Friday, March 21, 2014
The Eighth Article of the Creed.
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spake by the Prophets.
The eighth Article of the Creed speaks about the third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is also true God, as is the Father and the Son. This we confess, calling Him Lord.
The Holy Spirit is also called the Giver of Life because He, together with God the Father and God the Son, gives life to all, especially spiritual life. It follows that He is likewise the Creator of the world, equal to the Father and the Son. It is said about the creation of the world: And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters (Gen. 1:2). Jesus Christ Himself said about the blessed regeneration by the Spirit, ...Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God (John 3:5).
Thus the Holy Spirit is true God, the third Person of the Triune God. To Him we must render the same worship and glory as to the Father and the Son.
The words, "Who proceedeth from the Father," define the personal hypostatic nature of the Holy Spirit, by which He is distinguished from God the Father, and from the Son, begotten of the Father. His nature is such that the Holy Spirit continually proceeds from the Father. Jesus Christ Himself spoke on this point to His disciples: But when the Comforter is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, Which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me (John 15:26).
The words, "Who spake by the Prophets," means who spoke through the prophets. The prophets predicted the future and wrote Holy Scriptures under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and therefore their books are called divinely inspired. The words, "spake by the Prophets," are stated so that no one need doubt that the Holy Scriptures were written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, not by the authors themselves, as ordinary books are written. They therefore contain the highest God-given truth, the Word of God, or Divine revelation.
The fact that the Holy Spirit spoke through the Apostles is not mentioned in the Symbol of Faith because at the time of its composition no one doubted it.
The Holy Spirit now conveys His gifts to true Christians through the Church of Christ, in prayer and the Holy Mysteries. In the Holy Mysteries the Holy Spirit enlightens the faithful with the light of Christ’s teaching, warms their hearts by love for God and neighbor, and purifies them of every stain of sin.
Jesus Christ called the Holy Spirit, Spirit of Truth (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13) and warned us, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men (Matt. 12:31).
"Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" is conscious and hardened opposition to the truth, because the Spirit is truth (I John 5:6). Conscious and hardened resistance to the truth leads man away from humility and repentance, and without repentance there can be no forgiveness. That is why the sin of blasphemy against the Spirit cannot be forgiven, since one who does not acknowledge his sin does not seek to have it forgiven.
The Holy Spirit was revealed to people in visible form at the Baptism of the Lord in the form of a dove, and on the day of Pentecost when He descended to the Apostles in the form of tongues of fire. He appeared also as a cloud of light in the Old Testament and at the Transfiguration of Christ.