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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 4: The Personality of the Holy Spirit *
Introduction: How many times have I written "It" when referring to
the Holy Spirit? Too many times! Perhaps you have too. Perhaps you
still do! Does "He" seem to be the correct term for someone who is
compared to wind? Someone who can be everywhere at once? Someone who
not only lives in you, but lives in Christians everywhere? It is hard
to wrap your mind around these concepts. However, I think it is
easier to understand that the Holy Spirit is a "He" if we focus on
His personality, and not His form. Let's dive into our study of the
Bible and learn more!
- Read John 16:2-5. List all the things Jesus said that
would cause the disciples to grieve? (They would not be
able to worship in "church." People will kill them and
think it is a good idea. Jesus is leaving them.)
- Read John 16:6 and Acts 1:6. We cannot appreciate the full
nature of the loss felt by the disciples unless we measure
it against their lost hope. For what did they hope? (That
Jesus would become King of Israel, He would defeat the
Romans, and they would be His chief rulers.)
- Now, tell me how terrible a blow to their hopes is
this list of losses?
- Read John 16:6-7. What could possibly make up for the
losses that we just listed? (The arrival of the Holy
- We have been looking at these verses in John from
different angles recently. When we suffer loss and
grief, we want to be comforted. We could use a
counselor. What does it suggest about the personality
of the Holy Spirit that Jesus would call Him "the
Counselor?" (Only someone who understands loss and
grief would make any sense as a counselor.)
- Read John 14:16-18. What Jesus says here is much like His
statement in John 16. Let's focus on verse 18. Jesus says
that He will not leave the disciples as orphans. Explain
that word picture to me. What is the need of an orphan?
(Orphans have no parents, they need someone who will help
and protect them.)
- Will the Holy Spirit do the same for us? If so, what
does that say about the personality of the Holy
Spirit? (He has the kind of deep understanding you
would expect of a parent. He is able to understand
and help in times of grief and need.)
- Do you think Jesus just picked the word "orphan" out
of the air as a good analogy? Or, does it actually
reflect the situation faced by the disciples? (Jesus
referred to His "Father." The idea is that God is our
parent who never dies, is always present. Jesus
fulfilled that role with the disciples, and then the
Holy Spirit took over that role. It means that the
Holy Spirit is our main interface with the Trinity.)
- Read John 15:26-27. The disciples share a task with the
Holy Spirit: testifying about Jesus. How do you think the
Holy Spirit does that?
- How would you (how do you) testify about Jesus?
- Ask yourself, "What would persuade someone to follow
Jesus?" (The initial message would be that Jesus will
give you hope for a better life and a better future.
If that is the approach of the Holy Spirit, we see
that He gives comfort and hope to those who are
worried about the future.)
- Guide For Life
- Read Romans 8:1-3. How are we set free from eternal death?
(By accepting what Jesus did for us on the cross. Jesus
did what the law could not, He set us free from sin and
- Look again at the last part of John 8:3. What is
Jesus' attitude towards sin? (He "condemned sin in
sinful man." Jesus does not approve of sin. He came
to defeat sin.)
- Read Romans 8:4. What does Jesus want from us that
involves the Holy Spirit? (We see two opposing natures:
the sinful nature and the life lived according to the
leading of the Holy Spirit. We are told to live "according
to the Spirit.")
- Must we live a life in the Holy Spirit for "the
righteous requirements of the law" to be fully met.)
- What does this suggest about the personality of the
- Read Romans 8:5. What is our role in right living? (We
either set our minds on "what the Spirit desires" or "what
the [sinful] nature desires." We need to set our minds on
the desires of the Holy Spirit.)
- Have you thought about having an obligation to choose
on what you will set your mind?
- Is this a single choice that you make in the
morning? (In my experience, it is a continual
choice. I keep having to make this choice.)
- Read Romans 8:6-8. How important is this choice? (We
cannot please God if our mind is controlled by our sinful
- Must live according to the Spirit in order to enjoy
grace? Is that what these verses mean?
- Read John 5:24-25 and Romans 10:13. These two references
tell me that if I call on God, if I believe that God sent
Jesus, I will be saved. How do you reconcile that with
the statements in Romans 8 that I must set my mind on what
the Holy Spirit desires in order to please God?
- Notice that John 5:24 seems to refer to a single
decision - that a person who hears and believes "has
crossed over from death to life." How do you explain
that? (My explanation is that Romans 8:5-7 describes
what kind of decisions God desires of us. God wants
us to continually call on Him. This is what it means
to set our minds on what the Holy Spirit desires. It
seems logical that if you truly believe in Jesus,
then you have made the decision to live a life led by
the Holy Spirit, and you will not live a life
"hostile to God.")
- Read Romans 8:9. Contemplate this for a little bit. What
does this say about the personality of the Holy Spirit and
its role in your life?
- Read Romans 8:10-11. Let's work this through. When the
text says, "your body is dead because of sin," what do you
think that means? (We are sinners. The penalty for sin is
- Why did Jesus die? (He died for our sins. We see this
parallel in these verses between our sins that bring
death and our sins for which Jesus died.)
- What is the common cure for these death causing
sins? (The power of the Holy Spirit. He gives
life to us just as He gave life to Jesus.)
- Read Romans 8:12-13. Given what we just discussed, what
obligation do we have? (Paul just told us that the Holy
Spirit gives us life, even though we were dead in our
sins. Would you feel obliged to someone who saved your
life? Of course! That obligation is to "put to death the
misdeeds of the body.")
- Do our works matter? (Yes. John 5:24 tells us that
belief takes us across the line from death to eternal
life. Romans says that the elimination of wrong deeds
is an "obligation." You are saved and you are
- How can we eliminate wrong deeds? ("By the
- Read Romans 8:14-16. When you sin does it create fear in
you? Fear that you will get caught? Fear that your
circumstances will harm you? (This tells us that a life
led by the Holy Spirit frees us from fear. It allows us
the freedom that we enjoy as sons and daughters of God.)
- Let's step back a moment and consider this. We live
in the midst of a controversy between good and evil.
God has saved us and given us directions on how to
live a better life now. Do our actions matter? Do our
works matter? (Imagine you were in an actual war.
Would it matter if you followed the instructions of
your commander? Would it matter if you started
shooting your fellow soldiers? Would it matter if you
just started walking toward enemy lines? Of course
these things matter. The idea that you claim Jesus
once, and pay no attention thereafter, makes no
- Re-read Romans 8:16. Does your spirit have a personality?
(Your spirit is your personality.)
- What does the fact that the Holy Spirit "testifies
with our spirit" teach us about the personality of
the Holy Spirit? (The Holy Spirit is clearly not a
bunch of wind. He is the active interface between the
Trinity and your mind.)
- Read Romans 8:26-27. In what other way can the Holy Spirit
help us? (With our prayers. This tells us that the Holy
Spirit "intercedes" for us "in accordance with God's
will." The Holy Spirit will help with our feeble efforts
- When I think of intercession, I think about what
Jesus is doing for us in heaven (Hebrews 8-9), and I
think of lawyers in a courtroom. How much skill does
this take? What does this say about the Holy Spirit
having a personality?
- Friend, you desperately need the Holy Spirit in you. You
need Him to comfort you, direct your actions, and guide
and intercede for you when you approach God in prayer.
Will you, right now, ask the Holy Spirit to live in you?
- Next week: The Baptism and Filling 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.