Last time we saw three important implications of the truth that Christ speaking by the Holy Spirit in the preaching of the gospel is the power of God. Fourth, this truth also establishes the primacy of preaching. It is not learned debates or rational arguments that create faith. The Heidelberg Catechism asks, "Since then we are made partakers of Christ and all his benefits by faith only, whence doth this faith proceed?" It answers, "From the Holy Ghost, who works faith in our hearts by the preaching of the gospel, and confirms it by the use of the sacraments" (Q & A 65). The apostle writes "my preaching was ... in demonstration of the Spirit and of power ... the power of God" (I Cor. 2:4-5). In preaching, God testifies powerfully that in Christ He reconciled the world unto Himself (II Cor. 5:19) and that believers have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Fifth, all this establishes the absolute authority and peerlessness of Scripture. Scripture is not subject to rational proof as if man’s reasoning could prove it to be God’s Word. To give an example, if Noah’s ark were found in Turkey, this would not prove the Bible to be true. For how can a structure of gopher wood be more sure than the very words of God’s Himself? The Bible cannot be made more certain than it already is. The Spirit Himself assures us of this as we read and hear the Word. It would indeed be useful if Noah’s ark was found (though I doubt if it has been preserved for over 4,000 years). It would give the scoffers something to think about. It would be another instance of the Bible’s accuracy being made manifest in the world. But the surest ground for faith is the Word itself, witnessed to by the Holy Spirit. God alone establishes His Word as truth so that "your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (I Cor. 2:5).
Is your faith standing firm in the power of God? If you are you troubled by doubts, let me ask you, Are you reading your Bible? If not, you must start reading it again! Are you attending worship services to listen to faithful preaching? You must come to hear God’s Word proclaimed! Are you doubting Scripture and its teaching through the unbelief of others? Then stop fellowshipping with these people and stop viewing their websites! Is your faith weakened by your disobedience? Repent and obey! Remember Jesus’ words: "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself" (John 7:17). In the way of personal and family Bible study, attendance upon the preaching of the Word, obedience, and rejecting the whisperings of the "old serpent" (Rev. 20:2), the Christian’s assurance of the truth of God’s Word grows. And you will need this for your faith will be tested.
- Volume: 9
- Issue: 25
Rev. Angust Stewart (Wife: Mary)
Ordained - 2001
Pastorates: Covenant Protestant Reformed Church of Ballymena, Northern Ireland - 2001Website: www.cprf.co.uk/
Address7 Lislunnan Road
State or ProvinceCo.Antrim
Zip CodeBT42 3NR
Telephone(01144) 28 25 891851