This is the fourteenth in a series of bulletin inserts on corporate worship at Trinity URC. Full Series (to date)–>HERE
The Preached Word
Genesis 1 teaches us that in the beginning, there was God. And by the word of His voice and the power of His speech, He brought all things into being. God created by speaking, we can almost say that God preached creation into existence. At the very least, from the very beginning of the story of Scripture we are taught that God is a God who speaks, and that his Word brings life. As we read in the Prophet Isaiah 55:1, “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Creation is not the only moment in Scripture where we see God brining life with his word. When Israel were slaves in Egypt, he sends Moses to command Pharaoh to release his people. To His patriarchs and to His people God continually promises them salvation through the Messiah.
Just as God created through speech, He has re-created for Himself a people through His speech. Christ Jesus Himself is the Word of God sent to us, to reveal to us the Father and accomplish our salvation. And it is this Christ, this gospel, that God has entrusted to Pastors to faithfully proclaim from the Scriptures each and every Lord’s Day. And through preaching, God is again speaking words of life and re-creation, just as He did in Genesis. “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of the darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4-6).”
The minister is a herald of the King. Through this servant God speaks to the congregation and announces to them the forgiveness of sins and peace thought the blood of Christ. The preached Word is more than a lesson on the Bible. It is the means which the Holy Spirit has chosen to echo forth from the pulpit a powerful Word which brings life. Just as God once said “Let there be light” through the preached Word He speaks into the darkness of the human heart and says, “Let there be faith!” What a glorious privilege is ours to sit underneath the faithful preaching of the Word of God! This is not to the praise of the man who preaches, but to the Spirit of God who uses the preached Word to accomplish nothing less than the gospel ministry of resurrection from death and forgiveness of sins.