In this section of the Baptist Larger Catechism, we discuss the Word of God as a means of grace for the believer. This section consists of an expansion of questions 96 and 97 in the Keach Catechism. The additional questions below are based on questions 156-160 in the Westminster Larger Catechism.
As before, feel free to comment on the questions below.
Q. 144: How is the Word made effectual to salvation?
A: The Spirit of God causes the reading and especially the preaching of the Word to enlighten,1 convince, and humble sinners.2 The Spirit drives sinners out of themselves and draws them to Christ;3 He conforms them to His image4 and subdues them to His will;5 He strengthens them against temptations and corrupting influences;6 and He builds them up in God’s grace7 and establishes their hearts in holiness and comfort through faith to salvation.8
Q. 145: How should the Word of God be read?
A: We must read the Word of God with high and reverent esteem,1 being absolutely convinced that it is truly God’s Word2 and that only He can enable us to understand it.3 We should read with a desire to know, believe, and obey His will as revealed in the Bible.4 We should pay careful attention5 to its content and the extent of its meaning,6 meditate on it,7 apply it to our lives,8 deny ourselves under its direction,9 and use it as a basis for our prayers.10
Q. 146: Who should preach the Word of God?
A: The Word of God should be preached only by those who are sufficiently gifted1 and who are properly approved and called to do it.2
Q. 147: How should those who are called preach the Word of God?
A: Those who are called to labor in the ministry of the word should preach sound doctrine,1 accurately,2 in season and out of season,3 clearly,4 and not with seductive words of human wisdom but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power.5 They should faithfully6 and fully express the whole counsel of God.7 This should be done wisely,8 taking into account the needs and capabilities of the audience.9 Their preaching should be motivated by a zealous10 and fervent love for God11 and the souls of his people.12 Finally, it should be done sincerely,13 aiming to glorify God14 and to convert,15 edify,16 and save17 his people.
7. Acts 20:27
Q. 148: What is required of those who hear the word preached?
A: Those who hear the word preached must pay careful attention to it,1 prepare themselves2 and pray for understanding.3 They should review carefully what they hear through the Bible4 and accept the truths in it faithfully,5 lovingly,6 humbly,7 and with a ready mind,8 treating it as it is, the word of God.9 They should meditate on it,10 talk about it,11 hide it in their hearts,12 and bring forth the fruit of it in their lives.13
4. Acts 17:11
5. Hebrews 4:2
10. Hebrews 2:1