Christian doctrines include the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven, from where he will return. Most Christians believe Jesus enables people to be reconciled to God. The Nicene Creed asserts that Jesus will judge the living and the dead either before or after their bodily resurrection, an event tied to the Second Coming of Jesus in Christian eschatology. The great majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, the second of three persons of the Trinity.
ChristJesus ChristJesus of Nazareth
In Christian theology pneumatology refers to the study of the Holy Spirit. In Christianity, the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost) is the Spirit of God. Within mainstream (Trinitarian) Christian beliefs he is the third person of the Trinity. As part of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit is equal with God the Father and with God the Son. The Christian theology of the Holy Spirit was the last piece of Trinitarian theology to be fully developed. Within mainstream (Trinitarian) Christianity the Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of the Trinity who make up the single substance of God.
Jehovah's WitnessJehovah's Witness MovementJehovah’s Witnesses
Their publications teach that doctrinal changes and refinements result from a process of progressive revelation, in which God gradually reveals his will and purpose, and that such enlightenment or "new light" results from the application of reason and study, the guidance of the holy spirit, and direction from Jesus Christ and angels. The Society also teaches that members of the Governing Body are helped by the holy spirit to discern "deep truths", which are then considered by the entire Governing Body before it makes doctrinal decisions.
gospelscanonical gospelsfour Gospels
Luke emphasizes the importance of prayer and the action of the Holy Spirit in Jesus's life and in the Christian community. Jesus appears as a stoic supernatural being, unmoved even by his own crucifixion. Like Matthew, Luke insists that salvation offered by Christ is for all, and not only for the Jews. The Gospel of John is the only gospel to call Jesus God, and in contrast to Mark, where Jesus hides his identity as messiah, in John he openly proclaims it. It represents Jesus as an incarnation of the eternal Word (Logos), who spoke no parables, talked extensively about himself, and did not explicitly refer to a Second Coming.
baptismBaptism of Christhis baptism
While the gospel of Luke is explicit about the Spirit of God descending in the shape of a dove, the wording of Matthew is vague enough that it could be interpreted only to suggest that the descent was in the style of a dove. Although a variety of symbolisms were attached to doves at the time these passages were written, the dove imagery has become a well known symbol for the Holy Spirit in Christian art. Depictions of the baptismal scene typical show the sky opening and the Holy Spirit descending as a dove towards Jesus. The reformer Martin Luther wrote a hymn about baptism, based on biblical accounts about the baptism of Jesus, "Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam" (1541).
ApostlesCreedthe Apostles' Creed
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting?. Do you believe in God?. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. Do you believe in Jesus Christ?. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of the Father, and will come again to judge the living and the dead. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?.
The Oneness view of Bible verses that mention God and his Spirit (e.g. Isaiah 48:16) is that they do not imply two "persons" any more than various scriptural references to a man and his spirit or soul (such as in Luke 12:19) imply two "persons" existing within one body. In the Latter Day Saint movement, the Holy Ghost (usually synonymous with Holy Spirit.) is considered the third distinct member of the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Ghost), and to have a body of "spirit", which makes him unlike the Father and the Son who are said to have bodies "as tangible as man's". According to LDS doctrine, the Holy Spirit is believed to be a person, with a body of spirit, able to pervade all worlds.
In the region the term "Pravoslav faith" (православная вера - Orthodox faith) or "Russian faith" from earliest times became almost as known as the original "Christian faith" . Also in some contexts the term "cossack" (козак, казак - "free man" by the will of God) was used to denote "free" Christians of steppe origin and Russian language. Nominally "Christian" societies made "Christian" a default label for citizenship or for "people like us".
filioque clauseLatin phrase filioqueprocession of the Holy Spirit
In Eastern Orthodox Christianity theology starts with the Father hypostasis, not the essence of God, since the Father is the God of the Old Testament. The Father is the origin of all things and this is the basis and starting point of the Orthodox trinitarian teaching of one God in Father, one God, of the essence of the Father (as the uncreated comes from the Father as this is what the Father is). In Eastern Orthodox theology, God's uncreatedness or being or essence in Greek is called ousia. Jesus Christ is the Son (God Man) of the uncreated Father (God). The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the uncreated Father (God).
The New Testament Studies, a peer-reviewed academic journal published by Cambridge University Press, describes a "striking similarity" between the defined attributes of what the Paraclete is, and is to do, and what the outcome of Christian prophecy has spoken to, explaining the Paraclete as the post-Passover gift of the Holy Spirit. "The Paraclete represents the Spirit as manifested in a particular way, as a pneumatic Christian speech charisma. Every verb describing the ministry of the Paraclete is directly related to his speech function." The early church identified the Paraclete as the Holy Spirit.
Unitarianism (from Latin unitas "unity, oneness", from unus "one") is a Christian theological movement named for its belief that the God in Christianity is one person, as opposed to the Trinity (tri- from Latin tres "three") which defines God as three persons in one being; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Unitarian Christians, therefore, believe that Jesus was inspired by God in his moral teachings, and he is a savior, but he was not a deity or God incarnate.
early Christianearly churchearly Christians
The Synoptic Gospels describe him as the "Son of God", though the phrase "Son of Man" (always placed in the mouth of Jesus himself) is more frequently used in the Gospel of Mark; born of the Virgin Mary by the agency of the Holy Spirit, and who will return to judge the nations. The Gospel of John identifies Jesus as the human incarnation of the divine Word or "Logos" (see Jesus the Logos) and True Vine. It is believed that the Book of Revelation depicts Jesus as "the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end", and applies similar terms to "the Lord God": "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty'".
Council of ConstantinopleConstantinopleSecond Ecumenical Council
However, because the Council of Nicaea had not clarified the divinity of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, it became a topic of debate. The Macedonians denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit. This was also known as Pneumatomachianism. Nicene Christianity also had its defenders: apart from Athanasius, the Cappadocian Fathers' Trinitarian discourse was influential in the council at Constantinople. Apollinaris of Laodicea, another pro-Nicene theologian, proved controversial. Possibly in an over-reaction to Arianism and its teaching that Christ was not God, he taught that Christ consisted of a human body and a divine mind, rejecting Christ having a human mind.
God is affirmed to be one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Son (Christ) is held to be eternally begotten by the Father and the Holy Spirit eternally proceeding from the Father and Son. However, contemporary theologians have been critical of aspects of Western views here as well. Drawing on the Eastern tradition, these Reformed theologians have proposed a "social trinitarianism" where the persons of the Trinity only exist in their life together as persons-in-relationship.
On the whole, Anglican divines view the via media of Anglicanism not as a compromise, but as "a positive position, witnessing to the universality of God and God's kingdom working through the fallible, earthly ecclesia Anglicana." These theologians regard scripture as interpreted through tradition and reason as authoritative in matters concerning salvation. Reason and tradition, indeed, is extant in and presupposed by scripture, thus implying co-operation between God and humanity, God and nature, and between the sacred and secular. Faith is thus regarded as incarnational and authority as dispersed.
Alexander and his supporters created the Nicene Creed to clarify the key tenets of the Christian faith in response to the widespread adoption of Arius' doctrine, which was henceforth marked as heresy. The Nicene Creed of 325 explicitly affirms the co-essential divinity of the Son, applying to him the term "consubstantial". The 381 version speaks of the Holy Spirit as worshipped and glorified with the Father and the Son. The later Athanasian Creed (not used in Eastern Christianity) describes in much greater detail the relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
ActsBook of ActsAc
For Luke, the Holy Spirit is the driving force behind the spread of the Christian message, and he places more emphasis on it than do any of the other evangelists. The Spirit is "poured out" at Pentecost, on the first Samaritan and Gentile believers, and on disciples who had been baptised only by John the Baptist, each time as a sign of God's approval. The Holy Spirit represents God's power (At his ascension, Jesus tells his followers, "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you"): through it the disciples are given speech to convert thousands in Jerusalem, forming the first church (the term is used for the first time in Acts 5).