The Lord’s Table: Bible Study/Prayer meeting
(Every Wednesday 6-7 pm in the Chapel)
St Paul’s Church
The Anglican Church of Canada
11 January 2012
Theme: The Good News
Topic: Gift of the Holy Spirit
Reading: Acts 19:1-7
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the inland regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. 2He said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ They replied, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ 3Then he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They answered, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ 4Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.’ 5On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied— 7altogether there were about twelve of them.
The Holy Spirit has been described by many Bible teachers as God’s sole agent on earth currently and I completley agree. It is the spirit filled Christian that lives a victorious life in Christ. Christ promised His disciples that they will be baptized by the Holy Spirit after He ascends into Heaven. This promise was fulfilled in Jerusalem on Pentecost day (about AD 30) while the disciples were gathered together in prayers. Since then, the Holy Spirit has continued to be such a blessing to the body of Christ- the Church. He comforts, convicts, teaches, guides, empowers, unites, transforms and grants us spiritual discernment among numerous other acts. Few weeks from now (i.e during the Pentecost season), we will delve into the work of the Holy Spirit in greater detail. In this study, we will be discussing why the Holy Spirit had to come following the ascension of Christ.
1. Who is the Holy Spirit?
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Mark 1: 10-11
And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved;* with you I am well pleased.’
and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
2. Why did the Holy Spirit come after Christ’s ascension?
*Then afterwards I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29 Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit. 30 I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. 32Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.
Acts 2:1-4, 6, 12-21
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 12All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ 13But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’ 14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 17 “In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. 18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. 20 The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. 21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
3. How do we receive the Holy Spirit?
Acts 1:4-5, 2:36-41, 19:2-6
4While staying* with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with* the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ 36Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah,* this Jesus whom you crucified.’ 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, ‘Brothers,* what should we do?’ 38Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.’ 40And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ 41So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. 2He said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ They replied, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ 3Then he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They answered, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ 4Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.’ 5On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied—
4. Briefly explain the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
The Holy Spirit came to comfort, counsel and guide us and He is still here with us. If we are spirit-filled, we will live lives that bring glory and honor to God. Let us continually yield ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit that He may direct our paths unto fulfilling God’s purpose in our lives.
We thank you Father for the outpouring of your Holy Spirit upon all flesh. Grant us the grace to receive Him with joy and gladness; and to yield to His counsel all the days of our lives. We pray this through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.