There is a running joke that many believers function in the Christian life as though the Trinity were made up of The Father, The Son, and the Holy scriptures. This is obviously a humorous way of saying that we have neglected the role and importance of the Holy Spirit in our Christian lives. But the Christian life apart from the Holy Spirit is unheard of in the scriptures. When Jesus walked on the earth, He demonstrated an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. When He prepares to leave and ascend back into heaven, Jesus tells His disciples that they will be better off for Him to leave and send them the Holy Spirit. Also, the epistles command that believers follow way of Christ, through walking by the Spirit and not in the flesh. We need to understand how to maintain a relationship with the Holy Spirit in order to be disciples who make disciples of Jesus.
Read John 14:15-19, John 16:7-15
The Holy Spirit is a person who has
Intellect – The Holy Spirit knows and understands things, (Romans 8:27) He has a mind and searches all things (1 Corinthians 2:10-11).
Will - The Holy Spirit determines and acts decisively, (1 Corinthians 12:7,11) the Holy Spirit gives direction, calls people, and sets them apart for ministry (Acts 13:2).
Emotion – The Holy Spirit can feel grief and groanings (Ephesians 4:30. Romans 8:26).
Many refer to the Holy Spirit as “it”, like a force that is disconnected from us. The bible refers to the Holy Spirit as “He” and “Him”, a person that we are to know and follow.
Discuss: Have you ever considered what role the Holy Spirit truly plays in your life?
The Holy Spirit as our guide
Without the Spirit regenerating our dead hearts, we wouldn’t be able to love God or trust in Jesus. (John 3:5-8) Without the Spirit changing our hearts and minds, we couldn’t even know God’s ways (1 Cor. 2:7-10;13-14). Without the Spirit, we couldn’t obey God. (Romans 8:7-9)
We need to rely on the Holy Spirit to understand God’s truth and to be lead into God’s will. Practically, this means we need to prayerfully read scripture asking for the Spirit to open our hearts and minds to what God is trying to show us. As we experience convictions, have our minds changed on how we are to live, and are given promptings for obedience, we should yield to His direction.
We also need the Holy Spirit for power against the weakness of our flesh. We should strive to be under the control of the Spirit, keeping in step with what He empowers us to do. Naturally, we default to doing things in our own power and for our own desires, but the power of the Spirit helps us live by God’s design. (Galatians 5:16-25)
Discuss: How are you currently putting yourself in a position to hear the direction of the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit as our victory in Disciple Making
It is the Holy Spirit who gives us gifts to edify the church and do the work of the ministry. (1 Cor. 12:7)
It is the Holy Spirit who brings us people to engage with the gospel. (Acts 8:27-29)
It is the Holy Spirit who empowers people to speak the gospel. (Acts 4:8; 4:31)
It is the Holy Spirit who convinces people of their sin and need for Jesus. (John 16:8)
We will never be able to do anything for the glory of God without the power of the Spirit of God. With Him, we can do anything, and without Him, we can do nothing.
Practically this means we need to constantly pray for
1. God to show us how He wants us to be involved in disciple making.
2. We need to pray for Him to bring people into our lives for us to minister to.
3. We need to pray for boldness and speak HIS WORD when He gives us opportunities.
4. We need to pray for God to change people’s hearts to believe the word.
Discuss: What are some evidences of being led by the Holy Spirit in making disciples?
How would you describe your relationship with the Holy Spirit and why?
How does it encourage you to hear the promises of the Spirit’s presence in your life and ministry?
In what ways would your life look different if you were being led by the Spirit?
Ask God to help you yield to His power and guidance by the Holy Spirit.