Dear friends,

The English Reformation was a movement from God where the Bible reformed th life and teaching of both individual Christians and churches. In this reformation, the reformers recognized and preserved biblical practices and resources from the ages after the Apostolic age. The reformers also developed new resources which were in keeping with the Bible’s teaching. The 39 Articles stated key doctrinal truths relevant to Christians at that time. Here is its statement on the Holy Spirit.

Article 5: The Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.

The Nicene Creed on the Holy Spirit.

And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets.

One main feature of the English Reformation is that doctrine is prayed. Here is the Collect (prayer) for Pentecost.

GOD, who as at this time did teach the hearts of Your faithful people, by the sending to them the light of Your Holy Spirit; Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things, and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Another place where doctrine is prayed is in the communion service. A little bit before the Prayer of Institution a “seasonal preface” is added to the prayers. Here is the preface, the doctrinal prayer, for Pentecost.

“Through Jesus Christ our Lord; according to whose most true promise, the Holy Ghost came down as at this time with a
sudden great sound, as it had been a mighty wind, in the likeness of fiery tongues, lighting upon the Apostles, to teach them, and to lead them to all truth; giving them both the gift of many different languages, and also boldness with fervent zeal constantly to preach the Gospel into all nations; whereby we have been brought out of darkness and error into the clear light and true knowledge of You, and Your Son Jesus Christ….”

One big surprise to many is how biblical these old prayers and statements are. We tend to associate the Holy Spirit with emotion and with tongues. The Reformation resources remind us of the Holy Spirit’s role in evangelism and in thinking – without by-passing the miraculous. The resources also point us back to the Holy Spirit’s role in creating zeal in Christ’s people. Please pray that Messiah will be daily reformed by God’s Word written and know Holy Spirit revival!

George