Read an Excerpt
When God's Spirit Moves Participant's Guide
By Jim Cymbala
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2011Jim Cymbala
All rights reserved.
Agent in the Shadows
Jesus: "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you."
If you were teaching a class of seven-year-olds and had to explain the Holy Spirit and what he does, how would you go about it? What words would you use for these children? What examples?
Video Teaching Segment
As you watch the session one video, use the following outline to jot down any ideas that stand out to you.
Church life badly needs the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was leaving?
The Holy Spirit gets inside us.
The early apostles and the Holy Spirit
Current misgivings about the Holy Spirit
What the Spirit does today
The Roma Black story
Group Discussion and Bible Study
1. Think of someone in your life who fills the role of agent—your car or home insurance agent, for example. What does this person do? How is that similar to what the Holy Spirit does in relation to the Godhead?
2. Read John 16:5–16 aloud:
But now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, "Where are you going?" Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteous ness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteous ness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.
In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.
Here Jesus surprised his disciples by saying he would be leaving soon—and that would be a good thing for them. In what sense? If you had been present that evening in the Upper Room, would you have been convinced by Jesus' train of thought here? Why do you think Jesus said this?
3. Record what the following Scriptures say about things the Holy Spirit has done in our past.
a. John 3:5–8
b. Titus 3:5–7
c. Romans 8:5–6
4. Now record what the following Scriptures say about things the Holy Spirit wants to do in our present.
a. John 14:26
b. Romans 8:13–16
c. 2 Timothy 1:6–7
5. Think back to the Roma Black story. How did the Holy Spirit show up as Roma sat in the gangster's Mercedes?
6. How did the Holy Spirit show up when Roma went to his mother's church?
7. Pastor Cymbala says the church is meant to be "a Holy Ghost hospital." What does this colorful image evoke in your mind? What would that look like?
Are there times in your life when you feel the need to be a "patient" in such a hospital? Explain.
After you've watched the video segment of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir singing "I Need You Once Again," pray in any of the following directions:
Thank Jesus for sending his Spirit to live within us—we are not alone!
Thank the Spirit for the things he has done for us in the past and is doing for us now. Be specific.
Ask the Spirit to frequently remind us that he is at work in the world and ask him what we might do to be his agents of love, grace, and healing.
Pray that every group member would yield themselves to the Holy Spirit's work inside them in the coming week.
For Your Individual Use between Sessions
Pastor Cymbala talked about the effect of the Holy Spirit on a fisherman named Peter. Over this coming week, read (or skim) the following eighteen episodes from Peter's life. Jot down a one-line description of what each is about (see first example), and then give Peter a numerical rating (0–10) on how he's doing spiritually. In other words, to what extent is he fulfilling what God has in mind for him?
Now transfer your ratings to the chart on the next page, in order to see the overall pattern. Put a dot on the grid to represent each rating for each episode in Peter's life. Connect the dots from left to right with a solid line.
What does this tell you about the Holy Spirit's effect on one ordinary person?
Excerpted from When God's Spirit Moves Participant's Guide by Jim Cymbala. Copyright © 2011 by Jim Cymbala. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
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