Why Do You Want the Spirit?

Here are my notes for the fourth session of The Forgotten God, by Francis Chan, which includes questions for my small group, quotes from the book, and other observations. Remember these are notes, and not a complete article on the topic. Please purchase the book to support the author. The first step in reversing the neglect of the Holy Spirit is to desire to see him at work in us. So ask, “Why do you want him?” We can’t assume our hearts are right in our motivation. Why does it matter? 1. What are a few possible motivations for desiring the Holy Spirit? 2. Can you detect any of these in your heart? Read Acts 8:9-24 3. It appears that Simon was intrigued by the … Continue reading

Handling False Accusations

Here we have made it to the first command at the Adult Stage or the Equip Level of disciple-making. This passage in the Sermon on the Mount is all about persecution of the believer. The odd thing is that Jesus tells us to rejoice, and be glad (Matthew 5:12), be glad and leap for joy (Luke 6:23), and remember (John 15:20). Jesus was persecuted (John 5:16, 15:20) and predicted that his followers would experience the same (Matthew 23:34, Mark 10:22, Luke 11:49). Persecution would determine the validity of their relationship to him (Matthew 13:21, Mark 4:17). We find persecution throughout the book of Acts (Acts 7:52, 8:1, 9:4-5, 13:50, 22:4, 7-8, 26:11, 14-15) and in the letters (Romans 8:35, 12:14, 1 Corinthians 4:12, 15:9, 2 … Continue reading

No More Facilitators

I just read this from Josh Hunt and had to pass it along! I wish I had a nickle for every time I have heard this: “We don’t really need teachers; we need facilitators.” I disagree. Jesus said to, “Teach all nations” (Matthew 28.19). He didn’t say to facilitate discussions of all nations. In the introduction to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-2) we read that Jesus began to teach them. We don’t ever read that He facilitated a discussion. In Acts 2.42 we do not read that the early church devoted themselves to the apostles’ facilitation of discussion. We read they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching. In 2 Timothy 2.2 Paul admonished Timothy to entrust the truth he had heard to reliable … Continue reading

Holy Spirit Theology 101

Here are my notes for the third session of The Forgotten God, by Francis Chan, which includes questions for my small group, quotes from the book, and other observations. Remember these are notes, and not a complete article on the topic. Please purchase the book to support the author. If we stop short of applying the truth to our lives, then we do not actually grasp that truth. Our belief determines action. More important than what we know is how we act. For lack of understanding we grieve the Spirit. Think about KGBC in light of the huddle analogy. How have you been running from the huddle to the bench? God gave the Spirit so that we might change the world. How might we look … Continue reading

Jesus Values Availability

We have finally come to the last command in the Youth stage, or the Build level of disciple-making. Availability is crucial to the mission of Jesus; no matter how gifted someone is, or knowledgeable of the Scripture, or talented, or popular… they cannot be used of God if they are not available. The purpose for today is to encourage believers to respond to the call to follow Christ in being trained in evangelism without looking for the perfect alibi, excuse, or reason why they cannot serve. God wants wholehearted volunteers, rather than those who are reluctant, delaying, defensive, or putting it off. Availability is more rare than ability. The worker shortage in the church is not because the church is not full of capable people. … Continue reading

Fear of the Holy Spirit

Here are my notes for the second session of The Forgotten God, by Francis Chan, which includes questions for my small group, quotes from the book, and other observations. Remember these are notes, and not a complete article on the topic. Please purchase the book to support the author. 1. Think about a time in your life when you were afraid (real or imagined). How did you feel? How did you respond? 2. Why do you think it is easy to become defensive and fearful of change when it comes to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit? 3. With which camp do you most identify? What fears and stereotypes do you have with the other camp? 4. Do these fears prevent you from changing your … Continue reading

Building Compassion

This lesson deals with Jesus building into the lives of the disciples a character trait that is necessary for reaching people with the gospel. The disciples needed to learn about compassion. A lack of compassion will cause disciples to not see the needs of people around them, and will prevent them from engaging people in hopes of sharing the gospel with them. Jesus’ mission was to seek, serve, and save the lost (Matthew 20:28, Mark 1:28, 10:45, Luke 4:43, 19:10). Read Matthew 9:9-13 Once these two pairs of brothers committed to follow Jesus in order to be trained in evangelism (Luke 5:1-11), Jesus led them into one of the cities near the Sea of Galilee. A man full of leprosy saw Jesus and bowed down … Continue reading

Who Needs the Spirit?

Here are my notes for the first session of The Forgotten God, by Francis Chan, which includes questions for my small group, quotes from the book, and other observations. Remember these are notes, and not a complete article on the topic. Please purchase the book to support the author. Our western mindset: we tend to assume that God won’t work supernaturally in our lives. We read some crazy stuff in the book of Acts but we don’t expect the supernatural. In John 14:16, Jesus promised “another” counselor to be with them. This is not another of a different kind, but another of the same kind! Jesus says the Spirit would be like him! When we are honest, we would prefer a real and physical Jesus … Continue reading

I Said, You Are Gods

Wow, here is one that will knock your socks off… What did Jesus mean in saying men were gods (John 10:34-36)? What has been popularly termed the “little god controversy” originated with Word of Faith pastors and teachers. The basic idea behind the controversy is that humans are actually divine, created “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27) not only in having a soul, having dominion over the earth, or living in relationship with others, but by being of the same “spiritual class” as God Himself. Evangelicals say this concept as misguided at best, or heretical and cultic at worst. Take a look at this brief documentary style video on this “little gods” heresy. You’ll be surprised at who teaches this doctrine. The main tenant … Continue reading

Don’t Be Afraid of Fishing

This lesson deals with the disciples going back to fishing after they spent about nine months investigating the words and works of Jesus. Fear causes many today to drop out before they are fully trained and convinced of the claims of Jesus. Background: These men spent nine months off and on with Jesus so this passage is not their first exposure to Jesus. After those initial nine months, Jesus stopped by their places of business and called to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Perhaps Jesus had hoped these men had developed a heart for the harvest and reaching lost souls for Christ. They dropped everything and followed him. We don’t know what caused them to return to … Continue reading