Grace Protestant Reformed Church

From What Does Faith Proceed? The Holy Spirit

Date: AM
Text: Romans 10; Lord's Day 25
Psalters: 283, 61, 10, 6
Series: Heidelberg Catechism (2016-18)
  1. Uses means.
    1. 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).
    2. There are means or instruments the Spirit uses to give and strengthen the gift of faith (Canons I-16).
  2. 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).
    1. First, understand that the Holy Spirit declares that to preach is to herald the good news of the gospel.
    2. 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).
    3. Third, the Spirit of God makes the preaching an effectual means of enlightening, convincing, and humbling sinners.
    4. Understand that this is a specific, distinct kind of hearing; it is not just sitting in a worship service.
  3. The Holy Spirit confirms faith by the sacraments.
    1. The sacraments are signs, i.e., visible representations of invisible realities.
    2. And they are seals, i.e., marks of authority guaranteeing what is revealed in the sign.           
    3. How are they signs and seals?  They have no power in themselves, but it is only by the Spirit working.
  4. The clear implication is that we must use correctly the means God uses to give grace.
    1. We are bound to use them if we want grace and an increasingly stronger conscious faith.
    2. Pray for the preacher and preaching (I Thess. 5:25; Eph. 619; Col. 4:3; Heb 13:18).
    3. Have the nobility of the Bereans (Acts 17:11).