News Articles

Bible Study: God’s gift of the Holy Spirit

NASHVILLE (BP) – This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from The Gospel Project curriculum.

Bible Passage: Acts 2

Discussion Questions:

  • In what circumstances do you tend toward skepticism when people praise God for something?
  • What are some reasons we might overlook the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives?
  • Where and with whom is the Spirit leading you to share the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Food for Thought:

Read Acts 2:1-4. Imagine a family member who is never grateful for his or her gifts. Perhaps at Christmas each year this person lets you know it. Sometimes it’s just a shrug: “Hmm. Thanks.” Other times it’s a direct comment: “You should’ve gotten me such-and-such instead.” Then, in an effort to finally win this person’s approval, you offer a sentimental gift based on a shared experience, and the person’s first response is, “I don’t understand this.” Needless to say, such a person’s ungrateful attitude would make Christmas, birthdays and similar occasions difficult.

Scripture refers to the Holy Spirit as a gift from God, but sometimes we can respond how this hypothetical family member responded to Christmas presents. We might shrug at His existence. In our darkest moments, we might prefer a different gift. Often we simply don’t understand His purpose and therefore miss the point altogether.

When we read Acts 2:1-4, our minds should be drawn immediately to the glorious truth that God Himself has come to live inside of us in God the Holy Spirit. The coming of the Spirit is a foretaste of the age to come, what theologians often call the “already/not yet” expression of God’s kingdom. The Spirit’s dwelling inside believers marks them as God’s temple, a preview to the world of what new creation life will be. Thus, we celebrate the Holy Spirit because He is God living in us, leading us toward a new eternal city where there is no death, pain, tears or division (Revelation 21–22).

Often we read this passage and spend our time and energy arguing about the role or legitimacy of spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues. While that issue is not unimportant, primarily we should remember that believers are all given the Holy Spirit so that we can believe, apply and share the Gospel in our everyday lives. This was the main reason Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). The gift of the Holy Spirit is God’s promise to seal us for salvation and empower us to live out the Gospel.

The Gospel Project

The Gospel Project is a chronological, Christ-centered study for kids, students and adults. The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/gospelproject.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool or ordered at LifeWay Christian Resources.

    About the Author

  • Staff/Lifeway Christian Resources