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Lesson 3: Jesus and the Holy Spirit *

Introduction: If I asked you whether you would like to be smarter, wiser, stronger, and in general, more powerful, what would you say? This week our study opens our eyes to the enormous power that Jesus enjoyed while here on earth. Is that same power is available to us? Let's dive into our study to find out!

  1. The Holy Spirit and Conception

    1. Read Luke 1:26-28. What do we learn about Mary? (That the Lord was with her. She was highly favored by God. She was engaged to be married and had kept herself pure, even though she lived in a town with a bad reputation. See John 1:46.)

      1. How would you like to have an angel say those words to you?

    2. Read Luke 1:29. What was Mary's reaction to those words? Why did she have a different reaction than you would have? (She probably had a greater gift of humility than we have!)

      1. Imagine someone comes up to you and says, "You look (insert an age 10 years younger than you are), your clothes look so wonderful, you are the most intelligent person I've ever met and it would be hard to imagine a nicer person than you." What would you say? "Thank you," or, "what do you want?" Would you "wonder what kind of greeting this might be?"

    3. In Luke 1:30-33 the angel explains to Mary the overwhelming news that she will be the mother of the Messiah. She has a question. Read Luke 1:34.

    4. Read Luke 1:35 for the answer. Who caused Mary to be pregnant with Jesus? (The Holy Spirit.)

      1. Large numbers of people doubt this account. What makes you believe it? An answer more detailed than "I believe the Bible" would be helpful.

        1. What did we learn from Psalms 104:30 when we studied the first lesson in this series?(We learned from this text, and Genesis 1:1-3, that the Holy Spirit was active in the Creation of the world. If the Holy Spirit can create the world and all that is in it, how can this task be too great for Him?)

        2. Read Romans 8:11 and 1 Peter 3:18. What do we learn here about the Holy Spirit and life? (That the Holy Spirit is the power of the resurrection.)

        3. Friend, do you see how these three beliefs are interlocked? (The Creation, the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection all turn on a belief in the power of the Holy Spirit. If you believe one, it is illogical not to believe in all three.)

      2. Notice again in Luke 1:35 that it refers to the "power of the Most High." Is that a reference to the Holy Spirit? Does this text teach us that the Holy Spirit is the means by which God delivers His power to us?

        1. If that is one of the messages of this text, how important is the Holy Spirit to your spiritual life?

        2. A repeating theme of books and movies is the "super-hero" with exceptional powers. If you had the opportunity to "borrow" the powers of a super-hero would you do it?

          1. If your answer is, "yes," then consider how much greater is the available power of the Holy Spirit? Why not pray earnestly for that power in your life?

    5. Read Luke 1:38. What kind of attitude is necessary for the Holy Spirit to come into our lives in power?

    6. We have been focusing on Mary when our lesson is about Jesus. What does this method of conception teach us about Jesus?

      1. What does it teach us about the role of the Holy Spirit in His life on earth? (The Holy Spirit was with Him from the very start. Now you know why He was able to do such great things!)

  2. The Holy Spirit in Jesus' Life

    1. Read Luke 4:18-19. What was the basis for Jesus' miracles here on earth? (The Spirit of the Lord.)

      1. What was the basis for Jesus' preaching here on earth? (The Spirit of the Lord.)

      2. What is the connection between the miracles and the gospel? (The common thread is the Holy Spirit, but the purpose of both is to lead the people to a relationship with Jesus. Both preaching and miracles release the people from the effects of sin.)

    2. In the first lesson of this series, we studied the healing of the demon-possessed man who was blind and mute. Recall the discussion between the Pharisees and Jesus about the source of His power? Let's read this again in Matthew 12:27-29. Who does Jesus say is the source of His power to heal?

  3. The Promise of Power

    1. Read John 14:11-12. We have just touched on the miracles which Jesus performed through the power of the Holy Spirit. What power does Jesus say is available to us?

      1. How does Jesus describes those to whom this power is available? ("Anyone who has faith in me." This is not just a promise to the 12 disciples. This is not just a promise to the early church. This says "anyone" with faith in Jesus.)

    2. Read John 14:13-14. From where does the power to do these miracles come? (Jesus says that He "will do it.")

    3. Read John 14:15-18. What further explanation does Jesus give about the power He is willing to give us? (Notice that immediately after Jesus says "I will make these things possible, He launches into a discussion of the Holy Spirit being given to us. The power of the Holy Spirit is not something separate from the Trinity, but He is the means by which heavenly power is exercised here on earth.)

    4. Is the power of the Holy Spirit limited to just doing miracles? (Remember in Luke 4:18 Jesus tells us the Holy Spirit helped Him in preaching.)

    5. Read John 20:21-23. Is there a relationship between having the power of the Holy Spirit and forgiving sins?

      1. Can Spirit-filled Christians forgive the sins of others?

      2. Read Matthew 16:19, Job 1:4-5 and 1 John 5:16-17. Do we have the power to ask forgiveness for certain types of sins in other people? (These three texts and John 20 all suggest that Christians can have some sort of impact on the sins of others. Nowhere in the Bible do I see anyone (other than Jesus) forgiving the sins of others. Indeed the whole idea of one person repenting for the sins of another person is contrary to the entire theme of the Old and New Testaments. If this were possible, Jesus would simply have just repented for us and declared everyone forgiven. He would not have personally paid the penalty for our sins. What I think these texts suggest is that using the power of the Holy Spirit we can help bring others to repentance of sin.)

      3. Read John 16:7-8. If you have available to you the power of the Holy Spirit to help convict another person of sin, have you used that power?

    6. Friend, can you see that the Holy Spirit was with Jesus from His beginning here on earth through His entire life? Can you also see that the great things that Jesus did here through the Spirit's power are also available to you through the Spirit's power? Will you pray that the Holy Spirit will come on you in power?

  4. Next week: The Promise of the Holy Spirit.
* Copr. 2006, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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