Lesson 8 Discipleship: A Spirit-Filled Life
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 1:11-14, 2 Corinthians 1:18-22, Romans 8:1-17, 1 Peter 3:18, Galatians 5:16-26, Ephesians 5:15-20, Titus 3:3-8 and 1 Peter 1:8-9
If we clearly understand from lesson 7 that our battle against Satan and His forces is a conflict of spiritual proportions, then we must fortify ourselves by developing a Spirit-filled life. God’s promise to us is stamped with the Spirit’s power and the Spirit is a free gift to us. Although the Spirit is a gift and a seal of Promises, we must learn the purposes of the Spirit and what God intended the Spirit to do in our lives. In this lesson, we will study the important relationship between discipleship and a Spirit-filled life.
1. From Ephesians 1:11-14 and 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, we learn the source of the Spirit. Name the source and state why knowing this is important in our spiritual walk as disciples.
God’s love is demonstrated towards us in his act of giving the Holy Spirit to us as a seal and mark that we belong to Him. The Spirit is a deposit on our inheritance and is a guarantee of our redemption. Knowing that God’s promises are guaranteed should boost our faith and strengthen our hope in our earthly and heavenly future. Keep in mind, as was mentioned in last week’s lesson, that Satan would have us believe that God is not faithful and will not guarantee His promises! We must be convicted and realize that daily we are involved in the battle of choosing whom we believe and who it is that we serve.
What a great comfort and joy we should have knowing that the Creator of the universe wants a relationship with us and is willing to give His only Son for our redemption and then give us a divine seal as a promise of that redemption. What does the devil give us?
2. Using the two Scriptures in question 1, identify some of the purposes of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is:
1) a seal or mark of God’s promises, 2) a deposit, much like a down-payment, which guarantees that we will receive our home in heaven, divine real estate that was purchased for us by God through Christ, 3) a seal of ownership, and 4) a deposit, guaranteeing the future.
3. Romans 8:1-17 helps develop our understanding of the Holy Spirit in the context of our former sinful nature and in the context of our transformed life that we now have through Jesus. How and why is the Holy Spirit a sign of being a disciple?
The major point is that a life controlled by the Spirit will not be of the sinful world and the things that represent a sinful life. This Spirit separates disciples from the world because the Spirit is Holy and Pure and in direct opposition to the nature of this world. As the Spirit dwells within disciples, it will help direct and focus our lives toward righteousness and will give us real life, not the dead-end road of a sinful life. There is great freedom in the life controlled by the Spirit, which is free of the weight of sin and the darkness that follows the path of this present world.
4. Why does Paul use “life and death” images in Romans 8:1-17? What is his emphasis in his using the life and the Spirit?
There is a stark contrast between life and death both in an earthly and a spiritual sense. Life with the Spirit is glorious! To live in the Spirit means total illumination, being freed from the darkness of deception and sin. The Spirit-filled life is complete. We are not found wanting because God has filled us with his fullness through his Spirit of Love and Peace.
How can we miss the stark contrast given in these scriptures? Death due to sin is darkness, bondage, and separation from God eternally. We must thank God daily for the choice he has given us. He has enabled us to claim our place in heaven through faith in his Son. We can have assurance daily of this promise through “Spiritual Eyes” that enable us to discern the darkness and hopelessness of this world vs. the light and promise that God has given us.
5. Although death from our earthly perspective is painful and sad, what gives us hope of the spiritual life in Jesus? Use Romans 8:11 and 1 Peter 3:18.
God pours out His Spirit on us to give us Life. We must understand as disciples that this seal guarantees us life eternal as well as a rich life here and now. This guarantee affirms to us the Heavenly Victory that has already been won. This Victory and Life are ours in the present but will come to a greater fruition in an eternal setting! Remember as His disciples we have a Hope that far exceeds the earthly concept of hope.
The power and Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is in play for us. We share in His glory as well as being co-heirs with Him. Once again, if we believe and have faith that Jesus was raised from the dead and that He is now in heaven, then we will follow Him by the Spirit, our guarantee of the Truth and Promises of God.
6. What does Paul mean when he says we should live by the Spirit in Galatians 5:16-26?
As we have seen in the previous lessons, a disciple controlled by the Spirit will and should live a life that is in contrast to the world and a sinful life. Paul even lists several things that marks a sinful life that is not controlled by the Spirit. We should not focus on a list of “don’t” but on the way of Life that is controlled by Spiritual desires and is wise to the Will of God.
A Spirit controlled life is not a “perfect” or “sinless” life but a life controlled by the Spirit rather than by sinful desires or foolish thoughts. Paul wants us to be sensitive to the foolish ways of the world and avoid them.
7. Use Galatians 5:16-26 and Ephesians 5:15-20 to contrast a Spirit-filled life with a sinful life.
We can make a list of “don’t” as I mentioned early but we would do better to make a list of “dos”. We must love each other, have great joy, be at peace in a hostile world, have patience with others in need or people of the world, be full of kindness and goodness, be faithful in all things, be gentle to the weak, and be self-controlled. All of these are the fruit of the Spirit. Note, this is not “fruits”, but the singular fruit that should be the mark of the Spirit in our life.
8. What is the difference in living a “good and moral” life vs. living the Spirit-filled life as a disciple of Jesus? Use Titus 3:3-8
and 1 Peter 1:8-9.
The major point seems to be that keeping a list of moral values is similar to keeping the Old Testament Law, which is impossible. Thus, a moral life while good, is still “mortal” and thus limited in it’s effectiveness. It is not the same as a life controlled by the Spirit of God! The Way is Christ Jesus, the only Truth. Through Jesus we have eternal life, we have righteousness, we have a living life now, we have Hope, we have salvation, we have joy inexpressible, we have inexpressible glory, and we have a Home.
This Week’s Challenge: Spend time during the week asking God to help you develop a Spirit-filled life. Examine areas of your life that are not in line with a Spirit-filled life and ask God’s help and power to overcome these problems.
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