The Bible is central to Christian worship, not simply as the source for information to be taught and the basis for our shared belief, but because it is the way God grows Christians as the body of Christ.
From Sinclair Ferguson.
I’m not a great fan of the expression “means of grace,” but I think we shouldn’t miss out from this the pattern of, for example, Ephesians 4 with its emphasis on the ministry of the word in what it actually produces in the life of the church—where it produces a community in which each part is doing its work properly and upbuilds itself in love.
We’re not just a teaching institution. The word of God creates a new kind of community. And so the preaching of the word without the creation of that new kind of community ordinarily does not make the same evangelistic impact on the world around. But the creation of that community helps people to see that the word that is preached has illustrations in the life of this new community that are beyond contradiction.
Often one finds that people who think little of the gospel find that they cannot contradict the reality they experience when they come among God’s people. And it’s that reality that begins to work in their hearts to open their ears to listen to what the word is actually saying.
When we speak about the means of grace and the importance of the preaching of the word, we’re not saying that all we need is more ministers, or even all we need is more preaching, but what is produced by that.