VFC Bible Study worksheet 19-Apr-2015


Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – April 19, 2015
Theme: The Promised Holy Spirit

Topic: The Counsellor

Main Texts: Acts 16:1-10; 13:1-3

Key Verse: Acts 16:6 – “Paul and his companions travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia“

Introduction

Last Sunday we looked at Pentecost and its aftermath. We saw that:

  • The disciples had no idea of what was going to happen that day, but they simply waited in that room for whatever God had to offer.
  • They all spoke in tongues, spontaneously and effortlessly, as the Holy Spirit enabled them – no cajoling, no gimmicks
  • Peter made clear in his message that day that the Holy Spirit baptism being witnessed was not only for that generation, but for all who would believe – then and in future (including ourselves!)
  • After that experience, the apostles were not the same again, compared with what they were before then
  • The Holy Spirit consistently manifested Himself in power, love and self-discipline after that event
  • Our claims to being baptised with the Holy Spirit should be confirmed in the manifestation of power, love and self-discipline
  • We must resist the temptation to down-play any of the components (power, love, self-discipline) of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit

Let us remind ourselves of the words of Jesus Christ in His promise of the Holy Spirit: ‘I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor’ (John 14:16). Those who are sceptical about the reality of the baptism of the Holy Spirit are also generally sceptical about His power manifestations. Imagine a missionary giving testimony during a Church service, of his preaching tours and saying the words in our key verse today. Read those words again: “… having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia”. Many would feel awkward and murmur that he should have said something like “… we felt led…” rather than “… kept by the Holy Spirit…”

Or, take the second passage in our main texts. We read: “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2 NIV). Note those words again: “ …the Holy Spirit said …”

The Lord called the Holy Spirit “Another Counsellor”, and we see His ministry in this regard throughout the New Testament, and in present-day individuals and Churches that give Him room to minister. Christians who truly believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit would also avail themselves of His resources in their day-to-day lives. When they have a problem, the first thing they would do is turn to the Holy Spirit – the divine Counsellor. He may speak to them in such clear inner voice that they would not be shy to say “the Lord told me”. He may also direct them to speak with a named person who would guide them; in this case, they would make bold to say “the Lord directed me to speak with Brother Joe”.

The Christian who is not familiar with the working of the Holy Spirit sees another human being as the first port of call when in need of counsel. He picks his counsellor perhaps on the basis of some positive impression of the past, or just acquaintance. Such hand-picked counsellor, who may be a Christian, may not be the one through whom God wants to counsel us. But when we are led by the Holy Spirit to consult someone, He prepares that person for the assignment. We should however note that submission to the Holy Spirit’s counsel does not always result in an immediate positively exciting outcome! (Discuss this last statement.)

In Acts 16:7 the same Holy Spirit is referred to as “the Spirit of Jesus”. The point here is that this Counsellor counsels us in a way that is consistent with God’s word.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:19. In what ways can we (a) as individuals, and (b) as a Church, “quench the Spirit”?
  2. Read Acts 1:15-26. Discuss the working of the Holy Spirit in the process that led to Matthias being co-opted to join the apostles.

Father, forgive me if I have been disallowing the Holy Spirit from manifesting in my life. Now I open myself to Him, for His full anointing and manifestation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

{Partly culled from Every Day With Jesus by Selwyn Hughes, May/June 2009 edition;}


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