Sunday, 19 May 2013

Spirit Filled Life Week 6: Pentecost Sunday

Small Groups – Week of May 19
1. Share a time when you were waiting for something very special to happen or to be given to you (eg. a certain birthday present). How did you feel as you waited?  Sunday was Pentecost Sunday. Look through Acts 1 and 2. Review what happened on the day of Pentecost. What was the church doing before the day of Pentecost?

2. Question 1: Why should I be filled with the Spirit of God? [Because it is a command of Scripture. It was His plan that we should live out of His strength.] Can you think of a reason why someone would not want to be filled with the Spirit?

3. Question 2: What does the Spirit-filled life look like? [Contrast it with the flesh – don’t be drunk on wine. On the day of Pentecost members of the church were empowered to speak different languages. God can anoint us to do what we have never done before. In Acts 3 Peter heals someone and then he and John display incredible courage before the Council.] What experiences of the Spirit-filled life have you had or seen?

4. Question 3: Why are we not filled with the Spirit automatically and at all times if we are given the Spirit? It is often the case that there is a barrenness or dryness. A dry creek with the capacity for water. [i. There are things that we need to repent of. Things that we can be filled with besides the Spirit: anger, jealousy, drunkenness, etc. ii. If we have been schooled in legalism, one of the reasons that we are not filled with the Spirit is because we keep thinking that we have to get to a higher level of perfection and holiness before we can expect God to do anything in us. We put it off because we consider ourselves too imperfect. We need to ask.]

5. How can we be filled with the Spirit? [We must repent of our sin. We must ask Him to fill us.]

Read Luke 11:5-13 together. Pray for one another, that you would receive the Holy Spirit. Pray for empowerment for righteousness and for service.

Spirit Filled Life Week 5

Small Groups – Week of May 12

1. Pastor Bill said, “The church without the Holy Spirit is just a social club.” What did he mean by that?

2. As a group read 1 Corinthians 12-14. What is one thing which stands out to you from this passage?

3. What are the marks of the presence of the Holy Spirit? Why is it helpful to know these marks?

[1. The Holy Spirit always points to Christ. This is important because it helps us evaluate various manifestations – are they from God or not? Deeply sensational experiences can come from various sources. But what is being said about Christ? The Holy Spirit will never speak badly of Christ. 2. He is colourful. He manifests Himself in a variety of ways. Every child of God is given at least one special ability, enabling us to serve in an effective way. There are various gifts that He gives. The Church is to be a spiritual and a supernatural body, as if Christ were here. What Christ would be if He were here is what we are. We need each other and each person is important – we are meant to be combined together in mission. We must be careful not to elevate one gift to an essential-for-all place and not to make God mono-coloured in His giving of gifts. 3. He works in our midst for the common good. He wants to minister through you to the next one.  We are needy but anointed to serve. If these gifts are given for the common good, the love must rule the day (see 1 Corinthians 13). All of our gifts should be used in love.  4. God is the source of all. Do not withdraw and think that you have no gift. Do not be arrogant and spurn other’s gifts.]

4. Spend some time encouraging each other in relation to the spiritual gifts. Two options: 1. We did this exercise a short time ago, but perhaps your group missed it/needs it again: Which spiritual gift(s) do you believe you have? If you are unclear on which gift(s) you have, what steps could you take to figure this out? Which gift(s) do you see in others in the group? How have you seen these gifts active? 2. Have you been adequately using your spiritual gift(s) lately? Share about the way you have used your gift(s) or how you could/should be using it (them). What are the benefits of you using your gift(s)? What are the consequences of not using it (them)?

5. Pray for one another: for love, for empowerment, for courage, for fruitfulness.