“We do not find God; He finds us. Faith comes not by feeling, thinking, seeing, or striving, but by hearing. Proclamation does involve doctrinal and ethical instruction, of course. The law and the gospel not only kill and make alive; they direct our life and doctrine.
However, we must come to church expecting nothing less than God’s gracious assault on the citadels of our autonomy, our supposing that we could ascend to God by our theological acumen any more than by our actions.
This confrontation occurs not only in the sermon, but in the entire liturgy, including the singing, whose purpose is to ‘let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God’ (Col 3:16).
While carefully distinguishing the Spirit’s illumination of the preached Word from the Spirit’s inspiration of the canonical Word, we can affirm that the content– Christ and all His benefits– is exactly the same. This should create a sense of urgency and expectancy in our public assembly, as God addresses us here and now.”
–Michael Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims On the Way (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), 763.