Reformed Catechism Week 37 Resources

Week 37 Question:

How does the Holy Spirit help us?

Week 37 Answer:

The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, comforts us, guides us, gives us spiritual gifts and the desire to obey God; and he enables us to pray and to understand God’s Word.

Week 36 Verse:

Ephesians 6:17-18

Commentary

The Holy Spirit dwelling in us gives guidance and direction. Fundamentally, habitually, he enlightens our minds, give us eyes, understandings, shines into us, translates us from darkness into marvellous light, whereby…we are able to see our way, to know our paths, and to discern the things of God…. He gives a new light and understanding, whereby, in general, we are enabled to "discern, comprehend, and receive spiritual things."… There is more required to the receiving, entertaining, embracing, a particular truth, and rejecting of what is contrary unto it, than a habitual illumination. This also is the work of the Spirit that dwells in us…he puts upon every truth a new glory, making and rendering it desirable to the soul…. Strength comes as well as light, by the pouring out of the Spirit on us; strength for the receiving and practice of all his gracious discoveries to us…. [Also] from this indwelling of the Spirit we have supportment. Our hearts are very ready to sink and fail under our trials; indeed, a little thing will cause us so to do: flesh, and heart, and all that is within us, are soon ready to fail…. The Spirit helpeth, bears up that infirmity which is ready to make us go double. How often should we be overborne with our burdens, did not the Spirit put under his power to bear them and to support us.… He is a Spirit of grace…He is a Spirit of holiness…He is a Spirit of joy and consolation…He is the High and the Holy One who dwells in eternity, and he hath chosen to inhabit with me also.

John Owen (1616–1683). An English Puritan theologian, Owen went to Oxford University at 12 years of age, gained his MA at 19, and became a pastor at 21. Years later he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University. He preached to parliament the day after the execution of King Charles I, fulfilling the task without directly mentioning that event. He wrote numerous and voluminous works including historical treatises on religion and several studies on the Holy Spirit.

From “The Indwelling of the Spirit” in “The Doctrine of the Saints’ Perseverance Explained and Confirmed” in The Works of John Owen, edited by William Goold, Volume XI (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1853), 343 – 361.

Video Commentary

NCC Q37: How does the Holy Spirit help us? from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

 

Supporting Scriptures

John 15:26; Acts 9:31; John 14:16-17; Romans 15:13; 1 Peter 4:14; 1 John 4:13

Prayer

AND now, O Holy Spirit, love of God, who proceedest from the Almighty Father and his most blessed Son, powerful advocate, and sweetest comforter, infuse thy grace, and descend plentifully into my heart; enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling, and scatter there thy cheerful beams! dwell in that soul which longs to be thy temple; water that barren soil, over-run with weeds and briars, and lost for want of cultivating, and make it fruitful with thy dew from heaven…. O that it may please thee to come to me, thou kindest comforter of mourning souls, thou mighty defence in distresses, and ready help in time of need. O come thou purger of all inward pollutions, and healer of spiritual wounds and diseases. Come, thou strength of the feeble, and raiser of them that fall. Come, thou putter down of the proud, and teacher of the meek and humble…. Come, come, thou hope of the poor, and refreshment of them that languish and faint…. Come, Holy Spirit, in much mercy, come, make me lit to receive thee, and condescend to my infirmities, that my meanness may not be disdained by thy greatness, nor my weakness by thy strength: all which I beg for the sake of Jesus Christ, my only Saviour, who in the unity of thee, O Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth with the Father, one God, world without end.

Augustine of Hippo (354–430). Bishop of Hippo in Roman North Africa, philosopher, and theologian, Augustine is considered a saint and Doctor of the Church by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. He wrote an account of his conversion in his Confessions, his most known work, but he is also one of the most prolific Latin authors in terms of surviving works with hundreds of separate titles (including apologetic works, texts on Christian doctrine, and commentaries) and more than 350 preserved sermons.

From Pious Breathings: Being the Meditations of St Augustine, his Treatise of the Love of God, Soliloquies and Manual, translated by Geo. Stanhope (London: J. Nunn & Co., 1818), 29–31.