Third Article of the Apostle’s Creed
“Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”John 3:5-6
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You may remember a time when the Church used the term Holy Ghost for the Third Person of the Trinity. I admit I was very confused about the Holy Ghost as a kid. This confusion was best demonstrated for me at my cousin Jim’s Baptism. John, his older brother, was about three or four at the time and went up with his family for the Baptism. As the pastor baptized Jim in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, John’s eyes popped open wide in terror as he loudly repeated, “Ghost?”
As Christians, we confess that the Holy Spirit has made us new creatures by bringing us to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Such faith is “granted to our hearts by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Gospel” (LC II 38).
Your students might have the same reaction, since the word ghost is often associated with some specter in a haunted house instead of the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. Even though we us the term Holy Spirit more commonly now, your students’ confusion may be no different. By carefully studying the Third Article of the Apostle’s Creed, you can help your students understand the crucial role the Spirit plays in faith.
“Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’” (John 3:5–6)
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Quotations from the Large Catechism are from Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, second ed., copyright © 2006 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.