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Power of the Word to Convict the Sinner

John Bunyan describes the power of the word to convict the sinner: “Then the word works effectually to this purpose, when it findeth out the sinner and his sin, and shall convince him that it has found him out. Thus it was with our first father: when he had sinned, he sought to hide himself from God; he gets among the trees of the garden, and there he shrouds himself; but yet not thinking himself secure, he covers himself with fig-leaves, and now he lieth quiet; now God shall not find me, thinks he, nor know what I have done; but lo! By and by, he hears the ‘voice of the LORD God walking in the garden;’ [Genesis 3:8] and now, Adam, what do you mean to do? Why, as yet, he skulketh, and hides his head, and seeks yet to lie undiscovered; but, behold, the Voice cries out, ‘Adam!’ And now he begins to tremble. ‘Adam, where art thou!’ says God; and now Adam is made to answer. But the voice of the Lord God doth not leave him here; no, it now begins to search and to inquire after his doings, and to unravel what he had wrapt together and covered, until it made him bare and naked in his own sight before the face of God (Genesis 3:7-11).

“Thus therefore doth the word, when managed by the arm of God; it findeth out, it singleth out the sinner, the sinner finds it so; it finds out the sins of the sinner, it unravels his whole life, it strips him, and lays him naked in his own sight, before the face of God; neither can the sinner nor his wickedness be longer hid and covered; and now begins the sinner to see what he never saw before.”