“I believe in the Holy Spirit….” With these words we begin the Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed. How often do we say these words? How well do we understand them?
In his Small Catechism the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther 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.
In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ un the one true faith.
In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all me sins and the sins of all believers.
On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.
This is most certainly true. (Dr. Martin Luther, Small Catechism, Concordia Publishing House, Saint Louis 1986, p. 17).
This is what we remember and celebrate on Pentecost. It is through the working and gifts of God the Holy Spirit that we hear and learn of Jesus Christ. It is in His power that we come to believe in Jesus as our Savior from sin. It is in the Spirit’s enablement that we confess Jesus as Savior and acknowledge Him as Lord!
I pray that with the prophet Joel we will join with Luther and many saints and confess: “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”