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Our Counsellor

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THE HOLY SPIRIT, OUR COUNSELLOR 

Scripture: John 14:16–18, 26; 15:26; 16:7

Memory verse: John 14:16
"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever."

Lead—In

Before class, write the following situation on slips of paper. Write other situations as needed to meet your number of students. Put the slips of paper in a small container.

  1. You have just moved and have to go to a new school.
    The students in your new class have studied further in the math book than your other school had. The teacher assigns homework, but you do not understand how to work the problems.
  2. You are travelling by bus to visit your grandparents in the village. You change to a different bus at a town about 20 kilometres from their village. Then, you discover that someone has stolen your money you had planned to use for transportation to the village.

In class, pass the container around the room and let students take one of the slips. Each student should read the situation and tell what the person needs to do to solve the problem.

After discussing the situations, tell the students they will be learning about someone who is always ready to give helpful advice and guidance to persons who have problems.

Hearing God’s Word

Have you ever had to say good–bye to someone who really liked? The sad part was that you did not know when you would see them again. That is what happened to Jesus and His disciples. Jesus had been travelling with these men for three years. Soon He would be going back to heaven. He tried to explain this to His disciples, but they did not fully understand what He was saying. They felt confused because they did not know what Jesus was telling them. Listen to today’s lesson for the answer to who would help them understand and where the best help and guidance would come from.

A Counsellor is Promised

Jesus tried to encourage His disciples by giving them a promise. This is our memory verse. (Repeat the verse two or three times with the students.)

Jesus promised He would not leave the disciples alone without a counsellor or an advocate. (Ask a student to read John 14:16–18). He said He would come to them through the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would be sent from the Father in Jesus’ name. As the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit was to do several things He would teach believers things they needed to know about God. He would be their helper by giving them power to tell others about Jesus and by encouraging them when troubling times came their way. The Holy Spirit would be with them at all times to give them strength and courage.

  • As the memory verse uses the term “advocate”, I think it is important to have it somewhere in the lesson.

The Holy Spirit Brings Glory to Jesus

Jesus had been teaching His disciples about God and the kingdom of heaven for almost 3 years. Yet Jesus knew they had not always understood what He tried to tell them. He also knew that once He was gone, it would be easy for them to forget the things He had told them. But with the Holy Spirit as their Counsellor, or helper, they would understand and remember the things Jesus spoke while He was on earth.

The Bible also says the Holy Spirit would “testify” about Jesus. (Ask a student to read John 15:26). This is an important function of the Holy Spirit. Each Person of the Trinity is equal in importance. However, each has a special function. The purpose of the Holy Spirit is not to attract attention to himself but rather to lead people to Jesus. People will receive salvation as the Holy Spirit deals with their hearts and draws them to Christ.

When Jesus asked the Father to send another Comforter, this did not mean the Holy Spirit came into being at that point. The Holy Spirit has always existed. He was present at creation. (Ask a student to read Genesis 1:2.) The Holy Spirit was present when Jesus was on earth, although the disciples were not as aware of Him as they were later. When Jesus was with the disciples, they came directly to Him and relied on Him to teach them. However, when Jesus returned to heaven, the Holy Spirit came in a direct and special way to the believers.

The Holy Spirit is Our Counsellor

Ask: “What does a counsellor do?” (Allow discussion.)

A counsellor gives advice and help. We look to many people for counsel—parents, teachers, pastors, and others we trust. But people can give only a limited kind of counsel. The best kind of help and guidance comes from the Holy Spirit. He can give you guidance in your schoolwork. He can help you make decisions about activities in which you might want to be involved and about friendships you might choose to make.

Maybe you are having problems at home with different members of your family. Sometimes it is hard to talk to someone else about your personal problems. But the Holy Spirit is always with us to guide and help. If we ask Him for help and keep our hearts and minds open to Him, He will show us what He wants us to do. This will be important throughout our lives. We are never too young or too old to need the comfort and help of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit Speaks to People

 Through the years people have told how the Spirit has helped and comforted them. One way the Holy Spirit can do this is by making the Word of God real to us. A missionary lady once was told she had a serious form of cancer. She knew she could die from it. But just before she went into surgery, the Holy Spirit directed her to Philippians 1:21–25 which begins, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” She felt this was the Holy Spirit speaking to her, telling her everything would be all right. She was not healed instantly, but God did us her in special ways to reach many people in the months following her surgery.

The Holy Spirit can also use us to pray for others, even when we do not always know exactly how to pray for their needs. Many missionaries have given testimonies of times they were in dangerous situations and the Lord miraculously delivered them. Later they would find that someone living thousands of miles away had been praying for them at that exact time. The Holy Spirit had urged that person to pray, and the missionary was kept from harm. The Holy Spirit is not limited by distance.  (Tell the students that the Holy Spirit can speak to people across the world at one time. Allow the students to share any similar experiences they may know about. Emphasize how the Holy Spirit helps believers in many different ways.)

The Holy Spirit is Our Friend

Ask: “When do you think you could use the Holy Spirit’s help?” (Allow discussion.)

The Holy Spirit is always with us to help and lead us; however, we have to open our hearts to receive His help. When we do, the Holy Spirit will be our friend and guide. He will be near us in every situation we face in life.

Accepting God’s Word

Explain that all have sinned and need salvation. Point out that showing us our need for salvation is one of the most important jobs of the Holy Spirit. Our problem is sin, and the Holy Spirit counsels us to seek salvation. When we are sorry for our sins and want Jesus to forgive us, that is the Holy Spirit working in our hearts. We should respond to His urging. Ask if anyone would like to receive salvation today.

(Tell the students that the disciples learned to depend on the Holy Spirit for guidance after Jesus returned to heaven. The Holy Spirit will be our friend and counsellor today too.)

Encourage the students to ask the Holy Spirit to help them know what to do when they face situations in which they need counsel. Ask them to name times like that. Ideas might include: when worried, resisting temptation, making a decision, and when things are going wrong. List their ideas on the chalkboard. Then say to the students, “When (read a situation), what will you do?” The students should respond, “Rely on the Holy Spirit to counsel me.” Repeat this with several situations. Emphasize that the Holy Spirit will help them if they ask. He can inspire someone to talk to them or bring to their thoughts a Bible verse or event that will guide them. Stress the importance of daily Bible reading. The Holy Spirit often speaks to us through God’s Word.

Village Life

Villages located on the coast utilize both fishing and farming to provide for the needs of the people. Their yards are clean, and it is refreshing to see villagers taking pride in their community. They don’t have a dispensary, but they do have primary and secondary schools.

The mosque and madrassa are dominant with all local people practicing the Islamic faith. My guide mentioned that although the entire village is Islamic, only about 40 percent are true Muslims. The other 60 percent are Muslim only by birth.

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for so-called Muslims

1. Muslims in name only to get acquainted with a true believer in Christ,
2. Secondary school students to be blessed with a Christian teacher,
3. God to prepare the heart and mind of youth to receive the gospel.

Prayer Promise

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth" (John 16:13).

Remember: THE HOLY SPIRIT, OUR COUNSELLOR

Memory verse: John 14:16
"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever."

1. Holy Spirit, help me to learn more about Jesus.
2. Holy Spirit I will accept your advice.
3. Holy Spirit, thank you for helping me share my faith with others.

Pray for Machinga who are Muslims in name only.

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Study 3 | Prayer Power / Holy Spirit | africaatts.org/go-teach

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