Finding and Preaching Christ in the Old Testament: Introduction

Today I am beginning a new series of posts on finding and preaching Christ from the Old Testament. In this series we will consider the manner and extent to which the Old Testament bears witness to the person and work of Christ. My aim is to help preachers and teachers of God’s Word see that the Old Testmanet isn’t merely a collection of ancient stories. Rather, it is a rich, divinely inspired witness to our Lord and Savior.

Introduction

Preachers who seek to faithfully proclaim God’s Word recognize that they must make Christ the central focus of their preaching (1 Cor. 2:2; Col. 1:28). For this reason, much of their preaching ministry will be occupied with expounding the birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ from the pages of the NT.

However, those who have been entrusted with the task of proclaiming God’s Word also recognize that they cannot ignore the OT since “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17, ESV).

Furthermore, the NT frequently quotes and alludes to the OT thus requiring preachers to interact with the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms in order to understand the message of the Gospels, Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation.

The Challenge of Preaching the Old Testament

Preaching the OT can be challenging. The sheer volume of content in the OT is, at times, daunting. The world and culture in which the OT was written are far removed from those of the preacher and his congregation. In addition, the diversity of genres and themes found within the OT require sharp exegetical and theological skills if one is to understand its message.

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of preaching from the OT is making Christ the central focus of the sermon. Preachers are faced with questions like, “Can the OT be preached as Christian Scripture? Does the OT have anything to say about Christ? If so, how does the OT bear witness to Christ?”

Stay Tuned

In the next post in this series we will consider the teaching of Jesus and the Apostles on the Old Testament’s witness to Christ.

The Psalms By Crossway

While browsing the Bibles on Crossway's site I noticed that an edition of the Psalms is planned for June 2014. The Psalms will feature a single column layout, 11 pt. type, and a sewn binding.

The Psalms

I'm looking forward to checking out this edition when it's released in June.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 3.7.1

We are not our own: let not our reason nor our will, therefore, sway our plans and deeds. We are not our own: let us therefore not set it at as our goal to seek what is expedient for us according to the flesh. We are not our own: in so far as we can, let us therefore forget ourselves and all that is ours.

Conversely, we are God's: let us therefore live for him and die for him. We are God's: let his wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions. We are God's: let all the parts of our life accordingly strive toward him as our only lawful goal.

Press On

John Calvin 256px

Therefore, let us not cease so to act that we may make some unceasing progress in the way of the Lord. And let us not despair at the slightness of our success; for even though attainment may not correspond to desire, when today outstrips yesterday the effort is not lost.

-- John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 3.6.5.