Friday: Further Thought – The Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit

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    It is only natural for any person to seek control of one’s life. We normally depend on our own efforts to achieve all that we can. While many people spend their lives in a quest for control, others have an unhealthy fear of losing control. This human dilemma finds an answer only in God. He wants you to give to Him, Your Creator and Redeemer, full control. He knows and loves you as nobody else can. This opens the door for Him to work in your life.

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    By choosing to submit your will to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit, you will have His supernatural peace and boundless opportunities to be a blessing to others. But we need the desire for this power in our lives. God doesn’t force Himself on any of us. To be moral beings we need to be free beings. And to be truly free in Christ we need a sense of abandonment (that of wanting to abandon our old sinful and fallen ways) and a sense of abiding (that of abiding in the power of the Holy Spirit). To be truly free, we must be truly surrendered to the control of the Holy Spirit. But there is no contradiction here. Our freedom is found in liberation from the condemnation and power of sin, which always enslaves us and always leads to death. Instead, by surrendering to the Lord, and making way for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, not only are we no longer condemned (see Rom. 8:1) but we live a life where we “do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (NKJV). That’s the only true freedom that we, as sinful and fallen beings, can ever know.

    Discussion Questions:

    1. Some people think that freedom consists of being able to do what you want, when you want, and how you want to do it. What’s wrong with that concept from a Christian perspective? What is the biblical idea of true freedom? (See Ps. 119:45, Luke 4:18, John 8:34-36, 2 Cor. 3:17, and Gal. 5:1.)
    2. Why is it important to put self aside and consecrate our lives wholly to God before the Holy Spirit can work mightily through us? What could God do in you that would make you more of a blessing to others if you put self aside and opened your heart to the workings of the Holy Spirit in you?
    3. “The Christian’s life is not a modification or improvement of the old, but a transformation of nature. There is a death to self and sin, and a new life altogether. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit.” – Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 172. Discuss in class the implications of these words.
    4. Compare the evidence of a self-centered life with a life that is Spirit-filled (see chart on Thursday). Discuss with the members of your Sabbath school group what the greatest blessing of a Spirit-filled life could be for us.

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    Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons