We should not think of the call of God, which is made through the preaching of the Word, as a juggler's act. But we should know that God reveals His will by this call. He will work through the Word in the people He calls, so that they may be enlightened, converted, and saved. For the Word, by which we are called, is a ministry of the Spirit, which gives the Spirit, or by which the Spirit is given (2 Cor. 3:8). It is God's power unto salvation (Romans 1:16). The Holy Spirit wants to be effective through the Word, and to strengthen and give power and ability. It is God's will that we should receive the Word, believe it, and obey it.
For this reason the elect are described as follows: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life" (John 10:27-28). "In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will" (Ephesians 1:11). They hear the Gospel, believe in Christ, pray and give thanks, are sanctified in love, have hope, patience, and comfort under the cross. (See Ephesians 1:13; Romans 8:25.) Although all this is very weak in them, they hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6).
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. (Romans 8:16-26). (paragraphs 29-31)
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.