The Office of Salvation
for the office of preaching is the office of salvation
“it is a great matter to despise God’s word, or the minister of the same; for the office of preaching is the office of salvation; it hath warrants in scripture, it is grounded upon God’s word. St Paul to the Romans maketh a gradation of such-wise: . . . “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved: but how shall they call upon him, in whom they believe not? How shall they believe on him of whom they have not heard? How shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” At the length he concludeth, saying, . . . “Faith cometh by hearing.” Where ye may perceive, how necessary a thing it is to hear God’s word, and how needful a thing it is to have preachers, which may teach us the word of God: for by hearing we must come to faith; through faith we must be justified. And therefore Christ saith himself. . . “He that believeth in me hath everlasting life.” When we hear God’s word by the preacher, and believe that same, then we shall be saved: for St Paul saith. . . “The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to all that believe; the gospel preached is God’s power to salvation of all believers.” This is a great commendation of this office of preaching: therefore we ought not to despise it, or little regard it; for it is God’s instrument, whereby he worketh faith in our hearts.
This is a great commendation of this office of preaching: therefore we ought not to despise it, or little regard it; for it is God’s instrument, whereby he worketh faith in our hearts.
Our Saviour saith to Nicodeme, . . . “Except a man be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” But how cometh this regeneration? By hearing and believing of the word of God: for so saith St Peter, . . . “We are born anew, not of mortal seed, but of immortal, by the word of God.” Likewise Paul saith in another place, . . . “It pleased God to save the believers through the foolishness of preaching.” But, peradventure, you will say, “What, shall a preacher teach foolishness?” No, not so: the preacher, when he is a right preacher, he preacheth not foolishness, but he preacheth the word of God; but it is taken for foolishness, the world esteemeth it for a trifle: but howsoever the world esteemeth it, St Paul saith that God will save his through it.”
Hugh Latimer, Sermons by Hugh Latimer, "On the Parable of a King that Married His Son," preached in Lincolnshire, 1552.