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Sabbath School Lessons on Holy Spirit
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About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 5: The Promise Fulfilled *
Introduction: Would you like the Holy Spirit to come in power into
your life? How about coming in power to your church? Our lesson
today is about the fulfillment of the promise that Jesus made to His
disciples of the gift of the Holy Spirit. How did they get ready for
Him? How did the Holy Spirit come? Let's dive into our study and find
- Ready for the Gift?
- Read Acts 1:3-5. Was anything required of the disciples in
order to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?
- If so, what preparation do you find in Acts 1:3? (At
a very fundamental level you have to believe that
Jesus is the Messiah who died for our sins and who
was resurrected as proof that He defeated sin and
- What preparation do you find in Acts 1:4? (They were
directed to stay where they were and wait.)
- I thought waiting was a pain in the neck. Could
it be preparation for something?
- Read Acts 1:12-14. What did they do while they were
waiting? (They were in constant prayer.)
- What should we conclude about prayer and preparation
for the gift of the Holy Spirit?
- What do you think they were praying about?
- Notice a "life" tip here. Because I travel in
connection with my work, I fairly often find myself
waiting. Waiting is a good time to pray. It turns
wasted time into productive time.
- Notice that in Acts 1:4 & 12 Jesus tells them to wait in
Jerusalem. Would the right location be a "preparation" for
receiving the power of the Holy Spirit?
- If so, why? (God can have a specific place for us to
work. Here, Jesus was very clear with the disciples.
Jesus desired that the gospel be preached first in
Jerusalem, and then spread from there. Luke 24:46-47.)
- In Acts 1:15-26 we read that Peter takes the lead in
selecting a replacement for Judas. Is this a waste of
their time, or is organization part of the preparation for
the coming of the Holy Spirit in power? (This shows that
organization is important.)
- Let's review. In preparation for the great gift of the
Holy Spirit we find that Jesus leads in the following
- Conversion of the heart to believe Jesus is the risen
- Following the directions of Jesus as to the location
of the work;
- Prayer while waiting on God; and,
- Organization for work.
- Before we leave this area, let's look at one important
footnote. Read Acts 1:6. What is not required for the gift
of the Holy Spirit? (Perfect theology. Perfect
understanding of the mission. We sometimes look at fellow
Christian believers and refuse to join in their work
because their theology is not "up" to our exalted
standards. This is not how we see the Holy Spirit working.
The disciples obviously had some fundamental
misunderstandings. That was one reason they needed the
outpouring of the Holy Spirit.)
- Promise Fulfilled
- Read Acts 2:1-4. Were they obedient? (Yes, they were in
"one place" as directed.)
- What accompanies the Holy Spirit? (Noise, visuals,
- Why the sound of a "violent" wind from heaven?
(Read John 3:6-8. Wind is a common
representation of the Holy Spirit. See also
- Was it actually a violent wind? (No. Acts
2:2 says it was a sound "like" the blowing
of a violent wind. This means it was not
actually a violent wind, it just sounded
- Why do you think tongues of fire came with the
sound of the wind? (Read Exodus 19:18 and Exodus
3:2-5. Fire is a common representation of God.)
- Was it actually fire that came to rest on
them? ( Acts 2:3 says it was "what seemed
to be tongues of fire.")
- According to Acts 2:3-4 how many of those present were
filled with the Holy Spirit? (All of them.)
- We discussed last week the idea of the Holy Spirit coming
after Jesus left. Some pointed out that the Holy Spirit
was already present. What does Acts 2:1-3 suggest in
answer to this question of what it means for the Holy
Spirit to come? (God has been "with" humans since the very
beginning. But, there are times in history when God
manifests Himself in power. The giving of the Ten
Commandments on Mount Sinai comes to mind. Acts 2 is the
Holy Spirit coming in power. We can see times when God
wants there to be no doubt about when He is present and
ready for business!)
- Read Acts 2:5-6. My mental picture of this event is Peter
standing up in some public arena explaining what is
happening. But, Acts 2:2 tells us that they were in a
"house." How loud was this sound like a violent wind? (It
sounds like you could hear it a long way off, if not
- Let's look at Acts 2:4-8 to understand the nature of the
manifestation of the Holy Spirit. What was the purpose of
the gift of the Holy Spirit? (Last week we discussed the
fabulous miracles that came with the power of the Holy
Spirit. I think it is significant that the first work of
the Holy Spirit when He came in power was to help the
believers better communicate the gospel.)
- Review again Acts 1:4-8. Recall that the disciples were
looking for the power of God to give them authority and
glory in the physical realm. Jesus told them that He would
give them power to be witnesses. Friend, will you pray
that the Holy Spirit will come on you in power to be a
- There is, to my mind, a significant debate about what it
meant to have the gift of tongues in the early church.
What does Acts 2:7-11 reveal is the gift of tongues? (The
description of this event is very clear: the gift of
tongues was the ability to speak in foreign languages.)
- Why was that gift important for witnesses of the
gospel? (Read again Acts 2:5. Assembled in Jerusalem
were Jews from every nation. This is the perfect way
to begin to spread the gospel of Jesus, the
- Would a gift of incoherent language promote the
gospel? (I'm far from sure that the "tongues ... of
angels" ( 1 Corinthians 13:1) is a foreign language.
But, what logic is there in being given the gift of a
language which cannot be understood? The power is to
used to witness. Speaking a language no one
understands seems an odd witness. See, 1 Corinthians
- Read Acts 2:13-16. When the Holy Spirit comes in power in
your life, will there be doubters?
- Did the criticism make sense? (Peter not only attacks
the logic of the criticism, but he uses the Bible
(Joel 2) to show this is a fulfillment of prophecy.)
- The Message
- Read Acts 2:22-24. What is the message of the Holy
- Recall what we discussed were the steps to prepare
for the Holy Spirit coming in power? How does this
message relate to the preparation? (The first step
was conversion of the heart to believe Jesus is the
Messiah. We see that this is the prime message of
those powered by the Holy Spirit.)
- Read Acts 2:37. What is the response to hearing a Spirit-filled message? (Repentance.)
- Friend, would you like to have the power of the Holy
Spirit in your life? Pray today for the gift to be a
powerful, Spirit-filled witness.
- Next week: The Baptism 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.