Lord's Day 40

Week 39 :: Week 40 :: Week 41


The book of Hebrews tells us the “word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Through the living word of God, God speaks to us anew, awakening us to His truth, convicting us of our sinfulness, redeeming us by the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and leading us in the way of righteousness. The apostle Paul writes, “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17). 

The catechism teaches that the Spirit speaks to us through the word, as we read it, but especially as it is preached. This places a much greater burden upon the preacher. The Second Helvetic Confession in fact teaches that “the preaching of the Word of God is the Word of God. When Word of God is preached in the church by preachers lawfully called, we believe that the very Word of God is proclaimed, and received by the faithful; and that neither any other Word of God is to be invented nor is to be expected from heaven: and that now the Word itself which is preached is to be regarded, not the minister that preaches.” It is imperative, then, that the preacher prayerfully and carefully study God’s word and be sure to preach nothing but the Word. It is just as important, though, that we prepare ourselves to hear the Word of God preached. This means being sure to regularly attend worship where the word is faithfully proclaimed, preparing ourselves for the sermon through prayerfully attending to the text and the message, and a commitment to apply the word that is proclaimed to our lives. 


Gracious God, we thank you for your Word, through which you continue to speak to us and bring us life. May we be found faithful to your word, walking in righteousness and truth. For the sake of Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Question 89

Q. 89. How is the Word made effectual to salvation?

A. The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching, of the Word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort through faith unto salvation.

Scripture Proofs

Neh. 8:8;

They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

1 Cor. 14:24-25;

But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.

Acts 26:18;

to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

Ps. 19:8;

the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;

the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;

Acts 20:32;

And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

Rom. 15:4;

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

2 Tim. 3:15-17;

and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Rom. 10:13-17;

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Rom. 1:16.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Question 90

Q. 90. How is the Word to be read and heard, that it may become effectual to salvation?

A. That the Word may become effectual to salvation, we must attend thereunto with diligence, preparation, and prayer; receive it with faith and love, lay it up in our hearts, and practice it in our lives.

Scripture Proofs

Prov. 8:34;

Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.

1 Pet. 2:1-2;

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—

Ps. 119:18;

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.

Heb. 4:2;

For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.

2 Thess. 2:10;

and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

Ps. 119:11;

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Luke 8:15;

As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.

James 1:25.

But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.