Author Topic: SDA Sabbath Sch Lesson 5--3rd Qtr 2020--Spirit-Empowered Witnessing  (Read 690 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Wally

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 5585
  • Romans 8:35, 38, 39
 Lesson 5 July 25-31

Lesson 4 July 18-24





Spirit-Empowered Witnessing





Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon




So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 41532
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath Sch Lesson 5--3rd Qtr 2020--Spirit-Empowered Witnessing
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2020, 06:19:17 AM »
Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: John 15:26, 27; Acts 2:41, 42; Acts 8:4; Heb. 4:12; Acts 17:33, 34; Acts 18:8.

Memory Text: “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31

When Jesus commanded the early believers to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” it must have seemed like an impossible mission (Mark 16:15). How could they ever accomplish such a huge challenge? Their numbers were so small. Their resources were limited. They were a largely uneducated band of ordinary believers. But they had an extraordinary God who would empower them for their extraordinary mission.

But Jesus declared, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8. The empowering of the Holy Spirit would enable them to share the message of the cross with life-changing, world-changing power. The Holy Spirit made their witness effective. In a few short decades, the gospel impacted the entire world. Acts declares that these early believers “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). The apostle Paul adds that the gospel was “preached to every creature which is under heaven” (Col. 1:23). In this week’s lesson, we will especially focus on the role of the Holy Spirit in empowering our witness for Christ.

Amen!! Without the Holy Spirit living in the heart, we can do no good thing. When self dies, the Spirit takes possession of the heart and brings with Him all of the fruits of the Spirit, not one will be missing!!




Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, August 1.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 41532
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath Sch Lesson 5--3rd Qtr 2020--Spirit-Empowered Witnessing
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2020, 07:36:34 AM »
Sunday         July 26

Jesus and the Promise of the Holy Spirit


With the promise of the Holy Spirit, Jesus met the disciples’ concern about His leaving them and returning to heaven. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” John 16:7. The Greek word for “helper” {the lesson used the NKJV which is translated "helper" instead of "comforter" in the lesson} is parakletos. It refers to “one who comes alongside of” for the purpose of helping. One of the prime functions of the Holy Spirit is to come alongside of all believers to empower and to guide them in their witnessing activities. When we witness for Jesus, we are not alone. The Holy Spirit is beside us to guide us to those honest-hearted seekers. He prepares their hearts before we ever meet them. He guides our words, brings conviction to the seekers’ minds, and strengthens them to respond to His promptings.

This explanation could  be presented in a much better manner to help "believers" and those who are seeking truth understand what it means to be converted. I have exchanged the NKJV which is being used by the author with the KJV. It is a much better translation. The Word Comforter which is used in the KJV is much better than "helper" which is used in the NKJV. The Holy Spirit does not come along side of the true believer, He comes into the heart. Why use Comforter?

The Comforter is called “the Spirit of truth.” His work is to define and maintain the truth. He first dwells in the heart as the Spirit of truth, and thus He becomes the Comforter. There is comfort and peace in the truth, but no real peace or comfort can be found in falsehood. It is through false theories and traditions that Satan gains his power over the mind. By directing men to false standards, he misshapes the character. Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart. Thus He exposes error, and expels it from the soul. It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself.

In describing to His disciples the office work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus sought to inspire them with the joy and hope that inspired His own heart. He rejoiced because of the abundant help He had provided for His church. The Holy Spirit was the highest of all gifts that He could solicit from His Father for the exaltation of His people. The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church. Desire of Ages, pg 671.


This explanation of the office of the Holy Spirit is so very important. It will help to correct a great deception which has come into the Christian faith. What does it mean to be truly converted. Many believe they are converted and have salvation when in fact they were buried alive, self did not die. This deception has led to the truth that Jesus speaks to His church in the third chapter in the Book of Revelation. As a people we believe we have salvation and are indeed in a converted state.  But, Jesus says "Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods,  and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

The Holy Spirit does not come along side of those who are truly converted. He comes into the heart. Why is this so important? Because when we make a whole heart surrender, we become partakers of the divine nature. How so? The Holy Spirit is Christ's representative. He is the third person of the godhead. It is He that lives in the heart of all who love God supremely. "It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church."

Notice that it is the heart that is made "pure". We do not believe in "holy flesh," but we do believe in being sanctified, made holy. It is the heart that is cleansed from all sin, made pure and holy when the Spirit takes possession of it. I would encourage all to study this chapter in Desire of Ages, especially this section that deals with the office of the Holy Spirit.



Read John 15:26, 27 and John 16:8  .

 15:26   But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 
 15:27   And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. 
 
16:8   And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 


What do these verses tell us about the Holy Spirit’s role in witnessing?

We are given help in that the Spirit is not dwelling in the sinner, but He comes along side of unrepentant sinners and speaks to their minds revealing sin, righteousness, and judgment. He helps sinners to understand who they are apart from God, and promises life everlasting and peace that passes all understanding. We are to witness this power in our own lives. What the sinners see in us is explained by the Holy Spirit to those seeking truth in the world.


The Holy Spirit testifies or witnesses of Jesus. His ultimate goal is to lead as many people to Jesus as possible. His mission is to glorify Jesus. In this role, He convicts all believers of their responsibility to witness. He opens our eyes to see the possibilities in people all around us and works behind the scenes to create a receptivity to the gospel message.

The Gospel of John states it clearly. He “will reprove the world of sin” (John 16:8 ). In other words, He moves upon hearts to bring a deepening sense of alienation from God and the need of repentance. He also convicts the world “of righteousness”. Not only does the Holy Spirit reveal sin, He instructs us in righteousness. He reveals the magnificence of Jesus’ righteousness in contrast to our own filthiness. The Holy Spirit’s role is not merely to point out how bad we are; it is to reveal how good, how kind, how compassionate, and how loving Jesus is and to mold us into His image.

We have great opportunity here to explain that we are to be His witnesses. Witnesses of what? Of the righteousness Christ imputes and imparts to those who love Him with the whole heart. Do you give glory to God? What does it mean to give glory to God?

By looking unto Jesus, by beholding Him in His ministry, we shall become changed into His likeness in character, and then when imbued with His Holy Spirit we give glory to God in reflecting to others the grace bestowed upon us. Thus we declare the glory of God, by copying His character which we highly esteem and by being intensely in earnest to declare His excellencies in our own life character.

My prayer is daily that I may speak with a sanctified tongue. Every Christian is to declare the attributes of the character of Christ. He looks upon Christ, His goodness, His patience, His compassion, and His love, and he cheerfully employs all his powers and all his faculties in His service. False motives and spurious principles decidedly lead away from Christ. Their seeming good works cannot bear the test and trial, and when brought into strait places self breaks forth in words of criticism and harsh words of condemnation of that which he should approve. It is the love and fear of God and respect to all His commandments which is an influence to provoke to love and good works. Every human agency that loves Jesus Christ will take care of the disposition of the mind in that he will not sin in thought, in tongue and voice, or in expression. By our words we shall be justified or by our words we shall be condemned.  18MR, pg 220.


Witnessing is simply cooperating with the Holy Spirit to glorify Jesus. In the Spirit’s power and under His guidance, we testify of this amazing Christ who has transformed our lives.

Amen!! All who are truly in a converted state and filled with the Holy Spirit will reveal His character, the fruits of the Spirit, a transformed life.


In our desire to work for souls, why must we always remember that we can’t do the converting, but only the Holy Spirit can?

Our part in the conversion of sinners is immeasurably small. God's part is immeasurably large. What is our part? We are to be His witnesses that it is possible to be transformed in character, to be made pure in heart, to love as He loves. It is God's part through the Holy Spirit to open the sinner's mind to who he is apart from God, and who he can become when filled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit reveals there is a punishment coming to all who do not repent of what they have done to God and those they have hurt. But, if they will learn of God, they may have peace that passes all understanding. We are to show them it is possible to love the unlovable. We as a people have failed to give glory to God. If we had done our part, we would not still be here on this Earth. God will have a people who truly do keep His commandments and reflect His character in that they will cease to sin. Then Jesus can come. The sinners in the world are waiting to see a sanctified church, then they will know there is a God who has power to transforms sinners into saints.  From Ezekiel:

 36:22   Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not [this] for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. 
 36:23   And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I [am] the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 
 36:24   For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 
 36:25   Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 
 36:26   A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 
 36:27   And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them]. 

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 41532
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath Sch Lesson 5--3rd Qtr 2020--Spirit-Empowered Witnessing
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2020, 07:54:35 AM »
Monday       July 27

An Empowered Church


The book of Acts rightly has been called, “The Acts of the Holy Spirit”. It is an exciting adventure in witnessing, evangelistic proclamation, and church growth. Acts is the story of consecrated believers, filled with the Holy Spirit, impacting the world for Christ. They were totally dependent on the Holy Spirit to accomplish miraculous results. Theirs is an example of what the Holy Spirit can accomplish through men and women that are totally consecrated to Him.

Amen! It is not in coming along side of man, but living within that the Holy Spirit reveals God's glory working in man. All of the fruits come with Him when we are truly in a converted state.


Read Acts 2:41, 42; Acts 4:4, 31; Acts 5:14, 42; Acts 6:7; and Acts 16:5.

 2:41   Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls. 
 2:42   And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 
 4:4   Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand. 
 4:31   And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. 
  5:14   And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 
 5:42   And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. 
  6:7   And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. 
16:5   And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily. 


What impresses you most about these passages? What is the message that Luke, the author of Acts, desires to share by recording such rapid growth?

God wants us to understand that when we are a converted people and filled with the Holy Spirit, we shall not only see rapid growth of the church, we will see an outpouring of the Spirit even greater than what we read of in the Book of Acts when the Spirit was poured out upon those already filled with the Holy Spirit.


Luke’s intent in writing the book of Acts is to share with each reader the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the early church.

Notice, too, that he is not hesitant to use numbers to measure the movement of the Spirit in the first century. That is, he was counting baptisms. In Acts 2:41, he highlights the fact that 3,000 were baptized in a single day at a single place. In Acts 4:4, he speaks of 5,000 men who were baptized. In Acts 5:14, multitudes come to the Lord and are baptized.

Whether it is a single individual like Lydia, the Philippian jailer, a demon-possessed slave girl, or the Ethiopian eunuch, Luke takes notice and records the moving of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of these people.

Amen! Not along side of those who are converted, but in their hearts.


The important point here is that behind each of the large numbers are individual human beings, each one a child of God for whom Jesus Christ died. Yes, we like the big numbers, but in the end, witnessing is often a one-to-one endeavor.

Amen. And before we enter into evangelistic witnessing, we must wash our feet and hands in the living water that we might be filled with the Spirit and His Living Water.


To facilitate the rapid growth of the New Testament church, new churches were planted. One of the reasons that the early church grew so rapidly is because the church was constantly renewed through planting new churches. What an important message for us today.

The prime focus of the New Testament church was mission. How can we make sure that, at the core of all that we do in our local church, mission is always at the center?

The answer is always the same. We must have Jesus abiding in our hearts through the agency of the Holy Spirit. If we are truly converted and filled with the Holy Spirit, we do not have to be told to do mission, we will do mission. It is the work of all who are filled with the Holy Spirit to help those who are not.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 41532
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath Sch Lesson 5--3rd Qtr 2020--Spirit-Empowered Witnessing
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2020, 08:32:40 PM »
Tuesday        July 28

The Holy Spirit and Witnessing


Throughout the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit was powerfully present. He ministered to and through the believers as they witnessed for their Lord in a variety of ways. He strengthened them to face the trials and challenges of witnessing in a hostile culture. He led them to honest-hearted truth seekers. He prepared the hearts of people in whole cities before the believers ever came to those cities. He opened doors of opportunity that they never dreamed of and empowered their words and actions.

Most importantly, all who were truly surrendered, a whole heart surrender, the Holy Spirit dwelt in their hearts and empowered them to keep the law and reveal the fruits of His Spirit, all of them.


Read Acts 7:55; Acts 8:29; Acts 11:15; Acts 15:28, 29; and Acts 16:6-10. How did the Holy Spirit minister to the witnessing disciples in each of the experiences listed in these Bible verses? In other words, what were some of the various things the Holy Spirit did in these situations?

The Holy Spirit’s varied ministry in the first century was truly amazing. The experiences above are just a sampling of His activity. He strengthened Stephen to witness for his Lord in the face of a ruthless and out-of- control mob stoning him to death. He miraculously guided Philip to an influential, truth-seeking Ethiopian to open up the continent of Africa for the gospel. He gave Peter a confirmatory sign when the Gentile believers also received the gift of the Holy Spirit. He brought the church together in unity at a time when it could easily have split over the issue of circumcision, and he opened up the entire continent of Europe to the preaching of the gospel through the apostle Paul.

Let's take a moment to consider how Stephen witnessed to the Apostle Paul when he was yet the sinner, Saul. From the Book of Acts:

7:51   Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers [did], so [do] ye. 
 7:52   Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: 
 7:53   Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept [it]. 
 7:54   When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with [their] teeth. 
 7:55   But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 
 7:56   And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. 
 7:57   Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 
 7:58   And cast [him] out of the city, and stoned [him]: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. 
 7:59   And they stoned Stephen, calling upon [God], and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 
 7:60   And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. 


Stephen was not being "nice" to these men. God forbid that he would be. Why? Was he following the leading of the Holy Spirit? If so, what was to be gained by such strong words of rebuke. After all, it ended up leading to his death. I look forward by God's grace to be there when Saul meets Stephen at his resurrection. Why? Because Stephen does not know that what he did prepared Saul to be converted, and was a mighty apostle that wrote most of the New Testament. How did what Stephen do lead to the conversion of Stephen? How are we saved? By grace. How did Saul see God's grace since he never saw the Jesus do His wonderful works? In fact He thought Jesus to be an imposter. Conversion is the end of a long protracted process of wooing by the Holy Spirit. It was the Spirit that led Stephen to reveal grace to the man who encouraged his stoning. How so. Read again verse 60. Is this not grace?  Yes, it was. And it disturbed Saul until he finally repented of his sins and gave his whole heart to Jesus on the road to Damascus.


The Holy Spirit was active in the New Testament church and is active in the life of the church today. He longs to empower us, strengthen us, teach us, guide us, unify us, and send us out on the most important mission in the world, which is leading men and women to Jesus and His truth. The point we have to remember is that He is still active and working today, just as He was in the time of the apostles and the early church.

What can we do, day by day, to make ourselves more open and amenable to the power of the Holy Spirit in our own lives? What are the right kinds of choices that will enable Him to work in and through us?

Great questions. If we are praying and studying to know God better, we will be open and amenable to His power. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day contemplating the life of Christ, especially the closing scenes. Why? How does this answer the questions asked?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 41532
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath Sch Lesson 5--3rd Qtr 2020--Spirit-Empowered Witnessing
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2020, 08:46:34 PM »
Wednesday         July 29

The Holy Spirit, the Word, and Witnessing


The Word of God was at the very heart of the witness of the New Testament church. Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost drew largely from the Old Testament to prove that Christ was the Messiah. Stephen’s dying testimony reviewed Israel’s history in the Old Testament. Peter referred to the “word which God sent to the children of Israel” (Acts 10:36, NKJV) and then shared the Resurrection story with Cornelius. The apostle Paul referred again and again to the great Old Testament predictions regarding the coming of the Messiah, and Philip carefully explained to a seeking Ethiopian the significance of the Messianic prediction in Isaiah 53. In each instance, the disciples proclaimed God’s Word, not their own. The Spirit-inspired Word was the basis of their authority.

Read Acts 4:4, 31; Acts 8:4; Acts 13:48, 49; Acts 17:2; Acts 18:24, 25. What do these passages teach us about the relationship between the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the witness of the New Testament church?

The same Holy Spirit who inspired the Word of God, works through the Word to change lives. There is life-giving power in the Word of God because, through the Spirit, it is Christ’s living Word.

Why is there life giving power in the Word? Why does faith come by the Word? What is the Word? We have begun reading again the Desire of Ages. In the first chapter we read: "By coming to dwell with us, Jesus was to reveal God both to men and to angels. He was the Word of God,—God’s thought made audible." The Bible says "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us..." John 1:14. This is why there is living power in the Word, it is a revelation of the character of God. As we read the Bible, we learn of God. We cannot trust someone we do not know. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, we will trust Him with the whole heart, with all we have and all we are.


Read 2 Peter 1:21 and Hebrews 4:12. Why is the Word of God so powerful in changing lives?

“The creative energy that called the worlds into existence is in the word of God. This word imparts power; it begets life. Every command is a promise; accepted by the will, received into the soul, it brings with it the life of the Infinite One. It transforms the nature and re-creates the soul in the image of God”. — Ellen G. White, Education, p. 126.


Amen!! Have we been transformed in nature? Are we are revelation of the character of God? The Bible tells us that we may become partakers of God's divine nature? How can that be?


The reason the Bible has such power to transform lives is because the same Holy Spirit who inspired the Bible in the first place inspires and changes us as we read it. As we share God’s Word with others, the Holy Spirit works to change their lives through the Word He inspired. God has promised to bless His Word, not our words. The power is in the Word of God, and not human speculation.

Amen. It would be good to encourage others to read the inspired Word instead of what man has written. We would be saved from much deception if we did.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 41532
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath Sch Lesson 5--3rd Qtr 2020--Spirit-Empowered Witnessing
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2020, 08:47:14 PM »
Thursday ↥         July 30

The Life-Transforming Power of the Holy Spirit


A careful study of the book of Acts reveals God through His Spirit working miracles in human lives. Acts is a case study on the gospel’s triumphing over cultural biases, transforming lifelong, deeply ingrained habits, and teaching all humanity Christ’s grace and truth. The Holy Spirit meets people where they are, but He does not leave them there. In His presence, they are changed. Their lives are transformed.

Read Acts 16:11-15, 23-34; Acts 17:33, 34; and Acts 18:8. These are just a few of the conversion stories in the Bible. What do the various accounts teach us about the power of God to change the lives of all sorts of people from various backgrounds?

What an amazing variety of people. Lydia was a prosperous Jewish businesswoman, and the Philippian jailer was a middle-class Roman civil servant. The Holy Spirit can reach all spectrums of society. His power to transform reaches both men and women, rich and poor, educated and uneducated.

The last two characters on our list are equally as remarkable. Acts 17:34 refers to the conversion of Dionysius the Areopagite. The Athenian Areopagites were part of the legal counsel of judges who tried court cases. They were prominent, well-respected members of Greek society.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the ministry of the apostle Paul reached even the upper echelon of society. Crispus (Acts 18:8 ) was a ruler of the Jewish synagogue. He was a religious leader steeped in Jewish Old Testament thought, and the Holy Spirit broke through and changed his life. These case histories reveal that as we witness for Christ and share His Word with others, the Holy Spirit will do remarkable things in the lives of all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds, cultures, education, and beliefs. We cannot and must not make assumptions about who can or cannot be reached. Our job is to witness to anyone and everyone brought into our lives. The Lord will do the rest.

Christ’s death was universal; that is, it was for every human being, ever. What should this crucial truth teach us about how we should never assume that anyone is beyond the hope of salvation?

Friday ↥         July 31

Further Thought:

Read Ellen G. White, “The Gift of the Spirit”, pp. 47-56, in The Acts of the Apostles; “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled”, pp. 667-672, in The Desire of Ages.

The Holy Spirit cooperates with the Father and the Son in the redemptive process. In all of our witnessing activities, we are joining Him in His work of saving people. He convicts hearts. He opens doors of opportunity. Through His Word, He enlightens minds and reveals truth. He breaks the bonds of prejudice that enslave us, triumphs over cultural biases that obscure our vision of truth, and delivers us from the chains of evil habits that shackle us.

As we witness for Jesus, it is crucial to remember that we are cooperating with the Holy Spirit. He is there before us, preparing hearts to receive the message of the gospel. He is there with us, moving upon minds as we perform an act of random kindness, share our testimony, conduct a Bible Study, give away a piece of truth-filled literature, or participate in an evangelistic outreach. He will continue working upon the heart of the individual long after we leave, doing whatever it takes to lead that person to a knowledge of salvation.

Discussion Questions:

    Share with the members of your Sabbath School group a time when you sensed the Holy Spirit’s working powerfully though your witness.

    Have you ever felt apprehensive or fearful about sharing your faith? How does a knowledge of the ministry of the Holy Spirit reduce that fear and give you assurance as you witness?

    In this week’s lesson, we talked about the “activity” of the Holy Spirit in our witnessing. Discuss some different ways the Holy Spirit works with us in our witnessing endeavors. How does the Holy Spirit equip us to witness and work in the lives of others as we witness?

    The lesson talked about the centrality of the Bible in witnessing. Why is the Bible such a crucial component of our faith and witness? How can we avoid the traps of those who, even while claiming to believe in the Bible, subtly diminish its authority and witness?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.