February 21, 2004 – February 27, 2004
“For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth.” Ephesians 5:9.
Suggested Reading: Testimonies, vol. 8, 19–23; Steps to Christ, 57–65.
“While the wind is itself invisible, it produces effects that are seen and felt. So the work of the Spirit upon the soul will reveal itself in every act of him who has felt its saving power. When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven. No one sees the hand that lifts the burden, or beholds the light descend from the courts above. The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God.” Maranatha, 70.
1 What must be the experience of one who enters the kingdom of God? John 3:3–6.
note: “Repentance, faith, and baptism are the requisite steps in conversion. . . . As Christians submit to the solemn rite of baptism, He registers the vow that they make to be true to Him. This vow is their oath of allegiance.
“Christ has made baptism the sign of entrance to His spiritual kingdom. He has made this a positive condition with which all must comply who wish to be acknowledged as under the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. . . . Those who are baptized in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that they have forsaken the service of Satan and have become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. . . .
“The obligations in the spiritual agreement entered into at baptism are mutual. As human beings act their part with whole-hearted obedience, they have a right to pray, ‘Let it be known, Lord, that Thou art God in Israel.’ The fact that you have been baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, is an assurance that if you will claim their help, these powers will help you in every emergency.” The Faith I Live By, 145.
2 How willing is the Lord to give us the Holy Spirit? Luke 11:13.
note: “Why do we not hunger and thirst for the gift of the Spirit, since this is the means by which we are to receive power? Why do we not talk of it, pray for it, preach concerning it? The Lord is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to us than parents are to give good gifts to their children. For the baptism of the Spirit every worker should be pleading with God. Companies should be gathered together to ask for special help, for heavenly wisdom, that they may know how to plan and execute wisely.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 22.
3 When the Holy Spirit comes to us, what will He do? John 16:7–10.
note: “It is the Spirit that causes to shine into darkened minds the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness; that makes men’s hearts burn within them with an awakened realization of the truths of eternity; that presents before the mind the great standard of righteousness, and convinces of sin; that inspires faith in Him who alone can save from sin; that works to transform character by withdrawing the affections of men from those things which are temporal and perishable, and fixing them upon the eternal inheritance. The Spirit recreates, refines, and sanctifies human beings, fitting them to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King.” God’s Amazing Grace, 194.
4 What is the work of the Holy Spirit everywhere in the world? Genesis 6:3. Compare Acts 7:51.
note: “The people of God are to be called out from their association with worldlings and evil-doers, to stand in the battle for the Lord against the powers of darkness. When the earth is lightened with the glory of God, we shall see a work similar to that which was wrought when the disciples, filled with the holy Spirit, proclaimed the power of a risen Saviour. The light of heaven penetrated the darkened minds of those who had been deceived by the enemies of Christ, and the false representation of him was rejected; for through the efficiency of the holy Spirit they now saw him exalted to be a prince and Saviour, to give repentance unto Israel, and remission of sins. They saw him encircled with the glory of heaven, with infinite treasures in his hands to bestow upon those who turn from their rebellion. As the apostles set forth the glory of the only begotten of the Father, 3,000 souls were pricked to the heart, and they were made to see themselves as they were, sinful and polluted, and Christ as their Saviour and Redeemer. Christ was lifted up, Christ was glorified, through the power of the Holy Spirit resting upon men.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 3, 1075.
5 How freely is the Spirit offered to us? John 7:37–39.
note: “As a people, we must prepare the way of the Lord, under the overruling guidance of the Holy Spirit. The gospel is to be given in its purity. The stream of living water is to deepen and widen in its course. In all fields, nigh and afar off, men will be called from the plow and from the more common commercial business vocations that largely occupy the mind, and will be educated in connection with men of experience. As they learn to labor effectively, they will proclaim the truth with power. Through most wonderful workings of divine providence, mountains of difficulty will be removed, and cast into the sea. The message that means so much to the dwellers upon the earth, will be heard and understood. Men will know what is truth. Onward, and still onward the work will advance, until the whole earth shall have been warned. And then shall the end come.” Review and Herald, July 5, 1906.
6 To whom will the Spirit be given? Acts 5:32.
note: “God is no respecter of persons. Those that honor Him He will honor. Of those who obey His commandments it is written, ‘Ye are complete in Him.’ [Colossians 2:10.] They cooperate with Him in the work of soul-saving. God says to them: ‘But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference; and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment spotted with the flesh.’ [Jude 1:20–23.]
“In order to be successful in the service of God, man must be guided by the Holy Spirit. . . . And the one who refuses to unite with Christ, the one who exchanges the pure principles of heaven for the corrupting principles of the world, thus searing his conscience, might better be separated from the work that is to represent in this world God’s justice, mercy, truth, and holiness.” Pacific Union Recorder, May 8, 1902.
7 Who will the Spirit of God lead us to exalt? John 15:26; 16:14, 15.
note: “The Holy Spirit exalts and glorifies the Saviour. It is his office to present Christ, the purity of his righteousness, and the great salvation that we have through him. [John 16:14 quoted.] The Spirit of truth is the only effectual teacher of divine truth. How must God esteem the human race, since he gave his Son to die for them, and appoints his Spirit to be man’s teacher and continual guide.” Steps to Christ, 91.
8 What does the apostle exhort in reference to our receiving the Holy Spirit? Ephesians 5:18.
note: “The heart that has once tasted of the love of Christ, cries out continually for a deeper draft; and as you impart, you will receive in richer and more abundant measure. Every revelation of God to the soul increases the capacity to know and to love. The continual cry of the heart is, More of thee, and ever the Spirit’s answer is, Much more; for our God delights to do ‘exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.’ [Ephesians 3:20.] To Jesus, who emptied himself for the salvation of lost humanity, the Holy Spirit was given without measure. So it will be given to every follower of Christ when the whole heart is surrendered for his indwelling. Our Lord himself has given the command, ‘Be filled with the Spirit’ [Ephesians 5:18], and this command is also a promise of its fulfillment. It was the good pleasure of the Father that in Christ should ‘all the fullness dwell;’ and ‘in him ye are made full.’ [Colossians 1:19.]” Review and Herald, November 5, 1908.
9 What will be received when the Holy Spirit comes into the heart? Acts 1:8; Ephesians 3:14–16.
note: “God desires that the receivers of His grace shall be witnesses to its power. Those whose course has been most offensive to Him He freely accepts; when they repent, He imparts to them His divine Spirit, places them in the highest positions of trust, and sends them forth into the camp of the disloyal to proclaim His boundless mercy.
“Provision is made by God Himself for every soul that turns to the Lord, to receive His immediate cooperation. The Holy Spirit becomes His efficiency.
“It is the Spirit’s power that we need. This can do more for us in one minute than we can ever accomplish by talking.
“Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train.” My Life Today, 47.
10 What is the fruit that we are to bear? Galatians 5:22, 23; Ephesians 5:9.
note: “Shall we consider that we are capable of fashioning our lives and characters to enter into the portals of glory? We cannot do it. We are dependent every moment upon the Spirit of God operating upon us and upon our children. . . .
“Your compassionate Redeemer is watching you in love and sympathy, ready to hear your prayers, and render you the assistance which you need in your life-work. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, faith and charity are the elements of the Christian character. These precious graces are the fruits of the Spirit. They are the Christian’s crown and shield. . . .
“As you receive the Spirit of Christ, . . . you will grow and bring forth fruit. The graces of the Spirit will ripen in your character. Your faith will increase, your convictions deepen, your love be made perfect. More and more you will reflect the likeness of Christ in all that is pure, noble, and lovely. . . .
“Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.” Sons and Daughters of God, 32.
11 Against what are we warned? Ephesians 4:29, 30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19.
note: “The work is before us; will we engage in it? We must work fast, we must go steadily forward. We must be preparing for the great day of the Lord. We have no time to lose, no time to be engaged in selfish purposes. The world is to be warned. What are we doing as individuals to bring the light before others? God has left to every man his work; every one has a part to act, and we cannot neglect this work except at the peril of our souls.
“O my brethren, will you grieve the Holy Spirit, and cause it to depart? Will you shut out the blessed Saviour, because you are unprepared for His presence? Will you leave souls to perish without the knowledge of the truth, because you love your ease too well to bear the burden that Jesus bore for you? Let us awake out of sleep. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour’ (1 Peter 5:8).” Review and Herald, March 22, 1887.
12 What blessings of the Holy Spirit are we promised today? Hosea 6:3; Joel 2:23, 28, 29; Zechariah 10:1.
note: “The Lord did not lock the reservoir of heaven after pouring His Spirit upon the early disciples. We, also, may receive of the fullness of His blessing. Heaven is full of the treasures of His grace, and those who come to God in faith may claim all that He has promised. If we do not have His power, it is because of our spiritual lethargy, our indifference, our indolence. Let us come out of this formality and deadness.” Review and Herald, June 4, 1889.