THE HOLY SPIRIT AND
THE REMISSION OF SIN
The presence of the
Holy Spirit and the remission of sins are always mentioned by Christ together.
As soon as Christ breathed on His disciplines and said: "Receive the
Holy Spirit…" He immediately added, "Whose sins you forgive are
given." St. Thomas stated that those who partake of the Holy Spirit
receive the remission of their sins. The abiding of the Holy Spirit within
us is the sure sign that all our sins are forgiven. And as a consequence,
St. John says, we cannot sin again.
So if we find
ourselves sinning again and again, that should tell us that we do not have
the Holy Spirit and our sins are retained. Christ mentions the Holy Spirit
with the remission and retaining of sins. The disciples were worthy to
receive the Holy Spirit after they had followed Christ all the way.
As we have seen, we
cannot receive the Holy Spirit, the love of God, unless we have loved our
neighbor in accordance to the commands of Christ.
Though we must do
good even if we have sins, strictly speaking, our good works are not as
good as long as we have sins. So, Christ commanded us to repent first,
i.e. stop sinning and be sorry for our past sins before we can take
up our cross and follow Him. Then will God send us the Holy Spirit as on