In this negative and jaded world we live in, it sometimes feels like Mission: Impossible to try to spread the Good News of God’s love and guidance for the human beings He created. It seems many people have already written off the possibility of God and have an image of Him, and His followers, that isn’t really accurate. In August and September, Pastor G is going to walk us through eight key passages in the Gospel of John that show us that sharing the Good News of Jesus with our village is actually Mission: Possible.
In this message, from week four, Pastor Greg goes through the Biblical concept of being filled and led by the Holy Spirit of God. Pastor G always challenges us to rediscover our passion for Personal Evangelism.
70% of Americans CLAIM a Christian affiliation, although that number is shrinking by about 1% each year.
In Hawai’i only 30% CLAIM a Christian affiliation, that number is also shrinking by about 1% each year.
Only 17% of “Christians” SAY their faith is important to them, that they attend church regularly and express a Biblical world view.
Only about 2% of all those who profess to be Christians actually KNOW AND actually daily PRACTICE what Christianity teaches.
The Good News is, this 2% group is NOT shrinking. In some places they are actually growing.
“You can’t teach what you don’t know and you can’t share what you don’t have. Therefore, it is VITAL for us to both know and feel confident in explaining what we believe and why we believe it.” ~ Pastor G
But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. ~ 1 Peter 3:15
If you love Me, you will obey My commandments. Then I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth, Whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see Him or know Him. But you know Him, because He resides with you and will be in you. ~ John 14:15-17
Paraklétos (GREEK) ~ Paraclete (ENGLISH)
advocate, comforter, counselor helper. It is conjunction of two words meaning: “One who makes a call from close beside.”
THE NATURAL MAN
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.~ 1 Corinthians 2:14
THE SPIRITUAL MAN
But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.~ 1 Corinthians 2:15-16
THE CARNAL MAN (AKA (WORLDLY OR FLESHLY) MAN)
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly… ~ 1 Corinthians 3:1-3a
On the last day of the feast, the greatest day, Jesus stood up and shouted out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me, and let the one who believes in Me drink. Just as the Scripture says, ‘From within him will flow streams of living water.’” (Now He said this about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were going to receive, for the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.) ~ John 7:37-39
Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” ~ John 4:13-14
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
READ: 1 Peter 3:15
1) We discussed this last week but it bears repeating. How confident are you in your ability to give a reason for the hope you have?
READ: John 14:15-17
1) What is one way that Jesus says we will prove our love for Him is real, that we are true Christians, not just in name but in deed?
2) Does Jesus’ sending of the Holy Spirit to us seem to be conditional in any way, according to this passage?
3) Jesus says the world cannot see, know or accept the Holy Spirit? Who or what is “the world” in this passage and why can’t they experience anything to do with the Holy Spirit?
3) Jesus says the Holy Spirit will reside with and be in the true believer. How does this work? Have you experienced this Spirit-filled and Spirit-led life? How would you explain it to someone who has not?
READ: Proverbs 18:24
1) Pastor G discussed some of the ways we can understand Jesus’ term paraklétos when He referred to the Holy Spirit. One of the terms Greg used was “a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Why do you think Pastor Greg links this passage from Proverbs with the Holy Spirit? Do you agree or disagree with Him? Why?
2) Some people interpret that “friend” in Proverbs as Jesus? Are they right or wrong? Why? Could BOTH Jesus AND the Holy Spirit be correct? Why or why not? Explain your answer.
READ: 1 Corinthians 2:12-16 and 1 Corinthians 3:1-3
1) Did Pastor Greg’s diagrams and explanations of the Natural, Spiritual and Carnal Man make sense to you? Do you agree with them or not? Explain your answer. They are included above.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (CONTINUED):
2) Right now, do you feel like your life is characterized by the Natural, Spiritual or Carnal Man illustration?
3) Which illustration would you like to be true of your life? What can you do to bring about that desired life?
READ: John 4:13-14 and John 7:37-39
1) How do we come to Jesus and “drink?” If we do that, how is what we are drinking become “Living Water?”
2) Why do you think Jesus chose this metaphor to describe the Holy Spirit to us?
3) Do you feel like you have a basic understanding of what went on at the Feast of Sukkot? Are you planning on attending our special teaching and celebration of Sukkot on September 30th? Why or why not?
4) To whom is Jesus referring when He says “If anyone is thirsty?” What does He mean by thirsty?
5) How can we know if “Streams of Living Water” are flowing out of us? What would the evidence of that look like?
6) What might we be doing in our life that is preventing “Streams of Living Water” from flowing out of us?