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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 37 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 6: The Baptism of the Holy Spirit *
Introduction: As a practical matter, what does it mean to be
"baptized" with the Holy Spirit? What is it that the Holy Spirit will
do to and through us? Is there some sort of test? Are there
"approved" gifts and "approved" work? How can we know? Our study
this week looks at how the Holy Spirit works in our life. Let's
plunge into our study!
- Heart Baptism
- Last week we stopped our study at Acts 2:37. Let's pick up
again in at this point. Read Acts 2:36-38. What caused the
people to "be cut to the heart?" (The Holy Spirit speaking
through Peter and convicting their hearts about Jesus.)
- If the Holy Spirit was already causing the people to
repent, then why would they need to "receive the gift
of the Holy Spirit?" (This must be talking about
degrees of the gift. Look at a related matter. The
Bible tells us that they were "cut to the heart," yet
Peter tells them to "repent." Obviously, he is
suggesting a greater degree of conviction and
confession. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins,
but He desires to fill us even more fully.)
- Read John 16:12-15. How is the gift of the Holy Spirit
like a trip? (Jesus paints the work of the Holy Spirit
like a spiritual journey in which the Holy Spirit is our
guide. Our "trip" starts with repentance.)
- Let's continue on in Acts 2 by reading Acts 2:39. Who is
promised the opportunity to receive the gift of the Holy
Spirit? Who can take this trip with the Holy
- Re-read Acts 2:38. Do you see that there is a sequence for
receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit? What are the steps?
(First repent, second be baptized in Jesus' name for He
paid the price for our sins, and third, receive the Holy
Spirit to guide our spiritual walk.)
- Are these steps difficult? (Our hard hearts resist
repentance. But, friend, the steps are not difficult and
the opportunity is open to all.)
- Recognizing the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
- Acts 2:38 refers to receiving the "gift" of the Holy
Spirit. Next week we will explore specific spiritual
gifts. Right now, let's explore the general idea of the
Holy Spirit and gifts. Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-3. Paul
says in verse 2 that "somehow or other you were influenced
and led astray" to idols. Tell me what you think is this
"somehow or other" that causes people to follow idols?
- In contrast, how are Christians led? (By the Holy
Spirit. Paul suggests that there are two influences
in our life. On the one hand, the influence towards
idols and to curse Jesus. On the other hand, the
influence to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord.)
- Why would Paul teach that no one can say, "Jesus is
Lord" except through the Holy Spirit? Do you think
this is really true? (This is Paul's typical
approach. He is building an argument. This argument
is that a person's actions fall into one of two
categories: Spirit led and Demon led. Both
categories are very broad and diverse.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-5. Last week we got into a bit of
a discussion about whether speaking an incoherent tongue
("tongues of angels") was a gift of the Holy Spirit. Could
an incoherent tongue be from Satan? (This is where the
finger-pointing ends. If a person uses their incoherent
tongue, however ineffectively, to promote Jesus - then
that gift is from the Holy Spirit. This is the precise
argument Paul is making. He says determining the source of
the gift is very simple - does it promote or curse Jesus?
Beyond that, you have tons of diverse gifts. The gift is
not the proof of its source. The message of the gift is
the proof of its source.)
- Paul speaks in these verses about different "gifts,"
"service," and "workings." What does he mean by this?
(There is an unlimited variety of things we can do to
promote the Kingdom of God. Some are spiritual gifts,
some are Spirit-filled service, some are Spirit-led
work. Find your "spot" for promoting Jesus and let
the Holy Spirit led you in that work.)
- How can we know what is our "spot?" How can we know
what gift(s)the Holy Spirit has given us? (Generally
we like to do what we do well. A "gift" means you
have a special ability in this area above the
average. The first question you should ask yourself
is this: "What do I enjoy doing in the church? What
do people say that I have a talent for doing?")
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:7. What is the overall "test" for
determining our spiritual gift(s)? (Whether what we are
doing promotes the "common good." Notice the picture that
Paul is painting. We can know whether our gift is from the
Holy Spirit by determining whether it promotes Jesus or
not. We then further ask whether our gift promotes the
- Examine yourself on the "common good" test. Why do
you like to do something in the church? Do you like
to do it because you think it brings glory to you?
Or, because it blesses others? (I remember many years
ago a member of the church who took classes to become
the "head elder." I am convinced he wanted to hold
this position in the church only so that he would
have the honor of the position. Why did I think
that? Because when the church failed to make him the
head elder, he stopped attending church.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-13. How does the illustration of
the church being like a "body" help us to determine our
spiritual gift(s)? (The idea is that our gift will work
with the gifts of others in the church. Race, economic
status make no difference in the body of Christ.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:14-20. Why would a "foot" want to
become a "hand?" (Pride. The fellow who I just mentioned,
who stopped attending the church, seemed to lack an
interest in promoting the church body. When he found out
that the church did not see him as a "hand," but rather as
a "foot," he decided to stop being a part of the body
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:21-25. Why would an "eye" say to the
"hand" "I don't need you?" (Again, this is a problem of
pride. The person who has the "eye" gift in the church is
so blinded by pride that he thinks an "eye" is all the
- What does Paul suggest is the "cure" for the problem
of pride (or lack of pride) in the operation of the
gifts of the Holy Spirit in the church? (For many
years I have been the Lay Pastor of my church. I am
in front of the people teaching, preaching or doing
something else just about every week. No one needs to
"honor" me. Instead, the people who Paul says should
be honored are those who toil away to promote the
church where no one really sees them. For example,
the people who mow the lawn, fix what is broken,
visit the sick, etc.)
- In your church do you tend to honor those who
are already honored? Or, honor those who toil
away in obscurity?
- What will you do to be sure your church
complies with Paul's suggestion to give
greater honor to those parts which lack
- Friend, will you actively explore your spiritual gift(s)
and putting your gift(s) to work in the body of Christ?
- Next week: Gifts 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.