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Reference: Holy Spirit


The Christian doctrine of the Holy Spirit arises out of the experience of the Church, as it Interprets, and is itself interpreted by, the promise of the Comforter given by Jesus to His disciples (Joh 14; 15; 16). This appeal to experience follows the method adopted by St. Peter in his Pentecostal sermon (Ac 2:33). The teaching may briefly be stated as follows: The Holy Spirit is God; a Person within the Godhead; the Third Person, the knowledge of whom depends on the revelation of the Father and the Son, from both of whom He proceeds. He was in the world, and spoke by the prophets before the Word became flesh, and was Himself the agent in that creative act. Through Him the atonement was consummated. He is the life-giving presence within the universal Church, the Divine agent in its sacramental and authoritative acts; communicating Himself as a presence and power to the individual Christian; mediating to him forgiveness and new birth; nourishing, increasing, and purifying his whole personality; knitting him into the fellowship of saints; and finally, through the resurrection of the body, bringing him to the fulness of eternal life. The purpose of this article is to justify this teaching from Scripture.

1. The promise of Christ.

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