For an introduction to the series, read this.
We continue working through my church’s statement of faith, based on the Baptist Faith and Message, this week concluding the section on the Doctrine of God.
Statement of Faith Article for the Week
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Thoughts for Discussion with Children
We know that God the Father sent Jesus the Son to die on the cross for our sins and to be raised so that we could be saved from his coming judgment. But what about the Holy Spirit? How does he fit into that?
When Jesus died and was raised for us, did that automatically save everyone on the earth from God’s judgment? No. The Bible teaches that many will be judged at the end, even thrown into the lake of fire (Hell) forever (Revelation 20:15). So, even though Jesus died and was raised to save his people, something must still happen in us to make that true for us. We are born outside of Christ, but somehow we must be brought to the point where we are “in Christ” in order to be saved by him when the judgment comes.
And that means, of course, that we must turn away from sin and trust in Christ. It is faith that makes the difference between being saved and being lost. But if we are sinners in our hearts who do not trust God, how can we ever produce faith? The truth is, we can’t! Only God can open our eyes to see Jesus as our only hope. On our own, we could never do that.
And that is the work of the Holy Spirit: he opens the eyes of God’s people so that they receive Jesus. In other words, the Holy Spirit brings us to the Son so that we can be saved. Without the Son’s work for us, we have no hope; and without the Spirit’s work in us, we also have no hope. We need both.
God truly is an amazing God! The Father loved us and planned to save us. Then he sent the Son to do the work of salvation for us by dying and rising again. And then he sent the Holy Spirit to do the work of salvation in us so that we could share in what Christ did for us. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit always work together, and this is how they have worked together in love to save us from judgment so that we can love and praise God in a new world forever one day. So start praising him for this now!
Suggested Readings for the Week: John chapters 3, 14, 15, 16 (or relevant selections about the Holy Spirit from each).