Pentecost Sunday 2013 Resources CONTENTS Sermon outline for Pentecost Sunday 2013 (2 A4 pages) A4 photocopiable ‘Guide for Personal Prayer’ for church members to take home (A4 double sided) A4 photocopiable ‘Questions for Group Discussion’ -1 hr outline for mid-week groups (A4 double sided)
The Sermon Pack resources can be used separately or as part of a mini series for 7th Sunday of Easter, Pentecost Sunday & Trinity Sunday). All resources can be freely adapted and photocopied
Introduction: In 2013, 2014 & 2015 the Diocesan Vocations Strategy is prayerfully encouraging the growth of healthy churches and healthy ministries. Sustainable growth takes time and over the 3 years we will be developing a strategic theme of ‘Sowing, Growing and Harvesting’. In 2013 we are focusing on ‘Sowing and engaging with the Gospel’ encouraging everyone whether new to faith or longer in the journey to dig deeper into the riches of our Gospel, responding with confidence and joy to its truth for our lives and ministry. For some digging deeper may strengthen their existing ministry at home, church or community, for others it may begin a call to new areas of service and for others a call to explore some form of authorised ministry. These sermon packs seek to help parishes engage with the theme of ‘Sowing’ at Pentecost, considering the gift of God’s Holy Spirit for life and ministry. The A4 devotional sheet can be copied for members to take home for personal reflection after the sermon, also for Sunday School leaders, housebound & others who may have missed the sermon. The A4 Group Discussion notes follow the Sunday theme and can be passed to mid-week groups for further discussion. Each person and parish is different so please feel free to adapt the resources offered to suit your local setting. The NRSV translation has been used in quotations. Rev Sue Timmins, [email protected]
I will Pour out My Spirit Day of Pentecost (Whit Sunday 19th May 2013) Common Worship lectionary Acts 2:1-21; Romans 8:14-17; John 14: 8-17 Key Points: God desires to pour out his Spirit on everyone, ‘all flesh’ He wants us to have a spirit of adoption as children of God, not a fearful ‘spirit of slavery’ Just as the Father worked in Jesus, God wants to live and work in us today by his Spirit
Introduction At the first Pentecost God showed his desire to pour out his Spirit on everyone. As we seek to grow in Christian life and ministry God doesn’t want us to struggle to live and work for him in our own strength, rather he wants to live in us by his Holy Spirit and to do his own work in and through us.
Acts 2:1-21: I Will Pour out My Spirit At the first Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came the disciples were ‘all together, in one place’ (v1) A tongue of fire ‘rested on each of them ...all were filled with the Holy Spirit’ (v3,4) - God didn’t discriminate, or choose the ‘most spiritual’ ones, no-one was left out This wasn’t by chance, it was God’s plan and purpose—’I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh’ (v17) To equip men and women, young and old to know God and to serve him See the effect of the Holy Spirit on Peter, at his first sermon 3000 people believed & were saved (v41) So ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved’ (v21) The Spirit comes to bring power for life and ministry today, but how does this happen?
Romans 8:14-17: The Spirit of Adoption As we seek to grow in Christian life and ministry we often start from the wrong place God has never wanted us to struggle to work for him - he wants us to be before we do Before we received new life in the Spirit we could only struggle in our old life and nature We had a spirit of slavery which kept us always fearful (v15; Rms 6:16,17; Eph 2:1-3; Heb 2:15) But now in Christ God gives us his own Spirit, the spirit of adoption as children of God A new nature, a new spirit, a new inheritance - born as joint heirs with Christ (v17) God’s children don’t struggle to work for God but they are adopted and led by his Spirit They no longer live in fear of what they aren’t but as children of God confidently call on their Father They are prepared to live and suffer with him so that they ‘may also be glorified with him’ (v17)
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John 14: 8-17: Christ in Us
‘I am in the Father and the Father is in me ... The Father who dwells in me does his works’ (v10) Jesus didn’t try to live and work for the Father, rather the Father lived and worked in him
Jesus promised ‘the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do ... and greater’ (v12) ‘I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son’ (v13)
God has never wanted us to struggle to try to live and work for him in our own strength At the Cross our old fearful spirit was crucified with Christ (Gal 2:19, Col 3:3, Gal 5:24) And Christ himself then comes to abide with us and in us by His Spirit (v17; Gal 2:20; Gal 5:25)
All this is by faith and becomes our personal experience as we believe (v10-12; Rms 6:3, John 8:32) His death, our death ...his resurrection our resurrection ... his Holy Spirit abiding with and in us (v17)
Christian life and ministry is simply allowing Christ by his Spirit to live and work in us today
God wants to pour out his Holy Spirit on everyone. It doesn't matter who we are, it’s by his grace. He gives us his Spirit to equip us for life & ministry
We could never please God in our own strength, we were by nature enslaved & fearful but in Christ he adopts us as his children and puts his own Holy Spirit within us
In this new life as children of God we live and are led by his Spirit of truth No longer us trying to work for God but he himself now living and working in us
We enter this new life and grow in it by faith - by knowing and believing the truth God looks for those who will allow him to live in them and do ‘greater things’ through them
The reality of Easter and Pentecost is for all who believe today All of this is possible simply by grace - we shall consider this further next week
Taking it Further The A4 Guide for Personal Prayer relating to this Sunday’s readings can be copied for members to take home for personal reflection after the sermon, also for Sunday School leaders, housebound & others who may have missed the sermon. The attached A4 Group Discussion notes can then be passed to mid-week groups for further discussion. Other resources to help parishes engage in the 2013 Vocations theme of ‘Sowing and responding to the Gospel’ are offered at www.manchester.anglican.org/vocations, with resources for whole church, small group and personal use. Fresh online resources will be offered for use around Lent, Pentecost and Harvest in 2013, 2014 & 2015. As we look to encourage each other in ‘Sowing, Growing & Harvesting’ healthy churches and healthy ministries please do share your thoughts and ideas with us.
Sermon Outline Page 2 of 2
A personAl response Through these readings we have considered how God wants to live & work in each of us by his Holy Spirit. We enter and grow in this new life as we trust & believe. Take a few moments now for reflection. What has your own experience of this new life been? Do you want to know more and what questions do you have? You may wish to jot down your thoughts or to write your own prayer in response.
I wIll pour out my spirit A guide For personAl prAyer This devotional outline is offered as part of the Manchester Diocese Vocations Strategy for 2013-15 looking at growing healthy churches and healthy ministries. In 2013 our focus is ‘Sowing and responding to the Gospel in our own lives’. Further resources are available at www.manchester.anglican.org/vocations. The NRSV version is quoted. 4
Setting the Scene
The spiriT of adopTion Read Romans 8:14-17
God longs to pour his Holy Spirit into each of our lives. The Spirit is given so that we can live a new life in union with God and be equipped to serve him effectively. For many Christians today the Holy Spirit is someone who we know about but we aren’t sure of what his place should be in our lives. Because we are unsure we struggle on trying to live for God and to serve him in our own strength.
The Christian life is not about our trying to be or to do something. It’s not about trying to become a better person or working hard to try to earn God’s love.
God‘s desire for each of his people is that we receive his Spirit with confidence and to learn to walk with him in every part of our lives and service.
When we received the Holy Spirit we received the Spirit of adoption (v15), God makes us by grace his sons and daughters. God becomes our Father, Jesus our brother and other believers our new family.
I wIll pour out my spIrIt
God puts a spirit of adoption into our hearts so that we are his children. We no longer need to try but rather learn to trust & live as who we already are by grace.
Read Acts 2:1-21 At the first Pentecost as the Holy Spirit came the disciples were all together in one place. God loves his people to live in unity (Psalm 133:1,2; John 17:2023), disunity (as with any sin) hinders the Spirit’s work. At the first Pentecost God was fulfilling the prophesy in Joel 2:28,29 to pour out his Spirit ‘on all flesh’ (v17). The Spirit didn’t just come to the leaders or to the ‘spiritual people’ he came to all flesh - young, old, men and women. God wants to pour out his Spirit into every believer’s life today without exception, including your own. If this is God’s desire who are we to stop him? The Spirit comes to equip us for God’s service. See the effect on Peter as in his first sermon 3000 believed and were saved (v41). As the same Holy Spirit is given space to live and work in you there are no limits to what he can do. How does the Spirit come into our lives? Simply by faith as we call on the name of the Lord, are saved and welcome his presence within us (v21). Each of us needs to learn to welcome God’s Holy Spirit and to walk with him. Just pause to imagine God himself wanting to live in you and in God’s people. A personal prayer: Heavenly Father thank you that you want to pour out your Holy Spirit into my life. Please show me any sin which I need to confess, then help me to believe and to welcome his presence in me today. Amen.
‘All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God’ (v14). The Spirit comes to lead us in God’s ways as children of God.
A personal prayer: Lord help me to stop trying to be who I already am. Help me to welcome your Spirit and to learn to live & work as your child. Amen. For further reading try: Galatians 5:25, John 1:12,13; Hebrews 2:10,11
christ in us Read John 14: 8-17 Jesus said ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in me ... The Father who dwells in me does his works’ (v10). Jesus didn’t try to live and work for the Father, rather the Father lived and worked in him. Take a moment to reflect on this truth. In the same way God has never wanted us to try to live and work for him in our own strength. Rather he wants to abide with us & in us (v17) so that as we believe in him we will do greater things (v12) and he will do whatever we ask in his name (v13,14). Take a moment to consider your own life, have you been trying to live and work for God rather than letting him live and work in you? How might your life be different if you allowed God by his Spirit to live and work in you, what would be possible? The Spirit of Truth has come as our helper (v16,17) to live and work within us and to guide us into all truth (John 16:13), will you let him?
Take a few minutes to sit quietly with God and to enjoy his presence.
A personal prayer: Heavenly Father thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit. I am sorry where I have tried to do things in my own strength. I ask you to teach me how to welcome you and how to give you space to live and work in me. Amen.
For further reading try: Colossians 1:27, Galatians 2:19,20; 1 Corinthians 6:18,19
For further reading try: Colossians 1:27; John 8:32; Philippians 2:13 For Personal Prayer
A personAl response Take a few moments now for personal reflection. God wants to live and work in each of us by his Holy Spirit. We enter and grow in this new life as we trust him and believe. What has your own experience of this new life been and do you want to know more? What questions do you have and who will you share them with? Maybe jot down your thoughts, questions or even a personal prayer to God.
I wIll pour out my spirit Questions For group discussion This devotional outline is offered as part of the Manchester Diocese Vocations Strategy for 2013-15 looking at growing healthy churches and healthy ministries. In 2013 our focus is ‘Sowing and responding to the Gospel in our own lives’. Further resources are available at www.manchester.anglican.org/vocations. The NRSV version is quoted. 4
Setting the Scene It would be helpful for those in the group to have a bible, a copy of the accompanying Guide for Personal Prayer and a pen & paper to jot down their thoughts. As you begin each section of the study ask someone to read aloud the passage of scripture given, leave a few moments of quietness for personal reflection and then read the thoughts offered for that section in the Guide for Personal Prayer. Questions are offered below to help stimulate discussion, but just seek to allow the Spirit to guide you. You may want to divide the time available between the 3 sections and to skip questions where necessary. We suggest allowing a time for personal quiet prayer at the end of the session.
I wIll pour out my spIrIt Read Acts 2:1-21 1. Look at God’s desire to pour out his Spirit on everyone, ’ all flesh’ v17,18 Does that that include you? Discuss. Does that include your church members & even those you don’t like? Is there anything which disqualifies a person? 2. Look at Peter before he received the Spirit in Luke 22:55-62 & John 20:19 and then afterwards in Acts 2: 14, 22 & 41 How has Peter changed? What has caused that change? 3. Consider the Spirit’s role in equipping Peter (and us) for ministry How does a person receive the indwelling Spirit? What has your own experience been? What questions do you have? 4. Share your experiences of welcoming the Spirit’s life and ministry within you What more do you want to know personally and as a church? How can you help each other to learn? What makes sense and what further questions do you have?
The spiriT of adopTion Read Romans 8:14-17 1. ‘All who are led by the spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption’ v14,15 From this passage what makes someone a child of God? How has the spiritual nature of a believer changed & what is the effect? 2. Take time to consider this spirit of adoption What do we have by nature in common with our human parents? What does every Christian now have by nature in common with God? 3. ‘If children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ’ (v17) What rights and responsibilities does this bring? Share your own experience of what this has meant to you Do you want to learn more? If time allows read Galatians 5:25, John 1:12,13; Hebrews 2:10,11
christ in us Read John 14:8-17 1. ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in me ... The Father who dwells in me does his works’ (v10). Jesus didn’t work for the Father, the Father lived & worked in him Take time to discuss What makes sense and what questions do you have? 2. ‘The one who believes in me will ... do greater works than these (v12) .. the Spirit of Truth .... will be in you’ (v17). In the same way God doesn’t want us to try to live and work for him in our own strength, he wants to live and work in us. What makes sense and what has your own experience been? What questions do you have? 3. ‘He will give you another Advocate to be with you ... the Spirit of truth’ v16,17 What is important to you personally in this promise? Share your own experience of how he has helped you to know and serve God 4. What further difference could his presence make in your life and ministry?
If time allows read Colossians 1:27, Galatians 2:19,20; 1 Corinthians 6:18,19 If time allows read Colossians 1:27; John 8:32; Philippians 2:13
For Group Discussion 2