- Lesson 4 in the BaptistWay Press Connect360 unit “Living in the Spirit” focuses on Acts 1:8.
When we talk about the power of the Holy Spirit, we are talking about the power of God’s personal presence in our lives; the personal presence of the Creator of the universe and the Father of the Savior of the world. Why do we need such a powerful presence? In order to “go.”
When this Spirit comes upon the people of God, we receive power propelling us to witness—to tell the world of our encounter with the source of all life. This power inspires us to share about our encounter with those who already know this same power, with those who have yet to (but will one day understand this power), and with those who are completely ignorant to it. Our ability and drive to witness should not come out of duty or obligation, but out of passionate stewardship of the truth and transformation of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives.
As the bridge between man and God, the Holy Spirit is Jesus’ way of engaging with the world to make known his identity and his kingdom. God’s Spirit is the bridge between our diseased spirit and the hem of the Lord’s garment (Luke 8:43-48). Once healed and with his Holy Spirit at work in us, we connect to God and his mission for the world. Our stewardship of this privilege is the hard and diligent work of the Christ follower.
Sent by the Spirit
In this lesson, we explore what it means to be sent by the Spirit. As we do, we should keep in mind three realities: 1) the goodness of the Holy Spirit, 2) listening for the Spirit, and 3) the community of witnesses, the New Testament church. All three are essential for personal transformation, so God can then send us into the world for gospel transformation.
As stated earlier, an encounter with the Holy Spirit is a personal encounter with God. Genesis 1:2 states the Spirit of God was hovering over his creation. Why this kind of prolonged attention? The Father’s hovering was to see that his creation was good…and then very good.
One beautiful thing about God’s Spirit is that he is unchanging. God continues to do what he always has. So now, because of the death and resurrection of God’s Son, the Holy Spirit hovers within the lives of God’s people, his new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). And the evidence of this Spirit is the people of God accomplishing things that can only be explained by God’s presence in them.
It looks like a very old man patiently waiting on God’s promise (Luke 2:25), like an ordinary man preaching boldly in the face of persecution (Acts 4:8), like miracles of feeding and healing, like hearts softening, like values forming, and like fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). Its form shifts, but its purpose does not. It is as Paul said in his letter to the Philippians, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). And the good work is making known the good news of Jesus Christ.
Compiled by Stan Granberry, marketing coordinator for BaptistWay Press.
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