HOW can an infinite God explain to finite, sin-saturated people who “He” is and how “He works”?
Illustration: A Pygmy and an IPhone
Answer: Through crude metaphors. Father, Son…but Spirit?
WHO is the Holy Spirit?
Bible’s “best” crude metaphor: _____________
WHAT does the Holy Spirit change?
I Samuel 10:6 (Saul) ___________________________
Ezekiel 36:24-28, 37:1-10 (Ezekiel) _________________
John 3:5-8 (Nicodemus) ________________________
John 16:7-15 (the world & His hosts)
The “world” _________________________________
His “hosts” ___________________________________
WHEN the Holy Spirit arrived, what happened? (back to our text)
“baptized with” (1:5)
“receive power when” (1:8)
under the influence of (2:4, 13)
WHAT we can do as hosts
One Do: Keep on “____________”
One Don’t: “Don’t ____________” (How do we do that?)
My SO WHAT?
1) Some days dramatically change the course of a life, a family, a city, even a nation. A few days could be argued have changed the world. Share an example of where one day has deeply changed the course of a life or even human history.
2) Tim suggested the day of Acts 2 (celebrated in the holiday of Pentecost) changed the course of human history. After listening to the lesson Tim taught on the Holy Spirit, would you agree or was that overstatement? Why?
3) Tim suggested God trying to explain “Himself” or “His ways” is a bit like someone trying to explain their I-Phone 10 to a Pygmy – that the best one could do is to share some basic primitive metaphors so the Pygmy grasps just a bit of it. How would you like to agree with or challenge his statement? Just how much of an infinite, all-knowing, all-present God and God’s actions can we really comprehend with our small sin-twisted minds and hearts?
4) Tim suggested that grasping the third Person of the Trinity is especially difficult. It is easier for most of us to grasp the basic primitive metaphor of God as Father, and Jesus as Son. But Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost, if you grew up in the King James version)? Have you struggled to understand the person and work of the Holy Spirit?
5) Tim also said the Holy Spirit has been pushed to the back burner by many of us who grew up in the church – that we are “afraid” of the Holy Spirit because of what we perceive as abuse by Pentecostal brothers and sisters (remember the illustration of the open window with flies [abuses] coming in). Describe how the church you grew up in as a child and teen viewed the Holy Spirit and some of the actions of the Holy Spirit in Acts (signs of healing, tongues/languages, etc.).
6) Tim suggested that perhaps the best metaphor is Holy Breath (or perhaps Holy Wind), sharing the word translated “Spirit” in the Bible is ‘ruah’ (Hebrew Old Testament) and ‘pneuma’ (Greek, New Testament). Based on what Tim taught from the Acts text (as well as those in Ezekiel and John), what is it about breath or wind that describes the Person and actions of the third Person of the Godhead?
7) In Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones, we see three scenes – a field of dry, bleached out bones, a field of corpses, and finally a standing, living army. Ezekiel preaching the Word of the Lord over the dry bones brought about the massive sound of rattling as they came back together into skeletons and then tissue came on them, but “there was no breath in them!” (corpses). Then Ezekiel was asked to summon “The Wind” – the breath of God to breath life into them. Though this was picturing what God would do with a remnant of God’s people held captive in Babylon, Tim suggested this could still be true of individuals and groups of God’s people – that we could either be like dry, scattered deadness, noisy religious activity with no life, or with Breath-filled vitality. What are your thoughts on this vision and Tim’s suggested application?
8) In John 3, Jesus tells Nicodemus the Holy Spirit is essential in our being born again and then compares the coming Spirit to a wind. Discuss what Jesus may have been trying to tell this “Pygmy” in John 3:5-8.
9) Would you rather have Jesus here at Calvary in person, or have the Holy Spirit working in us individually and as a group? Read John 16:7-15 and discuss how having Jesus leave Earth and send the Holy Spirit changes everything at Calvary, too.
10) Tim suggested two ways we can better act as hosts for the Holy Spirit – by continuing to ask and by not quenching. Tim shared two ways we can throw a wet blanket on the Holy Spirit’s work in our induvial lives and collectively as churches -- ignorance of or disobedience to Scripture. What are some other ways we can “quench” based on what you know about God, Scripture, and your personal spiritual journey?
11) Tim closed with his own primitive metaphor for giving the Spirit of God room to work in us. Reflect on whether his keys illustration was consistent (or not) with Scripture and helpful (or not).
12) Based on this message and discussion, how will Pentecost almost 2000 years ago change your day today?