Main Theme: The Holy Spirit will not force us to obey against our will. We need to cooperate with the Holy Spirit as far as we are able.
Read in Class: John 16:5-15. Discuss the main idea of this passage.
Study: In this passage, Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the “Spirit of truth” (John 16:13, NIV). What does this imply that the Holy Spirit does for us?
Apply: What convictions has the “Spirit of truth” brought to you recently? How well are you listening to His voice? And, most important, what choices are you making with your free will?
Share: Your friend says that if you are led by the Holy Spirit that you will agree with him on every Bible doctrine, because after all, he is led by the Holy Spirit too. Do you agree with your friend? Why or why not? Do we sometimes create unnecessary crucibles by trying to make everyone agree with us? See Do we Have to Agree on Everything?
Read and Compare in Class: Colossians 1:28-29, Deuteronomy 4:4, Luke 13:24, 1 Corinthians 9:25, and Hebrews 12:4.
Study: Though Paul talks about God working in him, in what ways does he show the human effort also involved?
Apply: What is your own experience with the kind of striving Paul talked about? What things has God laid upon your heart that you are struggling with? How can you learn to surrender to God’s will?
Share: Your friend says, “God understands some of us may be trying very hard to overcome our bad habits, even though it may not look like it to others.” Do you agree with your friend? Consider: “While some are continually harassed, afflicted, and in trouble because of their unhappy traits of character, having to war with internal foes and the corruption of their nature, others have not half so much to battle against. They pass along almost free from the difficulties which their brethren and sisters who are not so favorably organized are laboring under. In very many cases they do not labor half so hard to overcome and live the life of a Christian as do some of those unfortunate ones I have mentioned.” Ellen White, Testimonies Volume 2 page 74
Read in Class: 1 Peter 1:13-16. Discuss the main idea of this passage.
Study: What is Peter concerned about, and what does he want his readers actually to do?
Apply: What important decisions are you facing? Ask yourself honestly, “How can I know if I am basing my choices on feeling, emotion, desire, as opposed to the Word of God?”
Share: Your friend asks, “How can I tell the difference between the Holy Spirit speaking to me and my own feelings and desires?” What do you tell your friend?
Read in Class: Matthew 5:29-20. What is the main idea of this passage?
Study: Is Jesus suggesting we literally main ourselves physically? What is He actually saying?
Apply: What are some practical ways we can remove temptations?
Share: Think of someone who you have seen grow spiritually over time. Can you affirm them and encourage them this week?