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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 2: The Holy Spirit: Working Behind the Scenes *
Introduction: The title to our lesson challenges our understanding of
the Holy Spirit. When I think of "scene" it reminds me of a play
which has several scenes. Does the prominence of the Holy Spirit vary
with the "scene?" Does it vary based on where the scene is taking
place? I think it does. Consider our tradition understanding of the
work of the Godhead. Jesus, according to Hebrews, is acting as our
High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary presenting His sacrifice on our
behalf. On earth, the Holy Spirit is pictured as the omnipresent
substitute for Jesus. The Spirit is living within Christians to
advance the Kingdom of Heaven. God the Father is running the
Universe. While we might debate the exact role of each, in my mind
this puts the Holy Spirit front and center in our life, in our modern
"scene!" Let's dig into our study of the Bible and see what it tells
us about the work of the Holy Spirit in various "scenes" in the
history of the world!
- Read Genesis 1:1-2. Why do you think God decided to start
the Bible with Genesis 1:1? Of all the things God could
have said to introduce Himself to us, why choose this
- Is the Holy Spirit the first member of the Trinity
that is introduced to us in the Bible?
- One of the main criticisms of Christianity made by
the other two major monotheistic ("one god")
religions, is that Christianity is not really
monotheistic because it believes in three Gods. They
say God has no father and no son. What problem do
these verses create for their argument against the
Trinity? (The Hebrew word for God used in Genesis 1:1
is "Elohim," which is not singular but plural. Thus,
those who oppose the Trinity must, from the very
beginning of God's revelation about Himself, explain
why a plural term is used and why the Holy Spirit is
- Read Genesis 1:3. Who is speaking, God the Father or the
Spirit of God? If it is the Holy Spirit, this is hardly a
"behind the scene" role!
- Read John 1:1-3. Who does this say created the world?
(If you read this entire chapter, you understand that
the "Word" is a reference to Jesus. Thus, this says
that Jesus created the world.)
- Read Colossians 1:15-16. Who does this say created
the world? (Jesus.)
- Read Genesis 1:3, Genesis 2:7 and Job 33:4. What do
all three of these texts have in common? (Exhaling
breath. When we speak we exhale, when we breath into
someone's mouth we exhale. Job says that this breath
is the "Spirit of God.")
- What, then, should we conclude about the Creation and
the role of the Holy Spirit? (The Bible specifically
identifies "God," Jesus and the Holy Spirit as
involved in the Creation. I think the message is that
all three of the Members of the Trinity were
involved. However, the Holy Spirit in the actions of
speaking the Creation into existence, and in
breathing life into humans, plays a very central
- Our Practical Scene
- Read Exodus 25:8-9. How was God's sanctuary on earth to be
made? (By humans, according to precise directions from
- Read Exodus 31:1-5. What would you call Bezalel's
profession today? (He is a craftsman. He is an artist. He
works with several kinds of materials. He works with his
- What does the Holy Spirit do for Bezalel? (He gives
him wisdom, understanding and knowledge in his
- What does that teach us about the Holy Spirit and our
work? What role can He play in our work life every
day? (The Holy Spirit is not simply a source of
spiritual understanding, He will give us wisdom,
understanding and knowledge to do our every day job -
even if that job is construction! Have you asked the
Holy Spirit to make you better at your job?)
- Notice that the "construction" work here was creating
the sanctuary. Do you think that makes a difference?
Would the Holy Spirit still help if Bezalel was doing
design and construction for his next door neighbor?
(Yes. Read 1 Peter 4:10 and Romans 12:6-8. We can
have the gift of "serving" or "contributing to the
needs of others" and this is something given by God.)
- The Scene of Our Minds
- Read John 16:13-14. We studied this text last week, but
let's see if we can find something new. Jesus says that
the Holy Spirit will lead us into "all truth." What does
our knowledge of the truth do for Jesus? (It brings glory
- Does the world argue that science is opposed to the
Bible? What do these verses tell us? (Truth is on
Jesus' side. It is so aligned with our God that truth
brings glory to Him.)
- Read John 15:26. What terms are used for the Holy Spirit?
("Counselor" and "The Spirit of truth." This reinforces
the idea that the Holy Spirit is here to guide us and to
- What "truth" is particularly mentioned in this verse?
(The Holy Spirit will "testify" about Jesus. That
testimony is that Jesus is God. That Jesus became a
human in order to save us from our sins.)
- Some argue that a focus on the Holy Spirit might take the
focus away from Jesus. Have you seen that?
- Do you think that is possible?
- Read Acts 2:1-4. Put yourself in this place and tell me
what you are experiencing? (The sound of a wind storm, the
sight of fire resting on people, and the sound of foreign
- If I asked you whether the Holy Spirit was focused on
Himself or on Jesus in these events, what would you
- Read Acts 2:14 and Acts 2:22. What do you say now about
the focus of the work of the Holy Spirit in these events?
(It might seem at first that the focus was on the Holy
Spirit because of these extraordinary sounds and sights.
But, we see that this was merely the method used by the
Holy Spirit to get the attention of the people so that the
truth about Jesus might be presented. From this we learn
that extraordinary events created by the Holy Spirit are
important to focusing the attention on salvation through
- The Holy Spirit Working With Jesus
- Read Luke 1:30-33. How would you understand this promise
if you were Mary?
- Read Luke 1:34. What is the most important question on
Mary's mind? (She is a virgin. Not only is there the
practical problem of her giving birth, but this will make
her look bad.)
- In light of the promise that she will be the mother
to "the Son of the Most High," how do you explain
this is the question (of all things) Mary decides to
- Read Luke 1:35 and 1 Peter 3:18. What does this say about
the power of the Holy Spirit? (This reminds us that
Genesis 2:7 tells us life-giving power resides in the Holy
- What does it say about the role the Holy Spirit can
play in your life? (If you, like Mary, are willing to
be used by the Holy Spirit, He can give your life
extraordinary power! He can revive you!)
- Read Luke 1:38. What does this tell us about Mary?
(Whatever problems are reflected in her "How will this be"
question, this is an astonishing statement of faith.)
- Read Luke 3:21-22 and Luke 4:1-2. This tells us that Jesus
was baptized in the Holy Spirit and that He was "full" of
the Holy Spirit. Why would that be necessary since Jesus
is God? (While we have a limited ability to understand,
this makes perfect sense. The Trinity is "filled" with the
- Read Genesis 1:26-27. What does this suggest about
you and me and the Holy Spirit? (That if you truly
want to be in the image of God, you need to be filled
with the Holy Spirit too!)
- Read Galatians 5:22-26. Is the idea of having the Holy
Spirit live in us and abstract concept? (No. These verses
show us that the Holy Spirit living in us brings practical
and important changes in our life. We "live by the
- Friend, will you ask the Holy Spirit to live in you and
make a practical difference in your life? Why not do that
- Next week: The Divinity of the Holy Spirit.
* Copr. 2017, 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.