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June 20 – LD 25, Day 3: The Preaching of the Word as the Chief Means of Grace

Wednesday the 20th of June

in Heidelberg Catechism Meditations

Read: Romans 10:14-21

There is little understanding today of what the preaching of the Word in the church is. The preaching has been replaced in the worship services by all kinds of other things; movie shows, the artistic dance, entertainment programs enlisting popular so-called Christian rock groups, or discussion forums where everyone shares his or her own opinion about things, or simply Bible studies instead of listening to the preaching. Today, there is heavy use of modern day electronic media and things like power point presentations for many things. When these new ways of worshipping God are used, there are usually much larger audiences. There is greater interest. The opinion is out there that the very fact that there is so much greater interest in these new methods, this itself proves that these ways of doing things are much more effective and bring more results. This may make us wonder if we are still using the old and tried way of preaching, whether we should change our ways to be more effective in our modern day and time.

The new ways of worshipping God reflect little understanding of a truth that is very obvious from scripture, if one pays some attention to what scripture says. God calls His people through the preaching of the Word. The preaching is a divine institution. It is the means that God Himself uses to call His people to salvation in Jesus Christ.

The very fact that the prophets in the Old Testament, Jesus in the New Testament, and the apostles were sent out by the Lord to preach, ought to make us take notice. Why was this? This was the practice over thousands of years. In the great commission, the Lord sent His apostles to preach unto all sorts of nations and peoples. See Matt 28: 19 and 20. Each of the countries that the apostles were sent to had their own cultures. But the preaching of the gospel transcended all of these cultures. God used the preaching in all of them to call His people unto salvation. Never from age to age did the Lord change His own ordained way to save His people, nor did He change the means whereby He accomplishes this salvation.

In Romans 10 we read, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Rom 10: 13 - 15

Paul says in I Cor 1: 23-25, “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

Let us trust in God’s own way to call us to faith and build us up in the faith.

But in order to do that, we must seek out the church where there is true preaching of the gospel. And we must also understand what true preaching really is. This we will address in our next meditation.


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