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Sabbath School Lessons on Holy Spirit
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About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 12: The Work of the Holy Spirit *
Introduction: What does it mean to be listening to the Holy Spirit?
When I'm studying the Bible to write these lessons, I find new
insights I've not considered before. I think that is the Holy Spirit.
No doubt that also happens to you when you study the Bible. But, I
think there is much more to the concept of listening to the Holy
Spirit. Those who are truly attuned to the Holy Spirit are led to
take or avoid certain actions. My wife started getting the impression
that she should contribute money to a specific student. She knew this
student, but not well. My wife kept getting that impression until she
wrote a check and sent it. When she was writing the check, she had an
impression about how much she should send. After she sent it, this
student called and said it was exactly the right amount that she
needed in a crisis, and it came on the last day possible. Let's
plunge into our Bibles to learn more about being attuned to the Holy
- Direction on Sin
- Read John 16:5-6. How did the disciples react to Jesus'
statement that He was leaving them? (They were so filled
with grief that they could not think straight. They
failed to ask the obvious question, "Where are you
- Read John 16:7. What Jesus calls "the Counselor" is the
Holy Spirit. Of all the names Jesus might have used for
the Holy Spirit, why call Him the Counselor? (It perfectly
fits what Jesus is about to explain to us. The Holy Spirit
will take over Jesus' role with the disciples - that of
instructing them to better understand God and how they
- Is this same offer open to us?
- Read John 16:8. On what three topics does the Holy Spirit
counsel us? (Guilt (arising from sin), righteousness and
judgment. Notice that in answer to my previous question
Jesus says the Holy Spirit will "convict the world." That
means we are included!)
- On the face of it, do these seem cheery topics -
guilt, righteousness and judgment?
- Read John 16:9. Let's focus first on the conviction of
sin. How, specifically, does the Holy Spirit bring guilt
about sin? (It has to do with humans not believing in
- How is believing in Jesus relevant to guilt about
sin? What is the logical basis for saying that? The
Jewish leaders who rejected Jesus believed in sin.
Why is a belief in Jesus important when it comes to
- Read Revelation 12:10-11. Who accuses us of sin? (It
is Satan who accuses us of sin.)
- Read 1 John 5:10-12. What is the belief in Jesus that
is so critical to our understanding of sin? (It is by
the life and death of Jesus that we survive Satan's
accusations. Thus, if you do not believe in Jesus,
you are lost. The Holy Spirit convicts us that Jesus
is the solution to our sin and guilt. Now, that is
- Direction on Righteousness
- Read John 16:10. When the Bible says that the Holy Spirit
will convict the world of righteousness "because [Jesus
is] going to the Father," what do you think that means?
(Jesus is leaving. The disciples need direction about
living their lives in a way that pleases God. The Holy
Spirit fills that role.)
- In the introduction, I mentioned the Holy Spirit
guiding my wife to help someone else. Would that be
guidance on righteousness?
- Read Hebrews 4:14-16. Is the Holy Spirit only filling in
for Jesus with regard to advice about right living? (No.
Part of the conviction of righteousness is that Jesus is
our High Priest who is mediating on our behalf with God
the Father. Jesus is the perfect mediator because He
understands the sin problems faced by us. More good news!)
- Direction on Judgment
- Read John 16:11. When you think about the Holy Spirit
convicting you of "judgment" is that a good or bad thing?
Is it a warning that a judgment is coming and you need to
reform? (That is not the main message. The main message is
that "the prince of this world now stands condemned."
Jesus won the victory! He made righteousness by faith
- Read 1 Peter 5:8-9. What do we know about this roaring
lion? (He has been defeated!)
- Does that mean Satan is no longer dangerous? (He can
devour us if we do not stand firm in faith. But, the
good news is that this dangerous lion is a defeated
- What does this text teach us about the source of
suffering in our life?
- Direction on Truth
- Read John 16:12-13. How else can the Holy Spirit lead us?
(He will teach truth that is too difficult for the
disciples to understand at present.)
- There is a very strong unstated message in these
promises about the way in which the Holy Spirit will
counsel us. What is the unstated message regarding
our role in talking to others about guilt, sin,
righteousness, judgment, and truth? (We need to be
careful about when and how we take the initiative to
counsel others about the problems in their lives. The
primary counselor role has already been taken by the
Holy Spirit. When we looked closely at the Spirit's
counsel, it was positive, rather than being "the
accuser of our brothers." That role is played by
- Read Romans 5:5. If we seek the direction and the help of
the Holy Spirit in bringing others to faith, what does
this suggest about being an accuser? (The Holy Spirit is
pouring love into our hearts, He is not pouring
unhappiness and shame. Our approach needs to be full of
- Read Matthew 5:7. When it comes to counsel, is mercy one
of your strong points?
- Direction on the Future
- Re-read John 16:13. What other advice will the Holy Spirit
offer to us? (He will also tell us what will happen in the
- Read 2 Corinthians 5:5. What other role does the Holy
Spirit play with regard to our future? (The Holy Spirit
not only reveals the future to us, but He is proof, a
guarantee, of our promised future with God.)
- Read Ephesians 1:13-14. Here is another text about the
Holy Spirit being a "deposit," a proof, a guarantee, about
our future with God. What I want you to look at is the
language about a "seal." How are Christians "sealed," how
are they "marked" as "God's possession?" (The Holy
- Read Revelation 14:9-10. What alternative mark should
- What does this teach us about the importance of
having the Holy Spirit active in our life? (This is
the mark that we want to have. It is the mark that
we must have. Having the "mark" of the Holy Spirit
"guarantee[s] our inheritance." Ephesians 1:14.
- Read Romans 8:16-17. What does the Holy Spirit tell us
about our future? (That we are heirs with Christ. We have
a future with Him! However, as heirs with Jesus we also
share in His sufferings.)
- Read Romans 8:13-15. What does the Holy Spirit do to help
us with suffering? (He gives us a way to avoid fear. Not
only do we have courage by being able to call God our
Father, but the Holy Spirit directs our minds and our
actions so that we will avoid creating those problems in
our lives that cause us fear.)
- Friend, the Holy Spirit has so much to teach us. He is
anxious to guide your life. Why not ask Him to guide and
counsel you? Why not ask Him to open your ears so you can
hear His direction? Why not make Him a partner in life in
all that you do? Why not decide to do that right now?
- Next Week: "Feed My Sheep: 1 and 2 Peter." We begin a new study
on these two interesting books of the Bible.
* Copr. 2017, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.