Henry Bullinger (1504-1575) is not a common household name. Many readers of this blog have never heard of him. But Bullinger is a name Christians should be familiar with. He played a key role when the church was in desperate need of reformation in the sixteenth century.
We could write many blogs on how God used Bullinger to reform the church in a more biblical direction. But I want to focus on one way God used him. Bullinger was one of the reformers who revived biblical preaching. The Medieval Church had regulated preaching to a secondary role in worship; Bullinger restored preaching to a primary role in worship.
Bullinger made preaching primary in the worship of God because of what he believed about preaching. In his 1566 confession of faith, he wrote:
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.
In other words, the preaching of the Word of God is the word of God. If you were to ask Bullinger why preaching is a big deal, he would have said that in preaching, the words of God are being communicated to man.
To the extent the preacher is preaching the Scripture, the God of the universe is speaking!
All this makes sense as to why when the first Christians in Thessalonica heard preaching, they “accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the Word of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Later, Peter says preaching is a big deal because if anyone preaches the Word of God, they “do so as one who speaks the very words of God” (1 Peter 4:11). Preaching is such a big deal because when people hear it and receive it, they are born again “through the living and enduring Word of God” (1 Peter 1:23).
The preaching of the Word of God is the word of God. Therefore, attend church regularly to hear God’s voice. And when you attend, expect to hear God speak. Come prepared, having read the Bible passage the week before. Pray for the preacher during the week. Be ready to receive the preaching of the Scripture as the word of God.