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In various places in the Scriptures we read about the works of the Holy Spirit. He encourages, convicts and guides. We read that we can sin against Him, that He works in unseen ways, mysterious ways, yes, but in material ways as well.
The Spirit of God is the Person of the Trinity who extends God’s presence into creation in such a way to order and complete what has been planned in the mind of God. The Father sends, the Son comes, the Spirit vindicates and testifies. The Father plans, the Son sacrifices and rises, and the Spirit applies. Read more
In Baptism the Holy Spirit gives to us the gift and promise of new life. We have all read Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus many many times and we remember how Jesus explains to this righteous, God-fearing Jew that there is something more required of him than simply submitting to Christ as a teacher. Jesus says, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” This does not make sense to Nicodemus, he asks “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” And Jesus replies, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God”
To be born again, Jesus explains, is to be born of water and of Spirit. Jesus joins together two things that are necessary, then, for new life. Water and Spirit. To separate the two, to say that there is something to do with water that is essentially unrelated to something that the Spirit does, is to question Christ’s wisdom in putting the two together. If it was Jesus’ intent that we not mix our understanding of the application of water and the work of the Spirit, that we don’t see them as ordinarily one and the same work, he could have easily left out the water. Read more