Introduction: With the high price of gasoline these days you probably
want to hear about an alternative source of power! How about a free
source of energy? This week we turn our attention to the ingredient
in our lives that will give us power in our witnessing. Let’s take the
power plunge into our study!


    1. Read Acts 1:3-5. Was John’s baptism essential for a
      believer? Why?

      1. Is Jesus saying that baptism by the Holy Spirit is the
        equivalent, in importance, of a water baptism? Do you
        think it is more important?

        1. Read Matthew 3:1-2, 11. What does this text say
          is the reason for baptism with water?

          1. What does John mean when he says the
            “kingdom of heaven is near?” (I think he
            means Jesus.)

          2. Why do you think he links baptism to the
            closeness of the kingdom of heaven?

        2. John speaks (v.11) of a coming baptism of the
          Holy Spirit and fire. Are the Holy Spirit and
          fire the same thing? What do you think John
          means? (The context is important, so let’s read
          Matthew 3:10-12. John seems to say that Jesus
          will give the Holy Spirit (greater power) to His
          followers. Fire represents destruction. Perhaps
          this means we have a choice: God or destruction.
          However, consider whether it can also refer to
          the destruction of evil tendencies among the

        3. What about today? Is the kingdom of heaven at
          hand? Do we face a Holy Spirit vs. fire
          decision? How about a Holy Spirit AND fire

      2. In Acts 1:4 Jesus calls baptism with the Holy Spirit
        “a gift from the Father.” Why is the Holy Spirit a
        gift? (Remember last week we learned the disciples
        were told in Matthew 28:19 to make disciples and
        baptize them in the name of the Holy Spirit. The Holy
        Spirit is like righteousness, it is not something that
        we earn. See also Luke 11:13)

      3. If you cannot earn the Holy Spirit, can just anybody
        get Him? (Read John 14:14-17. This text suggests we
        must ask for the Counselor (the Holy Spirit). If you
        add one view of Matthew 3:11, which tells us that we
        have a choice between the Holy Spirit and fire, we see
        how important it is to ask for the Holy Spirit.)

      4. Read Acts 5:32. Doesn’t this text give us mixed
        signals? It tells us the Holy Spirit is a gift, but
        that only those who obey get it. How do you explain
        this text?

    2. Let’s get back to our story of the disciples in Acts 1. Read
      Acts 1:12-14. Remember Jesus earlier told them they would
      get a gift from the Father and that they should remain in
      Jerusalem until they got it. What do you think they were
      constantly praying about? (I think they, in accord with John
      14:14, were praying for the gift of the Holy Spirit.)

      1. Have you asked for the gift of the Holy Spirit?

      2. Have you earnestly prayed for the gift of the Holy

    3. If you were to get the gift of the Holy Spirit in power,
      what would you do with it? Let’s look at that next.


    1. We have decided two things:

      1. That we must ask for the Holy Spirit; but,

      2. The Spirit is a gift, like salvation, that we cannot

    2. Does this mean that there are no conditions for receiving
      the Holy Spirit?

      1. Can anybody who asks, get the Spirit, regardless of
        how they will handle the gift?

      2. What are the “user conditions” to the getting the

    3. Read Philippians 2:12-15. When verse 13 refers to the “God
      who works in you,” what is meant? Is this the Holy Spirit?

      1. Who is supposed to be running the show in our life:
        you or God?

      2. Whose purpose are we supposed to follow without
        complaining or arguing?

    4. If you want to use the Holy Spirit, as opposed to being USED
      BY the Holy Spirit, do you think He will come in power?

      1. Is this a “user condition” to getting the gift of the
        Holy Spirit – that you have to follow His lead?

      2. We were earlier troubled by Acts 5:32 (God gives the
        Holy Spirit to those who obey). Is this the answer?
        Obedience is an attitude of following God as opposed
        to following our own desires?

    5. When we buy cleaning products they give handling and use
      instructions. (“Handle with care.” “Do not take internally.”
      “Do not get in contact with your eyes.”) What handling
      instructions would you suggest for the Holy Spirit? (How
      about, “Do not handle, let it handle you?”)

    6. We have already seen in Acts 1:14 that the disciples were in
      prayer while waiting for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Our
      lesson (Thursday) suggests a link between fasting and the
      action of the Holy Spirit. Read Acts 13:2-4. This text
      refers to fasting and praying and the resulting guidance of
      the Holy Spirit. What reason can you think of for fasting?
      What sense is there in fasting (other than to lose weight)?

      1. Why are fasting and prayer mentioned together?

      2. Are we more likely to receive the Holy Spirit in power
        if we have been fasting?

        1. Our lesson suggests (Thursday) digesting food
          drains energy from the brain – therefore the
          reason for fasting. Is that it? Fasting stops
          the “brain drain?”
          1. I’m feeling very tired at the moment that I
            am writing this. If God is concerned about
            the physiological, why don’t we read in the
            Bible about “prayer and getting enough
            sleep?” “Prayer and exercise?”

          2. We spent the first part of this section
            discussing letting the Holy Spirit use us.
            Is the practice of fasting related to the
            idea of the Spirit using us? (I think the
            lesson is missing the mark on the “brain
            drain” idea. Fasting is self-denial.
            Fasting makes you feel weak. It is kind of
            a humility thing. Self-denial, dependence
            upon God, those are the conditions that are
            most conducive to receiving the Holy Spirit
            in power.


    1. The title of our lesson refers to the “joy” of witnessing.
      Is there joy in being used by the Holy Spirit? If you say
      “yes,” then describe it to me.

    2. Read Acts 2:4, 6, 12-21. Does it sound like the disciples
      were having fun? If you were part of the “Joel experience”
      would you be having fun?

      1. Not too many of us have a language barrier when it
        comes to witnessing to those we know. Can the Holy
        Spirit still give us a gift of tongues? (Knowing what
        to say (see Luke 12:11-12) is certainly a variation on
        this gift.)

      2. Would you have joy in knowing just the right thing to
        say to help an unbeliever?

    3. Friend, God wants to give us the gift of His Holy Spirit. He
      is looking for open hearts, those who are ready to be used
      by His power. Will you open your life to this gift?

  4. Next Week: Participants in Witnessing.