you are my God. May your good Spirit lead me on a level path.” (Psalm 143:10) </li></ul>
    6. 6. The Holy Spirit in the OT <ul><li>He filled and empowered men – “ And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts” (Exodus 31:3) </li></ul><ul><li>He formerly would leave people – “Then she called, &quot;Samson, the Philistines are upon you!“ He awoke from his sleep and thought, &quot;I'll go out as before and shake myself free.&quot; But he did not know that the LORD had left him.” (Judges 16:20) </li></ul><ul><li>He was to be the power for a future Servant- “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations” (Isaiah 42:1) </li></ul><ul><li>He was to be the power for the Church age – “ And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” (Joel 2:28) </li></ul>
    7. 7. Opening Acts of the Church <ul><li>Read Acts 1 & 2:1-4 </li></ul><ul><li>The Holy Spirit teaches through Jesus – “ I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.” (Acts 1:2) </li></ul><ul><li>The encounter with the risen Christ - “After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3) </li></ul><ul><li>The command to Christ followers to wait – “ On one occasion…he gave them this command: &quot;Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.&quot; (Acts 1:4) </li></ul><ul><li>The new form of identity – “ For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:5) </li></ul>
    8. 8. Opening Acts of the Church <ul><li>The promise of power – “ But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.&quot; (Acts 1:8) </li></ul><ul><li>The first united prayer meetings – “ They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” (Acts 1:14) </li></ul><ul><li>The first leader selected by the Church – “ Then they prayed, &quot;Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry…” (Acts 1:24) </li></ul><ul><li>The outpouring of the Holy Spirit -   When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4) </li></ul>
    9. 9. Work of the Holy Spirit <ul><li>He regenerates – “Jesus answered, &quot;I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” (John 3:5-6) </li></ul><ul><li>He convicts the world of sin – “ When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8) </li></ul><ul><li>He guides us into all truth – “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.” ( John 16:13a) </li></ul><ul><li>He glorifies Christ – “He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.’ (John 16:1) </li></ul><ul><li>He reveals Christ - All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. (John 16:15) </li></ul><ul><li>He desires to lead us – “ because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14) </li></ul><ul><li>He desires to fill us – Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18) </li></ul>
    10. 10. Work of the Holy Spirit <ul><li>He tells us that we are children of God – “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.” (Romans 8:16) </li></ul><ul><li>He helps us pray – “ 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. 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.” (Romans 8:26-27) </li></ul><ul><li>He produces in us the fruit of the Spirit – “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:16 &23) </li></ul><ul><li>He sanctifies - And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11) </li></ul>
    11. 11. Work of the Holy Spirit <ul><li>He uniquely marks Christ-followers – “ This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” (1 John 4:2) </li></ul><ul><li>He gives special gifts - To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:8-10). </li></ul><ul><li>He empowers – “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. ” (Ephesians 3:16, 17a) </li></ul>
    12. 12. Holy Spirit and the Gospel <ul><li>The Gospel at Pentecost (Read Acts 2:14-41) </li></ul><ul><li>The boldness of the Evangelist – “Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd” (Acts 2:14) </li></ul><ul><li>The Word of the Evangelist – “ No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.” (Acts 2:16-17a) </li></ul><ul><li>The call of the Evangelist - “Peter replied, &quot;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 (Acts 2:38) </li></ul><ul><li>The target of the Evangelist – “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36 </li></ul><ul><li>The results of the Evangelist “ …about three thousand were added to their numbers that day.” (Acts 2:41b) </li></ul>
    13. 13. Holy Spirit and the Gospel <ul><li>The Gospel spreads to Samaria (Read Acts 8:1-25) </li></ul><ul><li>The church is persecuted – “On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.” (Acts 8:1) </li></ul><ul><li>The Word is preached in Samaria– “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ” (Acts 8:4-5) </li></ul><ul><li>Deliverance and healing followed - “ When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. So there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:6-8) </li></ul><ul><li>Signs and wonders follow – “And (Simon) followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw ….(Acts 8:13) </li></ul>
    14. 14. Holy Spirit and the Gospel <ul><li>The Gospel spreads to Samaria (Cont’d) </li></ul><ul><li>A cross-cultural mission - “When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit…” (Acts 8:14-15) </li></ul><ul><li>No syncretism permitted – “When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money… Peter answered: &quot;May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!” (Acts 8:18, 20b) </li></ul><ul><li>Error is corrected – “Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.&quot; (Acts 8:22) </li></ul><ul><li>The Gospel advances – “ When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.” (Acts 8:25) </li></ul>
    15. 15. Holy Spirit and the Gospel <ul><li>The Gospel spreads to the Gentiles (Read 10:1:23) </li></ul><ul><li>Cornelius the man of prayer – “A man named Cornelius lived in Caesarea. He was a Roman commander in the Italian Regiment. 2 Cornelius and all his family were faithful and worshiped God. He gave freely to people who were in need. He prayed to God regularly.” (Acts 10:1) </li></ul><ul><li>Peter the man of Prayer – “It was about noon the next day. The men were on their journey and were approaching the city. Peter went up on the roof to pray.” (Acts 10:9) </li></ul><ul><li>The Holy Spirit brings truth – “The voice spoke to him a second time. &quot;Do not say anything is not pure that God has made 'clean,' &quot; it said.” (Acts 10:15) </li></ul><ul><li>The Holy Spirit gives a command – “The Holy Spirit spoke to him. &quot;Simon,&quot; he said, &quot;three men are looking for you. Get up and go downstairs. Don't let anything keep you from going with them. I have sent them.&quot; (Acts 10:19b) </li></ul>
    16. 16. Holy Spirit and the Gospel <ul><li>The Gospel spreads to the Gentiles (Read 10:24-48) </li></ul><ul><li>Tradition is broken in favor of grace – “ Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. He said to them: &quot;You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?&quot; (Acts 10:27b-29) </li></ul><ul><li>Hearts were being prepared – “ Cornelius answered: &quot;Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me and said, 'Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter.” (Acts 10:30-32a) </li></ul><ul><li>The Gospel is for all – “ Then Peter began to speak: &quot;I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” (Acts 10:34-35) </li></ul><ul><li>The Holy Spirit comes – “ While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.” (Acts 10:44) </li></ul>
    17. 17. Next Week Lesson 10 Paul on Prayer – Part I Chapter 11