he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.
(2 Timothy 2:11-13)
What is the primary and highest purpose of human beings?
The primary and highest purpose of human beings is to glorify God and to enjoy him completely forever.
What evidence is there for God?
Our internal, natural understanding along with the external evidence of God's works plainly indicates that there is a God. However, salvation only comes through God's revelation of himself in his word and Spirit.
What is the word of God?
The holy Bible, made up of the Old and New Testaments, is the word of God. It is the only authority for faith and obedience.
What evidence is there that the Bible is the word of God?
The Bible clearly shows that it is the word of God by its majesty and purity, by the agreement of all its parts, by its unified aim to give all glory to God, and by its illuminating power to convince and convert sinners and to comfort and build up believers unto salvation. However, only the Spirit of God, testifying by and with the Bible in our hearts, can completely persuade us that it is truly the word of God.
What is justifying faith?
Justifying faith is a saving grace that works in the hearts of sinners by the Spirit and the word of God. By it sinners are convinced of their sinfulness and miserable condition and realize that neither they nor anyone or anything else can get them out of that lost condition, and by it they give full assent to the truth of the gospel promise; they receive and rest on Christ and his righteousness for pardon from sin, as the gospel tells us, and for being accepted and accounted as righteous in the sight of God for salvation.
What is repentance unto life?
Repentance unto life is a saving grace worked in the hearts of sinners by the Spirit and the word of God. By it sinners recognize not only how dangerous it is to commit sins but also how filthy and hateful they are to God. Understanding that in Christ God is merciful to those who repent, sinners suffer such deep sorrow for and hate their sins so much that they turn away from all of them and turn to God, attempting to walk continually with him according to this new obedience in every way.
What makes the word effective for salvation?
The Spirit of God causes the reading and especially the preaching of the word to enlighten, convince, and humble sinners. The Spirit drives sinners out of themselves and draws them to Christ; he conforms them to his image and subdues them to his will; he strengthens them against temptations and corrupting influences; and he builds them up in God's grace and establishes their hearts in holiness and comfort through faith to salvation.
How should those who are called preach the word of God?
Those who are called to labor in the ministry of the word should preach sound doctrine, accurately, in season and out of season, clearly, and not with seductive words of human wisdom but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power. They should faithfully and fully express the whole counsel of God; this should be done wisely, taking into account the needs and capabilities of the audience. Their preaching should be motivated by a zealous and fervent love for God and the souls of his people. Finally, it should be done sincerely, aiming to glorify God and to convert, edify, and save his people.
What is required of those who hear the word preached?
Those who hear the word preached must pay careful attention to it, prepare themselves and pray for understanding. They should review carefully what they hear through the Bible and accept the truths in it faithfully, lovingly, humbly, and with a ready mind, treating it as it is, the word of God. They should meditate on it, talk about it, hide it in their hearts, and bring forth the fruit of it in their lives.