Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) was noted for saying on his death bed, "Do something bold for God's sake."

Listen to a few things that Zwingli did:

(1)He memorized the Pauline Epistles - in Greek
(2)He wrote in 1516, "Led by the Word and the Spirit of GOd I saw the need to set aside all these [humanistic teachings] and to learn the doctrine of God direct from His own Word."
(3)He began the Reformation in Zurich in 1519 and announced to his congregation that instead of reading "canned" sermons, he would preach straight through the Gospel of Matthew, then with Acts, 1-2 Timothy, Galatians, 1-2 Peter and the rest of the NT. Then when the NT is finished, they'll begin the OT.
(4)Zwingli said, "If you can prove one of my articles false by means of teh Gospel, I will give you a rabbit cheese. Now let's hear it. I shall await it." :-)
(5)Zwingli held ever so strongly to the Sovereignty (or Providence) of God. He said, "I defined Providence as the rule over and direction of all things in the universe. For if anything were guided by its own power or insight, just so far would the wisdom and power of our Deity be deficient." To that I respond with an "AMEN."
(6)Zwingli held to the Clarity and Certainty of the Word of God, to expository preaching and emphasized the illumination of the Spirit. He also believed in the perspicuity (clarity) of the Scriptures.
(7) Every morning during the week, while Pastoring in Zurich, he gathered with students in an hour of intense exegesis and interpretation of Scripture. He would open in prayer, and then read the text in Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Appropriate textual and exegetical comments were made. Even lay people could hear the study if they stopped in on their way to work.
(8)Zwingli was a fabulous organist. Though he banned the organ and all instruments from the church meeting place. Thus it has been said of the Swiss reform churches, "these churches are just four bare walls and a sermon." :-)

What can we learn? The importance of understanding church history and those saints who have passed before us who took the Word of God seriously and had great discernment. We must strive to be those - like Zwingli - who proclaim the truth of the word of God at all times.

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