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Shorter Catechism

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.1

  1. Nehemiah 8:8-9

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

    And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law.

    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.

    Romans 10:14-17

    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.

    2 Timothy 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 competent, equipped for every good work. (ESV)

Larger Catechism

𝒬 155. 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 enlightening,1 convincing, and humbling sinners;2 of driving them out of themselves, and drawing them unto Christ;3 of conforming them to his image,4 and subduing them to his will;5 of strengthening them against temptations and corruptions;6 of building them up in grace,7 and establishing their hearts in holiness and comfort through faith unto salvation.8

  1. Nehemiah 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.

    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.’

    Psalm 19:8

    the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
    the commandment of the Lord is pure,
    enlightening the eyes; (ESV)

  2. 1 Corinthians 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.

    2 Chronicles 34:18-19

    Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it before the king.

    And when the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his clothes.

    2 Chronicles 34:26-28

    But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus shall you say to him, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Regarding the words that you have heard, because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and its inhabitants, and you have humbled yourself before me and have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the Lord. Behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place and its inhabitants.’” And they brought back word to the king. (ESV)

  3. Acts 2:37

    Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

    Acts 2:41

    So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

    Acts 8:27-38

    And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:

    “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
    and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
    so he opens not his mouth.
    In his humiliation justice was denied him.
    Who can describe his generation?
    For his life is taken away from the earth.”

    And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. (ESV)

  4. 2 Corinthians 3:18

    And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

    Colossians 1:27

    To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (ESV)

  5. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6

    For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

    Romans 6:17-18

    But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. (ESV)

  6. Ephesians 6:16-17

    In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,

    Colossians 1:28

    Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

    Psalm 19:11

    Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.

    Matthew 4:4

    But he answered, “It is written,

    “‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

    Matthew 4:7

    Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

    Matthew 4:10

    Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

    “‘You shall worship the Lord your God
    and him only shall you serve.’”

    1 Corinthians 10:11

    Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. (ESV)

  7. Ephesians 4:11-12

    And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,

    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.

    2 Timothy 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 competent, equipped for every good work. (ESV)

  8. Romans 16:25

    Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages

    1 Thessalonians 3:2

    and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith,

    1 Thessalonians 3:10-11

    as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?

    Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you,

    1 Thessalonians 3:13

    so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

    Romans 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.

    Romans 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.

    Romans 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. (ESV)


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Based on Calendar of Readings in the Westminster Standards by Dr. Joey Pipa. Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.