A Jagged Contention: The Holy Spirit Is No Sceptic

“Leave us free to make assertions, and to find in assertions our satisfaction and delight; and you may applaud your Sceptics and Academics—till Christ calls you too! The Holy Spirit is no Sceptic, and the things He has written in our hearts are not doubts or opinions, but assertions—surer and more certain than sense and life and itself.”

– Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will, trans. JI Packer and OR Johnston, pg. 70

Question:

How does the church recover this sort of confidence in the Word of God? Why does it seem like so much of our preaching and teaching sounds more like opinion than truth? What dangers arise when the church ceases to assert?

Share your thoughts in the comments

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One thought on “A Jagged Contention: The Holy Spirit Is No Sceptic

  1. I think there are some practical things that the preacher can do to remove doubt and instill deep convictions in the hearts of his hearers.

    To begin with, pastors must make strong doctrinal assertions from the pulpit, and they must show from the scriptures why the things that we believe are true. Polemics shouldn’t predominate their preaching, but polemics should be part of the preaching task. Courage and conviction are necessary.

    Then, pastors must challenge their parishioners to study the Word of God and great theological works on their own. Pastors can recommend books from the pulpit that are related to the topic of the sermon, and they can pass along good books that they’ve read to the men in their congregations.

    Pastors should also develop relationships with young men in their congregations who are interested in theology and the Word of God. They can guide those young men towards great works and they can spend time mentoring those young men to become men of conviction and courage.

    When the church ceases to make assertions, we cease having any sort of convictions at all. With weak convictions and little training in the truth, watered-down mega churches and liberal mainline denominations flourish. Church becomes only about the practical, and the gospel is changed into vague pronouncements about the love of God that only make us feel warm and fuzzy about ourselves and even our sins.

    We need men in the church to stand up for what they believe, regardless of who is offended. Granted, we don’t want to offend people needlessly, but we must make assertions, and this is bound to give offense.

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