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New City Catechism - Question 36
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Posted by Ed Fedor, Associate Pastor


New City Catechism - Question 36


Q35: What do we believe about the Holy Spirit?


A: That he is God, coeternal with the Father and the Son, and that God grants him irrevocably to all who believe.

KIDS’ ANSWER: That he is God, coeternal with the Father and the Son.



John 14:16-17

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.



John 14:15-17, 16:5-15; 1 Cor. 2:9-16



If there is any doctrine in Scripture that’s hard to get your head around, it’s the doctrine of the Trinity. The Bible is clear that there is one God. Only one (Deut. 6:4, 1 Tim. 2:5). But this God is three persons: the Father is God (Titus 1:4), the Son is God (John 1:1, 14), and the Holy Spirit is God (Matt. 28:19, Acts 5:3-4) – each person is co-equal in divinity and co-eternal. In other words, each person of the Trinity is distinct, each person is fully God, and each person is eternal. Though each person is God, we don’t have three Gods; they are one God. That’s the testimony of Scripture. Our finite human minds can’t fully comprehend this, but it’s true nonetheless.


And the one person of the Trinity who’s generally least understood is the person of the Holy Spirit. Wayne Grudem says, “The work of the Holy Spirit is to manifest the active presence of God in the world, and especially in the church” (Systematic Theology, pg. 634). The Spirit has all the attributes of personhood. He has a personality, will, emotions (he can be grieved), intelligence, etc.


So, what does the Holy Spirit do? What is his role? The Holy Spirit inspired the writers of Scripture (2 Pet. 1:21), he illuminates or helps us understand God’s revelation and spiritual truth in Scripture (1 Cor. 2:12), he convicts us of the guilt of our sin (John 16:8), he applies salvation to our soul (Titus 3:5), he guides and directs us (Acts 13:2, Rom. 8:14), he glorifies and bears witnesses to Jesus (John 15:26, 16:14), he is our Helper (John 16:7), he empowers us for service (Acts 1:8), and he assures us of our salvation (Rom 8:16).


And when we are saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit indwells us – he literally takes up residence in the believer (1 Cor. 3:16). The apostle Paul says it this way, “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” And when God gives believers the Holy Spirit, he will never leave (Eph. 1:13-14). The Holy Spirit “seals” the believer, he cements the believer into a permanent family relationship with God. No one or nothing can take the Spirit from us. What a marvelous and comforting truth! And what a loving and beautiful gift from our gracious God! Take time to thank God and worship him for the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in your life.



We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and during this age to convict men of sin, regenerate the believing sinner, to indwell, guide, instruct and  empower the believer for godly living and service.  (Jn. 16:7-14;  Jn. 3:5-7Titus 3:5;  1 Cor. 6:19Eph.1:13Jn.16:13Rom. 8:26,272 Cor. 3:6)


We believe that the Holy Spirit is the agent of the new birth.  At the moment of conversion/ salvation, a believer is regenerated, indwelt, sealed and baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ.  The Holy Spirit is the strength and guide of the believer's life.  The believer is commanded to continually be filled with the Holy Spirit which is yielding to the control of God in our lives.  To be filled with the Holy Spirit is the Biblical prescription for power in serving Christ.  (Jn. 3:5-716:131 Cor. 6:1912:13Eph. 4:4-65:18)



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