“Christ must be ‘preached.’ (1 Timothy 3:16)
Preaching is the chariot that carries Christ up and down the world.
Christ doth not profit but as He is preached.
For supernatural benefits, if they be not discovered, they are lost; as we say of jewels, if they be not discovered, what is the glory of them?
Therefore there must be a discovery by preaching, which is the ordinance of God for that end.
Whereupon God stirred up the apostles before, that were the main converters of the world.
They had some prerogatives above all other preachers.
They had an immediate calling, extraordinary gifts, and a general commission. In them was established a ministry to the end of the world.
‘Christ, when He ascended on high and led captivity captive’ —He would give no mean gift then, when He was to ascend triumphantly to heaven— the greatest gift He could give was, ‘some to be prophets, some apostles, some teachers, for the building up of the body of Christ, till we all meet a perfect man in Christ.’ (Ephesians 4:11-13)
‘I will send them pastors according to my own heart,’ saith God (Jeremiah 3:15).
It is a gift of all gifts, the ordinance of preaching.
God esteems it so, Christ esteems it so, and so should we esteem it.”
–Richard Sibbes, “The Fountain Open,” The Works of Richard Sibbes, Volume 5 (ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1638/2001), 5: 508-509.