Once I realized the whole Bible, including the Old Testament, is about Christ, I was enthralled. I wanted to see all the symbolism throughout the books, and how it is all perfectly woven together in God’s plan revealed through Scripture.
The Preaching Christ Expository Series is a five-volume bundle focused on just that – helping you see Christ in any book of the Bible. What’s more is that these books help you preach and teach what you’ll learn.
The author of this series, like many of us, believes that the good news of Christ can be preached from any book of the Bible. Yet he found very few textbooks dedicated to this discipline. The result was this 5-volume set, which takes a deliberate and methodical approach to preaching Christ, especially from books of the Old Testament.
Let’s see what this looks like in WORDsearch and how it can be helpful. In the volume Preaching Christ from Genesis, Chapter 17 covers Jacob’s Wresting with God at Peniel. First, the passage is hyperlinked at the top of the page so that I can quickly refresh my memory of the story with the pop-up, or open the passage in a new window alongside the text.
This story in particular can be hard to preach, and the author lays out some of the reasons, summarized as:
- The story is bizarre
- Narrative is difficult to interpret
- Preaching Christ from this narrative
- Applying this narrative to the church today
After explaining these difficulties, the author considers it from many angles, including the text & context, the plot line, theocentric interpretation, and textual theme and goal. He asks what this story would mean to the Israelites. In this example, he provides an image concerning the plot line of this narrative. I can click on the image to see it in more detail. It will open in a new window.
After this examination of the text, ways to preach Christ from this passage are provided, including sermon theme and goal, and sermon exposition. Here’s an example of the sermon theme and goal:
We formulated the textual theme as follows, “Before self-sufficient Jacob can enter the Promised Land, God needs to change Jacob into Israel, a person who strives with God for his blessing.” In the light of the New Testament, what is the message of this narrative for the church of Christ? The New Testament broadens the concept of the Promised Land from Canaan to the kingdom of God or the new earth. The sermon theme should reflect this broader perspective and yet stay as close as possible to the textual theme. In the New Testament, Jesus also affirms that we need to change before we can enter the kingdom of God. We can, therefore, formulate the sermon theme as follows, Before self-sufficient people can enter the kingdom of God, God needs to change them into people who rely on God…
This goal exposes the need addressed in this sermon, namely, our tendency to rely on our own works to enter the kingdom of God. Preaching on this narrative, we can make our first move to Jesus in the introduction of the sermon, get people personally involved in the issue of entering the kingdom of God, and then in the body of the sermon flash back to Jacob.
As I am reading this, I can open up a Word Processor window and take notes on the text for inspiration for my next sermon – or who knows, I could even be so inspired I write out my whole lesson here!
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