Home Reformation Challenges to Reformation What Would ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY?
What Would ULRICH ZWINGLI Say to Us TODAY? PDF Print E-mail

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To listen to the audio of this sermon, as presented to Livingstone Fellowship, click here.


Back to the Bible

1st January 2019 marks the 500th anniversary of systematic Biblical Exposition. It was 1 January 1519 when Swiss Reformer, Ulrich Zwingli, launched the Reformation in Switzerland by beginning Expository Preaching. Starting with Matthew 1:1, he worked week by week, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, line by line, through every Book and every Word of the New Testament. This bold action of replacing the Latin mass with the preaching of the Word of God in the local language, marked the beginning of Expository Preaching.

 

The Authority of Christ

Ulrich Zwingli called his people to return to the Word of God, to return to the Bible as the soul standard of Faith and practice. Sola Scriptura! To recognise Christ alone as the head of the church, Solus Christus! Scripture alone is our ultimate authority. All authority is limited authority. All authority is delegated by God. All authority is answerable to God.

 

The Sceptre by Which Christ Rules His Church

Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God. The Bible is the sceptre by which Christ rules His Church. We have no greater priority than to study the Word of God, to understand the will of God, to be able to apply the Lordship of Christ to all areas of life, seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, making disciples of all nations, teaching obedience to all things that He has commanded.

Return to Biblical Exposition

In 2017, we remembered the return to the Bible that Martin Luther called for. This year we return to study every Book and every verse of the Bible to understand the central messages of each Book of the Word of God. How can you know God's will if you do not study His Word?

 

The Main Thing is to Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

Ulrich Zwingli always recognised that his first duty was as a minister of the Word of God. I quote from his writings:

 

God’s Creatures Proclaim His Glory

“Man is not alone the offspring of God, all His creatures are so. They are by birth of God and in God and the more noble any animal is, the more it proclaims the Divine glory and power, such as the Eagle. But do not even the humblest of God’s creatures proclaim the wisdom and providence of the Godhead.


Even the Humblest Creature Testifies to the Creator

“The hedgehog, for example, when with its spines most carry a large quantity of fruit to its dwelling place, he rolls over the fruit and nails them on his spines and thus is able to carry a large quantity to his hiding place. The Alpine Rats, or Mountain rats, station one of their number upon an elevation that as they run about and attend to their work, no sudden danger may fall upon them without his cry of warning. Meanwhile the rest of the band carry off the softest of the food from all around. Since they have no wagons, they turn themselves into wagons by turns, one lying on his back and holding fast with all his feet, the food as it lays on his stomach and chest while another seizes it by his tail and transforms themselves into a wagon, pulling and dragging them with the plunder to their dwelling place to enable them to sleep through the harsh alpine winter season. The squirrel drags a broad bit of wood to the shore by its mouth, using this wood as a boat and hoisting its busy tail, thus being driven by the favourable breeze, needs no other sail than its tail.


All Creation Testifies to the Creator

“What speech pray, can proclaim the Divine wisdom as well as these creatures, which are amongst the humblest of all living things. They bear witness that the might that is in the life-giving power of the Godhead are ever present with them and all God's creatures.


All Things Work Together for Good for Those Who Love God

“A man complains that he is being confined to his bed many months and learns shortly afterwards how much good it brought to him and how much harm he escaped. A house is burned but a better one is raised in its place. He to whom this disaster happened, is humbled by it. All things are done by God dispensations.


the-holy-bible-close-up-smallThe Word of God is Powerful and Active

“The Word of God is so sure and so strong that if God wills all things are done the moment that He speaks his Word, for His Word is living and powerful. Genesis 1:1 “and God said let there be light and there was light.” Note how alive and strong the Word of God is. Not merely ruling all things, but creating out of nothing that which it wills.


Infinite and Eternal

“With God, there is no such thing as past or future. He does not learn with time. He does not forget with time. But with unerring knowledge and perception, He sees all things present in eternity. It is in time that we who are temporal find meaning in measure of longest and shortest. Yet what seems long to us is not long to God. But eternally present.


No One Can Escape the Justice of God

“If you think that God often fails to punish a wicked individual, or a wicked nation, suffering the arrogance for far too long, you are mistaken. They can never escape Him. The whole world is before Him. All of time is before Him. When can they hide from His presence or from His Justice? Most certainly He will find them and He will deal with them.


The Justice of God is Irresistible

“If you think He does not punish or save according to His Word, you are quite wrong. His Word can never be undone or destroyed, or resisted. For if it could, if God could be resisted, He would not be Almighty. But His will must always be fulfilled. If it is not fulfilled at the time when you desire, it is not due to any deficiency of His power, but only to the freedom of His will. God will never leave His Word powerless. Ezekiel 12: ‘O you that are rebellious, I will say the Word and I will perform it. The Word which I have spoken shall be done.’ The Gospel is a sure demonstration of what God has promised will most certainly be performed. The One who has promised to the patriarchs, Who has prophesied has now been given unto us and in Him we have this assurance of all our hope, as Simeon said in Luke 2. ‘For what can He withhold when he has delivered up His own Son to us and how shall He not with him freely give us all things?’ as the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8.


Be Courageous to Stand with Truth Against the Mob

“Truth does not necessarily lie with the majority. Indeed truth is seldom with the majority. Be courageous to stand against the crowd. I do not doubt that God will allow such dangers to encounter you and that you will see that He powerfully works for and shelters you. When the dangers come, do not be frightened, for God will only let you have trials and tribulations so that confessing the sole honour of God you may recognise His certain help all the better. For He will lead you into need so that you will not trust yourself with help. He helps you out for you will see that all things comes from Him alone and He also helps us.


Remove All Idols

“It is clear that idolatry and other images and representations that we have in houses of worship have caused many to commit idolatry. They should not be allowed to remain there. Nor in your house, nor in the market place, nor anywhere else where people may commit idolatry. Chiefly, they are not to be tolerated in a house of worship. If anyone desires for an historic representation or monument on the outside of the church, that may be allowed, so long as it does not incite people to worship. When people begin to bow before and to worship images, they are not to be tolerated anywhere in the whole wide world. It is not just the beginning of idolatry, it is idolatry itself.


Faith in Christ Leads to Vigorous Action

“Our confidence in Christ does not make us lazy. It does not make us negligent or careless. On the contrary, our confidence in Christ awakens us. It urges us on and makes us active in living righteous lives and doing good. There is no self-confidence that compares with confidence in Christ.


Our Christian Life is a Serious Battle

“The Christian life is a battle. It’s a battle so sharp and full of danger, that if it can nowhere be relaxed without loss.


One Atonement for All Time

“Our Lord Jesus Christ is the only way for Salvation for all who were, are and ever shall be. The Old Covenant people looked forward to the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Today, in the day of grace, we look back. One event, one Atonement, one Saviour for all time.


CBC-HomepageImage1of1The Word of God is Above the Church

“I shall allow myself to be taught better, but only from the Scriptures, based upon the Scriptures which are inspired by God. Sola Scriptura! All who say the Gospel is invalid without the confirmation of the church err and slander God. The Word of God is above the church.


Christ Alone Redeems and Reconciles Us to God

“The sum and substance of the Gospel is that the Lord Jesus Christ, the true Son of God, has made known the will of our Heavenly Father and with His innocence and atoning sacrifice, He has redeemed us from death and has reconciled us to God. Christ is the only way to Salvation. Solus Christus!


False Teachers are Murderers of Souls

“Whoever so seeks, or points out any other way, errs. Yes, he is a thief and a murder of souls. Therefore all who consider other teachings equal to, or higher than, the Gospel err and they do not know what the Gospel is.


Christ Jesus is the Head of the Church

“For Christ Jesus is the Guide, the Leader, promised by God. He is the fulfillment of all Messianic prophecies. He is an eternal Salvation and He is the Head of all believers, who are His body. Outside of Him we are dead in our trespassers and sins. We can do nothing without Him. All who have died in Christ are members of the Church and children of God. The Church is the communion of the saints, the Bride of Christ.


It is Foolishness and Insanity for the Members of the Body to Act Independently of the Head

“As the members of the body can do nothing without the control of the head, so no one in the body of the Church should do the least without the Head, Christ Jesus, our Lord. As a man is mad whose limbs try to do something without the head, tearing and wounding and injuring himself, thus when the members of Christ undertake something without the consent of the Head, Christ, they are mad. Hence we see in the clerical all foolishness, for they also do not agree with the Head of the Church, who is Christ. Solus Christus! Thus they still rage.


In Biblical Faith Rests Our Salvation

“Where Christ is listened to, one learns the will of God and we are united to Him. Therefore all Christian people shall use their best diligence to ensure that the Gospel of Christ is faithfully preached everywhere. For in the Faith rests our Salvation and in unbelief our damnation. You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.


The Papacy is Antichrist

“Human doctrines and decrees do not aid in the salvation of everyone. Solus Christus! Christ alone is the only eternal High Priest. From which it follows those who have called themselves high priests, or vicars of Christ, have opposed the honour and power of Christ. The pope is anti-Christ.

 

The Lord’s Supper is a Celebration and Memorial Service

“Christ having sacrificed Himself once for all is for eternity a certain and valid Sacrifice for all the sins of His faithful elect. From which it follows that the Lord’s Supper is not a sacrifice, it is not a mass, it is a Eucharist and a remembrance of the Sacrifice and assurance of the Salvation that Christ has given us. Christ is the only Mediator between God and us. Solus Christus! God desires to give us all things in His Name. We need no mediator except our Lord Jesus Christ.


Through Christ Alone

“You cannot pray to God through saints and images. When we pray for each other here on earth, we do so through Christ alone. Christ is our Justice. Our words, in so far as they are good, they are of Christ. But, in so far as they are ours, they are neither good nor right.


Christ is our Example

“Christ scorned the luxuries and pomp of this world. Whence from it follows that those ministers who attract wealth to themselves in His Name, slander Him terribly when they make him the pretext for their greed and worldly things.


7053924-3x2-940x627Reject All Idolatry and Hypocrisy

“No Christian is bound to do those things which God has not decreed. God is displeased with nothing so much as with idolatry and hypocrisy. All is gross hypocrisy and prolifically which is mere show that they may be seen of men.


You Have One Holy Father in Heaven

“All Christian men and woman are brethren of Christ and brethren of one another and shall call no minister father, in lieu of one Holy Father, who is in Heaven.


Ministers Must Be Married

“All which God has allowed, or not forbidden, is righteous. Hence marriage is permitted for all men and women. All who are known as clergy, sin when they do not protect themselves by marriage. Those who pledge and promise chastity, refusing matrimony, foolishly and childlessly take too much upon themselves, those who make such vows do wrong.


No One Has Authority to Excommunicate Those of Another City or Fellowship

“No person may impose a ban of excommunication upon anyone, except the whole church, that is the full congregation, of those amongst the one who being banned, together with their watchman. Rome has no authority, or jurisdiction, over Zürich. One may only ban him who is of the same congregation, who gives public offence through false doctrine, false teaching, blatant and unrepentant scandalous immorality.


Christ Alone is Head of the Church

“The teachings of Christ provide the spiritual so-called powers of popes and cardinals no justification for their pomp and pretence. Scripture alone is our authority. Christ alone is the Head of the Church. The deeds and doctrines of Christ are superior to that of cardinals and popes. All that the papacy claims to have of power and protection, belongs actually to the laity of Christ’ true Church. If leaders are unfaithful and transgress the Laws of Christ, they may be deposed in the Name of God.

 

Regeneration is Essential for Membership of the True Church

“The church consists of born-again, baptised believers, who are faithfully studying the Word of God and applying the Lordship of Christ to all areas of life. Christians owe obedience only to Christ. In so far as the church leaders do not command that which is contrary to God's Word, the Bible, they are to be followed.


Any Law Not in Conformity with the Laws of God is Invalid

“All laws must be in harmony with the Laws of God, as recorded in the Bible. No one may be condemned whom God's Word does not condemn. If God is not offended, let us not take offence. Their rule is best and most stable which rules in the Name of God alone and is worst and is most unstable which rules in accordance to man’s own laws.


Public Prayer Must Not be a Hypocritical Performance to Impress Men

“Real intercessors call to God in spirit. Truly prayer must be made without great ado performed before men. Pray to God, do not perform for men. Hypocrites do their works so that all can be seen by men. They also will receive their reward only in this life. Hence, it must always follow that any church activities, song and outcry, without devotedness before God is only for fleshly reward and is seeking either fame before men, or more unrighteous financial gain.

 

Ignore Those Who Condemn What God's Word Does Not Condemn

“Whoever, through stupidity or ignorance is offended without cause, should be ignored. We may not consider that as a sin, which is not a sin according to God, as clearly taught in His Word.


Papal Hypocrisy

“Greater offence I know not than that the pope does not allow priests to have wives, but he permits him to hire prostitutes! Out with this shame!


Confessionals Have No Power to Forgive Sins

“God alone remits sin through Jesus Christ His Son, He alone is our Sovereign Lord. Whosoever assigns power to forgive sins to human beings, fallible priests detract from the honour of God and gives to whom who is not God. This is real idolatry. The confession which is made to priests or neighbours should not be declared for our remittance of sins, but only seeking spiritual advice and Biblical counsel.


20150927cnsnw0703Those Men Who Claim to Remit Sins Are Antichrist

“Christ has borne all our griefs and guilt, therefore whoever assigns works of penance to confessors attributes that which belongs to Christ, they err and slander God. Whoever pretends to remit any sin to a penitent confessor, could not be a vicar of God, or of Saint Peter, but he is of the devil. Such are anti-Christ.


Accepting Money for Remission of Sins in Anti-christ

“Whoever remits any sin only for the sake of money is the companion of Simeon and Balaam and the real messenger of the devil personified, anti-Christ.


Purgatory is Not Taught in Scripture

“The true Scriptures teach nothing of purgatory after death. The sentence of evil is known to God alone. The less God has revealed in His Word concerning any subject, the less we should undertake to know about it. Where the Scripture is clear, we must be clear. Where the Scripture is silent, we may not be dogmatic. To determine the period of time therefore, e.g. seven years for a mortal sin and to lie for the sake of gain, is not human but devilish. Paying for indulgences is anti-Christ.


Cardinals and Bishops Need to Return to Biblical Duties or be Condemned Forever

“The Scripture recognise no priests, except those who faithfully proclaim the Word of God. All clerical superiors should at once step down and take up the Cross of Christ and not the money chest, or they will perish in hell forever. For I tell you, the axe is raised against the root of the rotten tree. Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God for the Salvation of everyone who believes. For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any double edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow and is the discerner of the thoughts and intellect of the heart. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

“So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11


The Song of the Plague

Ulrich Zwingli testified that when the plague hit Zürich, he re-examined his whole life and soul. Zwingli had been studying Erasmus’s Greek New Testament. He stayed in Zürich, treating people who had the plague, which was highly contagious. Ulrich Zwingli himself contracted the plague and almost died from it. After he recovered from this debilitating illness, Zwingli wrote The Song of the Plague, in which he shows a vibrant faith in the all-sufficiency of God's grace through our Lord Jesus:

 

“Help me, O Lord, my strength and rock;

Lo, at the door I hear death’s knock.

 

“Uplift shine arm, once pierced for me,

That conquered death and set me free.

 

“Yet, if thy voice, in life’s midday.

Recalls my soul, then I obey.

 

“In Faith and hope earth I resign.

Secure of Heaven, for I am Thine.

 

“My pains increase; haste to console;

For fear and woe seize body and soul.

 

“Death is at hand. My senses fail.

My tongue is dumb; now, Christ, prevail.

 

“Lo! Satan strains to snatch his prey;

I feel his grasp; must I give way?

 

“He harms me not, I fear no loss,

For here I lie beneath Thy Cross.

 

“My God! My Lord! Healed by Thy Hand

Upon the earth once more I stand.

 

“Let sin no more rule over me;

My mouth shall sing alone to Thee.

 

“Though now delayed, my hour will come.

Involved, perchance, in deeper gloom.

 

“But, let it come; with joy I’ll rise,

And bear my yoke straight to the skies.”


photo0jpgBack to Biblical Foundations

Ulrich Zwingli said: “They may kill the body, but they cannot kill the soul. Whatever cannot be justified by the Bible is to be abolished. Religion is a personal spiritual experience which does not require sacraments, or ceremonies, to sustain it. The Bible is the Law of God. A truly Christian community must follow the Bible. Magistrates must not only keep order, but they must be seen as guardians of public morality. A church without the magistrate is mutilated and incomplete as the church is a minister of Grace as the magistrate is to be the minister of Justice. A man who is inconsistent in his speech cannot be trusted. “


Transformed by the Word of God

One of the prayers of Ulrich Zwingli: “Almighty eternal and merciful God whose Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path, open and illuminate our minds that we may purely and perfectly understand Thy Word and that our lives may be conformed to what we have rightly understood in the Word, that nothing may be displeasing unto Thy Majesty, who is Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”


Dr. Peter Hammond

Livingstone Fellowship

P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725

Cape Town South Africa

Tel: 021-689-4480

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www.ReformationSA.org

www.livingstonefellowship.co.za

 

 

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