What does this mean?
Answer - I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life. This is most certainly true.
The Holy Spirit has two great functions. First, He reveals God’s truth to people. He also enables people to recognize this truth when they see and hear it. (See 1 Corinthians 13:3, Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.)
If the Holy Spirit reveals truth and gives us the ability to believe, understand, and act on this revelation, then a rejection of this revelation is a rejection of the Holy Spirit. This rejection would be a result in some dire consequences.
The Holy Spirit, calls gathers, enlightens, sanctifies and keeps us in the faith. He plants the seed of faith into our heart. (Calls and gathers) He causes growth toward the light of the Gospel. (Enlightens) Through good works, the faith flowers and produces fruit. (Sanctifies) He waters and nurtures the plant of faith so that it remains green. (Keeps) Remember, you can’t make a plant grow but you can crush it with your heel.
Almighty God, You gave Your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon Himself. Grant that we, Your adopted children by grace, may daily be renewed by Your Holy Spirit; through Jesus Christ, our Lord
Collect for spiritual renewal, Lutheran Service Book © 2008 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Artwork by Ed Rojas, © Higher Things