The Profession of Faith
“No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.”
“God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘
This knowledge of faith is possible only in the Holy
Spirit: to be in touch with Christ, we must first have been touched
by the Holy Spirit. He comes to meet us and kindles faith in us.
By virtue of our Baptism, the first sacrament of the faith, the
Holy Spirit in the Church communicates to us, intimately and
personally, the life that originates in the Father and is offered to
us in the Son.
Baptism gives us the grace of new birth in God the Father,
through his Son, in the Holy Spirit. For those who bear God’s
Spirit are led to the Word, that is, to the Son, and the Son
presents them to the Father, and the Father confers incor-
ruptibility on them. And it is impossible to see God’s Son
without the Spirit, and no one can approach the Father
without the Son, for the knowledge of the Father is the Son,
and the knowledge of God’s Son is obtained through the
Through his grace, the Holy Spirit is the first to awaken
faith in us and to communicate to us the new life, which is to “know
the Father and the one whom he has sent, Jesus Christ.”
Spirit is the last of the persons of the Holy Trinity to be revealed.
St. Gregory of Nazianzus, the Theologian, explains this progres-
sion in terms of the pedagogy of divine “condescension”:
The Old Testament proclaimed the Father clearly, but the
Son more obscurely. The New Testament revealed the Son
and gave us a glimpse of the divinity of the Spirit. Now the
Spirit dwells among us and grants us a clearer vision of
himself. It was not prudent, when the divinity of the
Father had not yet been confessed, to proclaim the Son
openly and, when the divinity of the Son was not yet
admitted, to add the Holy Spirit as an extra burden, to
speak somewhat daringly. . . . By advancing and progress-
ing “from glory to glory,” the light of the Trinity will shine
in ever more brilliant rays.
3 St. Irenæus,
7: SCh 62, 41-42.
5 St. Gregory of Nazianzus,
5, 26 (=
31, 26): PG 36,