6 March 2005
Proverbs 8:34, 1 Peter 2:1, Psalm 119:18, Hebrews 4:2, Luke 8:15 & James 1:25
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 90. How is the Word to be read and heard, that it may become effectual to salvation?
A. That the Word may become effectual to salvation, we must attend thereunto with diligence, preparation, and prayer; receive it with faith and love, lay it up in our hearts, and practice it in our lives.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.90. How is the word to be read and heard in order to become effective for salvation?
A. For the word to become effective for salvation, we must pay careful attention to it, prepare ourselves, and pray for understanding. We must also receive it with faith and love, treasure it in our hearts, and practice it in our lives.
1. How should we prepare ourselves for the reading and hearing of the Word?
As we read and hear the Word, we need to remember that it has the authority of God behind it and that He speaks to us through the Word.
2. What else needs to be done to be adequately prepared for the reading and hearing of the Word?
We need to prepare our hearts through separation from evil unto holiness. We need to flee from those things that are hindering us in our walk with the Lord and follow after the ways of righteousness. Further, we need to prepare our hearts through prayer, prayer that the Lord will bless the Word of God to our hearts and make it effectual in our lives.
3. How do we “attend thereunto with diligence?”
We need to be diligent to pay strict attention to the preaching, teaching and reading of the Word. We need to drive out, by the grace of God, all things from our minds that would hinder us (Proverbs 2:1, 2, 5).
4. How are we to receive the Word?
We are to receive it with faith and love. The faith mentioned here is, generally speaking, an assent on the part of the hearer that it is indeed God’s Word and an acceptance of its teaching in all parts of life. The love mentioned here is an attitude of high regard for the Word of God, a delight in it and an earnest desire to make it a part of our lives.
5. What is the proof of our right preparation and right use of the Word of God?
The proof is found in our continual storing the Word up in our hearts, in our readiness to obey it daily, in our desire to have it the rule of our lives.