Home > Preaching > What Does the Bible Say About . . . ?

What Does the Bible Say About . . . ?

September 17, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

A seminary friend, Eric Schumacher, turned me onto a series he did at his church where he asked the congregation to submit questions they had about the Bible. I thought this was a good idea because it helps me understand some of the theological and practical issues the people are wrestling with and it offers me an opportunity to address questions before the whole congregation. For a month we ran an insert in our bulletin asking people to submit their questions. We had about 25 questions turned in. I took the most frequently asked questions and turned them into a 4 week sermon series. The four questions I answered were these:

  • Why Then the Law (Gal 3:15:29)?
  • Is Assurance of Salvation Possible (Selected Scriptures from 1 John)?
  • What Does the Holy Spirit Do (John 16:4-15)?
  • What is Heaven Like (Revelation 21:1-22:5)?

If you decide to do something like this in your church, let me offer you three suggestions:

1.) While the questions submitted varied in scope, I wanted to answer questions that the Bible itself asks. I think it is important as Christians that we ask the questions the Bible asks and give the answers the Bible gives. Frankly, the Bible doesn’t answer some of our questions, because that’s not what it was written for. By answering questions the Bible asks you teach people to think more biblically.

2.) Unless you plan to preach multiple weeks on a topic there is just no way to cover everything. You have to be selective. It was a challenge to blend and synthesize the biblical material each week into one sermon. I could have easily preached 2 hours (even 2-3 weeks) on each of these topics. My suggestion would be to ground the sermon in one text, teach from it, and then bring in other relevant Scriptures. What I told the church is that these sermons would be topical-but-expositional in nature.

3.) Even though the sermons were based in one text or book, I found myself spending more time in study than I usually do when I preach through a book. Honestly, this series reminded me again why expository preaching is a benefit for a pastor and congregation. Each week you know what you’re going to preach and you have the ability to build each sermon on the previous week. Topical preaching done right is much more challenging than I thought.

Overall, I found myself really blessed by going through this series. Preaching this series firmed up some beliefs I already had and opened up new insights I hadn’t thought about before.

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