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Empowered

A study on the Holy Spirit

In this study, we're digging into God's Word to look at possibly the most misunderstood Person in the Trinity: the Holy Spirit.

We will take a look at His person, presence, and power in order to more fully understand Who He is and what that means in our lives.

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What Is My Spiritual Gift?

6.27.2021

What Is My Spiritual Gift?

1 Corinthians 12:4-7

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.  Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)

1. A gift is an ability. (12:4)

      “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.”

a. This ability can be short-term.

We won’t find His ability seeking our comfortability.

b. This ability can be long-term.

      “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10)

2. A gift is an opportunity. (v. 5)

“There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.”

Most focus on abilities as a gift but miss opportunities as a gift.

3. The gift is about the gift giver and His purpose for giving it!

v. 4 “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.”

v. 5 “There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.”

v. 6 “There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”

He gifts you to help grow His church. (v. 7)

  • You are God's strategy to grow His church!

  • The program we all serve in is life!

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Gentleness and Self-Control

6.20.2021

Gentleness and Self-Control

Matt. 11:28-30; Gal. 5:23

 

Gentleness and Self-Control

Examples of righteousness gone wrong! (Matthew 12:1-14)

 

  • Jesus and His disciples picked heads of grain and ate them. (v. 1-2)

  • Jesus healed a man with a deformed hand. (v. 9-14)

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28)

 

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”  (Proverbs 25:28)

 

“Self control is not control BY oneself but rather control OF oneself through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

 

How do we get the Spirit’s help to control our desires?

 

 “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15:4)

 

  • His Word

  • His presence

  • His people

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Love in Action

6.13.2021

Love in Action

Titus 3:4; Matthew 25:14-30

John 15:4 “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

Kindness … To give courtesy and grace to another through your disposition and actions.

Kindness is active.

"When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy." (Titus 3:4) 

Kindness is unconditional.

Titus 3:4

Kindness is compelling.

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”  (Romans 2:4) 

Signs that we need to go deeper on kindness:

  • When you are satisfied with being nice.

  • When our actions of kindness are conditioned on others actions to us.

  • When our actions of kindness are dependent on our circumstances or feelings.

  • When we are selfish or stingy with our resources and just desire things for self.

Matthew 25:14-18

Goodness and faithfulness …

 

  • Value what God values.

Isaiah 5:20

  • Are proactive and advancing. (even risk taking)

They worked what was given them for the good of the one who gave it.

 

  • Are multipliers for God’s Kingdom.

Signs we need to dig deeper on Goodness and Faithfulness:

  • When the values of self or society compel you more than the values of God’s Kingdom.

  • When showing up for church is the standard rather than multiplying God’s Kingdom.

  • When fear paralyzes you rather than faith propelling you.

  • When you feel you can care for God’s kingdom at another time.

We aren’t talking works … Fruit only grows out of LIFE!

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The Waiting Game

6.6.2021

The Waiting Game
Galatians 5:22-23

Remember:


Truth #1 – We are always filled with something. (Galatians 5:16-17)
Truth #2 – There is a difference between works and fruit. (John 15:4)
Truth #3 - Our fruit is determined by the vine we tap into! (Matthew 7:16; Galatians 5:16-17)

Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

  • Patience in the Greek literally means “long-passion,” i.e. waiting sufficient time before expressing anger. This avoids the premature use of force (retribution) that rises out of improper anger (a personal reaction).

  • Patience comes from a Latin word that means . . . “to suffer”

Two biblical examples of patient living:


NOAH: Genesis 6-8
JOSEPH: Genesis 37-42


A major key in developing patience in your life is this . . .

 

  • Patient living believes God is in control.

  • Patient living yields his/her rights and expectations to God.


Signs that you need to go deeper on patience:

 

  • Your attitude reveals frustration, anger, retaliation for a change in your expectations.

  • You harbor wrong thoughts against God or others for changing the timing of your expectations.

  • You drop hints, verbally or nonverbally, to manipulate the events and timing to your liking.

  • You long for control of your life rather than yielding control to God for His purpose.


Application Question: How is your connection to Jesus?

 

  • The first connection is the cross.

  • The next connection is our regular connection … worship, Bible connection, prayer, other believers.

- Spend time each day studying Scripture on patience. Noah, Joseph, Esther, Paul in Acts 16. Bible app … a dozen or more devotionals on patience.
- Pray for God’s help to display this fruit.
- Surround yourself with songs and people that help.

 


Question #1 – When we lose our patience, what can it cost us? Think hard and think practically (ie. attitude, our health, etc.)


Question #2 – Why is having patience such a difficult thing? What’s at the root of it all? Discuss any positive or negative examples of patience from the Bible.


Question #3 – Look at the signs that you need to go deeper on patience. Which ones resonate with you?


Question #4 – What practical steps can you take to develop a greater level of patience? What decisions of change will you incorporate into your life this week? Pray about this as a group.

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What's the Product of our Lives?

5.30.2021

What’s the Product of our Lives?

Galatians 5:22-26

 

Truth #1 – There is a difference between works and fruit. (John 15:4)

When we think works, we think effort, labor, strain and toil. However, to produce fruit, it’s not a matter of your effort it’s a matter of your connection. 

Truth #2 - Our fruit is determined by the vine we tap into! (Matthew 7:16; Galatians 5:16-17)

The Fruit of the Spirit is …

 

The Fruit of Love: In antiquity this word meant “to prefer.” And typically showed a preference for others. 

 

Signs that you need to dig deeper on this issue:

  • If you feel the need for recognition more than recognizing others.

  • If your relationships boil down to what YOU can get monetarily, sexually, personally, promotionally. 

  • If others are just a tool for you rather than you being a servant to them.

  • If you are fine with hatred, discord, divisions and factions in order to get what you want.

The Fruit of Joy: Joy is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope.

 

Signs that you need to dig deeper on this issue:

  • If you see your mood change with circumstances.

  • If you buy into the philosophy that God wants you happy!  God wants something more stable than that.

  • If you put pressure on others to make you happy or you’ll treat them poorly.

  • If we make excuses for our attitude, based on circumstances. "I’m angry because…"

 

The Fruit of Peace: Peace means wholeness, undisturbed.

 

Signs that you need to dig deeper on this issue:

  • If you don’t have high concern for divisions, factions, discord or hatred or are satisfied with alienation.

  • If you don’t biblically strive for peace in your relationships.

  • If you are preoccupied with problems.

  • If you transfer your fears, concerns to others.

 

 

Question #1 – Describe and discuss the differences between works and fruit. How do you feel you produce the fruit of the Spirit in your life?

 

Question #2 – Read Matt. 7:16 and Galatians 5:16-17 and discuss the importance of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. 

 

Question #3 – Of the three fruit discussed today (Love, Joy and Peace), which one(s) do you believe you need to improve on most? The “Signs you need to dig deeper” may help you diagnose this.    

 

Question #4 – What practical steps can you take to develop Love, Joy or Peace in your life? How can we help each other take steps forward on these things? 

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Time to Pull the Plug!

5.23.2021

Time to Pull the Plug!

Galatians 5:16-25

 

Truth: We are always filled with something.

 

Galatians 5:16-21  

 

Let’s be honest about the obvious!

“Desires”  -  root word deals with “heat; passion; inflaming wine – swaying great influence on one; there’s an internal influence that drives our actions.” Ex. Samson …

 

“Obvious” – visible, clear, well-known. Here are 15 things Paul admits and advises that we deal with in our desires. 

 

Immorality … “porneia” – root word meaning to sell off or surrender.  IT’S EVERYWHERE.

Impurity … word is broader than sexuality and relates to contamination or infection.  (words, situations, influences)

Debauchery … rejecting restraints, outrageous conduct that is contrasting public decency. 

Idolatry … misplaced worship.  We have objects of worship above God.  Things that take first place – where He is.

Witchcraft … “pharmakeia” … drugs, medicinal means of being hooked on enchantment.

Hatred … relational alienation.  Emotional hostility.  (passive)

Discord … strife, ready to quarrel.  (active)

Jealousy … “Zelos” is an onomatopoeic word that mimics the sound of water bubbling over from boiling.  Boiling with indignation for another’s advancement.

Fits of rage … angry outbursts – like a suicide bomber, we detonate ourselves to destroy those around us.

Selfish ambition … rivalry, ambition for self over others – carnal feud for the seeking of followers.

Division … Standing separately, separating people from each other by what one says or does.

Factions … creating a sect or party over a personal choice or opinion.  Always used in the NT for religious purposes.  The ones doing this will always justify themselves as it’s for “spiritual reasons” when it’s over a personal choice.

Envy … decay, internal breakdown or corruption to the point that you are glad for another’s misfortune or pain.

Drunkenness … excess drinking to the loss of discernment.

Orgies … unbridled activity that can accompany drinking and carousing.  

 

Application:

How to live under the influence of your natural desires: Answer: Do nothing! 

 

Truth: The first step to filling (with His Spirit) is emptying (of ourselves).

1. Identify personal weakness.

2. Set up an exit strategy. 

3. Replace with the fruit of His Spirit. This is our conversation for next week.

 

S M A L L  G R O U P  D I S C U S S I O N

Question #1 – Desires are intoxicating.  Name situations and people from the Bible who were intoxicated by their natural desires and it impacted their lives or the lives of others.  Ex. Samson

 

Question #2 – Why are we often not honest about our natural desires?  Why do we often justify our desires?  Why do we often resist opening up to someone or getting a “designated driver” when we are impaired by our desires? 

 

Question #3 – How would you help someone who opened up about the desires of “Hatred” or “Immorality” as mentioned above? 

 

Question #4 – Understanding that we all have natural desires, pray for each other right now.  Personally plan to connect with someone in your group with a personal desire that you could use help with. 

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How Does the Spirit Change Me?

5.16.2021

How Does The Spirit Change Me?

Ephesians 5:18

 

Solving the first church challenge: Acts 6:1-7

“… choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word." This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit …”

How does God’s Spirit change me?

 

The starting point: Belief in Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 6:19-20; Eph. 1:13-14)

4 truths about the Spirit’s filling:

 

Ephesians 5:18: “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”

 

1. It’s a command. “you BE FILLED with the Spirit.”

2. It’s for every believer. The verb “be filled” is in the plural form.

3. We are always filled with something. (it’s in the passive voice) - Galatians 5:16-17

4, It’s an environment, not an event. It’s in the present tense.

 

What does this environment look like?

 

  • Ministry to one another. Church wasn’t a place on Sunday, it was their environment and weeklong community that had true ministry into each other’s lives.

  • Ministry in yourself. Make music from your heart to the Lord. This is your life environment. 

  • Thankfulness in everything. You know what stops His filling? When we are ticked or frustrated over our situation. 

 

S M A L L   G R O U P   D I S C U S S I O N

 

Question #1 – Read Acts 6:1-7.  Why was being filled with the Spirit critical to solving their problem?  What was the result of this solution?  How do we often pick leaders or people for ministry assignments? 

 

Question #2 –  Does the church today sense the command to be filled with the Spirit?  Do you sense the command to be filled with the Spirit?  Why or why not?

 

Question #3 – Read Gal. 5:16-17 and discuss your reaction to this statement: “You are always filled with something.”

 

Question #4 - What do our life environments look like?  What are we filling ourselves with?  What does an environment of being filled with the Spirit look like?  What can we do today to better this environment?

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Just Checking Up

5.9.2021

Just Checking Up

Acts 6:1-7

 

“Many ministries function in the same way, that if God removed the Holy Spirit from that church, it would go on functioning as though nothing were different.” A.W. Tozer  

A little review:

 

Truth #1: God sent His Spirit because we need help! (John 14:6)

“He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.”

 

Question:

To what level have you sensed that you’ve needed the Spirit’s help? (John 14:16)

 

Truth #2: God sent the Spirit for gospel, not personal, advancement. (Acts 1:8)

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…”

 

Question:

In what ways are you reliant on God’s Spirit for gospel advancement in your world? (Acts 1:8; Matt. 28:19-20)

Application:

  • Pray for your church leaders. We long to genuinely equip us all to be a gospel advancing, disciple making movement in TC and beyond. 

  • Declare dependency.

  • Keep your eyes wide open for gospel opportunities. 

 

S M A L L   G R O U P   D I S C U S S I O N

 

Question #1 – To what level do you feel dependent on the Spirit’s help?  Why or why not?  Can you think of times when He enabled you to do something beyond what you believed you could do on your own.

 

Question #2 –  In what ways are you practically reliant on God’s Spirit for Gospel Advancement in your world?  Do you believe that Gospel advancement is a regular part of our daily agenda?  Why or why not? 

 

Question #3 – How can we practically stretch beyond our comfort zones and depend on God’s help?  How can we incorporate a Gospel perspective in our everyday living?  How can we check up on each other to see these things happen and celebrate when they do?

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The Ultimate Power Move

5.2.2021

The Ultimate Power Move

Acts 1:4-8

 

“Many ministries function in the same way, that if God removed the Holy Spirit from that church, it would go on functioning as though nothing were different.” A.W. Tozer  

 

Acts 1:4-8

  • The disciples were expecting national and personal power! (Acts 1:6)

“are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?”

  • Jesus was investing enabling power to accomplish His Gospel purpose. (Acts 1:8)

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses …”

 

What happened when the Spirit came upon the disciples…

 

Ability replaced deficiency. (Acts 2:1-17)

 

Courage replaced fear. (Acts 4:8-13)

 

Three reasons why many don’t sense the Spirit in their lives:

 

  1. The Spirit is given for Gospel, not personal advancement. 

  2. We feel self-sufficient.

  3. We prefer the comfort zone. 

 

S M A L L   G R O U P   D I S C U S S I O N

 

Question #1 – Describe the deficiencies experienced in the lives of the disciples before the Spirit’s help in Acts 2.  Do we feel any of these same deficiencies in our own lives?  Which ones?

 

Question #2 –  Read Acts 1:4-8.  What kind of power were the disciples hoping for after the resurrection of Jesus?  What kind of power was Jesus looking to give them and what was the purpose of that power?

 

Question #3 – Following up on question #2 – what kinds of genuine ambitions do we often have in our hearts that may not be bad but they aren’t that for which God gives Spirit enabling?  When was the last time you stepped out for gospel advancement and sensed the Spirit’s help?

Question #4 – Do any of the three reasons “why people don’t sense the spirit” resonate with you?  Which one(s)?  Why?  What can you or your group do about that this week?

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All of Him through All of Me

4.25.2021

All of Him through All of Me!

 

Knowing who we are, God gave us all He is!

 

  1. The Holy Spirit is God.

He’s not just good vibes and bad vibes.  Not merely your conscience.  Not just a force or energy of God.  Not just a God among many gods.  But just as much as the Father is God and Jesus is God, so also the Holy Spirit is God.  Let’s talk through this for a few minutes.

 

Look at these passages to see that the Holy Spirit is equated for God …

 

         The New Covenant:  Jer. 31:31-34  -  Heb. 10:15-18

 

  • Don’t Lie to God:  Acts 5:3-4:

  • Guess Who’s Talking?  Isaiah 6:1-10 / Acts 28:25-27

  • Three in One:  Matt. 28:19,20

  2. He possesses all the attributes of God.

            1. Omnipotence.                      

                             Genesis 1:2, 26 (Spirit was hovering; “let us make man in our image”)

            2. Omnipresence.

                             Psalm 139:7-10 (where can I go from your Spirit?”

            3.  Omniscience.

                              1 Corinthians  2:10-11 (He searches and knows all the deep things of God)

            4.  Eternality.

                              Hebrews 9:14  (the eternal Spirit)

            5.  Holiness.

                             Isaiah 6:3 (Acts 28:25-27)

 

Application:

 

  • Let’s realize who we are dealing with!  God is in us. 

God is in us.  The completeness of God is in us.  This isn’t Jr. God or apprentice God.  This isn’t a watered-down God or a limited version of God.  Knowing who we are, God gave us all He is!

 

  • God went all out to help you follow Jesus? 

 

S M A L L   G R O U P   D I S C U S S I O N

 

Question #1 – Read and discuss the passages above that show the Holy Spirit is equated to God.  Do we truly believe that He is God or do we have a sense that in someway He is less than God?  How has your church tradition seemed to view the Holy Spirit?

 

Question #2 –  Consider the attributes of the Holy Spirit as mentioned above.  Understanding the deity and power of the Holy Spirit, consider why Jesus said His statement in Jn. 16:7. 

 

Question #3 – Take some time to list all God did for us to help us truly follow Jesus.  Which of these things could we take better advantage of to help us take our next steps to be like and help others be like Him?  Brainstorm on how you could practically utilize these things and maybe how you can help each other.  Finish with prayer for each other.

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Something New

4.11.2021

Something New

John 14-16

“Many ministries function in the same way, that if God removed the Holy Spirit from that church, it would go on functioning as though nothing were different.” - A.W. Tozer  

 

John 14:16-17

 

The Holy Spirit was given because… WE NEED HELP!

“to help you”

How is He set up to help us?

 

  • The Spirit will be with us Eternally! (v. 16)

“and be with you forever”

  • The Spirit’s will be with us Internally! (v. 17)

“He lives with you and will be in you.”

John 16:7: “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.”

 

Two areas of help…

 

1. He helps with our comfort. (John 14:16)

2. He helps with our eternal life. (Eph. 1:13-14, 4:30)

 

 

S M A L L   G R O U P   D I S C U S S I O N

 

Question #1 – How much do you think about the Holy Spirit?  How much do you rely on the Holy Spirit?  Do you hear much of the Holy Spirit in church or among believers?  Do you think He is given appropriate consideration in our spiritual development?  Why or why not?

 

Question #2 –  At East Bay Calvary, we believe that the Holy Spirit indwells a believer until heaven.  He’s the guarantee of their salvation.  What other Scripture can you think of to support an eternal salvation that Christ gives?

 

Question #3 – The Holy Spirit is given because WE NEED HELP!  List the many needs we could have that the Spirit helps with.  What needs do you have that the Spirit could help with?

 

Question #4 – What comfort do you need from the Holy Spirit today?  How will you receive it … The Words He wrote in Scripture?  The people He’s given you in your church family?  The avenue of prayer you have to Jesus?  The groanings He makes for you when you just don’t know what to tell God.  Pray for comfort for specific situations for each other.