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 of God 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 our church look if we all began running plays?
We study biblical truth, which makes us smarter and knowledgeable, but doesn’t affect our lives. We are educated far beyond our obedience.
So, the result of this study could be that we walk around with more knowledge of the Spirit, or we can know and obey the Spirit.
The Spirit is a person, rather than a force, an it, or a ghost. (Matthew 28:19, the trinity / Ephesians 4:30, emotions)
The Spirit is God, not less than the Father or less than the Son. (Acts 5:3-4, the Spirit is called God)
The Spirit has his own mind and will (Romans 8:27, First Corinthians 12:11) and enables and empowers us to fulfill our mission.
The Spirit has emotions (Ephesians 4:30), grieving when there is disunity, or lack of love for others or God. Sin affects God.
The Spirit is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, immutable. (Zechariah 4:6, First Corinthians 2:10, Psalm 139:7-8).
The point is not to completely understand God but to worship him. Allow him to lead you to value him more.
Jesus left this earth and gave his followers an impossible task (Acts 1:8). He made it clear the Spirit’s power was needed.
What the Spirit does in and through us:
He helps us when we are in precarious situations (Mark 13:11, Luke 12:12).
The Counselor teaches and reminds us of what we need to know, and to remember what Jesus taught (John 14:26).
The Spirit brings peace in the midst of turmoil (John 14:27, Romans 15:13).
The Spirit works in the hearts of all people, convicting of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:7-11, First Thessalonians 1:5).
The Spirit seals us in Christ, and is a pledge of our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14).
The Spirit confirms in us that we belong to Christ (Romans 8:9).
The Spirit is the truth-revealer that helps and guides us to understand and interpret God’s Word (John 16:13).
The Spirit is our Helper, Counselor, Comforter, (Paraclete) (John 14:16).
The Spirit convinces us of the deity of Christ (John 15:26).
The Spirit is a gift-giver (1 Corinthians 12:7, 11, Romans 12:6).
The Spirit is a fruit-producer (Galatians 5:22-23, 2 Corinthians 3:18).
The Spirit is a witness empowerer and equipper (Acts 1:8, Romans 8:26, Ephesians 3:16-19).
The Spirit is a slave-redeemer, he sets us free (Romans 8:2, 10-11, Second Corinthians 3:17).
The Spirit is an adoption-confirmer, being witness we are God’s children (Romans 8:15-16).
The Spirit is a weakling-strengthener (Romans 8:26-27).
Now that we know all this, we must ask, “What does the Holy Spirit want from me right now?” “How can I cooperate with him in his work?” Don’t just ask what he can hypothetically do, but ask what he can do in your life.
Ponder the amazing power of the Spirit.
Francis Chan Quotes from The Forgotten God:
- What you do and how you live are absolutely vital. Without action and fruit, all the theology in the world has little meaning. But theology is still important—what you believe absolutely determines how you act.
- The point is not to completely understand God but to worship Him. Let the very fact that you cannot know Him fully lead you to praise Him for His infiniteness and grandeur.
- I have heard the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit described like the three parts of an egg: the shell, the white stuff, and the yolk. I have also heard people say that God is like a three-leaf clover: three “arms,” yet all are a part of the one clover stalk. Another popular comparison is to the three forms of H2O (water, ice, and steam). While these serve as cute metaphors for an unexplainable mystery, the fact is that God is not like an egg, a three-leaf clover, or the three forms of water. God is not like anything. He is incomprehensible, incomparable, and unlike any other being. He is outside our realm of existence and, thus, outside our ability to categorize Him. While analogies may be helpful in understanding certain aspects of Him, let’s be careful not to think that our analogies in any way encapsulate His nature.
- Yet when the Holy Spirit descended and indwelt them, a radical change occurred. From that point on, none of these disciples was ever the same. The book of Acts is a testament to this fact. We read of Stephen, the first martyr. We see Peter, a changed, courageous man. We see Paul (formerly Saul) go from killing Christ followers to becoming one and showing many others how to do so too.
- I believe that if we truly cared about the Holy Spirit’s grief, there would be fewer fights, divorces, and splits in our churches. Maybe it’s not due to a lack of belief but rather a lack of concern. I pray for the day when believers care more about the Spirit’s grief than their own.
- In 1 Corinthians we read that the gifts of the Spirit are “empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills” (12:11). This is an important reminder of who is in control. Just as we don’t get to choose which gifts we are given, so also we don’t get to choose what God intends for us or for the church.