Archive for the ‘spirit’ tag
- At Pentecost, God sent the Holy Spirit to His Church. Through Word and Sacrament, God gives us His Holy Spirit to create and sustain saving faith in Jesus.
- Law: I sin when I believe that I can understand and trust in God on my own.
- Gospel: By the power and work of the Holy Spirit through His Word, the Spirit grants me faith in Jesus and empowers me to will and do that which is good and God pleasing.
The text for this lesson is Acts 2:1–21; John 14:23–31.
- With the previous discussion in mind, compare John 19:34; 20:20–23 with 1 John 5:6–8. What connections between Jesus’ death and the Holy Spirit can we draw from these passages? How would Jesus later hand over the Holy Spirit to His followers?
- Jesus told His disciples not to leave Jerusalem and start their evangelization of the whole world until they were “clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). They were to wait for the promise of His Father (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4), the Holy Spirit with which they would be baptized (Acts 1:5). Even before Jesus’ ministry began, the disciples were being taught to anticipate Pentecost.
How does Acts 2:1–4 describe the fulfillment of this prophecy? What does the wind symbolize? What does the fire symbolize? Why is the traditional liturgical color of Pentecost red?
- We are familiar with Peter’s previous failures to confess Jesus. Immediately after confessing that Jesus was the Christ, he denied Jesus His right to be the suffering Messiah (Matthew 16:13–23).
Right before Jesus’ death, Peter lied instead of risking the chance of suffering for the sake of our Lord, denying that he even knew Him (Matthew 26:69–75). Yet on Pentecost, we see a different side of Peter. How does Acts 2:14 portray him? What could account for this change? See 2 Timothy 1:6–7.
- In John 14:26, Jesus tells His disciples that “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” Keeping in mind that John’s Gospel was written several years after Jesus had risen and ascended, how do John 2:18–22 and 12:12–16 illustrate the working out of this promise?
- As we noted, the Holy Spirit allowed the disciples to, in retrospect, understand the true meaning of the words or works of Jesus and of the Old Testament. How does the Spirit work in our lives to accomplish what Jesus did for His disciples in Luke 24:44–47?
According to 2 Corinthians 3:12–18, why can’t the Jews truly understand the Old Testament? How are Christians enabled to interpret the true meaning of the Old Testament?
- Even though we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, what we emphasize in our teaching on this day should be governed by the contents of Peter’s sermon in Acts 2. Peter had received the Spirit, and what did the Spirit lead him to proclaim in Acts 2:22–24, 32–33, 36?
According to 2 Corinthians 2:1–5, what does Paul say should be the emphasis in our preaching if we want it to make a “demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4)?
- “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Since we live “by every word that comes from the mouth of God,” we had better have a dependable source for obtaining that Word.
According to 2 Timothy 3:16–17 and 2 Peter 1:21, what role did the Holy Spirit have in leaving the Word of God to the Church? How does the Spirit ensure that the Word continues today?
- Often the Pentecost account in Acts is used as an example of why speaking in tongues should be done in the Church. But the speaking in tongues of Acts 2 was a unique, one-time gift of the Holy Spirit so that the Galilean apostles could be miraculously understood by people who spoke different languages. The goal in this case was intelligibility, not incomprehensibility, as is so often the case in churches that speak in tongues.
Rather than focusing on speaking in tongues as a spiritual gift, we should contemplate the fruit of the Spirit that Paul describes in Galatians 5:22–26. What does he encourage there?
- It seems to be an oxymoron, but we are truly born dead, as Ephesians 2:1 tells us, “You were dead in . . . trespasses and sins.” What does the Holy Spirit do to give us new life according to John 3:5–6 and Titus 3:4–6?
The text for this lesson is 2 Kings 2:1–15.
- Enoch and Elijah were taken into heaven alive. Jesus, who is our Enoch and our great Elijah, ascended alive into heaven for us and our salvation.
- Law: Death overtakes me because I am permeated by sin and am subject to its penalty.
- Gospel: In the death of Jesus is the death of death itself, and I will be raised up with Christ and seated with Him in heaven.
It’s time for the baton—or rather the mantle—of Elijah to pass to his vicar, Elisha. Cleaving to his master’s side, Elisha follows him on a somewhat circuitous route that ends east of the Jordan. In this same region centuries before, the baton had been passed from Moses to Joshua. Now it would go from Elijah to Elisha—same song, second verse. It is here, too, that the latter-day Elijah, that is, John the Baptist, would bow out so that the Elisha-like Jesus could move forward with His ministry— same song, final verse.