The Voice Of God Among Men

“The minister must remind himself in a lively manner that God has sent him, that he ascends the pulpit as an ambassador of God, speaks in the name of God, and is as the mouth of the Lord unto the congregation.”

~ Wilhelmus á Brakel (1635-1711), The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vol. 2, p. 138

“For in hearing us, you gave such heed, as if not hearing men, but as if God Himself were exhorting you.”

~ Chrysostom on I Thessalonians 2:13

“Yes it is I who admonish, I who order, I who command, it is the bishop who teaches. But…… it is Christ who commands through me.” “The preacher explains the text; if he says what is true, it is Christ speaking.”

~ St. Augustine — Bishop Of Hippo
Fourth Century Theologian

“Flesh and blood are an impediment. They merely behold the person of the pastor and brother … They refuse to regard the oral Word and the ministry as a treasure costlier and better than heaven and earth. People generally think: ‘If I had an opportunity to hear God speak in person, I would run my feet bloody’ … But you now have the Word of God in church … and this is God’s Word as surely as if God Himself were speaking to you.”

~ Martin Luther
16th Century Reformation Theologian

“When the Prophet says, by the breath of his lips, this must not be limited to the person of Christ; for it refers to the Word which is preached by his ministers. Christ acts by them in such a manner that He wishes their mouth to be reckoned as his mouth, and their lips as his lips; that is, when they speak from his mouth, and faithfully declare his Word (Luke 10:16)” (Comm. on Isa. 11:4).

~ John Calvin
16th Century Reformation Theologian

“Wherefore when this Word of God is now preached in the church by preachers lawfully called, we believe that the very Word of God is preached, and received of the faithful; and that neither any other Word of God is to be feigned, nor to be expected from heaven: and that now the Word itself which is preached is to be regarded, not the minister that preaches; who, although he be evil and a sinner, nevertheless the Word of God abides true and good.”

~ Second Helvetic Confession (1566)

Question — “What is required of those that hear the word preached?”

Answer — “It is required of those that hear the word preached, that they attend upon it with diligence, preparation, and prayer; examine what they hear by the scriptures; receive the truth with faith, love, meekness, and readiness of mind, as the word of God …”

~ Westminster Larger Catechism, Q. & A. 160

“First, when you come to hear the Word, if you would sanctify God’s name, you must possess your souls with what it is you are going to hear, that what you are going to hear is the Word of God. It is not the speaking of a man you are going to attend, but you are now going to attend upon God and to hear the Word of the Eternal God … Therefore you find that the Apostle, writing to the Thessalonians, gives them the reason why the Word did them as much good as it did. It was because they heard it as the Word of God, I Thess. 2:13 … Mark, so it came effectually to work because they received it as the Word of God. Many times you will say, ‘Come, let us go hear a man preach.’ Oh no, let us go hear Christ preach, for as it concerns the ministers of God that they preach not themselves, but that Christ should preach in them, so it concerns you that hear not to come to hear this man or that man, but to come to hear Jesus Christ” (Gospel Worship, p. 200).

~ Jeremiah Burroughs
17th Century Puritan Theologian / Member of the Westminster Assembly

“It is not only man preaching, as he says to the Thessalonians in I Thessalonians 2:13: You listened, he says to them, and you realized it was not merely the word of man but it was indeed what it actually is, the Word of God. This is his preaching, and this should be true of our preaching” .

~ D. M. Lloyd-Jones — 20th Century Reformed Preacher & Theologian
Knowing the Times, p. 276

“… Christ is represented as being heard in the gospel when proclaimed by the sent messengers. The implication is that Christ speaks in the gospel proclamation.”

John Murray — 20th Century Reformed Theologian
Commentary – Romans 10:14

“Through the preaching it pleases God through Christ, the exalted Lord, the chief prophet of God, who alone gathers his church, to speak to his people unto salvation. This is evident from Romans 10:14, which, according to the original, asks, ‘How shall they believe in him whom they have not heard?’ Through the preaching, therefore, you do not hear about Christ, but you hear him. The difference is easily understood. When you hear about or of someone, he is not present. You do not hear his own voice, but the voice of someone else who tells you something about him. But when you hear someone, you hear his own voice. He is present with you. He is addressing you personally. This is the sense of Romans 10:14, which teaches that you cannot believe in Christ unless you have heard him speak to you, unless you have heard his word addressed to you. This is exactly the meaning of the words, ‘How shall they believe in him whom they have not heard?'”

~ Herman Hoeksema — 20th Century Reformed Theologian
Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 2, p. 289

“A true sermon is an act of God, and not a mere performance by man. In real preaching the speaker is the servant of the Word & God speaks & works by the Word through his servant’s lips … The sermon is God’s ordained means of speaking and working.”

~ J. I. Packer
20th Century Anglican Theologian

Preaching has fallen on hard times. Part of that reason for this is that we are decreasingly a word oriented culture and as such it is difficult for us to follow even the best 30-45 minute oral presentations. Another problem we have that mitigates against the rise of strong preachers and preaching is our cultures lack of willingness to hear an authoritative word. We largely live in a “each man does is what is right in his own eyes” culture and as such preaching will not be taken seriously because it cuts against our resistance to any authority besides our own. Another reason for this is that preachers, having been educated in government schools and that combine with their having been saturated in our culture Preachers have lost the ability to think (and so speak) outside of and in opposition to our dominant cultural paradigm.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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