How You (Dear Believer) Can Retain the Holy Spirit – Ursinus’ Wisdom

Sometimes believers struggle with the assurance of salvation. They may ask themselves, “Do I truly have the Holy Spirit?” They ask this because they sincerely want to possess the Holy Spirit but are often reminded of their spiritual weakness which can be unsettling. We need the comfort of the gospel of God’s free grace, the gospel that God grants His beloved people His Holy Spirit.

Take comfort in the following wisdom from Zacharias Ursinus. It will be well worth meditating on.

The Holy Spirit may be retained very much in the same way, and by the use of the same means, through which he is given and received, among which we may mention the following: 1. A diligent attention to the preached word: “And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, etc., for the perfecting of the saints, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come in the unity of the faith.” (Eph. 4:11, 12) 2. Serious meditation upon the doctrine of the gospel, and an earnest desire of advancing in the knowledge thereof. “In his law doth he meditate day and night; and he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.” “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another.” (Ps. 1:2, 3; Col. 3:16) 3. Constant penitence, and an earnest desire of avoiding those sins which offend the conscience: “Whosoever has, to him shall be given.” “He that is righteous, let him be righteous.” “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Matt. 13:12; Rev. 22:11; Eph. 4:30) Under this head, we may refer a desire to avoid all evil communications and occasions to sin; for he that would avoid sin, must also shun every thing that might entice thereto. 4. Constant and earnest prayer: “How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.” “This kind goeth not out, but by prayer and fasting.” “Take not your Holy Spirit from me.” (Luke 11:13; Matt. 17:21; Ps. 51:11) The Christian panoply described by the apostle Paul may be referred to this division. 5. The Holy Spirit may be retained by a proper use of the gifts of God; by devoting them to the glory of God, and the salvation of our neighbor. “When you are converted, strengthen your brethren.” “Occupy till I come.” “To every one which has shall be given; and from him that has not, even that he has shall be taken away from him.” (Luke 22:32; 19:13, 26) [1]

[1] Zacharias Ursinus, The Commentary of Dr. Zacharias Ursinus on the Heidelberg Catechism, Trans. Rev. G. W. Williard, A. M. Electronic version Ed. Eric D. Bristley, TH.M. (2004), 514-515.

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Jonathan Shirk

Welcome to the online home of Jonathan Shirk, family man, Reformed pastor, author, podcaster, and small town theologian. Whether you're from a small town or big city, may this website help you find deeper comfort and joy in the gospel.

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