Sometimes when I teach and on the occassions that I get to preach I have to remind myself that I could preach the best sermon that I could ever preach, or teach the best lesson I could ever teach and it has to be the Spirit that moves within the hearts of the listeners in order for conversion from sin to occur. I must be faithful to preach and teach and have faith in the Spirit to work in the hearts and lives of the listeners. I cannot save anyone with my words. I cannot pull someone from the clutches of hell. I cannot save anyone. I cannot make anyone make a confession of sin unto repentance. I must be faithful to preach and teach and know that it is the Spirit of God that moves and works unto salvation. Here’s a hymn from Augustus Montague Toplady. Pay attention to the last two lines of the second stanza.
Father of Love, to thee I bend
My Heart, and lift mine eyes;
Let now my pray’r and praise ascend
as odors to the skies.
Thy pard’ning Voice I come to hear,
To know Thee as Thou art:
Thy ministers can reach the ear,
But Thou must touch the heart.
O stamp me in thy heav’nly mould,
and grant thy Word apply’d
May bring forth fruit a hundred fold,
and speak me justify’d.
– Augustus Montague Toplady
1 Peter 3:15 “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect”
2 Timothy 4:2 “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”