February 25-March 3
The Holy Spirit and the Church
Read for This Week’s Study: Eph. 1:22, 23; 1 Cor. 12:13; Rom. 6:3-7; Acts 17:11; Eph. 4:5, 6; Acts 2:4-11.
Memory Text: “Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:3-5, NASB).
Sometimes we think of the Holy Spirit at work only on the individual level and in the lives of individual believers. But this work in individuals is the foundation of a spiritual community. The Holy Spirit is ultimately responsible for the existence of the church of Christ.
We are often tempted to think that the church exists and grows because of our various evangelistic and missionary activities. Yes, God wants to achieve His glorious plans for the church, and do so with our help. But the real reason for the church lies not in what we do; nor is it the result of our efficient organization and effective administration, however important these are. The church exists because of what God has already done and continues to do for us through the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who creates a spiritual community and fellowship that has the Written Word of God, inspired by the same Spirit, as its authority for faith and practice. The Spirit-inspired Bible is the foundation for the theological unity of the church. Without the work of the Spirit, the church would not exist and could not continue to fulfill its united mission.
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, March 4.