|How do we do good biblical theology in our preaching?
Set each text within the overall narrative of Scripture. From the text, look backwards in the Bible and identify what covenantal promises may be relevant to the text at hand: promises to Abraham? Moses? David?
Then look forward and consider how your text is fulfilled in the person and work of Christ.
Identify continuities and discontinuities between the text’s stage within redemptive history and our own. For example, you may need to explain how Old Testament laws and prophecies relate to us in the light of Christ’s saving work, or how certain aspects of the life of Christ and the ministry of the apostles are unique and unrepeatable, and so on.
Explain features of the text that tap into significant biblical-theological themes, such as creation and new creation, the land, Sabbath rest, kingship, covenant, sacrifice, and so on. They’re present in nearly every portion of Scripture and their development throughout Scripture gives shape to the entire Bible. Take the time to identify such themes as they appear in a text and explain their meaning in the present context.
Connect a text to the gospel message itself. In one way or another, all of Scripture points to the person and work of Christ (Luke 24:27; John 5:39 . Find a road from the text to the gospel and proclaim the gospel.
Demonstrate the various ways the Old Testament and the New Testament relate to one another: promise and fulfillment, typology, and so on. Equip your people to understand how the whole Bible fits together by teaching them the different ways the Old and New Testaments interlock.
Make sure that your application is informed by biblical theology. If you’re preaching in the Old Testament, move from the text to Christ to your people. Don’t skip over Christ in order to teach your people a moral lesson.
Find more great resources for church health from Mark Dever and 9Marks Ministries at www.9marks.org
The Road to Healing
by Margaret D. Mitchell
Recently, I found myself driving along a highway I hadn’t been on in decades. When I was a child, my father used to drive the same interstate most summers with my brother and me nestled in the backseat and my mother in the front. This was our familiar route to family vacations.
But recently, on this one particular summer day, I found myself driving alone to a hospital to sit with a new friend during her husband’s surgery.
On the way, I could feel the perfect peace and presence of God in my car; and I thought, “Isn’t it wonderful how The Lord cycles us up the same road for divine purposes?”
This was the interstate we traveled to visit a family church one summer, where I received salvation as a teen. And now, God had me travel this same road again to reach out to a couple in need of Jesus.
And just like many prayed for me that summer to come closer to Jesus, God now had many praying for my new friend and her husband to come closer to Him.
God never disappoints.
I knew God was making a way for this couple where there was no way, just like He did for me one summer.
I knew God was leading them out of a comfortable place, just like He did for me one summer.
I knew hearts had been touched on this day (including mine), just as many were one summer (especially mine).
I witnessed the faithfulness of God’s presence show up on this day, just like He did in that church for me all those years ago one summer.
And I knew God had more for my new friend’s husband and more for her and more for me and more for my husband. And I felt so grateful that He still uses me as His vessel in this way.
And I love how He still heals and how He still uses healings and miracles in deeply personal ways to touch a heart to follow Him more faithfully.
I love how in Mark 10:52, God opens a man’s eyes to see Him and to know Him, to recover and to regain his sight; then encourages his faith in Him, like a reward; then the man followed Jesus. There’s nothing like living proof to a person in need. No one can take that away.
I love the urgency in Isaiah 57:14-15 when God spoke through the prophet Isaiah regarding His healing and comfort and life for the repentant of heart…
“’Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.’ For this is what the high and exalted One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'”
God is faithful.
The word “road” in Isaiah 52:14 transliterates into the Hebrew word “derek,” which means “way.” Isn’t that what Jesus is for us? Our way, truth and life (John 14:6)? What God said through Isaiah and what Jesus did in Mark 10:52, He still does today.
We live in accelerated times. What purposed interstate does God have you on? Do you see any present-day parallels or cycles springing from your past? Have you noticed that when you complete a cycle designed to help you, God will then use you to reach out from that completion to help to others?
Dear Lord, Thank You that You never forget our joyful moments and that You even use them to touch my heart to remember our special times together. Thank You for using all that I have been through for the benefit of others. Take me wherever You desire. I am willing because I trust You to be faithful to Your Word and to love me, to Your glory. Amen.