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Holy Spirit is My Helper

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THE HOLY SPIRIT — MY HELPER

Scripture: John 14:26, 16:7–15; Acts 1:8, 2:1–4; Galatians 5:22–23

Memory verse: Galatians 5:22–23
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self–control."

Lead—In

Before class cut nine fruit shapes from paper and write the fruit of the Spirit, one on each. Place the shapes in a box, wrap the box in brightly coloured paper, and top it with a bow. Make a gift tag by writing “To: Believers, From: God.” Display the gift.

Discuss some of the things frequently seen at a construction site. Let the students make suggestions as you write them on the chalkboard. Talk about the importance of the items in completing the job.

Explain that when we receive Jesus into our hearts, we begin to grow more like Him. God begins to build upon our faith to make us strong Believers. We are “under construction” as we become mature Believers, living lives that are pleasing to God. To help us in this building process, He sent us a special gift.

Draw attention to the gift-wrapped box. Ask the students to guess what is inside. They can feel the gift and shake it, but they cannot open it. Call attention to the tag on the gift. When all the students have had a chance to examine the box, let a child unwrap the gift.

Explain that the gift God sent us is not paper fruit. The paper fruit represents God’s gift—love, joy, peace, etc. Tell the students they will learn more about this special gift God sent and how He helps us “build” stronger Christian lives.

Hearing God’s Word

When Jesus returned to heaven, God sent us a present.

Ask: “Do you know who that present is?” (Allow responses)

The gift God sent is a Person: the Holy Spirit. God had sent Jesus to earth to live in a human body like ours and to die for our sins. Jesus did exactly what God sent Him to do.

In His physical or human body, however, there were things Jesus could not do. He could not be in more than one place at a time. Many people would gather around Jesus to hear Him speak and to be healed by Him. Yet there were people in many other places who could not be where Jesus was. This was one of His physical limitations.

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

When Jesus returned to heaven, He promised to send the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit came to earth, He could be everywhere at once because He is a spirit. The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity along with God the Father and God the Son. The Holy Spirit is called the Comforter. He can be with all Christians at all times. He is not restricted by physical limitations.

What the Holy Spirit Does

When Jesus was ready to go back to heaven, He told His friends about the Holy Spirit. (Read John 16:7, 8.) The Holy Spirit does three special things. First, the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and makes us feel guilty when we do something wrong. The Holy Spirit shows us that we are sinners and need to ask God’s forgiveness. He helps us have faith in Jesus to save us from sin. After we have accepted Jesus, the Holy Spirit is our Counsellor—He guides and comforts us. He also helps us continually live a Christian life by convicting us when we do wrong.

One of the most valuable ways the Holy Spirit helps Christians daily is by showing them what is true. John 16:12–15 tells what else Jesus told His friends about the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes it is difficult to know what to believe. When we listen to others we can become confused about what we should and should not do. The Holy Spirit can help us understand and know for sure what is right and wrong.

Ask: “Have you ever heard someone say that a certain part of the Bible meant something different than what you thought it meant?” (Allow response.)

If this happens, ask God to let you know what is true through the power of His Holy Spirit. You can also ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read your Bible each day and help you understand what the Scriptures mean.

The third thing the Holy Spirit does, and a major reason why God sent the Holy Spirit, is give all believers special power to become strong Christians and effective witnesses around the world. This is accomplished through the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Ask: “What do we mean by the baptism in the Holy Spirit?” (Allow responses. Ask the students to read Acts 1:8 and 2:1–4).

Before Jesus returned to heaven, He told His disciples the Holy Spirit would be sent to give them power to witness for Him. Jesus commanded them to use this power to preach the gospel.

The Holy Spirit came on the Day if Pentecost. This is sometimes called the birthday of the Church. On that day the disciples were gathered in Jerusalem waiting for Jesus’ promise to be fulfilled. Then something wonderful happened. (Read Acts 2:1–4 again together.) The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit.

Ask: “What special sign is mentioned in Acts 2:4 that proved something important had happened?” (Allow responses.)

All the disciples began to speak and praise God in languages they had not learned. This was the sign of the baptism in the Holy Spirit then and it is the evidence today.

When we allow Jesus to fill us with the Holy Spirit, we are given greater power to witness and live for Him. God has given us wonderful help.

Our lives are “under construction.” Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help us build strong Christian lives. However, we need to do our part too by reading and obeying God’s Word and praying. As we yield to the Holy Spirit, He will guide and help us be what God wants us to be. The Holy Spirit helps us be stronger Christians, but He also helps others see Jesus and desire to come to know Him.

The Fruit of the Spirit

The Holy Spirit helps us in many ways as we live daily for God. Galatians 5:22, 23 lists nine fruit of the Spirit that can be seen in our lives as we read and obey God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit to change us. (Have a student read Galatians 5:22, 23.) The Holy Spirit can help develop this fruit in the life of any person who has accepted Jesus as Saviour and Lord. This fruit can begin growing even before we are baptized in the Holy Spirit. Let’s discuss each fruit.

  1. First on the list of fruit is love. Love is probably the most important fruit we can have.  Ask: Why is this so?” (Discuss and have a student read John 13:35.) Jesus said by showing love for one another, the world will know we are His followers and that Jesus is real. It is important to show love in all we think, say, and do. We may know people who are hard to love. If we “act” in love as God tells us to, the Holy Spirit will help us to grow the fruit of love in our lives.
  2. When we show love for God and for others, we experience joy. Living for Jesus should give us a joyful life. The Holy Spirit can give us a joyful attitude, even when things go wrong. That does not mean we will be happy all the time, but we will have joy deep inside. This is so because we know that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” (Romans 8:28). Having a joyful attitude will help us not to be negative about others or about unpleasant situations we may face.
  3. A third fruit of the Spirit is peace. Peace is something the whole world wants, but true peace comes only through the Holy Spirit’s help. Christians have a special peace that the world cannot give nor take away. (Have a student read John 14:27.) This peace helps keep us calm instead of worried or anxious as we face problems or hard times.
  4. Another fruit of the spirit important to the Christian is patience. It is easy to get upset when things do not go our way. If things go wrong or do not happen as fast as we think they should, we can become angry. We need to develop patience by trusting God to take care of things that concern us. Patience from the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to be content.
  5. When Jesus was on earth, He was kind to people. Jesus showed kindness to even the worst sinners. Kindness is another fruit the Holy Spirit will develop in our lives. Others will want to be around us if we are kind and caring. If we have the fruit of kindness, we will care about other people’s needs and feelings. We will be kind as Jesus would be.
  6. Goodness is the fruit that shows we are becoming more like Jesus. We do good things rather than bad. Goodness also means we are fair and generous toward others.
  7. A fruit that goes with goodness is faithfulness. To bear this fruit means we are faithful to read God’s Word, talk to God, obey God, faithful to keep our promises to others, and faithful to carry out our responsibilities.
  8. Gentleness is sometimes misunderstood. Some think it means to be weak. This is not true. Gentleness means not being rough, pushy, or loud. A person who is gentle treats others with respect.
  9. The final fruit listed in Galatians 5:23 is self-control. This means bringing our physical bodies and desires under control.

Ask: “Why do you think these characteristics are called the fruit of the Spirit?”

Accepting God’s Word

Ask the students to give examples of how they will manifest the fruits of the Spirit in their lives this week.

Making Friends 

It was my privilege to serve among the Fulani of Nigeria for three years. The majority are nomadic herdsmen. They move with their families and livestock across the northern part of the country in search of grazing areas. They build temporary houses from stocks of corn and sorghum.

I would visit their makeshift villages and ask to see the chief. When I arrived at the shelter serving as a home for his family, he would bring a large cow skin and roll it out on the ground. Then, we would sit and visit about our families and work. On each visit, I would ask for permission to preach the gospel. Permission was always granted because we were friends. Extending and receiving hospitality is one of the best ways to gain permission to introduce Jesus to the Fulani.

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Fulani Shepherds

l. Young men to be protected as they guard the family's investment in livestock,
2. Shepherds' thoughts turn toward God as they are alone and observing God's creation,
3. Messengers to locate the young shepherds and engage them in conversation about spiritual truths.

Prayer Promise

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands" (Psalm 19:1).

Remember: THE HOLY SPIRIT -  MY HELPER

Memory verse: Galatians 5:22–23
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self–control."

1. The Holy Spirit makes me feel guilty when I sin."
2. This sense of guilt makes unbelievers recognize that they are sinners.
3. Then, the Holy Spirit gives us faith to put our trust in Jesus and bear fruits of the Spirit.

Pray for Fulani shepherds.

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Study 7 | Come Holy Spirit/Born Again | africaatts.org/go-teach

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