“And how are they to hear without someone preaching?… So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:14b, 17
Question 96 from Benjamin Keach’s Baptist Catechism: How is the word made effectual to salvation?
Answer 96: The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort through faith unto salvation.
“Now, wherever you hear or see this Word preached, believed, professed, and lived, do not doubt that the true ecclesia sancta catholica (Christian holy people) must be there… And even if there were no other sign than this alone, it would still suffice to prove that a Christian, holy people must exist there, for God’s Word cannot be without God’s people and, conversely, God’s people cannot be without God’s Word.”
-Martin Luther, On the Councils and the Church