From What Does Faith Proceed? The Holy Spirit
- Uses means.
- As God’s works in the world in a uniform way, so the Holy Spirit works spiritually in a uniform way (Canons III,IV-17).
- There are means or instruments the Spirit uses to give and strengthen the gift of faith (Canons I-16).
- The Holy Spirit powerfully declares that He gives faith by the hearing of the word of God (Rom. 10:17) (Canons III,IV-17; V-14).
- First, understand that the Holy Spirit declares that to preach is to herald the good news of the gospel.
- 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).
- Third, the Spirit of God makes the preaching an effectual means of enlightening, convincing, and humbling sinners.
- Understand that this is a specific, distinct kind of hearing; it is not just sitting in a worship service.
- The Holy Spirit confirms faith by the sacraments.
- The sacraments are signs, i.e., visible representations of invisible realities.
- And they are seals, i.e., marks of authority guaranteeing what is revealed in the sign.
- How are they signs and seals? They have no power in themselves, but it is only by the Spirit working.
- The clear implication is that we must use correctly the means God uses to give grace.
- We are bound to use them if we want grace and an increasingly stronger conscious faith.
- Pray for the preacher and preaching (I Thess. 5:25; Eph. 619; Col. 4:3; Heb 13:18).
- Have the nobility of the Bereans (Acts 17:11).