This week's Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.
Bible Passages: John 14:26; 16:8-11; 1 Corinthians 3:16, Ephesians 5:18
-- What would your life look like if you were filled with God's Spirit?
-- What are practical steps to take to let the Spirit control your life?
Food for Thought:
Corrie ten Boom once said, "Trying to do God's work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you." How right she was on both counts!
Many believers have come to a point of utter frustration in their service for the Lord simply because they have failed to realize the need to be filled with the Spirit. Just as we cannot save ourselves apart from the work of God's Spirit, neither can we serve the Lord effectively without His Spirit.
When the apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesian believers, "be filled by the Spirit" (Eph. 5:18), he used a verb tense that suggests this filling is a continual action. The literal thought is "keep on being filled." When we are being filled by the Spirit, we are allowing ourselves to be under God's control.
In thinking about the Holy Spirit, it's important that we remember the Holy Spirit is not a package on a string let down from heaven. He is not a liquid, nor are we a cup. He is a Person. It follows then, that to "be filled" depends on our relationship to Him. It's not a matter of receiving more of Him but of opening more of ourselves to a stronger relationship with Him. It is a matter of desiring Him to more fully occupy, guide and control every area of our lives.
The test as to whether you are filled with the Spirit is not "Have you received an external sign or been given a particular gift of the Spirit?" The test is rather "Have you given yourself wholly and without reservation to God?"
When we allow Him to work through us, He frees us from the frustration of trying to accomplish spiritual and eternal results solely through our human ability -- or, more properly, inability.
MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors, relaying pertinent, practical messages that adults can find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at www.LifeWay.com/MasterWork.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWaySundaySchool.com.
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