This I Believe – Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from and is one in being with the Father and the Son. The Spirit convinces the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. The Spirit leads humanity through faithful response to the gospel into the fellowship of the Church. The spirit comforts, sustains and empowers the faithful and guides them into all truth.

The Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity, is essentially God with us.  The Spirit is that which upholds and sustains all of creation (Ps. 104).  This power of the Holy Spirit is made manifest in the life of the church; it enables knowledge of God as God, enables human communion with God, and it perfects human life in God.  The Holy Spirit was promised to humanity by Jesus.  In the Gospel of John, we are told that, when Jesus leaves, an advocate will come and “will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment” (Jn. 16:7-8).  

The Holy Spirit is at work in our lives before we ever know about it.  The Spirit is present in what John Wesley would call prevenient grace.  It is what gives us knowledge that God exists and that we as human beings are sinful creatures. Wesley taught that the work of the Holy Spirit is present and active in every part of Christian Experience.  The Holy Spirit is especially present in the regeneration, or new birth, that happens at the time of justification.  At the moment of regeneration, the Holy Spirit is working to break the power of sin and making a real change in the believer toward the image of God. When we understand the depth of our sin and the need for Christ, the Holy Spirit enters into our hearts. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, convinces us of Christ’s adequacy for salvation, confirms us of our salvation, conforms us to Christ’s image in sanctification and completes Christ’s mission through us. We are told in scripture that “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (Jn. 16:13).  This then is how a believer uses the Holy Spirit in order to interpret and understand Scripture and experience.  The Holy Spirit is the guide in understanding not only everyday truths, but also to get a glimpse at the ultimate Truth, that is, God.  The Holy Spirit is also the source of spiritual gifts in the believers.  It is the inspiration that helps believers to function as the body of Christ.  The Spirit also serves as a comfort in times of trial.  It is the presence of God with us and in us at all times in our lives.