The beginning of the Church was marked by the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-41). While the Spirit of God had made occasional appearances throughout the Old Testament (as Jeremy explored on Sunday), being filled with the Spirit was something that only happened on special occasions, mostly to special leaders and prophets. Pentecost marked the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy that one day the Spirit would be poured out on all people, men and women (Joel 2:28-32). Two thousand years later, we are still living in the age of the Holy Spirit, dependent on his guidance, empowerment, and gifts.
Joel 2:28-29 -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. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
When the Holy Spirit is mentioned, what kind of people/events/emotions come to your mind?
Looking at Scripture:
Some of Jesus’ primary teaching about the Holy Spirit came in his final speech to his disciples the night before he was crucified. Read the following excerpts from John 14:15-27; 15:26-16:15 to get a sense of how Jesus viewed the coming of the Spirit.
What can we learn from these passages about the Holy Spirit? Make a list of as many things as you can find in the text, making sure not to read in your own assumptions.
The Greek word translated “Advocate” (or “Comforter” in some versions) literally meant someone who comes alongside to help or offer assistance. How does the Holy Spirit come alongside of us to help?
In Joel’s prophecy of the coming of the Holy Spirit prophesies (speaking God’s message), dreams, and visions are mentioned. While these are all recorded in the New Testament as valid expressions of the Spirit of God working, it quickly became apparent that he gave a wide variety of gifts. Make a list of all the gifts of the Spirit you can find in 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; Romans 12:6-8; and 1 Peter 4:10-11.
What other ways do you think you have seen the work of the Holy Spirit “manifested” (expressed)? Are there any gifts you might add to the list you’ve made so far?
Do you think there are things we can do that either encourage the movement of the Holy Spirit, or hinder his work among and in us?
As you look at the list above, what do you think your top three spiritual gifts are? Not sure? Seek input from your fellow group members and close friends. Or you can take an online assessment, such as this one (you may take it as a guest): https://spiritualgiftstest.com/spiritual-gifts-test-adult-version/