How to Preach Christ (Pt 2)

A second mistake in preaching endeavors to recover a timeless principle from a passage of Scripture that can then be applied in a variety of ways to the life and practice of the congregation. The strength of this option is that it seeks to understand the Bible in its own context first and then recognizes that every passage has something relevant for the modern audience. This model is superior to simply applying the Bible to one’s life because it acknowledges that though the Bible has something valuable to offer us today, the Bible was not originally written about us. Without question it is a worthy exercise to extract a timeless principle that applies to all people in all ages in all places. Accordingly, this method will frequently yield a faithful harvest that is accurate to the Biblical message. However, even this model can promote a reading of the Bible that ignores Jesus. A non-Christian can easily use this method to leverage the Bible without requiring, or even encouraging, a faith commitment to Christ. For example, according to this model a Jewish sermon and a Christian sermon could be identical, though one preacher has rejected Jesus as Messiah and the other has received Jesus as Messiah. This model fails to ensure that Jesus is inseparable from an accurate reading and preaching of the Bible and therefore it too ought to be rejected as a faithful model.

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