By Mark A. Finley
Have you ever felt powerless against sin in your Christian life? Have you failed again and again and wondered why? The Bible has some answers. In this lesson we will examine the secrets of victorious Christian living. Understanding the ministry of the Holy Spirit makes all the difference. The Spirit accomplishes in us what is impossible to accomplish on our own.
1. How does Christ strengthen each believer to overcome Satan’s temptations?
“That He [Christ] would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16).
We are _______________________________________ with ____________________________
through His ____________________________________________________________________.
2. What did the apostle Paul promise to those who are filled with Christ’s Spirit?
“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Those filled with the Spirit receive __________________________________________________.
What’s another word for liberty? ___________________________________________________
The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives liberates us from anger, bitterness, resentment, and lust. The bondage of sin is broken through the mighty power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:15).
3. Read the following text and describe in your own words what it means to walk in the Spirit.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. . . . For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom. 8:1-6).
The apostle Paul clearly describes the Spirit-filled life in these verses. As we claim God’s promises by faith, and allow the Holy Spirit to mold our lives and change our behavior, we walk in the Spirit. To walk in the Spirit means that we give the Holy Spirit permission to transform our thought processes and shape our characters.
4. When the Holy Spirit dwells in us, who is it that actually resides within us?
“Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us” (1 John 3:24).
Christ dwells in us through His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit within us bears witness of Jesus and produces the fruit of the Spirit, the qualities of Jesus’ life in our lives. We do not live the Christian life alone. We are empowered through the Holy Spirit.
5. When the Holy Spirit dwells in us, what is His ultimate goal?
“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a deposit” (2 Cor. 1:21, 22).
He has __________________________ us and given us the Spirit in our ____________________
as a _________________________________________________________________________.
The Holy Spirit’s ultimate goal in our lives is to “seal” us. What does it mean to be sealed? In ancient times a seal authenticated a document. For Christians the sealing is the process by which the Holy Spirit awakens a desire within us to live in harmony with God’s will, and strengthens us to obey God. When the Holy Spirit changes our lives, He leads us to live obedient, godly lives. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and empowers us to live righteously. The transformation that takes place in our lives is the guarantee that we are authentic Christians.
6. What happens if we fail to respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and refuse to allow the Spirit to shape our behavior and live within us?
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30).
7. What is the greatest evidence that we are children of God?
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom. 8:16).
The Spirit _____________________ _______________________ ______________with our spirit.
The Holy Spirit residing in us brings peace and joy deep within our hearts. We know that we are His children. This assurance enables us to live with hope in the midst of a world of sickness, suffering, and death. Through the Holy Spirit we have the confidence that our heavenly Father will one day right every wrong and bring us to His eternal kingdom, where evil is vanquished and love reigns eternal.
The final installment in this series about the Holy Spirit will be “The Prayer Life of Jesus.”