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Calvin and the Power of Preaching God’s Word December 5, 2008

Posted by heldveld in Calvin, Joel Beeke, Richard Phillips.

“Calvin preached from the Bible every day, and under the power of that preaching the city began to be transformed. As the people of Geneva acquired knowledge of God’s word and were charged by it, the city became, as John Knox called it later, a New Jerusalem from which the gospel spread to the rest of Europe, England and the New World.

– James Montgomery Boice ‘Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace?’


Interesting enough, I came across this great quote in both of the books I’m currently reading; Richard Phillips’ ‘Zechariah’ from the Reformed Epository Commentary series and Joel Beeke’s ‘Living for God’s Glory’.

Richard Phillips explains that pre-Calvin Geneva was an immoral city and that Calvin’s preaching changed the face of the city. This shows the sanctifying effect of Biblical preaching. In ‘Living for God’s Glory the quote is from a chapter by Robert Oliver on Reformed preaching. In that context we see how Calvin’s preaching of the Bible lead to the spread of the gospel.

It’s wonderful to see a historical example of the power of preaching the word.  Most importantly for the salvation of individuals but, also to the improvement of society.



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