Nisi per Spiritum sanctum: The Holy Spirit and the Confession of Faith

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The confession of faith in the lordship of Jesus Christ may be considered the originary practice of the Christian life. As such it recommends itself as a primary site at which to investigate the relation between the agency of the Holy Spirit and human activity. Focusing on 1Cor. 12:1–3, which identifies the act of the Spirit as the sine qua non of Christian confession, we examine its importance within the theological setting of Paul’s apocalyptic gospel in order to illumine classical Reformed debates about the nature of faith and ‘effectual calling’ in relation to the act of publicly confessing faith in Christ. Recognition of the Spirit as the present power of God’s eschatological reign, militant to shape reality, to win and secure faith, and to move women and men to a free creaturely acknowledgment of the same, proves essential to understanding the act of confessing the faith.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-356
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Reformed Theology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • 1Corinthians 12:1–3
  • Holy Spirit
  • faith
  • confession
  • effectual calling


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