Thomas F. Torrance on the Holy Spirit and the Nicene Faith

At the Council of Nicaea in 325 A. D. the Fathers spoke of the Holy Spirit only in the last single sentence: ‘We believe in the Holy Spirit’. Brief as this was, it brought into sharp focus the universal emphasis in the New Testament upon the personal and divine nature of the Holy Spirit who, with the Father and the Son, is both the subject and object of faith, he through trinity-iconwhom and in whom we believe in Jesus Christ and are saved. In him God himself is immediately present in our midst, miraculously and savingly at work, and through him God reveals himself as Lord, for God himself is the content of what he does for us and communicates to us. The Spirit is not just something divine or something akin to God emanating from him, not some sort of action at a distance or some kind of gift detachable from himself, for in the Holy Spirit God acts directly upon us himself, and in giving us his Holy Spirit God gives us nothing less than himself. Since God is Spirit, the Giver of the Spirit and the Gift of the Spirit are identical. Thus in the Nicene Creed belief in the Holy Spirit is bracketed together with belief in the Father and in the Son, as belief in one God and Lord. – T. F. Torrance, The Trinitarian Faith, 191.

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