The Kingdom Mobilized
Newbreak’s Sermon Study Guide is an in-house resource that serves sermon-based Life Groups and/or individuals who want to reflect further on how the message contributes to their spiritual formation. In this week’s study, we look at Pentecost and how the arrival of Holy Spirit and how his presence and empowerment made it possible for God’s people to bring on earth as in heaven.
Icebreakers for Life Groups
- When was a time you had to wait for something you were really excited about?
- What was your understanding and experience of the Holy Spirit growing up?
Going Deeper Into the Message: How do we fulfill heaven’s purpose on earth?
Read Acts 1:4–8; 2:1–13
Pentecost was a holiday for the Jewish people. It was a holiday that brought Jews back together to celebrate: Jews scattered all around the world, all the different corners, all the different countries, different languages, and dialects. The feast itself was significant in two ways. (1) It had a historical significance. It commemorated the giving of the law to Moses on Mount Sinai. (2) It had an agricultural significance. At the Passover, part of the first crop of barley was offered to God; at Pentecost, two loaves were offered in gratitude for the safe harvest gathering. It was a harvest festival that gave the first fruits in anticipation of the rest of the harvest God would provide! So it was a holiday for everyone, and the crowds on the streets would be greater than ever. And this is when God chooses to pour out His Spirit.
Point 1 – Know that we need the Spirit’s presence and power.
And when we talk about the Holy Spirit, we reference God’s very presence (the third person of the Trinity). He is a “he” not an “it” in that he is personal, not impersonal. That is why it is interesting to consider dropping the “the” and just calling him “Holy Spirit.”
The Spirit takes permanent residence in us.
He is not just a visitor, he is a homemaker and our heart becomes his home! It’s the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise that he would make his home in his people. He does this by His Holy Spirit! We see this clearly throughout the New Testament. And this is very significant. In the sermon, the point was made that Pentecost made something new and clear: God’s people have become God’s temple.
Something has changed: God’s people are God’s temple.
1 Corinthians 3:16 (CSB) Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s temple and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
The Spirit gives us the power to live out His purpose.
Acts 1:8 (NIV) Jesus says: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Your purpose is important but it is futile without Pentecost! We need the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives if we want to truly bring about God’s will being done “on earth as in heaven!”
And then as you look at Acts 2, for one brief moment of time, the divisions in humanity expressed through language difference (cf. Babel, Genesis 11:1–9) were overcome. These divisions are presented in Genesis as the judgment of God. What happened on the day of Pentecost suggests that God’s curse had been removed. Whereas the Hebrew people had a Hebrew language which even created a division between their religion and others, Pentecost opens the door to show that Israel’s God was about to reclaim the nations! It is the Reversal of Babel. And just as Babel was about humans trying to build their own kingdom. Pentecost is about God bringing about His kingdom on earth as in heaven by pouring out His Spirit.
Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection
- Why is it important to view Holy Spirit as a “he” and not an “it”?
- Holy Spirit makes our heart his home. We become his temple. How does being the temple presence of God make a big difference in our daily lives?
- When was a time in your life you felt the power of Holy Spirit empower you to accomplish something of his will? How did this encourage you to keep leaning into his leading?
How do we fulfill heaven’s purpose on earth?
Read Acts 2:14–39; Galatians 5:25
Point 2 – Be responsive to the Holy Spirit
Jesus wanted His disciples to wait where they were for the Spirit to come on them because He knew that they would be much more effective when they had the power of the Spirit in them. Now that we do have the Spirit in dwelling us we should follow His lead. Just as a couple who dances appears disjointed and ineffective when they are both trying to lead, so do we appear that way to the world when we try to lead in our own lives instead of following Holy Spirit where He is leading us. Our lives become movements of beauty when we respond in obedience to the Spirit.
Co-dependency with another human is detrimental. Co-dependency with the Holy Spirit is our destiny! That’s because our weakness becomes strength when we bring God’s Spirit into it.
When we tell the Spirit that we trust Him to lead us and that we’re not strong enough to accomplish all God has for us to do without Him, we’re leaving Him the space to fill us with His joy in His presence, as it says in Acts 2:28. People are fallible and can lead us astray. The Holy Spirit is infallible and will only lead us where our good Father wants us to go.
Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection
- How does Peter’s explanation of what happened help make sense of Pentecost?
- Read Galatians 5:25 again. How does this challenge/encourage you where you are?
- How do you, personally, need Holy Spirit’s involvement in your life? How can we pray for you?
Final Challenge Questions
- How are you going to think or live differently in light of what you have read, heard, and discussed this week?
- How does this week’s message shape or nurture your relationship with God?
- BONUS: For those of you with kids or around kids: What is one truth from this message that you can share with your kids in a way that they would relate to or understand?