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The Person and Work of the Holy Ghost
from Luther's Small Catechism

I. Holy Spirit
The Person of the Holy Spirit
Who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Holy Trinity, true God with the Father and the Son - therefore not merely the power of energy of God.
Matthew 28:19 - Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
How do you know that the Holy Spirit is God? Because the Scriptures clearly call Him God, teaching that
A. The Holy Spirit has divine names:
Acts 5:3 - 4 Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit?...You have not lied to men but to God."
1 Corinthians 3:16 Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?

B. The Holy Spirit possesses divine attributes (properties or characteristics):
Psalms 139:7 - 10 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go to the heavens, You are there. If I raise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast. (Omnipresence).
1 Corinthians 2:10 The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. (Omniscience).
Hebrews 9:14 Christ, who through the eternal Spirit, offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! (Eternity).
Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Holiness).

C. The Holy Spirit does divine works (which only God can do):
Genesis 1:2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (Creation).
Titus 3:5 He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. (Sanctification).

D. The Holy Spirit receives divine honor and glory:
1 Peter 4:14 The Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
The Work of the Holy Spirit
What is the special work of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit sanctifies me (makes me holy) by bringing me to faith in Christ, so that I might have the blessings of redemption and lead a godly life (sanctification in the wide sense).
Note: The word sanctification is used in two ways:
1. The wide sense - the whole work of the Holy Spirit by which He brings us to faith and also enables us to lead a godly life.
2. The narrow sense - that part of the Holy Spirit's work by which He directs and empowers the believer to lead a godly life.

1 Corinthians 6:11 You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Why do you need the Holy Spirit to begin and sustain this faith in you? By nature I am spiritually blind, dead, and an enemy of God, as the Scriptures teach; therefore, "I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him."
1 Corinthians 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Ephesians 2:1 You were dead in your transgressions and sins.
Romans 8:7 The sinful mind is hostile to God.
Ephesians 2:8 - 9 By grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.
1 Corinthians 12:3 No one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
What has the Holy Spirit done to bring you to faith? The Holy Spirit "has called me by the Gospel," that is, He has invited and drawn me by the Gospel to partake of the spiritual blessings that are mine in Christ.
Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
2 Thessalonians 2:14 He called you to this through our gospel.
Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thristy, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

Bible narratives: Invitation to the wedding banquet of the king's son (Matthew 22:1 - 10). Invitation to the great banquet (Luke 14:16 - 17).
How do the Scriptures describe this gracious work of the Spirit in you? The Scriptures teach that by the Gospel the Holy Spirit "enlightened me with His gifts," that is, He gave me the saving knowledge of Jesus, my Savior, so that I trust, rejoice, and find comfort in Him.
1 Peter 2:9 You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.
2 Corinthians 4:6 God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
1 Peter 1:8 Even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.
Romans 15:13 The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Bible narratives: The Samaritans were filled with great joy when Philip preached Christ to them (Acts 8:5 - 8). The jailer at Philippi and his whole family were filled with joy because they had come to believe (Acts 16:25 - 34).
What is the work of the Holy Spirit called? It is called conversion (being turned) or regereration (new birth).
Psalms 51:13 I will teach tansgressors Your ways, and sinners will turn back to You. (Conversion).
John 3:5 - 6 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdon of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit." (Regeneration).
Why do you say that the Holy Spirit has done this by the Gospel? The Gospel is the means by which the Holy Spirit offers us all the blessings of Christ and creates faith in us.

Note: The written and spoken Word of the Gospel and the sacraments are the means of grace.
John 17:20 My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message.
Romans 10:17 Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
1 Corinthians 4:15 In Christ Jesus I became your father through the Gospel.
1 Peter 1:23 You have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
Titus 3:5 He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. (Baptism).
John 20:22 - 23 With that He breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." (Absolution).
Matthew 26:27 - 28 He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant (testament); which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Lord's Supper).
Besides faith, what else does the Holy Spirit create in you by the Gospel? The Holy Spirit sanctifies me in the true faith, that is, by faith He works a renewal of my whole life - in spirit, will, attitude, and desires - so that I now strive to overcome sin and do good works (sanctification in the narrow sense).
Psalms 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Romans 8:9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have th Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
Galatians 5:22 - 23 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 5:18 - 20 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What are good works in God's sight? In God's sight a good work is everything that a child of God does, speaks, or thinks in faith according to the Ten Commandments, for the glory of God, and for the benefit of his or her neighbor.
Hebrews 11:6 Without faith it is impossible to please God.
John 15:5 If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.
Matthew 15:9 They worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.
John 14:15 If you love Me, you will obey what I command.
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Galatians 5:13 Serve one another in love.

Bible narratives: The widow's offering (Mark 12:41 - 44). The expensive perfume poured on Jesus' head (Mark 14:3 - 9). Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38 - 42).
What do the Scriptures teach about the gifts of the Holy Spirit? The Scriptures teach that the Holy Spirit gives gifts to His church. The teach that:

A. The Holy Spirit through the Word and sacraments freely gives to all Christians the most precious gifts: faith in Christ, the forgiveness of sins, and eternal life;
B. In apostolic times the Holy Spirit also gave some Christians the gift to perform miraculous signs and wonders (for example, healings, speaking in tongues, raising the dead).

The Scriptures do not teach, however, that God will necessarily give all Christians in every time and place special miraculous gifts. The Holy Spirit bestows His blessings according to His good pleasure.
2 Corinthians 12:12 The things that mark an apostle - signs, wonders and miracles - were done among you with great perseverence.
Ephesians 2:20 - 22 [You are] built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.

Bible narrative: Special signs connected with the apostles personally (Acts 5:12 - 16; 8:14 - 19; 19:11 - 12; 20, 20:7 - 12),

Note: In popular English, the word charismatic describes a dynamic person, highly emotional worship, or claims of special miraculous gifts. But the Greek word charisma means simply "gift" and refers, for example, to Christ's whole work of salvation (Romans 5:15 - 16), to eternal life (Romans 6:23), and to being married or single (1Corinthians 7:7).
Finally, what also does the Holy Spirit do for you? The Holy Spirit by the Gospel keeps me in the true faith.
Phillipians 1:6 He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 1:5 [You] through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 ...the word of God which is at work in you who believe.
Whom else does the Holy Spirit regenerate and renew? The Holy Spirit "calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith."
Ephesians 3:6 Through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise of Christ Jesus.
Does the Holy Spirit want to do this in the lives of all people? God the Holy Spirit earnestly wants to convert all people and bring them to salvation through the Gospel.
Ezekiel 33:11 I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.
1 Timothy 2:4 [God] wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to rrepentance.
Then, why are not all people saved? Many reject the Word and resist the Holy Spirit; therefore they remain in unbelief and under God's judgment by their own fault.
Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
Acts 7:51 You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!

Bible narratives: The invited guests refused to come (Matthew 11:1 - 10). The guests refused to accept the invitation (Luke 14:16 - 24).

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