A DECLARATION OF FAITH (1977)
CHAPTER FIVE -- GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
1 (1) The Holy Spirit is God active in the world.
2 By the Spirit God raised up leaders and prophets in Israel.
3 By the Spirit Jesus was conceived, baptized, and empowered.
4 By the Spirit the risen Christ is present with his church.
5 We affirm that the Holy is the Lord and Giver of life,
6 the Renewer and Perfecter of God's people,
7 the One who makes real in us what God has done for us.
8 (2) The Holy Spirit renews the community of faith.
9 Israel did not cease to be God's people
10 Yet out of Israel a new people was formed.
11 The Spirit came with power to the followers of Jesus.
12 Led by the apostles they began to proclaim with boldness
13 the new thing God had done in Christ.
14 They began to experience in their fellowship
15 a new quality of common life.
16 We believe that by the power of
the same Spirit
17 the church can be set on its way again,
18 even when it seems beyond hope of renewal.
19 We are grateful heirs of reformations and awakenings.
20 We are faithful to the reformers of the past
21 when we hold ourselves open in the present
22 to the reforming and renewing work of the Spirit.
23 (3) The Spirit enables people to become
24 The Spirit enabled people of all races, classes, and nations
25 to accept the good news of what God had done in Christ,
26 repent of their sins,
27 and enter the community of faith.
28 We testify that today this same Holy Spirit
29 makes us able to respond in faith to the gospel
30 and leads us into the Christian community.
31 The Spirit brings us out of death into life,
32 our of separation into fellowship.
33 The Spirit makes us aware of our sinfulness and need,
34 moves us to abandon our old way of life,
35 persuades us to trust in Christ and adopt his way.
36 In all these things we are responsible for our decisions.
37 But after we have trusted and repented
38 we recognize that the Spirit enable us to hear and act.
39 It is not our faith but God's grace in Jesus Christ
40 that justifies us and reconciles us to God.
41 Yet it is only by faith that we accept God's grace
42 and live by it.
43 (4) The Spirit helps believers grow in the new
44 The Christian fellowship was not a society of perfect people.
45 The struggle between the old way of life and the new was severe.
46 Yet the Spirit produced among followers of Jesus
47 love, joy, peace, and victories in the battle against evil.
48 We believe the Holy Spirit works today
49 whenever believers grow toward maturity in Christ.
50 As long as we live we struggle with sin,
51 but the Spirit's presence assures us
52 God will complete what he has begun in us.
53 (5) The Holy Spirit equips the Christian
54 The early Christians recognized
55 a diversity of abilities and functions
56 as gifts of the Spirit.
57 Some were tempted to use these gifts
58 to serve their own needs and ambitions,
59 to form elite groups who looked down on others.
60 But the gifts were given for the common good,
61 to build up the community in love
62 and to equip it for its mission in the world.
63 We are convinced that the Holy Spirit
64 still calls people to various offices in the church
65 and gives diverse gifts to believers.
66 We are to use them to speak and embody plainly
67 the gospel of Christ in the world.
68 No gift is of value without love.
69 (6) The Holy Spirit unifies the Christian church.
70 The diversity in the early church
71 caused tension and conflict.
72 Yet the Spirit bound them into one body,
73 enriched by their differences.
74 We know that the same Spirit
gives us a unity
75 we cannot create or destroy.
76 The Spirit moves among us
77 not to end diversity or compel uniformity,
78 but to overcome divisiveness and bitterness.
79 The Spirit leads us to struggle against
80 the lines of race and class,
81 the ambitions of competing parties,
82 the loyalties to individuals and traditions,
83 that divide us.
84 The Spirit impels us
85 to make the unity of Christians
86 visible to a divided world,
87 and assures us that we shall be one.
88 (7) The Holy Spirit is free.
89 The Spirit created readiness for the gospel
90 where the first Christians least expected it.
91 The Spirit often thwarted their plans
92 and led them in new directions.
93 They could not coerce or restrict the Spirit.
94 We affirm the Spirit's freedom.
95 The Holy Spirit works in the church
96 but not on our terms or under our control.
97 The Holy Spirit works beyond the church
98 even among those we suspect or scorn.
99 (8) The Spirit is one with the Father and the
100 In the presence of the Holy Spirit
101 the first Christians experienced God's own presence,
102 not a power different from God or less than God.
103 In Jesus Christ they met God himself,
104 not a second God or one who is only like God.
105 Yet the worshiped with the people of Israel
106 one God alone.
107 Reflecting on this mystery,
108 the ancient church formulated the doctrine of the Trinity.
109 We believe with the church through the centuries
110 that God is what he has shown himself to be
111 in his story with his people:
112 One God who is the Creator and Sustainer,
113 the Savior and Lord,
114 the Giver of life within, among, and beyond us.
115 We affirm the unity of God's
being and work.
116 We may not separate the work of God as Creator
117 from the word of God as Redeemer.
118 We may not set the Son's love against the Father's justice.
119 We may not value the Holy Spirit's work
120 above the work of the Father and Son.
121 The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one God.
122 We affirm the richness and
variety in God's being and work.
123 We may not deny the real distinctions in God's unity.
124 In his eternal being and in all his activity,
125 the one God is always and at the same time
126 the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.