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Living in the Spirit

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LIVING IN THE SPIRIT

Scripture: Romans 8:1–14

Memory verse: Romans 8:14
"For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God."

Lead—In

Begin the class session with this object lesson. Fill a clear container, such as a jar or a glass, with a clear soft drink (like Sprite). Drop several raisins into the glass. Bubbles will form on the raisins and make them rise to the surface. Once to the surface, the bubbles will burst and the raisins will sink to the bottom. Then new bubbles will collect on them and they will once again rise to the top.

After the students have observed the raisins rise and fall, tell them this is like our Christian lives when we attempt to live without the help of the Holy Spirit.  When we are filled with the Holy Spirit and depend on Him daily, we will always have the help we need to live for Jesus. We can “rise above” difficult circumstances and trials. Without the Holy Spirit, we will be like the raisins—up and down, up and down. One day we will soar as Christians, but the next day we will be discouraged and wonder if God even knows or cares where we are.

Tell the students to listen for how they can be dedicated Christians who stand firm for Jesus and live for Him.

Hearing God’s Word

During this study we have learned much about the Holy Spirit. But it is not enough just to know facts about Him. We need to experience His power. We must choose to do this.

Who Controls Our Lives?

God does not force His will upon us. God made us with the ability to make choices. Will we live for ourselves by letting our human natures rule our lives? Or will we let the Holy Spirit direct our lives so we can please God?

Perhaps you have thought, I can hardly wait until I am totally on my own. Then I can do as I please without teachers giving me homework or people telling me what to do!

Ask: “But does anyone ever become independent enough to be totally on their own with no one telling them what to do?” (Allow discussion.)

No matter how mature a person becomes, there are always going to be people, rules and laws one must obey. Even if we choose to turn away from God’s laws, we will find ourselves obeying other laws—Satan’s. Man never is completely free from rules. He must make the choice of whose laws he will obey.

Choosing Whose Laws to Obey

(Instruct the students to locate Romans 8 in their Bibles.) This chapter tells about the characteristics of those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit and those who let their human natures control them.

(Ask a student to read Romans 8:1.) The person who lives a life led by the Holy Spirit is not under condemnation.

Ask: “What does it mean to be condemned?” (Allow responses.)

It means we are found guilty of doing wrong. But when we are saved by the blood of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit has come into our lives, we no longer are guilty or condemned. God declares us “not guilty” and promises us eternal life.

Many people want to ignore an important truth. The man who lets his human nature control him is obeying Satan’s laws and is under condemnation. He is guilty of sin.

(Ask a student to read Romans 8:2.) What is the man who is led by the Holy Spirit free from? He is free from sin and death. But the man who lets his human nature rule is not free from sin and death. He is under Satan’s control.

What does the man led by the Holy Spirit enjoy? (Have the students read Romans 8:6.) Two things he enjoys are life and peace. With God’s peace in his heart, the Christian is not afraid of the future. He knows he has eternal life; his soul is safe as he lets the Holy Spirit guide him.

(Ask the students to read Romans 8:7, 8.) The man controlled by his human nature is not so fortunate. He lives only to please himself. This kind of person (1) is an enemy of God, and (2) does not obey God’s laws. His life cannot please God because he is depending on his own strength to succeed. What a foolish way to choose to live!

On the other hand, the person who is led by the Spirit of God knows great joy. (Ask a student to read Romans 8:14.) When people yield to God, He gives them new life by sending the Holy Spirit to be with them.

A Spirit–Controlled Life

Which way would you choose to live? I am sure all of us would want the way of the happy man, the life directed by the Holy Spirit. But how do we get this kind of life? The answer is found in Romans 8:14, our memory verse.

Ask: “What is it? (Allow responses.)

The way we are able to live happy, peaceful lives, free from the bondage of sin, is to obey the Holy Spirit’s leading. That means we follow God day by day, month by month, year by year, throughout our entire lives.

Sometimes we may be tempted to be stubborn, cheat, steal, lie, disobey, rebel, or be disrespectful. But as we let the Holy Spirit guide us, He will give us the power to control these feelings and keep us from sinning. The Holy Spirit will give us power against Satan’s tricks. If we do sin, the Holy Spirit will let us know we have done wrong.

Being Open to All God Has for Us

When we are saved, the Holy Spirit begins to guide us. But He wants us to have a fuller, more powerful spiritual life. This can happen only as we commit our lives to God and listen to the Holy Spirit as He guides us into the truths in God’s Word.

Once a poor man learned that a wealthy relative had died and left him his home and all his property. The man had never visited this relative; he had been too poor to travel. Finally the poor man saved enough money and went to see the property that was now his.

When the poor man arrived, he was surprised to find a huge stone wall around beautiful lawns and gardens.  Just inside the gate, the man found a lovely house. It was nicer than any place he had ever lived. He liked it so much he decided to move right in.

Many months later a lawyer came to take care of the final business concerning the property. The man told the lawyer, “This place is wonderful! I cannot believe I now live in such a fine house on such beautiful grounds!”

“You mean you have been living all this time in this little house?” the lawyer asked. “Why, this is only the gardener’s house. Your house is just over the hill. It is much grander than this one could ever be.”

Some people are like the man living in the little house. They get saved and are content just to attend church. They do not seek to grow stronger in their Christian lives. The Holy Spirit offers us so many more blessings. He wants us to enjoy strong spiritual lives. How sad that some people constantly struggle with their human natures, trying to be good by their own strength.

Maybe you are wondering how you can live in the Spirit. As you pray, study God’s Word, and obey Him, you become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading. You can live in the Spirit and allow Him to guide you to become more like Jesus. As you let the Holy Spirit lead you, you are given His power to obey God.

A Family Resemblance

Our memory verse says that if we are led by the Holy Spirit, we are God’s children. We often notice children who look and act like their parents. When we become God’s children, a member of His family, God’s Spirit living in us helps us to act as God wants us to. We will show love and kindness to others. We will become obedient, honest, and respectful.

Do you want to live like a child of God should? Let the Holy Spirit lead you day by day. He will give you power to live a strong Christian life. The Holy Spirit wants to guide your life. As He does, you will develop the family qualities and become more like Jesus.

Accepting God’s Word

What a privilege to have God as our heavenly Father! The way to become part of God’s family is to receive forgiveness for sin. Explain the plan of salvation—that we must be sorry for and admit our sin, believe Jesus died for us, and ask His forgiveness. Ask if anyone would like to become part of God’s family by receiving Jesus as Saviour at this time.

Review ways the Holy Spirit helps believers in their Christian walk. Encourage the students to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading each day. How do we follow His leading? (1) Reading God’s Word, which provides a way for the Holy Spirit to communicate with us. (2) Praying for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. (3) Obeying the Holy Spirit when we feel a nudge from Him in our hearts or minds. (4) Attending God’s house to keep learning and being encouraged to live in the Spirit.

Pictures

Most of my pictures were taken during the 1½ hours we spent seated on a mat in front of the sheik’s house. The people were curious and wanted to be a part of the event. The visit was short and a relational bridge was built. However, that bridge will need to emerge more in the future to be really effective.

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Zigula Converts

1. Messengers to build relationships with villagers,
2. Identify those with an interest in knowing the truth about Jesus,
3. Share God's work with an anointing upon each presentation.

Prayer Promise

"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7).

Remember: LIVING IN THE SPIRIT

Memory verse: Romans 8:14
"For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God."

1. I do not have all the answers to the problems and challenges of life.
2. The Holy Spirit will give me wisdom and understanding in each situation.
3. I choose to be led, guided and controlled by the Holy Spirit.

Pray for Zigula converts.

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Study 15 | Prayer Power / Holy Spirit | africaatts.org/go-teach

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