25th May 2021- Canvey Methodist Church Bible Studies

Canvey Island Church Methodist Bible Study Pentecost Revisited.

 

Welcome to the first of our zoom Bible Study Meetings at Canvey Methodist Church.

Last Sunday was Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit came upon the first disciples of Jesus.  Yesterday was the Anniversary of the day the Holy Spirit warmed the heart of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church. To set the scene on our reflections this evening, here is the Rev Steve Wild.

 

The Day John Wesley felt his heart strangely warmed reflections Rev Steve Wild

https://youtu.be/74pV5SdqXvk

 

On Sunday we heard the dramatic reading from the second chapter of Acts describing the awesome events of Pentecost. The words of the text convey the excitement and sheer power of what happened.

I wonder how it felt to have been there as these events unfolded..

.

https://youtu.be/PLa-lj0zCGg

 

Reading: John15:26-27;16:4-15;    The Work of the Holy Spirit

 

26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

 

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

 

Looking at this account from John 15 and 16 that describe the Holy Spirit’s actions and activity,

What does it tell us about the Holy Spirit and His work amongst people?

 

1) He will speak of Jesus and all that Jesus has done and will do. (V26)

2) Jesus sent him. (7). Jesus had to leave first though to make this happen.

3) The Holy Spirit does the convincing of Spiritual realities, not us. (V8-11).

4). He guides us into all truth (straight from the horse's mouth- from the heart of Jesus).


 

Reading John 7:37-39.      Rivers of Living Water

 

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” ’ Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

 

5) The Holy Spirit promises to flow from us like a river of living water.

 

Water is spoken of often in connection with the action of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus spoke of this image of the holy spirit being like living water at The Festival of the Tabernacles. This is a seven-day festival celebrating God’s provision to us and our dependence on him. One of its features was the drawing and pouring of water that took place each morning. The priests would process to the Pool of Siloam, draw water from it and then return to the Temple and pour it out on the altar. This pouring out of water is often linked to Isaiah 43:3

Can someone read this please?

 

For I will pour water on the thirsty land,

  and streams on the dry ground;

I will pour my spirit upon your descendants,

  and my blessing on your offspring.

 

and was a reminder of God’s provision of rain to make crops grow and a future hope of the living water that would flow from the Temple, as prophesied in Ezekiel 47:1-12 and seen in Revelation 22:1.

 

Then he brought me back to the entrance of the temple; there, water was flowing from below the threshold of the temple towards the east (for the temple faced east); and the water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me round on the outside to the outer gate that faces towards the east; and the water was coming out on the south side.

Going on eastwards with a cord in his hand, the man measured one thousand cubits, and then led me through the water; and it was ankle-deep. Again he measured one thousand, and led me through the water; and it was knee-deep. Again he measured one thousand, and led me through the water; and it was up to the waist. Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross, for the water had risen; it was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be crossed. He said to me, ‘Mortal, have you seen this?’

Then he led me back along the bank of the river. As I came back, I saw on the bank of the river a great many trees on one side and on the other. He said to me, ‘This water flows towards the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah; and when it enters the sea, the sea of stagnant waters, the water will become fresh. Wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish, once these waters reach there. It will become fresh; and everything will live where the river goes. People will stand fishing beside the sea from En-gedi to En-eglaim; it will be a place for the spreading of nets; its fish will be of a great many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. On the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.’

 

Rev22:1; Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb


 

On the last day of the Festival, which was the grand finale, the greatest day, this procession was carried out in an even more elaborate way with more water than usual poured over the altar. It is on this day that Jesus stood in the Temple courts proclaiming that whoever comes to him will never be thirsty. This was a big statement to a people celebrating the hope of God’s living water that they believed would flow out from the Temple when the Messiah reigned. Jesus was here proclaiming he was the one in which living water would flow out of and into those who believe.

We may lose the significance of the words Jesus proclaimed in the midst of that celebration as we read them today. That doesn’t mean they aren’t as true now as they were then. In this week when we celebrate the Spirit being poured out at Pentecost we hear the words of Jesus once again, that when we come to him we will not thirst and his living water will fill each of us.

 

How would you describe the moving of the Holy Spirit as described in this reading from Romans 8:22-27?

 

Reading: Romans 8:22-27.    New International Version

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

 

6). The Holy Spirit helps us to pray; to bring the intense prayers before God that we struggle to put into words.



 

To Ponder:

-How does God provide for you each day? Do you give thanks for that provision in particular ways?

-When have you felt most filled with God’s Spirit?

-What might be the ways in which what we say or do reflect God’s concerns, through the Spirit for the whole of creation.

-How can we learn to listen , to hear, heed and obey the Holy Spirit.