“To obtain [saving] faith God instituted the office of preaching, giving the gospel and the sacraments. Through these, as through means, he gives the Holy Spirit who produces faith, where and when he will , in those who hear the gospel. It teaches that we have a gracious God, not through our merit but through Christ’s merit, when we so believe.
“Condemned are the Anabaptists and other who teach that we obtain the Holy Spirit without the external word of the gospel through our own preparation, thoughts, and works.”
– Augsburg Confession: Article V: Concerning the Office of Preaching
Why is it that so many people have a hard time trusting the external word sufficient for assurance of their salvation? Why are we prone to look internally for the Holy Spirit rather than externally to the Word?
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