Title and Topic
The Epiphany: The Holy Spirit as Fuel for Missions
Transformation and Witness
Okay, we’ve been through the 4 weeks of Advent to begin our year, then 2 Sundays celebrating Christmas, and now we move into a new season we call “The Epiphany.” This roughly 4 week season of the church year celebrates the coming of Jesus to the non-Jews, in others, the coming of Jesus to and for the rest of the world! This season therefore is the most missional of all seasons of the church year. It ends on what we call: Ash Wednesday and the beginning of a very different season we call Lent. Lent is as intro-spective as Epiphany is completely outward focused. This is why we have our Global Impact Mission Celebration during the liturgical season of Epiphany!
The story of Epiphany is told in Matthew 2:1-12 and the calling of the wisemen to find the baby Jesus. In many ways, these wisemen were the very first missionaries! We read that story on the day of Epiphany during the first week of January.
But today, we turn to the very fuel for missions, which is the power of the Holy Spirit. As repentant believers, we know that mission is a by-product of being disciples. As disciples, as we learn to live, look and love more like Jesus then out of that is a hunger to make Jesus known in the world!
Takeaway today: For the Disciple, mission is what comes natural to us, but is not garnered under our own strength, but through the strength and power of the Holy Spirit. This week we want people to know how to define mission, and identify the very fuel for missions.
The constant takeaway is this: People would know that Discipleship is learning to love, look and live more like Jesus.
Isaiah 43:1-7 Isaiah Prophecies
Luke 3:15-22 Jesus Baptized with Holy Spirit
Up to God in Worship
What difference have the truths spoken into your life made that causes you to praise and thank God…
• as you reflect on the message from last Sunday? OR
• as you focus on His attributes—who He is—in Psalm 29?
Read Isaiah 43:1-7
1. What reasons does God give His people not to fear? How can these reasons help you with what you are anxious about? (the chaos of work that seeks to overwhelm you, the fiery trial you are undergoing, or the wayward child you desire to be brought back?)
2. How would you define what God’s redemption of His people means based on these verses?
3. Why would God’s people need to be redeemed, and what does God promise to do in response to their need? (See also Isaiah 43:25-44:4)
Read Luke 3:15-22
4. What kind of expectations might the people have had of John being the Christ (See also Isaiah 9:6-7 & Jeremiah 23:5-6)?
5. How does John address the expectation of their hearts? What does his mission teach you about your own?
6. What does the image of fire reveal about the baptism of the Holy Spirit? How can this be considered the good news of God’s coming kingdom? (9, 16-17)
7. Why do you think Herod imprisons John? (See also Mark 6:17-18) How does Herod’s response to the good news prepare you for the mission God has called you to?
8. What happens at the baptism of Jesus? How does his baptism foreshadow what God will do for those who belong to Him in Christ?
Out in Mission
• What difference does the Holy Spirit make in the way you approach mission? (w/ your children, in your community, or the world)
• What sin has the Holy Spirit convicted you of recently, but how has God’s pleasure with you in Christ set you free? With whom may God be calling you, your family, or our group to share the good news of freedom in Christ?