Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Holy Spirit Builds Using God's Word, not Feelings

But this is the meaning and substance of this addition: I believe that there is upon earth a little holy group and congregation of pure saints, under one head, even Christ,* called together by the Holy Spirit in one faith, one mind, and understanding, with manifold gifts, yet agreeing in love, without sects or schisms.†  I am also a part and member of the same, a sharer and joint owner of all the goods it possesses,‡ brought to it and incorporated into it by the Holy Spirit by having heard and continuing to hear the Word of God,§ which is the beginning of entering it.  For formerly, before we had attained to this, we were altogether of the devil, knowing nothing of God and of Christ.‖  Thus, until the last day, the Holy Spirit abides with the holy congregation or Christendom,¶ through which He brings us to Christ and teaches and preaches the Word to us.Δ  By the Word He works and promotes sanctification, causing the congregation daily to grow and become strong in the faith and its fruits, which He produces.◊

Martin Luther, Large Catechism: Apostle's Creed, 51-53

*   Ephesians 1:22
†   Ephesians 4:5-8, 11
‡   Romans 8:17
§   Galatians 3:1-2
‖    Romans 3:10-12
¶   John 14:17
Δ  John 14:26
◊  Galatians 5:16-24

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