Peter announced in Acts 10:34 that he had come to the knowledge of the fact that God is no respecter of persons. This sudden realization had immediate practical implications for his life and his leadership in the Kingdom. We might assume if God is no respecter of persons, that God is neither a respecter of families, or congregations, or denominations. This being evident, there are at least two conclusions for us.
- Every Christian (and group of Christians) has a seat at the table of God’s provision and blessing.
- No Christian (or group of Christians) has a monopoly on God’s provision or blessing.
Knowing this we may boldly approach God’s throne of grace and partake in a buffet of benefits. Knowing this we must do so with a heart void of elitism or pride. We must be prepared to embrace all true believers in Christ as fellow heirs of the promise.
Have you recognized the fact that no believer in modern times or in times past surpasses you in access to divine grace? Lay claim to all that is yours in Christ. But do so humbly, confessing that you surpass no believer in access to grace. Consider yourself a fitting servant to all.
With even a casual reading of the Bible, one will discover that God places a unique emphasis on what God’s people did with their “first”. Whether it was the first day, the first fruit of income,or the first child, God seemed to lay special claim to the first. Jesus said if we seek the Kingdom FIRST, all of our needs would be added to us. In this lesson discover how this principle can practically be applied in your life and how it can literally be a “game changer” for your family.
Here are the notes from this week’s sermon and the audio can be downloaded from the Maximum Life Podcast.
This week – Capshaw Small Groups will be studying, “The Spirit Filled Life”
Audio File – The Spirit Filled Life Sermon
PDF Notes – The Spirit Filled Life Notes
For those of you who are teachers – keep in mind that you will need to do more teaching than normal this week, because it will not be directly tied to a sermon from the previous week. You may also want to forward your class members a link to this material in order to get them, “in the loop”.
- Who is the Holy Spirit? (John 14:26; 15:26) How do you know He is a person and not a force or impersonal power? (See 1 Corinthians 2:11; 12:11; Romans 15:30)
- Why did the Holy Spirit come? (See John 14:16, 17, 27; 16:7, 13, 14)
- What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? (See Romans 6:1-16)
- What does “fruit” mean in John 15:8? (See Acts 1:8; Galatians 5:22, 23)
- How can you be filled with the Holy Spirit?
- What command does God give in Ephesians 5:18 and what does it mean?
- How is the command of Ephesians 5:18 related to the promise of l John 5:14, 15? How can this give you assurance that you are filled with the Holy Spirit?
- What characterizes the life of a Christian who is empowered by the Holy Spirit? (See John 15:1-11; Galatians 5:19-25)
- How is the Holy Spirit’s power evident in your own life?
- List two or three Christians you know who do not understand the Spirit-filled life. Make plans this week to share with them how God has filled you with the Holy Spirit and how they, too, can experience the Spirit-filled life.
Group Discussion Questions
- The self-centered Christian manifests certain characteristics that reflect his worldly nature. Consider these questions in your discussion:
a. What does he think about most of the time?
b. What kind of person is he?
c. What kind of things will he be doing? Talk about both good and evil, religious and non-religious activity.
- Is the self-centered Christian really a born again believer? How do you know? (See 1 Corinthians 3:1-3)
- How can you know for sure whether you are a self-centered or a Spirit-filled Christian?
- Why do you need to confess your known sin to God before He can fill you with His Spirit? (See 1 John 1:5-7) If you confess your sin and still feel that you are not forgiven, what must you do to receive that assurance? (See James 4:7; l John 1:9)
- Once you have been filled with the Holy Spirit, will you ever need to be filled again? Why? How many times? When? How could you be filled again?
- The Spirit-filled Christian demonstrates certain characteristics that reflect his godly nature. Identify and discuss these characteristics. What kind of thoughts, desires, actions and emotions will he manifest? (See Philippians 2:12-16; Colossians 3:1-17)
- Perhaps you have asked God to fill you with His Spirit and to control your life. But you don’t feel any different? Does this mean you are not filled with the Spirit? Or does it have any meaning at all? What should you do about it?
- Discuss the differences between the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. Would you say that the fruit of the Spirit is to guide and control the gifts, or do the gifts control the fruit? Why? (See Galatians 5:22, 23; 1 Corinthians 12:27-13:10)