18 May 2016
Hymn: Spirit Divine, Attend Our Prayers
Theme: Spirit Divine
Topic: Spirit of Truth
Reading: Acts 2:1-21
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. 5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.7Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ 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.”
Last Sunday, 50 days after Easter, Christians around the world celebrated Pentecost, the descent of the promised Holy Spirit on followers of Christ. Pentecost is fulfillment of the prophecy by prophet Joel: “in the last days God will pour His 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.” Before Christ ascended to Heaven, He instructed His followers to wait in Jerusalem for the gift of the Holy Spirit; they obeyed, and were baptized by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit still fills us today, and is the only means through which God accomplishes His tasks in our world today. Without Him, the Church, as we know it will be non-existent. He teaches, instructs, admonishes, guides, reminds, encourages and protects all followers of Christ. It is through the Holy Spirit that we are able to live as God’s children. In the next couple of weeks, our focus will be on the work of the Holy Spirit through us. Today, our discussion will be on the role of the Holy Spirit as Spirit of Truth.
1) Describe the Holy Spirit, and why He is called the Spirit of Truth.
Refrain: Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
O Lord, how manifold are your works! in wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Yonder is the great and wide sea with its living things too many to number, creatures both small and great. R There move the ships, and there is that Leviathan, which you have made for the sport of it. All of them look to you to give them their food in due season. You give it to them; they gather it; you open your hand, and they are filled with good things. R You hide your face, and they are terrified; you take away their breath, and they die and return to their dust. You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; and so you renew the face of the earth. R May the glory of the Lord endure for ever; may the Lord rejoice in all his works. He looks at the earth and it trembles; he touches the mountains and they smoke. R I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will praise my God while I have my being. May these words of mine please him; I will rejoice in the Lord. Hallelujah! R
28 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.
‘I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
2) What are the lessons for us in John 14:8-17, 25-27 regarding the Spirit of Truth?
John 14:8-17, 25-27
Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’9Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. 15 ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever.17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. 25 ‘I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
3) In what ways does the Holy Spirit help us with knowing and living according the truth in God’s word?
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ 16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
1 John 2:3-11
Now by this we may be sure that we know him, if we obey his commandments. 4Whoever says, ‘I have come to know him’, but does not obey his commandments, is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist; 5but whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this we may be sure that we are in him:6whoever says, ‘I abide in him’, ought to walk just as he walked. 7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word that you have heard. 8Yet I am writing you a new commandment that is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9Whoever says, ‘I am in the light’, while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness.10Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a personthere is no cause for stumbling. 11But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness.
2 John 1:1-11
The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth, and not only I but also all who know the truth, 2because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us for ever: 3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and fromJesus Christ, the Father’s Son, in truth and love. 4 I was overjoyed to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. 5But now, dear lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, let us love one another. 6And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment just as you have heard it from the beginning—you must walk in it. 7 Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh; any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist! 8Be on your guard, so that you do not lose what wehave worked for, but may receive a full reward. 9Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10Do not receive into the house or welcome anyone who comes to you and does not bring this teaching; 11for to welcome is to participate in the evil deeds of such a person.
The Holy Spirit teaches, instructs, admonishes, guides, reminds, encourages and protects all followers of Christ. It is through the Holy Spirit that we are able to live as God’s children.
Closing Prayer (Collect for the Day of Pentecost)
Almighty and everliving God, who fulfilled the promises of Easter by sending us your Holy Spirit and opening to every race and nation the way of life eternal, keep us in the unity of your Spirit, that every tongue may tell of your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.