Catechesis Notes for the Week —The Feast of Pentecost celebrates the person and work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son and with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified as God and Lord. The Holy Spirit is sometimes called the Spirit of love for it is by the Spirit that we are drawn into the fellowship of the love of the Holy Trinity. The Holy Spirit is always the Spirit of Christ who shines upon the person and work of our Savior, calls us to repentance and faith, and bestows upon us every blessing that Jesus won for us. The Spirit’s means or instruments by which He does His work are the Gospel and Sacraments of Christ.
The Third Article of the Creed—“Neither you nor I could ever know anything of Christ, or believe in him and take him as our Lord, unless these were first offered to us and bestowed on our hearts through the preaching of the Gospel by the Holy Spirit. The work is finished and completed; Christ has acquired and won the treasure for us by his sufferings, death, and resurrection, etc. But if the work had remained hidden and no one knew of it, it would have been all in vain, all lost. In order that this treasure might not be buried but 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 of salvation. Therefore to sanctify is nothing else than to bring us to the Lord Christ to receive this blessing, which we could not obtain by ourselves…Further we believe that in this Christian church we have the forgiveness of sins, which is granted through the holy sacraments and absolution as well as through all the comforting words of the entire Gospel. Toward forgiveness is directed everything that is to be preached concerning the sacraments and, in short, the entire Gospel and all the duties of Christianity. Forgiveness is needed constantly, for although God’s grace has been won by Christ, and holiness has been wrought by the Holy Spirit through God’s Word in the unity of the Christian church, yet because we are encumbered with our flesh we are never without sin.” The Large Catechism, Third Article CP200531