Disciplemaking - Lesson 7

Dependence on the Holy Spirit

This Disciplemaking lesson discusses the importance of repentance and dependence on the Holy Spirit in the process of discipleship. Mary Jo Wilson explains that repentance is the initial posture of our heart towards God, and it is necessary to prepare our hearts to receive Christ. The author also emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit in the process of discipleship and how the Holy Spirit works internally to convict us of sin, guide us in understanding God's Word, comfort us, and give us power to resist temptation. Mary Jo notes that while we need a clear picture of what it means to live out the Kingdom of God in our world through Jesus, it is the Holy Spirit who walks with us and forms Christlikeness within us.
Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
Lesson 7
Watching Now
Dependence on the Holy Spirit

I. Introduction

A. Posture of Repentance

B. Importance of Dependence on the Holy Spirit

II. Understanding the Holy Spirit

A. Conviction and Guidance

B. Assurance and Comfort

C. Power and Unity

III. Role of the Holy Spirit in Discipleship

A. Partnership with the Holy Spirit

B. Restoration of the Image of God

IV. Emphasis on the Holy Spirit

A. Alpha Course and the Holy Spirit

B. Importance of Teaching on the Holy Spirit

  • Mary Jo Wilson and Joe Handley introduce themselves and express their excitement about the upcoming discipleship course, which aims to enhance participants' relationship with God and their work in the world, and encourage them to bring transformative change to their church and ministry.
  • Joe Handley outlines the elements that they will be covered in the Disciplemaking course: what is a disciple, the great commandment, becoming a disciple, being a disciple, fruitfulness, and multiplying disciples.
  • The lesson discusses the approach to discipleship, which is focused on the four gospels and building obedient disciples through the seven obedience; it emphasizes a holistic approach to following Jesus and the informed imagination, and the course will focus on the gospels of John, Matthew, Luke, and Mark.
  • Mary Jo Wilson emphasizes the importance of understanding the role of suffering and persecution in discipleship, as it is a recurring theme in the Gospels and is also a part of the early church experience, and discusses how enduring such hardships can be a formative experience for Christians.
  • The lesson discusses the importance of abiding in Christ as the key to joy in life, bearing fruit in one's life, and becoming a disciple of Jesus through a deep and communal relationship with Him.
  • Discipleship is not a program but a relationship. Abiding in Christ is the key to joy in life and bearing much fruit and is achieved through having a deep communal walk with Jesus and allowing Him to prune us to make us stronger.
  • Mary Jo Wilson discusses the importance of a posture of repentance and dependence on the Holy Spirit in the discipleship process, and highlights the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting of sin, guiding in decision making, and forming believers into Christ.
  • The instructors and students discuss their thoughts and experiences on what it means to be a disciple, including the importance of maintaining a growing relationship with God, the internal aspects of discipleship, abiding in God, the role of inviting God into everyday life, and the significance of pruning.
  • This session discusses the importance of becoming a disciple of Jesus and our identity in Christ, illustrated through the example of churches in Japan becoming centers for relief goods after the 2011 disasters and being seen as representatives of Christ by the community.
  • By taking this lesson, you will gain knowledge and insight into the relationship between the Sermon on the Mount and the Kingdom of God, including the importance of Jesus' teachings in the Sermon on the Mount and how they relate to the mission of the church and the call to discipleship.
  • The lesson discusses the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, where Jesus describes the Kingdom of God and how his followers are to live as salt and light in the world, raising the bar on the interpretation of the Old Testament law and calling for inner righteousness, forgiveness, and love for enemies.
  • This lesson reviews the importance of becoming like Jesus and displaying his characteristics, such as humility and generosity, to become authentic Christ-centered people in our communities, and emphasizes the need for communal support to grow in our faith.
  • In this group discussion about discipleship and the Sermon on the Mount, the students and instructors reflect on the Beatitudes and how they challenge and contrast with the values of the world, and discuss how Jesus lifted up marginalized people and called all his followers to be salt and light in the world.
  • In this lesson Mary Jo Wilson and Joe Handley discuss transitioning from becoming a disciple to being a disciple who makes disciples, with a focus on the overflow of abiding in Christ into the lives of others.
  • Mary Jo Wilson discusses the importance of spiritual conversations and how to approach them in our daily lives through the example of Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well in John chapter 4.
  • Joe Handley discusses the idea of being a disciple of Jesus and how to share one's story and witness through different tools, including prayer, social media, and engaging with others through layering of interactions.
  • The class discusses the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, highlighting how Jesus approached the woman with humility and respect, treating her like a real person and engaging in a conversation with her, despite social and cultural barriers. They also discuss how Jesus challenged his disciples to adopt a Kingdom way that breaks down barriers and recognizes the value and dignity of all people.
  • This session focuses on the importance of reproducibility and sustainability in disciple-making, drawing on examples from the book of Acts and personal anecdotes.
  • Joe Handley discusses the importance of a reproducible culture of discipleship in the Kingdom of God, drawing on the idea of the mustard seed and how small actions can have a big impact, and provides examples of how this can be implemented in different contexts such as micro churches.
  • This lesson provides information on small groups in discipleship, including their definition, anatomy, purpose, characteristics, steps for starting one, the role of the leader, the discipleship process in small groups, and their importance in discipleship in general.
  • Instructors Joe Handley and Mary Jo Wilson discuss with students their visions of the Kingdom of God, with one sharing their goal of sharing their story to help others understand the word of God, while another likens the planting of seeds to the growth of faith, stressing the importance of patience and trust in the process of nurturing them.
  • Joe Handley and Mary Jo Wilson discuss the importance of creating a practical plan for discipleship and ministry, encouraging listeners to reflect on what they've learned, and write a strategic personal plan for following through on their learning.
  • This lesson teaches how to pull together the different sections of a discipleship plan using the model of vision, intent and means, and suggests including a vision, introduction, conclusion and rule of life, while encouraging reflection and sharing with others.
  • Joe Handley discusses the importance of creating a "rule of life" as part of a personal discipleship plan, which helps to balance and organize different areas of life, including spiritual, social, intellectual, and physical aspects.
  • Joe Handley and Mary Jo Wilson close their discipleship course by expressing gratitude for the opportunity to learn and grow together, and offer a prayer of blessing for their students to continue on their lifelong journey as faithful followers of Jesus.

In this class, you will explore the foundations, methods, and models of disciplemaking, drawing from biblical principles, historical perspectives, and theological insights. You will examine the disciplemaking approaches of Jesus and Paul, as well as modern examples and strategies. Additionally, you will learn how to develop a personal disciplemaking plan through the assessment of spiritual gifts and identification of ministry opportunities. Finally, you will delve into disciplemaking in the local church and beyond, including church-based strategies, cross-cultural disciplemaking, and equipping and multiplying disciplemakers.

Mary Jo Wilson
Dependence on the Holy Spirit
Lesson Transcript

All of us as disciples begin with a posture of repentance, and we grow in a dependance on the Holy Spirit. That posture of repentance. If you think before Jesus came, the role of John the Baptist was to preach repentance and announce the Kingdom of God is coming, and that tilling the soil and preparing the heart with a posture of repentance was important. Preparation for the time when Christ came and was announcing the kingdom. And so we always begin there. This is probably what a lot of our mothers teach us. The very some of the first words we learn is, I'm sorry and thank you. And that really is that initial posture in our heart toward God. I'm sorry. I have to thank you for that gift. Now, in the West, we often emphasize that as that point in our relationship with start to our relationship with God in the East, I've noticed that there's an emphasis on our Creator, God, and that original relationship in the Garden of Eden, and that as we are restored through Christ, we're restored to our Father. And that original relationship we carry, each of us the image of God. And even though it's marred by sin, that through the discipleship process, he is restoring that image and allowing it to shine brighter through us. So our partnership with the Holy Spirit is important in this process. We when we were working in in Okinawa, in southern Japan, we used the Alpha course as part of introducing Christ. And people who, as I said, did not know anything about Jesus. For some of them, it's kind of like a Christianity 101. It's very easy and it was a safe place for them to ask questions and really feel uninformed, ignorant, if you will, and be able to learn about God. So through the course then they're learning different things. What is the Bible? Who is Jesus? They're learning different things. And in the middle of the course there is the weekend. It's a getaway. And the emphasis during that weekend is the Holy Spirit. And it was fascinating to me as we were with them and one session after another, we were learning about the Holy Spirit and the things that we take for granted, perhaps. It was amazing as they were listening and the sense was kind of like we had no idea because they were hearing the work of the Holy Spirit. Is it does this internal work that the Holy Spirit is working inside of us? He convicts us of sin. He allows us to hear God and sense God. His presence assures us of salvation. He guides us to understand God's Word. He comforts us, He gives us peace. He guides us in our life and making decisions. He gives us power to resist temptation. He unites us. And in the body of Christ, it is like on and on and on. And I felt like it was kind of the best kept secret of that, because we have been emphasizing the relationship with Christ, the work he did on the cross. And so the reality is that at the end of Christ's ministry on the earth, when he said it is finished, he rose from the dead and just as hit it his ascension, then the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost could come. And he talked about that in John 15. Joe was just reading to you a bit, John 15, about the vine and the vineyard, the branches. And at the end of that chapter, he says, 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. And you also must testify for you have been with me from the beginning, meaning the disciples, the apostles, and then in chapter 16 and verse seven in the middle, verse seven, Unless I go away, the advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment. And we certainly need that. Now, jumping down to verse 12, I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 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. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 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. So I mean, that's explaining. The Trinity is complex. I don't know that any of us certainly understand that fully. But Jesus is describing there the interaction of the Trinity. And especially that work of the Holy Spirit and the work that He will do in the lives of the disciples after Jesus has gone. Now we need a Jesus God in the flesh, and we are disciples of Jesus because we have that clear picture of what it means to live out the Kingdom of God in our world, in our families and our lives are and in many settings. So we need that picture. But it's the Holy Spirit now who walks with us and not just on the outside, but within us. This internal work of the Holy Spirit to allow us to be formed into Christ, to understand His Word, and to even give us insights as we're reading His word and as we're studying the Gospels. So the Holy Spirit is our guide in this process of discipleship. And that's a wonderful thing, but something I just want to give focus to right now. Jesus pushed faith in his teachings. Sermon on the Mount is a great example. He pushed faith beyond our behaviors to the motives and the inner life. If you think we'll be talking in the next section a little bit about that, how he pushed that, raised the bar, and so is the Holy Spirit who resides within us in that part of our being. And he is working in those inner motives and making us aware and shaping us, informing us in that place. It's not a theory. This is an experience, a true experience. And it is key in our intimacy with Christ, in our formation as a disciple. I can read about God's love for me and the words can stir me. But the Holy Spirit in me affirms that. And I sense that within. In my spirit, I can read about God's acceptance of me. But in the in my experience, in the Holy Spirit, I sense his smile. I sense his pleasure in me as his child. And so that work of the Holy Spirit. I think it is a healing work also in our souls, in those deep places where sin has broken us and martyrs and scarred us. The Holy Spirit is in there working to heal us through that spirit, that internal experience. There are things that can get in the way of the Holy Spirit's our work and of our awareness of that. Now, I hope you enjoyed your silent retreat. You've been. I hope you were able to do that before you're in this video. But during that silent retreat, one of the points was just to get away from all the busyness, to be still and to grow in awareness of the Holy Spirit working in your heart and what God is speaking to you. And so those periods and I hope it's not your last silent retreat, but that's something that you will do periodically to attune your spirit to the Holy Spirit's movements within you and to become more familiar with that. The many of this spiritual formation practices also affirm that and give us greater awareness, a deeper sensitivity to the Holy Spirit working in us. The basics of stillness, silence, solitude. Those are our go tos too. To get us outside the rat race, outside all the voices in our head, outside the business, and all those things that can be barriers. And it allows us to sit with God and in His presence in the Holy Spirit. Sabbath is another great one, and I know that the practice of Sabbath has been really formation of for me. It's been a time to recalibrate and it's interesting, he says. Once a week you need a day, a week to recalibrate, because in the other six days we're let's be honest, we're kind of going nuts sometimes. And so it's that point where I recalibrate, retune and check in with God and receive from him and that I live out of the Sabbath. That Sabbath is not a reward for getting through the week, but it's that space where I start. I live out of that Sabbath. So spiritual formation practices are a wonderful way to be more in tune to the spirit of God working on us as part of the image of God. There's a deep longing within us for intimacy. A deep longing that. Is has been affected by the fall. And we struggle with that. We're really not good at it. Sometimes we're a lot like Adam and Eve. Still were hiding, hiding from God, even hiding from one another. And the Holy Spirit is there, gently guiding us and bringing us into a fuller intimacy in that experience with God. So it's critical that we take time for that to be still in his presence and to learn from him. And it will go in. In the next section, we'll be talking more about how the Holy Spirit also is forming us. And then further on, we'll be talking about how the Holy Spirit is uniting us and bringing us together. And working in us is as a body in our relationships. So our assignments as we close this out is if you could reflect on some of these things and do some writing, we'd like to do some writing. So first off, reflect on how your love relationship with God and specifically the Holy Spirit and His love experience through Christian community sustains you through difficulty. So there it is again that that little emphasis on hardship and persecution, perhaps of difficulty, but how that work and that intimate relationship with God is helping you through that. In the passage I just read, actually, Jesus right then began talking about the hard times and the role of the advocate in those hard times they would go through. And the second thing to reflect on then is what might this life long journey? Because this is not just a short term, this is I know this is a course you will finish and go on with your life. But the life as a disciple of Jesus is a lifelong journey. And so what might that life long journey of growing specifically in your love relationship with God look like for you as a follower of Jesus? And so it's important that that is something that sustains you and it will change the way we manage that, the way we the different practices that we do will change over time in our different situations. We need that love relationship with God that will sustain us and carry us through over the course of our lives. Now, we've also talked about your discipleship plan, and so if you could as a summary for this unit, this particular section in God's presence, and we ask you as you're writing this toward this paper that you're doing, that you're consciously in God's presence. So as you're in God's presence, right, your heart's desire as a prayer in terms of your relationship with God, your love relationship with God. And then as you listen to the Holy Spirit, write a simple plan for steps that you would like to take to go deeper in your love relationship with God, and if you could include one key habit, There are some things that we are doing occasionally that we're going to do, like the retreat. But one key habit, something that you would like to do regularly that would develop or strengthen over the next month that you would like to really work on, focus in on that, to develop it as a habit, include one of those. So thank you for learning with us and for exploring with us a love relationship with God. I hope that you are really blessed and encouraged as you wrestle with these concepts and spend time yourself with God, hopefully with a small group as well. And we will see you in the next section.