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New City Catechism 36.2

Question 36: What do we believe about the Holy Spirit?

Answer: That he is God, coeternal with the Father and the Son, and that God grants him irrevocably to all who believe.

To be a Christian is, by definition, to be a person who has received the Holy Spirit. Different denominations of Christians have debated this question, but in the Scripture it is very clear: “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him” (Rom. 8:9). As the intimate, life-giving, sanctifying, and empowering presence of God with his people, the Holy Spirit is the richest blessing of the new covenant. And Jesus is the one who gives the Spirit in abundance to his people.

The very Spirit who came down on Jesus at his baptism to anoint and empower him for his mission (Matt. 3:16-17) is the Spirit given by Jesus to his church after his ascension to the right hand of the Father (Acts 2). And so any and all who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. If you are a Christian, God himself dwells in you, giving spiritual life to you and empowering you to serve him. Don’t lose sight of the awesome reality of knowing the Father, by faith in his Son, in the powerful experience of the Holy Spirit.

Suggested passage for personal or family reading: Acts 2. What does this passage teach about the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church? What does it teach us about Jesus?

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