RIVERSIDE BLOG

Post Author: Tim Chilvers

Tim Chilvers is the Senior Pastor at Riverside Church.
January 16, 2022
And, Breathe | S1: We Are Not Alone

Teaching Series Introduction:

“If God was small enough to be comprehended, he would not be big enough to be worshipped.” (Imad Shehadeh)

This is a series all about the Holy Spirit. Who, or what, is the Holy Spirit?

The bible is mainly written in Hebrew (Old Testament) and in Greek (New Testament). Each of these languages has one word (Hebrew – ruach; Greek – pneuma) that is used for three different English words – Spirit, breath and wind. And so, the way the bible describes the Holy Spirit can be both confusing and illuminated by these ideas…the wind that powers the sails, and the breath that gives life. So, what role does the Holy Spirit play in the life of Christians? This series takes a deep dive in who the Holy Spirit is and the difference he makes in our lives. It’s time to breathe again.

“The Lord of hosts is with us. He’s not watching us move through this stream of history, he’s actually navigating it with us through his Holy Spirit.” (Karen A Ellis)

Session 1: We Are Not Alone

TEACHING SERIES: And, Breathe
TITLE: Session 1: We Are Not Alone
BY: Tim Chilvers
DATE: 16 January 2022
PASSAGE: John (Chapter 15, verses 26 to Chapter 16, verse 7) Read online

Listen Online: Podcast
Watch Online: Church At Home

Listen Online

Watch Online

Children’s & Youth Resources:

These resources will be used within the various groups in-person on a Sunday morning. This means that if you are unable to attend one of our Sunday Gatherings, you can still study and follow along with the same material at a time that is best for you. However you study, we encourage you to engage with your group as much as possible. If you would like to know about how you can get connected with our children’s or youth groups please contact us, we would love to hear from you.

Youth Resources

This Weeks Youth Video:

Children’s Resources

This weeks Children’s Video:

Bible Study Questions:

There are three different sets of questions for you to use, whether you are exploring God’s word within your Life Group, in other group settings, or simply using them on your own.

A. DISCUSSION STARTERS

These are simple questions to provoke discussion together out of the talk (ideal if you are watching our Sunday Service online with others in your group):

 

  1. Was there anything that particularly struck your during Tim’s talk?
  1. Was there anything that you didn’t agree with, or found difficult to understand in the talk?
  1. How might you live differently as a result of the talk?

 

B. QUESTIONS TO EXPLORE

These are questions that are based on the talk and the surrounding themes:

  1. One day a friend says to you, ‘What is the Holy Spirit?’ What would you say?
  1. Read John 16:26-16:7. In this section of John’s gospel (ch13-17), Jesus is describing what will happen when he leaves his disciples. And here he describes why it is for their own good that he leaves them. Why, according to Jesus, is it good that he leaves his followers? What will happen and why?
  1. What do you notice about the various things that Jesus says about the Holy Spirit?
  2. Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the ‘Advocate’. Read John 14:16, 26 and 1 John 2:1. Different translations of the bible use the word ‘Comforter’, ‘Counsellor’, ‘Helper’ or ‘Friend’. What do you think the word ‘Advocate’ might therefore mean? What impact does that have on your daily life?
  1. Read John 14:16-18. Imagine being one of those first disciples who had given up everything to follow Jesus, and now being told that he is leaving them (13:33). And yet, he now tells them that they will see him again! What would you feel? It seems that Jesus is saying two things – a) he will rise again, and also b) that the Holy Spirit will be with them forever. Both of these things are game-changers: in the same way that Jesus came back to life, so too he is with us forever – because the Holy Spirit is with us. In what way does this change how you see your life?
  1. It is clear that the Holy Spirit is none of the following: optional; for the ‘keen’ ones; for weird Christians. Instead, the Holy Spirit is: God himself; with us every step of the way; pointing to Jesus and leading us as the ultimate companion. How could this impact your every day life as a follower of Jesus?
  1. Take some time to pray, that you would be open to the Holy Spirit in your life. You may like to include prayer below.
    C. GOING DEEPER

    These are questions to help you go a little deeper, by exploring the wider biblical context.

    1. What, or who, would you say the Holy Spirit is?
    1. Read John 14:16-27 and John 15:26-6:7. This is Jesus instructing his disciples about the Holy Spirit. What are the crucial things that Jesus says about the Holy Spirit do you think?
    1. Jesus calls the Holy Spirit, the ‘Advocate’. Read also John 14:16, 26 and 1 John 2:1. It is noticeable that different versions of the bible use the word ‘Comforter’, ‘Counsellor’, ‘Helper’ or ‘Friend’. If you group all of these words together, what do you think the word ‘Advocate’ might therefore mean? What impact might that have on your daily life?
    1. In John 14:16, do you notice that Jesus says that the Father will send ‘another’ advocate. In the original language, there are two words that can be used to say ‘another’. One of those words means ‘the same but different’, whereas the other word means ‘exactly the same’. Jesus uses this second word here – the Holy Spirit is Jesus in all his fulness! The Holy Spirit is God with us. Therefore, look through the following passages to discover more of who the Holy Spirit is: Psalm 139:7-10, Luke 1:35, 1 Corinthians 2:10-11, Hebrews 9:14. What do these tell us about the Holy Spirit?
    1. Notice in John 14:17 that Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as a person, as ‘him’ – the Holy Spirit is not a nebulous energy force, the Holy Spirit is not an ‘it’. And, strikingly, in John 14:23 Jesus says that ‘we’ will come to them. What Jesus is simply saying is this – the fact that Jesus is going away is actually good for his followers because the Holy Spirit will come instead. When the Holy Spirit, it is Jesus with us. So, the Holy Spirit is referred to as the Spirit of Christ (1 Peter 1:11) as well as the Spirit of God (Job 33:4). Simply, the Holy Spirit within us is as good as the person of Jesus being with us 24/7. Think through your day tomorrow. Now, imagine that Jesus was with you every single moment. How would that change your day?
    1. Notice in John 15:26-27 that Jesus gives a purpose to the Holy Spirit. To testify about Jesus, in the same way that the disciples will testify about Jesus and even John will testify about Jesus (John 21:24). See Acts 4:33 – what does it mean to remember that the Holy Spirit is always testifying about Jesus? What impact might that have on your life this week?
    1. Take some time to pray, that you would be open to the Holy Spirit in your life. You may like to include prayer below.

     

      Bible Study Resources:

      We pray that you will find these resources useful. We encourage you to discuss what you learn with your group.

      Holy Spirit Video:
      For a helpful and simple introduction to the Holy Spirit, take a look at this video:

      A Prayer:
      Come Holy Spirit!

      Come and reveal yourself to me today.
      I want to know and experience you
      more than I ever have before.
      Come and change my life.
      I want to know more about you.
      Reveal yourself to me today.
      I pray this in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
      Amen. 

      TRANSCRIPT:

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