The following may actually be four points in a presentation, or they may be treated very quickly as the last point of a sermon. But more generally, this is a foundational outline for the basic moral reasoning and argument that lies at the heart of the application.The Plot winds up: WHAT YOU MUST DO."This is what you have to do! Here is what the text/narrative tells us that we must do or what we must be." The Plot thickens: WHY YOU CAN'T DO IT."But you can't do it! Here are all the reasons that you will never become like this just by trying very hard." The Plot resolves: HOW HE DID IT."But there's One who did. Perfectly. Wholly. Jesus the---. He has done this for us, in our place." The Plot winds down: HOW, THROUGH HIM, YOU CAN DO IT."Our failure to do it is due to our functional rejection of what he did. Remembering him frees our heart so we can change like this..."This isn't the only way to preach Christ, but the beauty of this approach is that it steps around some of the hermeneutical traps. For more information, you can order Keller's lectures from Gordon-Conwell.Update: Resurgence has reposted the entire article that is the source of the above quote.
- To see the passage in the historical progression of God's redemptive plan through history;
- To focus on promise fulfillment, in which Christ fulfills Old Testament prophecies;
- Typology, moving from a type in the Old Testament to the anti-type in Christ;
- Analogy, showing the relationship between God's message for Israel and Christ's message to the church;
- Longitudinal interpretation, tracing a theme of the Old Testament to Christ in the New Testament;
- Using a New Testament quote that cites or alludes to an Old Testament passage, and linking these passages to Christ; and
- Showing the contrast Jesus brings to an Old Testament passage.
One issue that is often discussed in preaching these days is how to preach Christ from the Hebrew Scriptures. You see this debate not only in discussing the redemptive-historical approach, but also in books like Bryan Chapell's Christ-Centered Preaching, Ed Clowney's Preaching Christ from All of Scripture, and Dennis E. Johnson's Him We Proclaim.
I was reminded of the importance of this issue yesterday as I read the account of Jesus' call to Philip to follow him: "Philip found Nathanael and said to him, 'We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph'" (John 1:45).
As I read this yesterday, I was amazed that Philip was able to see Jesus so clearly in the Law and prophets. It was a good reminder to me to take this issue seriously.
In coming posts, I'll try to highlight some of the dangers we face as we preach Christ from all of Scripture, as well as some ways we can do this well.