Every prophet, apostle, evangelist, or pastor needs to be certain that it is only God's word that conveys the Holy Spirit to change hearts and bring those who are spiritually dead to life and salvation.
We reject and condemn the error of the Enthusiasts. They imagine that God without means, without the hearing of God's Word, and also without the use of the holy Sacraments, draws people to Himself and enlightens, and saves them. (Enthusiasts expect the heavenly illumination of the Spirit without the preaching of God's Word.) On the other hand, it is correctly said that in conversion God—through the drawing of the Holy Spirit—makes willing people out of stubborn and unwilling ones. And after conversion, in the daily exercise of repentance, the regenerate will of a person is not idle, but cooperates in all the works of the Holy Spirit, which He performs through us.
When the Holy Spirit has worked and accomplished this, and a person's will has been changed and renewed by His divine power and working alone, then the new will of that person is an instrument and organ of God the Holy Spirit. So that person not only accepts grace, but he also cooperates with the Holy Spirit in the works that follow.
There are only two causes for a person's conversion: (1) the Holy Spirit and (2) God's Word, as the instrument of the Holy Spirit, by which He works conversion. A person must hear this Word. However, it is not by that person's powers, but only through the grace and working of the Holy Spirit that he trusts the Word and receives it. (paragraphs 13, 17-19)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.