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"For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21
Back to the Bible
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 Reformer of Switzerland
Ulrich Zwingli was the father of the Reformation in Switzerland. Born and raised in the Alps, Zwingli was one of the most colourful and audacious characters in Swiss history. A devout student of Scripture, Zwingli was transformed and shaped by the Word of God. He has been described as "an amazing combination of intellect, passion and wit."
Man of the Mountains
Born at an altitude of 3,600 feet (1,100 metres), the son of the Mayor of Wildhaus, Zwingli studied in Bern, Basel and Vienna. In 1506, he received his MA degree. As a pastor in Glarus, Zwingli served as a chaplain with Swiss soldiers in the Battle of Marignon.
Won by the Word
When Erasmus's New Testament in Greek appeared in 1516, Zwingli immediately purchased a copy. Zwingli taught himself Hebrew and Greek, wrote out and memorized Paul's Epistles in the Greek New Testament. He carried around his little pocket edition with him, memorizing much of the New Testament. Zwingli was shocked to find that there was a world of difference between the teachings of the Bible and the teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic church.
Launching a Reformation
When Zwingli was appointed pastor at Grossmünster, (the Great Cathedral) in Zürich, he began his duties, on 1 January 1519, by systematically preaching through the New Testament.
Shortly after he became pastor in Zürich, the city was hit by the plague. Zwingli showed his courage by giving no thought to his own safety, but stayed in Zürich and ministered selflessly to the highly contagious victims. He himself was struck down with the plague and nearly died.
Reformation & Revival