Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?…
There is no true believing or trusting to the report of the Gospel, but what is the effect of the working of a Divine power on the soul for that end.
I. EVINCE THE TRUTH OF THE DOCTRINE. Consider for it —
1. Express Scripture testimony (John 6:44).
2. The state that by nature we are in, "dead in sin" (Ephesians 2:1). Faith is the first vital act of the soul, quickened by the Spirit of life from Jesus Christ.
3. There can be no faith without knowledge: and the knowledge of spiritual things man is by nature incapable of (1 Corinthians 2:14).
4. Man is naturally under the power of Satan, a captive of the devil, who with his utmost efforts will hinder the work of faith (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4). Such a case the Gospel finds men in; and it is the design of the Gospel to bring them out of it (Acts 26:17, 18).
5. Man's trust is by nature firmly preoccupied by those things which the Gospel calls them to renounce. He is wedded to other confidences naturally, which therefore he will hold by, till a power above nature carry him off from them — self-confidence, creature-confidence, law-confidence.
6. Man has a strong bias and bent against believing or trusting to the Gospel (John 5:40; Romans 10:3).
7. It is the product of the Holy Spirit, wherever it is.
II. WHAT IS THAT WORKING OF DIVINE POWER WHEREBY THE SOUL IS BROUGHT TO TRUST TO THE GOSPEL REPORT? There is a twofold work of Divine power on the soul for that end.
1. A mediate work, which is preparatory to it; whereof the Spirit is the author, and the instrument is the law.
(1) An awakening work.
(2) A humbling work, whereby the proud sinner is brought low to the dust: not only finding a need of salvation, but an absolute need of Christ for salvation. So he is broken off from self-confidence, creature-confidence, law-confidence.
2. An immediate work, whereby faith is produced in the soul; whereof the Spirit is the author, and the Gospel the instrument. It is —
(1) A quickening work, whereby the dead soul is called again to spiritual life (Ephesians 2:1).
(2) An illuminating work. There is a knowledge in faith.
(T. Boston, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?