The Holy Spirit and the Calvinistic Westminster Confession

Christians have "the virtue of Christ's death and resurrection, by His Word and Spirit, dwelling in them." In this way, they become "more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness — without which no man shall see the Lord!" W.C.F. 13:1.

Now this unleashes "a continual and irreconcilable war, the flesh lusting against the Spirit — and the Spirit against the flesh." W.C.F. 13:2. In that war, "through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome…. So the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." W.C.F. 13:3.

This produces in God's elect "good works…, wholly from the Spirit of Christ…. Besides the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence [or ongoing influx!] of the same Holy Spirit — to work in them to will and to do of his good pleasure. Yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty –unless upon a special motion of the Spirit. But they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them!" W.C.F. 16:3. Thus, all of "our best works" — to the extent or "as they are good" — indeed "proceed from His Spirit" alone! W.C.F. 16:5.

Now the "infallible assurance" of our state of grace and salvation comes — whenever the believer is "enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God." The believer indeed "may — without extraordinary revelation! –in the right use of ordinary means, attain thereunto…. Thereby, his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience — the proper fruits of this assurance!" W.C.F. 18:3.

Of course, even "true believers may have the assurance of their salvation [in] divers ways shaken, diminished and intermitted –as by negligence in preserving of it, by falling into some special sin which woundeth the conscience and grieveth the Spirit…. Yet are they never so destitute of that seed of God and the life of faith, [of] that love of Christ and the brethren, [nor of] that sincerity of heart and conscience of duty — out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may in due time be revived!" W.C.F. 18:4.

Now "God gave to Adam a Law…. This Law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness — and, as such, was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai in Ten Commandments…. The Moral Law doth for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof…. Neither doth Christ in the Gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation…. Neither are the…uses of the Law contrary to the grace of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it — the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely and cheerfully which the Will of God revealed in the Law requireth to be done!" W.C.F. 19:1-7.

Further: "The liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the Gospel — consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin…. The liberty of Christians is further enlarged…in the greater

boldness of access to the throne of grace and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God than believers under the Law did ordinarily partake of." W.C.F. 20:1.

Moreover: "The acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself — and so, limited by His own revealed will…. He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan…. Religious worship is to be given to God — the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost…. Prayer with thanksgiving…is by God required of all men…. It is to be made in the name of the Son, by the help of His Spirit, according to His will, with understanding[!]…and, if vocal, in a known tongue[!] I Cor. 14:14." W.C.F. 21:1-3 (and see again W.C.F. 1:8u as above)!

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