The Power of God’s Word and Spirit

From Tom Nettles, The Baptists: Key People Involved in Forming a Baptist Identity (Beginnings in Britain), on the distribution of the New Testament by William Carey, William Ward, and Joshua Marshman in India:

When the New Testament was printed, the missionaries began to distribute it carefully. William Ward and Krishna Pal, the first convert of the mission, distributed some tracts and one Bengali New Testament in a village near Calcutta named Ram Krishnapur. When Ward gave the villagers the New Testament, he instructed that it should be given to the person who could read best. That person was then to read it aloud to all who desired to hear. The villagers followed his instructions.

After continuing this practice for about three years, several from the village walked to Serampore and sought help from Carey and his associates. They asked ‘How may we obtain the fruits of Christ’s death?’ Reading the Scriptures in the prescribed manner had convinced them of the foolishness of idol worship and brought them to trust in Jesus Christ for salvation. The combination of the Word and the effectual working of the Spirit had brought about the salvation of a number of Christ’s sheep.

Krishna Pal, upon questioning them, rejoiced in the sovereign grace of God for they had ‘no other means, it seems than a New Testament and a few pamphlets’. In November 1805 about eleven of the villagers were baptized.

Five Kulin Brahmins were converted in 1812. Their faith also was provoked by the unaided study of the Scriptures. According to those Brahmins there were another one hundred people in their district who sought the truth as well. It is a significant insight into Carey’s theology to realize that he and his compatriots expected that the Scripture alone, under the blessing of the Spirit, would accomplish these things (Nettles, 298)


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  1. Wow, what an awesome reminder of the faithfulness of God to His word. I love this part: “Their faith also was provoked by the unaided study of the Scriptures.” How many times do I think that I need to buy a commentary or listen to a sermon series, instead of meditating on Scripture alone (even though the supplementary resources are helpful)?

  2. There are so many great and awesome things about God’s word and its potency that i’ve not yet come to grasp with. If the Word can convert souls just been studied unaided then it can turn around any unfavourable situation just by speaking the word on the issue at hand. Thanks for been a channel of blessing.

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