Friday: Further Thought – The Holy Spirit and the Church

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“This is the work in which we also are to be engaged. Instead of living in expectation of some special season of excitement, we are wisely to improve present opportunities, doing that which must be done in order that souls may be saved.

Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com

Instead of exhausting the powers of our mind in speculations in regard to the times and seasons which the Lord has placed in His own power, and withheld from men, we are to yield ourselves to the control of the Holy Spirit, to do present duties, to give the bread of life, unadulterated with human opinions, to souls who are perishing for the truth.” – Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 186.

“Every individual is striving to become a center of influence, and until God works for His people, they will not see that subordination to God is the only safety for any soul. His transforming grace upon human hearts will lead to unity that has not yet been realized, for all who are assimilated to Christ will be in harmony with one another. The Holy Spirit will create unity.” Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 3, pp. 20, 21.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does Ellen G. White mean when she says that “every individual is striving to become a center of influence”? Why is that such a natural tendency of all of us, and what can we do to fight this tendency in our own lives? (See alsox.)
  2. Some argue that what will really unite us is service, not doctrine. In fact, they argue that doctrine tends to divide people; thus, it should not be made prominent. But why can’t there be unity in mission and service if there is division in doctrine? Why is a commonly shared faith a powerful factor for united and effective mission?
  3. At the same time, how much room is there for theological differences? Few people are going to understand truth in the exact same way. How can we be united as a church while, at the same time, allowing for minor differences that will arise? How do people in your local church deal with differences in understanding and yet still maintain unity?
  4. How can the Bible be an instrument that will bring unity? What attitude is needed in our study of the Word of God so that we can be united as a church in mission and in faith?
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