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Are you saintified?

As we prepare to celebrate Pentecost, Pastor Nathan Wordell explains what the Holy Spirit's role is in the life of a Christian.

When Lutheran students learn about the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian, they are taught to call it “sanctification.” That’s the word Martin Luther used in his catechisms. It comes straight out of 1 Corinthians 6:11 (emphasis added): “You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Sanctification is a word that’s understood well when it’s pronounced poorly. A little tyke might struggle to articulate each letter and say something like “saint-ification.” That’s right! The Holy Spirit “saint-ifies” people. The “sanct-” part of the word sanctification comes from the Latin term that gives us the word saint. The “-fication” part comes from the Latin term that gives us the word factory. The Holy Spirit is a saint factory, or, as Martin Luther wrote in the Large Catechism, “He makes holy.”

Making people holy is quite a task. If you’ve browsed the headlines, you recognize that people are not sinless. Quite the opposite. When Christians search their own hearts and compare their findings to God’s demands, they have reason to acknowledge that they are no better. It would take an act of God to saint-ify a sinner. Fortunately, miracles are the Holy Spirit’s specialty.

Have you read these articles from the May issue?

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This year, enrollment in WELS’ high schools reached more than 7,000 students, a first in WELS history. That is 10.9 percent growth across-the-board since 2020. WELS’ 27 area Lutheran high schools and two preparatory schools provide a Christian education . . .

The view from above

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Do you prefer an aisle seat or a window seat on the airplane? I usually choose the aisle, but sometimes I choose the window. Staring out the window at the wide expanse of the world below and the sky above, you can’t help but reflect upon upon your own life, the . . .

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There will always be some tension with someone about something. I am not just talking about conflicts with the people of this world. I am speaking about the conflicts we experience in our Christian homes and congregations. Have you been given the . . .

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