This is the best and most useful exercise in humility, when (God) accustoms us to obey his Word, even though it be preached through men like us and sometimes even by those of lower worth than we. If he spoke from heaven, it would not be surprising if his sacred oracles were to be reverently received without delay by the ears and minds of all. For who would not dread the presence of His power? Who would not be stricken down at the sight of such great majesty? Who would not be confounded at such boundless splendor? But when a puny man risen from the dust speaks in God's name, at this point we best evidence our piety and obedience toward God if we show ourselves teachable toward his minister, although he excels us in nothing. (4.3.1)
My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"
06 March 2008
I can't speak for other preachers, but one of the things that runs through my mind right before I preach is, "How can I preach? Why should these people listen to me? So many of these people are more advanced than I in their walks with Christ. Some here are more obedient to God's Word than I am." But even this is part of God's blueprint, even using weak and imperfect men. Yes, the character of the preacher is important; but even his weakness is part of God's plan. This quote from John Calvin came across my desk today and is a helpful addition to the recent discussion on the primacy of preaching.