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Sabbath School Lessons on Teachings of Jesus
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 3: The Holy Spirit *
Introduction: Have you noticed that even within your church
denomination there are different groups of believers? One large group
that cuts across denominational lines is known as "charismatic" or
"Pentecostal." According to the "ReligionFacts" web site,
Pentecostals constitute the largest Christian group - about 500
million worldwide. These Christians have a special focus on the work
of the Holy Spirit. What is the focus of your church? Let's dive
into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn about the Holy
Spirit and our Christian walk!
- God With Us
- Read John 14:15-16. Jesus makes two statements: if we love
Him we will obey Him; and, He will give us a Counselor if
we ask Him. Are these two statements related?
- Have you ever wished that Jesus still walked on the
earth and you could ask Him questions about what to
do and how to live? (If you say, "Yes," that reveals
the relationship between the two statements. Jesus
tells us that if we ask for the Counselor, He will
counsel us in right living.)
- Read John 14:16-17. What is this Counselor, and where does
He live? (This is a reference to the Holy Spirit. The Holy
Spirit can be with each of us at all times.)
- Is this better than Jesus still living on the earth?
(Yes! Jesus came in the form of a human. He could
only be in one place at a time. The Holy Spirit can
be with each of us constantly.)
- What is the view of the "world" about the Holy
Spirit? (I cannot accept Him because it does not know
- Read John 14:18-21. Jesus says something very interesting,
that He will be in us. Does this contradict what I just
said about the Holy Spirit being better than having Jesus
on earth? (This gets to the heart of the Trinity. Jesus
says that He is "in my Father" and we are in Jesus. When
the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, is in us, that is God
living in us. That is Jesus living in us.)
- Would you consider missing this opportunity?
- Read John 14:26. How important is the presence of the Holy
Spirit in our life? (Just as Jesus taught His disciples,
so the Holy Spirit teaches us and reminds us of what Jesus
- Rejecting God In Us
- Read Matthew 12:22-23. What question are the people
asking? What do they mean by it? ( Isaiah 35:5 is part of a
prophesy that God will come and open the eyes of the blind
and the ears of the deaf. They people are saying, "Could
this be the promised Messiah?")
- Read Matthew 12:24. What did the established religious
leaders say was the answer to the question of the people?
(No, this is not the Messiah, this is the work of Satan.)
- Read Matthew 12:25-28. What logical argument does Jesus
make to counter the statements of the religious leaders?
(Why would Satan cast out Satan? That harms Satan.)
- Read Matthew 12:29-30. What other logical arguments does
Jesus make? (That you would have to overpower Satan to
carry off one of his victims. And, Satan and Jesus have
- Read Matthew 12:31-32. I had you read this story so that
we could focus on the verses you just read. What does
Jesus say about the claim that His work is demonic? (He
says this allegation is "blasphemy against the [Holy]
Spirit [and it] will not be forgiven.")
- Re-read John 14:16-17. Will the secular world
acknowledge the power of the Holy Spirit? (No.)
- What will some of the religious world say about the
power of the Holy Spirit? (That it comes from Satan -
and this is an unforgivable blasphemy.)
- In light of this, how cautious should we be in
rejecting claims that something was done by the power
of the Holy Spirit? (This is very dangerous ground.)
- When I was growing up, I read an "official" church article
saying that a miracle was done through the power of the
devil, when the person claimed it was through the power of
the Holy Spirit. I read a book arguing that speaking in
an unintelligible tongue was demonic. Even recently,
friends have argued against something saying that it was
"Pentecostal." What does the Bible tell us about these
kind of charges? (They are extremely dangerous. We may be
speaking against the Holy Spirit!)
- Read Matthew 12:33-35. Why do you think Jesus turned to
the topic of trees and fruit? Has He changed the subject?
(No. We should make judgments about whether something is
from God or from Satan. However, a judgment that something
is demonic when it could be from the power of the Holy
Spirit must be based on a careful investigation of the
facts. Good people produce good deeds. Bad people produce
bad deeds. That is the proper way to examine supernatural
- Read Mark 3:28-29 and Luke 12:8-10. These are additional
statements on attacking the Holy Spirit. The general theme
is that you can say bad things about Jesus and be
forgiven, but you cannot attack the Holy Spirit and be
forgiven. If you believe in the Trinity, how can this be
true? If the Three are One, why is one angle of attack
unforgivable while others are not? (Read John 16:7-8. This
is the only explanation that makes any sense to me. If you
reject the Holy Spirit, you reject the One who convicts
you of sin. If you are never convicted of sin, your sin is
- Read John 3:5-8 and Titus 3:5. In what other way is the
Holy Spirit essential to obtaining eternal life? (Being
born of "water" is grace - we accept the life and death of
Jesus on our behalf at baptism. More than that, we die
with Jesus and rise to new life when we are baptized. The
Holy Spirit renews our life. We must not reject the Holy
- The Power of God In Us
- Read Acts 1:6-9. What is the last instruction of Jesus to
His disciples? (To be Holy Spirit powered witnesses.)
- Read Acts 2:1-4. Imagine you are there. What are you
hearing? (A violent wind and speaking in tongues.)
- What are you seeing? (Tongues of fire resting on each
- What would you say if something like that happened in
- Why is the Holy Spirit so "dramatic?" (Read Acts 2:5-7 and Acts 2:12. The Holy Spirit wants to get the
attention of the people. The noise and fire come for
- Read Acts 2:7-8. What kind of tongues are demonstrated
here? (Speaking (or at least hearing) in another
- Read 1 Corinthians 14:2-4. Is this a foreign language?
(No. In this tongue you speak only to God, no person
- What do you think the phrase, "utters mysteries with
his spirit" means? (Read 1 Corinthians 14:14. This
suggests an unusual prayer in which the speaker does
not understand what he is saying. His spirit prays to
the Holy Spirit, but bypasses the mind.)
- What could be the purpose of this kind of
tongue? (The speaker "edifies himself." This
seems to be a unique form of meditation which
somehow blesses you.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 14:6-9. What is the problem with the
public display of speaking in an unknown tongue? (It does
not help others.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 14:10-12. What are the best spiritual
gifts? (Those that build up the church instead of just
building up us.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 14:18-19. What is the relative value of
public speech in an unintelligible tongue? (Low! Five
understandable words are better than 10,000 words that
cannot be understood.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 14:39. What does the Bible say should
be our view of unknown tongues? (It is a low value gift,
but it should not be forbidden.)
- What if we say it is demonic? (You should consider
the warnings about the unforgivable blasphemy we
- You could be forgiven if you find all of this strange.
Loud wind noises, fire, unintelligible tongues. What
should we think about all of this? (God is sovereign. He
decides how He will make His presence known to us. In the
Old Testament God was dramatic when He appeared to humans.
Thus, nothing has changed.)
- Friend, the Holy Spirit in our life is essential. Will you
invite the Holy Spirit in with power?
- Next week: Salvation.
* Copr. 2014, 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.