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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#1044. The promise of the Spirit (29/4/24)

On Sunday we had Dale Barlow, from the New Ground leadership team speaking on The Holy Spirit. This week’s devotionals are loosely based upon his message. Today we reflect upon how we are promised and so are to seek the presence of the Spirit. 

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (John 14:16-20)
‘"But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”’ (John 16:7)

Lesson: Jesus has promised to continue to work in us and through us by the Holy Spirit. So let’s believe His promise and ask to be filled with the Spirit’s presence. 


To listen to this devotional, go to:



During The Last Supper, as He faced betrayal and death, Jesus taught many things that He wanted to ensure the disciples knew about. In John’s account, he records Jesus’ extensive on the promise of the Holy Spirit. Why does Jesus spend so much on time on the promise of the Spirit? He does this because He wants His followers to be assured that His death does not mean their desertion! He wants them to know that He will continue to be with them by the Spirit. 

Jesus refers to the Spirit as ‘another advocate’ or ‘helper’ (ESV). This speaks of many things:


Firstly, ‘Another….’ Points to the Spirit being a person distinct from Jesus. However, because of the unity with the Trinity, wherever the Spirit is, The Father and The Son are also fully present. 


Secondly, ‘Another’ -‘Allos’- means ‘of the same kind’. Jesus wants His disciples to know that the Spirit will continue ‘His kind’ of ministry -  the Spirit’s will continue Jesus’ ministry to us, and then through us.


Thirdly, the term ‘Advocate’ (Paraklētos) means one who comes alongside to help in active assistance. As Jesus helped His disciples, He would continue to help them, and comes alongside to help us also. When children are small, a parent will come alongside, hold their hand and help them across the road. At some point, we trust and allow children to do this for themselves. This is never true of our relationship with God! We never mature so as to need Him less. The Spirit wants to come alongside to lead us through life and through this very day. 


Response

Jesus has promised to continue to work in us and through us by the Holy Spirit. So let’s believe His promise and ask to be filled with the Spirit’s presence. As Jesus taught and empowered His disciples, so The Spirit wants to continue to fill us, teach us and empower us. We enter into the good of this promise by believing it and praying for it. Do you believe Jesus’ promise of ‘another advocate’? Do you believe His promise that, “I will not leave you as orphans”? Will you believe His promise and so come to Him in prayer, as we read in John 7:

‘“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit…’ (John 7:37-39) 
 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


Community Group Study


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Please ensure that the members of your group are aware and familiar with using the daily devotionals, which are accessed in Church News, the Teaching button on the website and are now available on the major podcast platforms. 


2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you? 


3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.


4. Study and pray together

Our message on Sunday from Dale Barlow, was on The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been promised to us. By His power, we are enabled to believe on Jesus. He causes us to be Born again and receive a new heart and outlook. He wants to fill, empower and impart His hope and comfort every day. 

Dale used a number of stories and texts to talk about the Holy Spirit. I suggest that you choose one or two texts from below from which to discuss and pray together: 

  • Did God speak to you about anything specifically from Sunday’s message?

  • John 14:16-20, 16:7, 7:37-39: What has Jesus promised us? How do we enter into and are we entering into His promise? 

  • What does Romans 5:1-5: What is our hope and how does the Holy Spirit help us to rejoice in it in all circumstances? 

  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: How does God teach us in suffering and what does this lead to?

  • Romans 15:13: What does the Holy Spirit enable us to do?

  • Romans 14:17: What are the attributes that mark out those who are in the Kingdom? 

  • SIV - How does the Holy Spirit lead and empower us into His mission? 

  • SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  • Let’s pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to ‘SIV’; and pray for anything else that's come out of our time in God’s Word.

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