When Adam fell, the human race became, not stupid so that the truth was hard to understand but inimical (hostile) to the acceptance of the truth. Men did not like to retain God in their knowledge and changed the truth of God into a lie, for the carnal mind is enmity against God. Hence the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, for the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God because they are spiritually discerned. In order to accept the gospel, therefore, it is necessary to be born again. The abnormal, depraved intellect must be remade by the Holy Spirit; the enemy must be made a friend. This is the work of regeneration, and the heart of stone can be taken away and a heart of flesh can be given only by God himself. Resurrecting the man who is dead in sin and giving him a new life, far from being a human achievement, requires nothing less than almighty power.
At this point, the natural question is, what is the use of all this expounding and explaining if it does not produce belief? The answer should be clearly understood. The witness or testimony of the Holy Spirit is a witness a testimony to something. The Spirit witnesses to the authority of the Scripture. If no apostle or preacher expounded the message, there would be nothing in the sinner’s mind for the Spirit to witness to. The Spirit cannot produce belief in Christ unless the sinner has heard of Christ. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?…So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:14, 17).
No doubt God in his omnipotence could reveal the necessary information to each man individually without a written Bible or ministerial preaching. But this not what God has done. God gave the apostles and preachers the duty of expounding the message; but the production of belief is the work of the Spirit, for faith is the gift of God.
From, “God’s Hammer” by Gordon Clark.
(©️James R Hamilton, November 2018)