The Holy Spirit

Read: I Corinthians 12:1-6

“…no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.”

Our Christian faith centers in Jesus Christ who suffered and died on the cross to atone for our sins, and He rose from the dead to defeat the powers of sin and death. That is the foundation of our faith upon which the Christian church is established.  But we must never overlook the importance of the Holy Spirit in our Christian lives. Martin Luther has given us an eloquent description of the Holy Spirit’s work in his explanation of the Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed. There he wrote:

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him, but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith, even as he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which He daily and richly forgives all sins to me and all believers, and will at the Last Day raise me up and all the dead, and give unto me and all believers in Jesus Christ eternal life. This is most certainly true.

That is a beautiful statement of faith. While it is true that Christ has won for us complete salvation through His atonement, it is also true that we have come into personal possession of that salvation only through the operation of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul wrote in the text quoted above: “…no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.”

Working through the means of grace (the Gospel, our Baptism, and Holy Communion) the Holy Spirit has enlightened and continues to enlighten our hearts so that we can see Christ as our personal Redeemer and can put our trust in Him. And having enlightened us, He continues to enrich our lives with the abundance of spiritual gifts that Christ has won for us.

We can earnestly pray –

Holy Spirit, with light divine, shine upon this heart of mine;
Cast down every idol throne, Reign supreme and reign alone.

 How has prayer helped you? How does your personal prayer time and communal prayer time in worship inform and feed you? Look for more stories of prayer in next week’s Monday Meditation.