The Incredible Transforming Power of the Holy Spirit

Romans 8:9-17

When we have the Holy Spirit, we have all that is needed to be all that God desires us to be.” A.W. Tozer

In preparation: Read Psalm 138 together.

Discussion:  During hard times, all of us have a propensity to struggle. Sometimes, our struggles are very different than the people that we are in the same hardship with. 

Here are common ones:

  1. Flight – These people are anxious and fearful. They worry. They feel overwhelmed. They want to escape.
  2.  Fight – These people get easily frustrated with others. People annoy them or disappoint them easily. They can have a low grade anger or frustration that makes it hard for them to love others without being judgmental.
  3. Fix – These people are the peacemakers and the problem solvers. They want everything to be okay and everyone to be okay. Their greatest struggle is feeling useless or helpless.

Ask one another: Do any of these describe you?

The beauty of the gospel is found not simply in the fact that God has finished a work on our behalf in Christ but that because of the gospel, God has begun a new work for the sake of Christ in all His children. He is about to make all things new. And that means you!

Trials and hardships are where we learn to trust and try out the new life made possible through Christ. It is when we walk through our most uncertain moments of discipleship that we discover the certain hope and help of the Holy Spirit.

The very trials that threaten to undo us are designed to transform us. 

Romans 8 is the great promise that no trial can triumph over a Christian because God is for us! 

How is God for us? The Holy Spirit living in us!

  1. God’s Indwelling Presence: God is Not Checking in Occasionally. God is Living in Permanently. (8:9)

“For Paul, possession of the Spirit goes hand-in-hand with being a Christian. However much we may need to grow in our relationship to the Spirit; however much we may be graciously given fresh and invigorating experiences of God’s Spirit, from the moment of conversion on, the Holy Spirit is a settled resident within.” (Douglas Moo)

Read John 14:15-17

Discussion Questions: 

Where does the Holy Spirit live according to this passage?

Why do we need this inward presence in our lives?

If you want play this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nbMfLQd2P4

  1. God’s Indisputable Power: The Holy Spirit is not here to make the Christian life a mere possibility. The Holy Spirit has come to make it a progressive and powerful certainty.
  1. The Spirit guarantees the progression of the Christian in righteousness (8:10). There is a resurrection life here and now.
  1. The Spirit also guarantees the resurrection of the Christian in eternity (8:11). 

Discussion: Do you believe that you can live up to God’s expectations?

Do you believe that the Holy Spirit can do in and through you what seems impossible for you?

Why does Jesus call the Holy Spirit, the Helper?

  1. The Christian’s Incredible Potential: The Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is a complete game changer. The Spirit makes living for Christ and His kingdom both a possibility and a great joy!

The Holy Spirit gives the struggling Christian:

  1. A Renewed Mindset: To stop believing old lies (8:12).

The flesh does two things: It tempts you to sin and it tempts you to self-salvation. It says: “You have to satisfy me” or “You have to save me.”

The Holy Spirit gives the believer confidence! He reminds you that you are no longer a slave: either to sin or fear! It’s not on you. It’s on Jesus.

Say to one another: You aren’t a slave to sin or fear anymore! It’s not on you!

Song to listen to: No longer a slave to fear!

  1. A Resolved Will: To start breaking old habits (8:13).

The Holy Spirit gives the believer strong convictions. Convictions are truths joined to affections. The conviction of the Spirit is that Jesus is infinitely better that all of sin’s pleasures.

“Human beings must summon and harness their wills in order to overcome sin, which bubbles up within us and desires to manifest itself in bodily actions. The squelching of sinful impulses is not attributed, however to the agency of human willpower… Victory is by means of the Spirit.” (Tom Schreiner)

“… self-control is not control by oneself through one’s own willpower but rather control of oneself through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Jerry Bridges)

The Holy Spirit says: “Christ is sweeter, purer higher! Greater than all sin’s treasures! Christ is better than all the world’s treasures and pleasures.

Say to One another: Christ is sweeter!

Describe the things you know and love about Jesus:

Song: Open the Eyes of My Heart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if9UbuxDyEg

“The object of the Gospel is both to pacify the sinner’s conscience, and to purify his heart; … The best way of casting out an impure affection is to admit a pure one; and by the love of what is good, to expel the love of what is evil.
Thus it is, that the freer the Gospel, the more sanctifying is the Gospel; and the more it is received as a doctrine of grace, the more will it be felt as a doctrine according to godliness. (Thomas Chalmers)

  1. A Reconciled Heart: To start praying powerful prayers (8:14-15).

The flesh wearies you with the sense that your standing with God is conditional on your performance before God.

The Holy Spirit cries “God is your Father”. The Holy Spirit gives you a powerful sense of your sonship! Confident prayer is birthed out of unconditional love!

“The spirit of bondage works by fear for the slave fears the rod: but love cries, Abba, Father; it disposes us to go to God, and behave ourselves towards God as children; and it gives us clear evidence of our union to God as His children, and so casts out fear. So that it appears that the witness of the Spirit the apostle speaks of, is far from being any whisper, or immediate suggestion or revelation; but that gracious holy effect of the Spirit of God in the hearts of the saints, the disposition and temper of children, appearing in sweet childlike love to God, which casts out fear or a spirit of a slave.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections

Say to Each Another: God is our Father! Our Father forever! 

(Read Ephesians 3:14-21 before you go to bed tonight)

  1. An Unreserved Soul: To start living courageous lives (8:16-17).

The flesh makes your love and sacrifice conditional on other people’s cooperation.

The Holy Spirit gives you Courage: Courage is a willingness to risk earthly loss for the sake of eternal glory.

“You can only afford to be generous if you actually have some money in the bank to give. In the same way, if your only source of love and meaning is your spouse, then anytime he or she fails you, it will not just cause grief but a psychological cataclysm. If, however, you know something of the work of the Spirit in your life, you have enough love “in the bank” to be generous to your spouse even when you are not getting much affection or kindness at the moment.”
Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God

Discussion: Have we been frustrated with each other?

How can we show the love of Christ for each other?

Song: “The Love of God” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWnvmKoLWUU

“Remember, there is no power in man so fallen but that the Holy Spirit can raise it up. However debased a man may be, in one instant, by the miraculous power of the Spirit, all his faculties may be cleansed and purged. Ill-judging reason may be made to judge rightly; stout, obstinate wills may be made to run willingly in the ways of God’s commandments; evil and depraved affections may in an instant be turned to Christ, and old desires that are tainted with vice, may be replaced by heavenly aspirations.” Charles Spurgeon