June 29, 2022 | View PDF
Most weeks we use the words of the Apostles Creed to confess our faith. The third article of the creed reads as follows: “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting, Amen.”
Martin Luther said “being made holy” is expressed and portrayed through the office of the Holy Spirit; meaning the Holy Spirit’s agency makes us holy. Luther goes on to say that we must concentrate on the term “Holy Spirit” because we can find no other name.
Other spirits are mentioned in Scripture, such as the human spirit, heavenly spirits, and the evil spirit. But God’s Spirit alone is called a Holy Spirit, that is, the one who has made us holy and still makes us holy.
As the Father is called a Creator and the Son is called a Redeemer, so on account of this work, the Holy Spirit must be called Sanctifier, or one who makes us holy.
How does such sanctifying take place? Just as the Son obtains dominion by purchasing us through his birth, death, and resurrection; so, the Holy Spirit affects our being made holy through the following: the community of saints, the Christian church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
The Spirit leads us into the holy community, placing us in the church’s lap, where the Spirit preaches to us and brings us to Christ. Neither you nor I could ever know anything about Christ, or believe in him and receive him as Lord, unless these were offered to us and bestowed on our hearts through the preaching of the gospel by the Holy Spirit.
If the work remained hidden so that no one knew of it, it would have been all in vain, all lost. In order that this treasure might not remain buried but be put to use and enjoyed. God has caused the Word to be published and proclaimed, in which he has given the Holy Spirit to offer and apply to us this treasure, this redemption. Being made holy brings us to the Lord Christ to receive this blessing, to which we could not have come to ourselves.
Everything in this Christian community is so ordered that everyone may daily obtain full forgiveness of sins through the Word of God. Although we have sin, the Holy Spirit sees to it that it does not harm us because we are a part of this Christian community and we can trust that our sins are forgiven; and through this forgiveness, we can forgive, bear with, and aid one another.
Thanks be to God for the daily forgiveness we receive, and the grace upon grace poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
Pastor, Chad Rademacher
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church