Richard Sibbes' commentSubject:
Sibbes on the Word the Instrument
to Open Lydia's Heart
Lydia is a prime example of God working in and through the Word to bring about conversion. Paul preaches (13b); Lydia hears (14a); God's opens her heart through it so that she takes hold of, gives heed to, attends to the word. The word of God is the instrument of conversion.
Puritan Richard Sibbes in his sermon on Lydia's Conversion (The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, Vol. VI) underscores this truth.
'God, by the word preached,' opens the hearts to attend to the word. By the word we are fitted to the word. The Spirit and the word draw us to themselves; the Spirit and the word draw us to regard the word; by the word her heart was opened to attend to the word (p. 523)
And again, As grace is wrought by the word, so it carries the soul to the word (p. 526)
This is well said.
Ian D. Elsasser
NOTE by Bob:
Thanks, Ian, for this quotation. It is consistent with what other Puritans such as Charnock, Watson, and Owen taught, and it further bears out the fact that the later development adopted by some of the Reformed "ordo salutis" theorists was not the original view taught by the Puritans.
See another quote from Sibbes on the Reformed Flyswatter.