Reader's Guide to Schleiermacher's Christian Faith

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Second Part of the System of Doctrine: Explication of the Facts of the Religious Self-Consciousness, as they are determined by the Antithesis of Sin and Grace

Second Aspect of the Antithesis: Explication of the Consciousness of Grace

Second Section: The Constitution of the World in Relation to Redemption

First Division: The Origin of the Church


115 The Christian Church takes shape through the coming together of regenerate individuals to form a system of mutual interaction and co-operation.

116 The origin of the Church becomes clear through the two doctrines of Election and Communication of the Holy Spirit.

First Doctrine: Election

117 In accordance with the laws of divine government of the world, so long as the human race continues on earth, all those living at any one time can never be uniformly taken up in the kingdom of God founded by Christ.

118 While Christian sympathy is not disquieted by the earlier and later adoption of one and another individual into the fellowship of redemption, yet on the other hand there does not remain an insoluble discord if, on the assumption of survival after death, we are to think of a part of the human race as entirely excluded from this fellowship.

First Theorem: Predestination

119 The election of those who are justified is a divine predestination to salvation in Christ.

Second Theorem: The Grounds of Election

120 Election, viewed as influencing the divine government of the world, is grounded in the faith of the elect, foreseen by God: viewed as rooted in the divine government of the world, it is solely determined by the divine good-pleasure.

Second Doctrine: The Communication of the Holy Spirit

121 All who are living in the state of sanctification feel an inward impulse to become more and more one in their common co-operative activity and reciprocal influence, and are conscious of this as the common Spirit of the new corporate life founded by Jesus Christ.

122 Only after the departure of Christ from earth was it possible for the Holy Spirit, as this common spirit, to be fully communicated and received.

First Theorem

123 The Holy Spirit is the union of the Divine Essence with human nature in the form of the common Spirit animating the life in common of believers.

Second Theorem

124 Every regenerate person partakes of the Holy Spirit, so that there is no living fellowship with Christ without an indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and vice versa.

Third Theorem

125 The Christian Church, animated by the Holy Spirit, is in its purity and integrity the perfect image of the Redeemer, and each regenerate individual is an indispensable constituent of this fellowship.

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