Creed Holy Spirit in the Westminster Confession of Faith

Holy Spirit in the Westminster Confession of Faith

Below is a summary of the Holy Spirit as found in the Westminster Confession of Faith. You could also expand this post to include the larger and shorter catechisms, but for the sake of time, we will limit ourselves to the Westminster Confession of Faith.

The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son (1 John 5:7; Matt 3:16-17; 2 Cor 13:14 cf. WCF 2.3). The nature of continuing revelation has ceased after the apostolic era. Due to the Sufficiency of Scripture and the ongoing ministry of the Spirit to guide us to all truth (John 16). The Spirit used the authors of the Βible to write the words of God down that the Church might to be able to have the clarity of Scripture (Scripture interprets Scripture cf. 2 Pet 3:15-16). It is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our Hearts (1 Cor 2:10-12; Is 59:21 cf WCF 1.5). It is through this inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed to the Word (Matt 22:29, 21; Eph 2:20 cf. WCF 1.6). It is through this inward illumination that all those who are ordained to eternal life, the Holy Spirit is able to make them willing, and able to Believe (Ezek 36:26-27; John 6:44-45 cf. WCF 17.3). The Spirit enables believers to be able to do good works, being sanctified by the Spirit (Phil 1:6; 2 Pet 1:10; John 10:28-29; 1 John 3:9; 1 Pet 1:5, 9 cf. WCF 17.1) wholly for the good pleasure of God (John 15:4-5; Ezek 36:26-27 cf. WCF 16.3). The Spirit subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely, and cheerfully, which the will of God, revealed in the law (Ezek 36:27; Heb 8:10; Jer 31:33 cf. WCF 19.7).  The Spirit gives testimony to our adoption by witnessing to our spirits that we are children of God (Rom 8:15-16 cf WCF 18.2).

The Church should give worship to the Triune God; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt 4:10, John 5:23; 2 Cor 13:14 cf. WFC 21.2). The Spirit helps us to pray according to his will (Rom 8:26 cf WCF 21.2). The Church is united to Jesus Christ, as their head by his Spirit and faith (1 John 1:3; Eph 3:16-19; John 1:16; Eph 2:5-6; Phil 3:10; Rom 6:5-6; 2 Tim 2:12) through this union to Christ by the Spirit the church is united to one another in love, they have communion in each other’s gifts and graces (Eph 4:14-16; 1 Cor 3:21-23, 12:7; Col 2:19 cf WCF 25.1). The Spirit exhibits the grace in or by the sacraments, and by the word of institution, the promise of benefit to worthy receivers (Matt 3:11; 1 Cor 12:13 cf. WCF 27.3). The grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Spirit (Gal 3:27; Tit 3:5; Eph 5;25-26; Acts 2:38, 41 cf. WCF 28.6).

The Westminster Confession of Faith speaks very clearly about the Holy Spirit and therefore there is no need to add an additional chapter as mentioned last week. The Nicene creed does not go into as much detail as the Westminster Confession of Faith but we will be looking at what the creed teaches about the Holy Spirit over the next weeks.

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