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New City Catechism - Question 37
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Posted by Paul Tautges, Senior Pastor


New City Catechism - Question 37


Q37: How does the Holy Spirit help us?


A: The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, comforts us, guides us, gives us spiritual gifts and the desire to obey God; and he enables us to pray and to understand God’s Word.

KIDS’ ANSWER: The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and he enables us to pray and to understand God’s Word.



1 Corinthians 2:12

"Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God."


John 3:5-7, 16:7-14; Ephesians 5:18



As we think about the ministry of the Holy Spirit, it is helpful to think of before and after; that is, before (or at the moment of) our salvation, and after we are saved.


BEFORE CONVERSION: The Holy Spirit’s Work in the Unsaved Person: Conviction & Regeneration

Since we are born sinners at enmity with God, we can only be saved if we are born again by the Holy Spirit. This is called regeneration. In John 3:7-8, Jesus says, “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’” The apostles affirmed what Jesus taught. For example, the apostle Peter’s first letter tells us that it is according to God’s mercy that “he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3). The Spirit accomplishes this by convicting the unbeliever of sin (Jn. 16:8-9), and giving birth to the soul—both of which are accomplished through the use of Scripture: “You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Pet. 1:23).


AFTER CONVERSION: The Holy Spirit’s Work in the Believer: Transformation & Empowerment

The Holy Spirit is the “Agent of Change” in our Christian life. By virtue of our union with Christ by faith, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our physical body and accomplishes transformation of character by teaching us the Word (John 16:12-15), empowering us to change through diligent application of Scripture to life (2 Peter 1:5-8), and renewing our mind as we meditate on the Word (Ephesians 4:23; Romans 12:2). The Holy Spirit also leads, intercedes, fills (controls by yielding to the Word) and produces spiritual fruit in our lives when we walk in obedience (Romans 8:14, 26; 1 John 2:20, 27; Acts 1:8; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 5:18). The Spirit prays for us when we don’t know how (Rom. 8:26), and he enables us to serve one another in the church through the sovereign dispensing of spiritual gifts according to his will, not ours (1 Cor. 12:7, 11).



We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  (Deut. 6:4; Jn. 1-3, 6:27; Acts 5:3,4; Mt. 28:19)


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. 16:7-14Jn. 3:5-7; Titus 3:51 Cor. 6:19; Eph.1:13; Jn.16:13; Rom. 8:26,27; 2 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. 3:5-7; 16:13; 1 Cor. 6:19, 12:13; Eph. 4:4-6, 5:18)


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