Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – April 26, 2015
Theme: The Promised Holy Spirit
Topic: The Teacher
Main Texts: 1 Corinthians 2:4-16; Galatians 1:11-24
Key Verse: John 14:26 – “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.“
Last Sunday, we discussed the counselling ministry of the Holy Spirit and got to see Him as The Counsellor in the individual and collective lives of the early Church. We saw that:
- Awareness of, and appropriation of the counselling ministry of the Holy Spirit is one of the marks of those who have been truly baptised in the Holy Spirit
- He (the Holy Spirit) should be our very first port of call when we need counsel. When we do, He may give us counsel in such a way that we would have no doubts He is the One speaking to us; He may also direct us to someone else He has prepared to counsel us.
- The outcome of His counsel may not always be smooth-sailing. We must not conclude that unhappy or difficult situations arising from following what we believed was His counsel is an indication that we got it wrong. (He could lead us in a path that makes us fail a job interview He does not want for us!)
When Paul – formerly Saul – had his encounter with Jesus Christ on his way to Damascus, and eventually became a disciple, one would have thought that his immediate step would be to go and meet the apostles so they would teach him the foundations of the Gospel and get him well grounded in the faith. But for a reason we do not understand, he did not do that. In fact he says he did not go to meet the apostles until more than three years after his conversion. Writing about what he preached in the first three years of his conversion, he wrote: “I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:12 NIV). This is an astounding manifestation of the ministry of the Holy Spirit to teach even those who, constrained by circumstance, are unable to learn from more experienced Christians.
A danger young believers face is to think that the only way to learn from God is to listen to sermons and teachings from other Christians. Those who grow up this way rarely have first-hand experience of learning from God, but would always refer only to what other Christians and church leaders said or taught. God certainly wants us to learn from other Christians. In fact, we read that immediately following Pentecost, the disciples “… devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42 NIV). However, Christians need to take full advantage of the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit by prayerfully studying the Bible and listening to Him bring the words to life. Converts in Berea “…received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day …” (Acts 17:11 NIV).
Paul underscored the authenticity of the Gospel he preached when he wrote: “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” (1 Corinthians 2:13 NIV). When we give room to the Holy Spirit’s teaching, we begin to have insights into spiritual things, sometimes beyond what even our Christian leaders teach us.
Another aspect of this teaching ministry by the Holy Spirit is to give us the right words at critical moments: “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” (Luke 12:11-12 NIV)
- Read Acts 17:11 again. What issues can arise from our independent investigation into what we hear from our preachers and teachers, and how should we handle them?
- Share specific things the Holy Spirit has taught you directly, through study and meditation on God’s word, and not through some teaching you heard.
Father, I open myself to being taught by Your Spirit, and ask for grace to accept His teaching, even when it challenges my existing ideas. In Jesus’ name, Amen.