February 16 – LD 7, Day 5: Faith Worked by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel
Saturday the 16th of February
in Heidelberg Catechism Meditations
Romans 10:17, "So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”
Now we must focus on one more aspect of faith and salvation. True faith focuses on Jesus as Savior, it does that because the Word of God explains that Jesus is the only Savior. When we are engrafted into Him, we are filled with His love so that we gladly embrace all that He says is true, and rejoice when He assures us of our personal salvation. The conclusion is that faith is the most important experience.
Of more than passing interest is, how do we obtain this faith?
Here too, the catechism emphasizes that it does not have its roots in man himself. This is no small point when we consider how many in the church-world emphasize that faith is the work of man. Oh, yes, they say that it is all of God, even all of grace, but God will not give His grace to anyone who does not of his own will seek it. The tragedy of this emphasis is that man’s will is unable to seek after God or to “accept Jesus” as they say. God must work upon the human will and change it in order for man to will and seek after God.
The beautiful point of the catechism here is that God does this by means of the gospel. Faith is worked by the Holy Spirit through the gospel.
To embrace this truth, we must admit our own human depravity and be thankful to God that He enables us to do what we cannot do apart from Him.
The Apostle Paul expresses it beautifully in Romans 10:17, “So then, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God”. In the context there, Paul explained that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, vs. 13. That is the external evidence of faith which the Holy Spirit works. Remember the jailor, “Men and brethren, what must I do to be saved?” Acts 16:30. How does one come to call on the Lord? He answers this in Romans 10:14,15, “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” The Spirit works through the preached word.
Have you heard the word? Do you respond by believing? If you do, it is the proof of the Holy Spirit working true faith in you.