Living by the Spirit
Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 3 Lesson 12 Sabbath Afternoon
Memory Text: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16, ESV).
What does today’s mean?
What are the three primary attributes, character qualities, methodologies of the spirit;
- Truth “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth,” John 14:16 & 17
- Freedom “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17
If these are the three prime attributes, what would it mean to live by the spirit?
“So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6
Why will God and the Spirit not use their might nor power to achieve their goals?
- Is it not because it’s out of their character? If we are teaching that this is what Jesus or the Spirit are doing then we are assigning the wrong character to the wrong side of the great controversy?
- Can God actually achieve His goals by the use of His might and power? He cannot achieve them, it’s impossible to force love.
Think about your own life experience, have you ever been in the position where you believe someone was out to harm you in some way, especially if it was physically. What happened in your heart towards that person? Does it draw you closer to that person?
- What happens when we present God in that way in our theology?
- What happens when we present a God that is required by law and even have the moral right to hurt you? (are you drawn to that?)
- What happens when we teach that God that has to punish you and even kill you? (Does that draw you to Him?)
- What happens when you know someone who has the right to take you to court, but they forgive you instead and don’t take you to court but instead set you free and don’t seek to punish you. They know they could have but they didn’t? (Does that draw you to them?)
Only the fourth scenario has a positive influence, whether you respond to it or not it’s a much more positive draw to you. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son” John 3:16
What is it that has actually separated us from God?
- Is it God’s anger?
- Is it God’s wrath against us sinners?
- Or is it us? Lies that we believed, in our own fear and selfishness within our own hearts?
Now if it’s the lies that we believed about God keeps us separated, what would be necessary to cause reconciliation that would bring us back together again?
- Truth which destroys lies and wins us back to trust and a new nature. (Metaphor for a new heart and a new spirit)
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since Jesus died to bring us the truth about God and to eradicate selfishness from humanity, we no longer need to be afraid but can confidently enter the Most Holy Place–God’s very presence–20 because Christ’s death revealed the truth about God and ripped open the veil of lies told by Satan that blinded our minds, and destroyed the infection of selfishness that separated us from him. Hebrews 10:19&20
When you see Christ crucified on the cross, is your heart opened? Are you won back to trust?
In the great and measureless gift of the Holy Spirit are contained all of heaven’s resources. It is not because of any restriction on the part of God that the riches of His grace do not flow earthward to men. If all were willing to receive, all would become filled with His Spirit.
It is the privilege of every soul to be a living channel through which God can communicate to the world the treasures of His grace, the unsearchable riches of Christ. There is nothing that Christ desires so much as agents who will represent to the world His Spirit and character. There is nothing that the world needs so much as the manifestation through humanity of the Saviour’s love. All heaven is waiting for channels through which can be poured the holy oil to be a joy and blessing to human hearts…….
The Sun of Righteousness has “healing in His wings.” Malachi 4:2. So from every true disciple is to be diffused an influence for life, courage, helpfulness, and true healing.
The religion of Christ means more than the forgiveness of sin; it means taking away our sins, and filling the vacuum with the graces of the Holy Spirit. It means divine illumination, rejoicing in God. It means a heart emptied of self, and blessed with the abiding presence of Christ. When Christ reigns in the soul, there is purity, freedom from sin. The glory, the fullness, the completeness of the gospel plan is fulfilled in the life. The acceptance of the Saviour brings a glow of perfect peace, perfect love, perfect assurance. The beauty and fragrance of the character of Christ revealed in the life testifies that God has indeed sent His Son into the world to be its Saviour.
Christ does not bid His followers strive to shine. He says, Let your light shine. If you have received the grace of God, the light is in you. Remove the obstructions, and the Lord’s glory will be revealed. The light will shine forth to penetrate and dispel the darkness. You cannot help shining within the range of your influence. Christ Object Lessons, Page 419
What is the barrier is to the Holy Spirit indwelling in People? Is there any barrier on God’s side?
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