From What Does Faith Proceed
|Minister:||Rev. Ronald Van Overloop|
|Psalters:||15, 89, 11, 212|
Lord’s Day 25
FROM WHAT DOES FAITH PROCEED? THE HOLY SPIRIT
I. Uses Means
A. Faith is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8,9), both as a power which unites us to Christ and as an activity of believing and trusting.
1. As God works in the world in a uniform way, so the Holy Spirit works spiritually in a uniform way (Canons III,IV-17).
2. We are bound to make use of His means.
B. There are means or instruments the Spirit uses to give and strengthen His gift of faith.
II. The Holy Spirit declares that He gives faith by the hearing of the word of God (Rom. 10:17) (Canons III,IV-17; V-14).
A. First, understand that the Holy Spirit declares that to preach is to herald the good news of the gospel.
B. Second, Christ Himself speaks and is heard (John 5:24; 10:3,4,27; Rom. 10:14-17; Eph. 4:21; I Thess. 2:13).
C.Third, the Spirit of God makes the preaching an effectual means of enlightening, convincing, and humbling sinners.
D.Understand that this is a specific, distinct kind of hearing; it is not just sitting in a worship service.
III. The Holy Spirit confirms faith by the sacraments.
A. The sacraments are signs, i.e., visible representations of invisible realities.
B. And they are seals, i.e., marks of authority guaranteeing what is revealed in the sign.
C.How are they signs and seals? They have no power in themselves, but it is only by the Spirit working.
IV. The clear implication is that we must use correctly the means God uses to give grace.
A. Pray for the preacher and preaching (I Thess. 5:25; Eph. 619; Col. 4:3; Heb 13:18).
B. We are bound to use them if we want grace and an increasingly stronger conscious faith.
C.“Receive the word with all readiness of mind” (Acts 17:11); strive to hear the King.