Preaching - Lesson 26

A Redemptive Approach to Preaching

In this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the redemptive-historical method of preaching, which emphasizes the centrality of Christ in Scripture, especially in the Old Testament. You will explore the principles and guidelines of this approach, learn how to identify Christ in the text, and apply the method in your own preaching. Furthermore, you will delve into addressing common criticisms of the redemptive-historical method, such as overemphasis on Christ, ignoring moral and ethical lessons, and avoiding common pitfalls.

Bryan Chapell
Lesson 26
Watching Now
A Redemptive Approach to Preaching

I. The Redemptive-Historical Method

A. Introduction

B. Definition and Purpose

1. Identifying Christ in the Old Testament

2. Preaching Christ-centered Sermons

C. Principles and Guidelines

II. Implementing the Redemptive-Historical Method

A. Understanding the Biblical Text

B. Discovering Christ in the Text

1. Types and Shadows

2. Promises and Fulfillment

C. Application in Preaching

III. Addressing Common Criticisms

A. Overemphasis on Christ

B. Ignoring Moral and Ethical Lessons

C. Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Class Resources
  • Gain insights into effective preaching principles, covering history, essential components, styles, and techniques, and learn how to prepare and deliver impactful sermons.
  • Gain valuable insights on sermon construction, learn techniques for effective preaching, and understand the importance of continuous improvement for delivering impactful messages.
  • Through this lesson, you gain valuable insights into the process of text selection and interpretation for preaching, as well as learning practical techniques for delivering engaging and relevant sermons.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into the process of creating a sermon, from text selection to delivery, emphasizing textual analysis and message relevance.
  • Through this lesson, you gain the skills to craft clear, engaging, and memorable sermons by mastering the principles of effective outlining and arrangement in preaching.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to craft effective propositions and main points, enhancing your preaching clarity and impact.
  • By exploring homiletical outlines, you'll learn to effectively develop and structure sermons, understand various outline types, and apply engaging presentation techniques for impactful preaching.
  • In this lesson, you gain insights into crafting engaging introductions for sermons, exploring their importance, characteristics, types, and the process of creating a compelling introduction that effectively connects to the message.
  • Through this lesson, you learn the importance of exposition in preaching, how to develop an expository sermon, and the role of the preacher for effective communication.
  • This lesson teaches you to create captivating sermon introductions using anecdotes, questions, and facts, guiding you through research, structuring, and presentation to maximize audience engagement and improve your overall sermon impact.
  • In order to understand the basic subdivisions of your sermon in expository development, it is important to it is helpful to see what the specific members of your sermon's body looks like in standard development.

  • By completing this lesson, you learn to effectively prepare and deliver sermons while focusing on personal growth, continuous improvement, and dependence on God.
  • Learn to effectively classify and develop sermons into topical, textual, and expository types, enhancing your preaching skills and audience connection.
  • In this lesson, you learn the significance of explanation in preaching and strategies to craft and deliver effective explanatory sermons while evaluating their effectiveness for continuous improvement.
  • By incorporating illustrations into your preaching, you engage listeners, clarify complex ideas, and enhance memory retention while learning effective guidelines to utilize various types of illustrations.
  • Explore this lesson to learn how to effectively use illustrations in sermons by isolating events or experiences, refining principles, and connecting with your audience through human interest accounts.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to effectively use illustrations in preaching to engage listeners, clarify concepts, and draw from various sources, while maintaining relevance, variety, and ethical considerations.
  • Gain insight into the importance of application in preaching, as well as principles and methods for effective application, to create impactful and relevant sermons that resonate with your audience.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to effectively apply biblical teachings to modern life, considering various approaches, overcoming challenges, and utilizing practical tips for context-sensitive and culturally aware application.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insights into crafting effective transitions in preaching and utilizing the dialogical method for increased audience engagement and message clarity.
  • Gain insight into various sermon presentation methods, their advantages and disadvantages, and learn to choose the right method and improve your preaching skills.
  • Through this lesson, you enhance your preaching skills by mastering vocal techniques and purposeful gestures, ensuring a connection with the audience while continually improving your delivery.
  • Learn the significance of dress and style in preaching and how to balance authenticity, appropriateness, and clarity to effectively communicate your message to your audience.
  • You learn to effectively repurpose old sermons, gaining insight into updating them for relevance, enhancing delivery, and managing time efficiently.
  • By studying this lesson, you gain insight into the crucial connection between the Word and Spirit in preaching and learn to balance them for effective and authentic sermons.
  • Through this lesson, you learn how to apply a Christ-centered, redemptive-historical approach to preaching, addressing common criticisms and enhancing your sermons.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to compose powerful redemptive messages that highlight Christ's work and connect biblical themes to modern audiences.
  • Through this lesson, you gain an understanding of redemptive principles in preaching, learning to identify them in Scripture and effectively apply them to your sermons while navigating potential challenges.
  • By exploring the importance of genre in biblical interpretation and applying redemptive interpretation to various biblical genres, you will gain knowledge and insight into the historical and literary context, redemptive themes and patterns, and contemporary application of different types of genres in the Bible.


Dr. Bryan Chapell explores the unifying principle of grace that binds all Scripture together. He outlines and demonstrates the principles and practice of sermon-crafting and delivery to illuminate the message of grace in each passage, and to submit it to God's Spirit for the transformation of lives through preaching.

Dr. Chapell is making these recorded lectures available for you to access at no charge on BiblicalTraining.org. However, there is no personal interaction with Dr. Chapell in this format. The assignments and activities described are for classes that he teaches in person. We left the descriptions in for your benefit, but we do not offer personal or group interaction to participate in these activities. You can, however, sign up for his new preaching classes at BryanChapell.com/courses.

Dr. Chapell is helped in this course by Zachary W. Eswine, Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program (BSW, Ball State University; MDiv, Covenant Theological Seminary; PhD, Regent University). Dr. Eswine served as senior pastor of Grace Church of the Western Reserve in Hudson, Ohio, for six years before joining Covenant Seminary's faculty in 2001. He has served as a campus minister with the Navigators, as a church youth director, and as a chaplain-evangelist in retirement facilities. Since arriving at the Seminary, Dr. Eswine has also served as interim pastor for Tates Creek Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Kentucky, as advisory pastor for the Chinese Gospel Church of St. Louis, and as interim pastor for Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in St. Louis. He has taught New Testament in Ukraine and served as a short-term missionary in the Caribbean. Dr. Eswine is a gifted preacher and has authored the book Kindled Fire: How the Methods of C. H. Spurgeon Can Help Your Preaching and numerous articles on homiletics. In addition, as an accomplished musician and songwriter, he has recorded three collections of original songs.

Philosophy and Goals of the Course

1. "Prep and Del" is an introduction to the basics of sermon construction and delivery. This is not primarily a course on the theology of preaching, but rather is a practical introduction to the tools, structures, and concepts that help preachers learn to put a sermon together. 

2. Because this course is introductory, certain standards of sermon construction are taught that I hope you will consider "foundational" rather than universal. There is not only one "right way" to preach. However, mastering the methods of this course will help you develop the tools needed for many kinds of future sermons. Students from many backgrounds and preaching traditions have found these tools helpful even as they prepare for other styles in the future. Other methods and styles will be taught and encouraged in future semesters.

3. In Dr. Chapell's seminary class, you would be asked to present some short oral assignments to the class in order to: a) begin integrating the information presented in lectures; b) begin honing your preaching skills; c) and, remove some of the intimidation of your first preaching experience next semester.

(At this time, we do not provide personal interaction to evaluate your progress. We included the suggested assignments and activities to give you direction as you apply the principles you are learning to your own sermon preparation and delivery.)

Recommended Books

Christ-Centered Preaching (text only) 2nd(Second) edition by B. Chapell

Christ-Centered Preaching (text only) 2nd(Second) edition by B. Chapell

Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon [Hardcover]Bryan Chapell (Author)

Christ-Centered Preaching (text only) 2nd(Second) edition by B. Chapell
Christ-Centered Sermons: Models of Redemptive Preaching

Christ-Centered Sermons: Models of Redemptive Preaching

Highly regarded preacher and teacher Bryan Chapell shows readers how he has prepared expository sermons according to the principles he developed in his bestselling...

Christ-Centered Sermons: Models of Redemptive Preaching

Dr. Bryan Chapell
A Redemptive Approach to Preaching
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] This recording is provided courtesy of Covenant Theological Seminary. Let's do a real quick rehearsal of where we are in the analytics curriculum. Way back years ago you had Prep Handel and that's where basically I like it you on basics of sermon construction. And we said it's just kind of like if you're in med school, you're getting the anatomy lesson, right? You're getting all of the pieces and the names for all the bones and all that kind of stuff. And we acknowledge that there's a lot of artificiality to that, even as we were kind of learning those basic tools. But then we moved into elementary practicum and we began to practice using those tools. So we all analyzed each other. It was the basics, but we tried to make it a little more natural by actually going to the reduced forms. Remember that we went from those big, long boxy statements of Because something is true, do something about it, principle and application. And then we said in elementary, you know, chop those things in half propositions, just the anchor clause and the main points are the developing clauses or the magnet clauses. Sounds like prep and delegate and, you know, just all those things. And we try to make things much shorter and we preach from the epistles only because they're often kind of linear, a paragraph in thought, and you break up the thought into its subsets and it's kind of a good way to start learning how biblical thought develops. Now we're in Christ centered and we're way back in prep. And I said, We're going to talk about structure, but we're not going to talk much about the theology of preaching. Now that we've got structures in place, we already do the theology.

[00:01:41] So we're going to have four lectures in which we're dealing with the theology that's behind preaching. And then having lectured on the theology, we're now practice with the theology involved still there it is form, but now going to narratives. So this semester we're only preaching from narratives. Three quarters of the Bible are the narratives, right? The stories of people interacting with people. So three quarters of the Bible, we want to be ready to preach that. And ultimately we're heading toward the advanced practicum where there's a little more lecturing, but it's going to be on creativity. So now that you know, you know what all the paintbrushes are and what the color wheel looks like, we'll say, All right, now mix and match. You know, what's the tool? What what's best for your job, for your personality, for even the style of passage that you're doing? So we'll do a whole lot more on creativity and talk about missional preaching as well. Preaching cross-culturally, preaching in a postmodern culture, preaching to the unchurched. So we'll do missional understanding as well. And having lectured on those things will then practice creativity and mission. But where we are right now is here. We've got some structure in place, hopefully fairly well now, so we're ready to introduce some theology and think how that integrates what we do in the practice of preaching. So let's pray and we'll move forward for other high praise you for these men who come to give their lives to you. What you have shared to them, the wonderful glories of the grace of Christ. They want to share with others, and they've dedicated their lives, their resources, as much time and energy to preparation for such a grand task. Would you bless them in that? Would you enable and equip them by the mercies of your spirit, by the wonders of your grace, and by the power that you alone can provide to fulfill the tasks to which you call them? Teach them much of your grace that they will need this semester and beyond to do this work for apart from you, they can do nothing.

[00:03:52] Help them. We pray. May they lean upon you and know the fulfillment of doing so. In Jesus name, Amen. It's an old story, as old as Anselm tells of a king who stood on his balcony one day and looked out and saw his youngest child out gathering flowers. The child the king knew was preparing a bouquet for the king himself. But as the king watched the child kind of go through the fields, he noticed that sometimes the child picked the wrong things. A brier got added to the flowers or something with thorns in it, or a patch of ivy. And so the king went to his elder son, the younger child's older brother, and he said, Go to my garden, pick my flowers. And when you're young, a sibling comes. Take the flowers that he's gathered and put your flowers in its place. The elder brother did that. Child came, presented the new bouquet to the king, and the King received the child with joy and the flowers with deep pleasure. The king, of course, is God. We are the child. The elder brother. Christ. The weeds and the briers and the thorns. Our best works. And the flowers from the King's Garden, Christ's righteousness. It's what he does that makes what we do acceptable and pleasing to God. And that's a very simple notion that can be very difficult to preach. How is it that you tell people to pick flowers for the king to do what they're supposed to do to please him and at the same time depend on the work of the older brother? How do you compel and motivate? How do you tell? And at the same time instruct to leaning on another, if you will. That's so much of what we're trying to do in Christ centered preaching is reminding people where the best flowers, the only ones really acceptable to the king, come from.

[00:06:26] If you look at the beginning of the lecture, you see the primary goal of this lesson is to see the overarching plan. That is the reason we have constructed sermons. According to the design we have followed thus far. Now, just to remind you a little bit of some of those design features, we talked early on in Prep Mendel about the principle of a fallen condition focus. Thus far we've made second Timothy 316 and 17. A key to understanding any text purpose. If we say what's a text about, we don't have to guess. The Bible itself tells us all Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction, righteous righteousness that the man of God might be. Here's the hard word. Perfect. And that's the King James that the man of God might be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. That word perfect is the Greek arias, and it carries with it the notion of completeness. All scripture is given to complete us. And you may remember, we said, if the Bible is saying that it's given to complete us, there's a necessary implication about us. What is it? That we are incomplete. We are incomplete. And that's in your notes. All Scripture is intended to complete us in some way by leading to salvation or advancing sanctification. The necessary implication is that we are incomplete. We are fallen creatures in a fallen condition, and God's redemptive work in Scripture is making us whole in ways we cannot by ourselves. From preaching. It means we begin to look at people and see Swiss cheese. Remember, they got holes in them. They're incomplete. And what we have to discern in preaching is what are we going to say fills the holes.

[00:08:25] As I'm looking at somebody who's incomplete, who's not all that God yet intends, what will I tell them makes them complete? You work real hard. You do the best you can. Practice these disciplines. Be more holy than the next guy. Ultimately it will not work. If we say what you do is going to fill the holes. Something else has to fill the holes. And understanding that is pushing us to another kind of preaching than what many preachers do. Many preachers approach a text with only two thoughts in mind What can I do from this text? I can tell you right doctrine to believe or right acts to do. If that's all I'm saying. Here's how you're going to fill the holes. You accept and know this doctrine or you do this right behavior. You have to recognize both of those are actually just forms of human legalism. It's what you know or what you do that makes you right with God. And even though what you do may be right and what you know might be right, you must know that it's not you who make things right with God. You can't fill the holes. And so when we begin looking at the text, kind of moving into this next portion of Christ, our preaching, we have to think of what that theology means for preaching. If all that's in my brain is I'm supposed to be feeding these people right doctrine or instructing them in right behavior. Something is still missing. There's a hole in our own preaching, and we want to discern what that is. To follow in your notes. After the Swiss cheese effect. That's all Scripture dealing with this incompleteness and all expository preaching designed to reflect the meaning of a scriptural passage addresses aspects of humanity's fallen condition.

[00:10:13] Our goal in expounding a text is confirming not only what it says, but why it was written. And what we spiritually share in common with in common with those four or about whom it was written, or the one by whom it was written. So I'm looking at the text and saying they got holes in them. How are they like us? The ones either by whom the text was written or to him was written. Thus far, I recognize we've only discussed the negative. To hear that we've only discussed the absence, the wrong, the whole the fallen condition. We've only discussed the negative. But if all Scripture focuses on some aspect of our fallen condition, why does it do so well? The answer is clear To supply the warrant and the need for the redemptive elements Scripture contains to be applied. Thus, just as every Scripture echoes our incompleteness. It is in some manner, of course, that's the key phrase. It's in some manner signaling the Savior's work, which makes us whole. Our goal in redemptive preaching is to decipher these signals. For until we do so, we do not truly understand our text. It is possible, after all, to say all the right words and send all the wrong signals. If he were to get up very early, even now on a weekday morning and listen to Camel X, the CBS affiliate here in town, kind of the major radio station, if you were there, just as they kind of go from, you know, early morning program, assuming late night program to early morning program, there's always a program that is called the thought for the Day. I don't know if you've heard that the thought for the day is given every weekday morning by a man named Richard Evans.

[00:12:12] And Richard Evans will say things like. Fathers do not exasperate your children. The Bible tells you you should not exasperate your children. And the word exasperate actually is a reserve is a word that God reserves for his own anger toward his people when they do not do the things they ought to do. And you should not give your children cause for exasperation with you that you would be hypocritical requiring things and then not obeying them themselves yourself. Fathers don't exasperate your employees when you work today. You shouldn't just work because your boss is good and kind. Listen, even if he's not, the Bible says you should work as unto the Lord. It's really him that you're trying to serve. Now, in my mind's eye, I kind of see, you know, lots of Christians as well as other people commuting down Highway 40 into the city. And, you know, and the Christians are all doing the same thing as Richard Evans talks. You know what they're doing? You're nodding their heads. That's right, Richard. You tell them. You tell them. You straighten them up. Maybe they'll listen today. But there's just a couple of problems with Richard Evans. First problem is he's dead. He died years ago. This is all recorded. And you may remember, it's it's it's turned very high up on the reverberation. So it sounds almost like it's direct from Sinai. I remember that. You know, fathers do not. You know, it's just really impressive. But Richard Evan's other problem is that he is not and never was a Christian. Richard Evans was a leader of the Mormon Church. He was head of a large cult. They said, Oh, wait. He sang so many right things. He's getting such wonderful biblical instruction. You know, the problem is almost never with what Richard Evans says.

[00:14:21] What's the problem? What he doesn't say. There are certain things that he will never get around to saying if it comes to human performance, if it comes to good things that good people ought to do. He's on the money every time. But there are certain aspects of grace, the atonement, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that will never be mentioned. And that's the problem. My concern is that so often an evangelical preaching in our preaching, we are, when it comes to the behaviors, even some of the doctrine, right on the money. But when it comes to our dependance on someone else, someone else is worse. Not gathering our flowers, but depending on the flowers gathered for us by the old, that's just absent from our own messages. And the trouble is we're trying to be true to the text. The text just said, Fathers do not exasperate your children. And I said, Fathers do not exasperate your children. How could that be wrong? I just said what the text said. And to discern why that's wrong, we have to keep going forward. And that's page two of your notes. We need to talk about the nature of redemptive preaching, which is still going to look at the text. But now in ways you might not have thought of. Some of you practice this. Others of you may be somewhat new. If you think about the nature of redemptive interpretation of scripture, you might compare it to looking at the Scriptures through two different kinds of lenses. Now, what I'm about to say to you is caricature, and I'm going to acknowledge it's caricature, kind of get the meaning without pushing the the image too far. Okay? One way of looking at a text is looking at it with a magnifying glass.

[00:16:07] Okay. We get down very close to the text and we say, What's the tense of that verb? What case is that noun? Is that an objective or a subjective genitive? Where was that place? And who was Ana Xerxes? And we get right down close and we look very much at the details. Now, listen me. That is a good and necessary thing to do. And historically that's what we often think of a systematic exegetical approach to Scripture. I look very closely at the details. Now, again, let me say good and necessary thing to do. But there is another way of looking at the text. Another way of looking at the text would be if you looked at it through a fisheye lens. Photographers, if you look at something through a fisheye lens, what do you see? Kyles Even showing me this, you look at, you see the horizons, right? And biblical theology is really the process of looking at the text with the fisheye lens so that you're always forced to look out to the horizons. Now, I hope that doesn't sound too intimidating, because what you're really saying is you keep looking at the text in its context. Why does every heretic have his verse? Because he takes it out of context. Right. What biblical theology is doing? Another way of looking at the text and coming in very close in detail is saying, what's the context of this thing? Yeah, I need to know that exasperation is a term that God reserves for his own anger toward Israel. That's a good thing for me to know. But what's the context of that verse? Where does it fit in the larger message? And just to look at your notes here, it's important to see this, that discipline of Bible interpretation that emphasizes the overarching themes that unite all of scriptures particulars is called biblical theology.

[00:18:05] Biblical theology is not simply asking what truth does this particular passage reveal, but how is it related to the whole message of Scripture? Got that. How is it related to the whole message of Scripture? Primary writer on biblical theology in the last century was their hardest force. And you read some of us here. But his book, Biblical Theology, is addressing these forms of interpretation, and he began to identify standard principles of interpretation that are necessary for biblical theology to be done. The first one, this is under item B, the first he called the progressive principle the progressive principle. Said this biblical theology is that branch of exegetical theology. Now what? What you just had there is savvy politics. Okay. Biblical theology is that branch of exegetical theology. Gerhart is Moss, the first professor of Biblical theology at Princeton Seminary. You have all these New Testament exegesis, Old Testament sheets already, and now there's this guy that comes in for biblical theology and he, you know, a little suspect. What are you going to do that's different than we've done all these years? And so he was kind of with a little bit of savvy. Begins his inaugural lecture, which became the first the preface actually to the book biblical theology. He said, hey, don't worry, I'm just doing exegesis. That's all I'm doing. It's just another form of exegesis. I'm still looking at what the text says. So he just wanted to say, I'm still examining the meaning of the text. Biblical theology is that branch of exegetical theology, which deals with the process of the self revelation of God deposited in the Bible. That's interesting. God is revealing himself. That's what he's doing in the Bible. Revelation is a noun of action relating to divine activity.

[00:20:18] Revelation is an historically progressive process, a long series of successive acts. Now, a lot of big words going by, but it's just the simple. He's saying it gets clearer over time. God is revealing himself and it gets clearer over time. If you were to put it in its most simple terms, you would say, When it comes to understanding God's revelation, Paul knew more than Samson. It doesn't mean what Samson knew was wrong, but Paul knows more. There's been a progression. God has progressively revealed more of himself through the course of the scriptural revelation. The second principle of all said was the organic principle. The organic principle. He said The progressive process is organic. Revelation may be in scene form, which yields later full growth accounting for diversity. That is, the seed may seem different than the full fruit. It may seem different, but not true difference because the earlier aspects of truth are indispensable for understanding the true meaning of the later forms and vice versa. Another way of saying it is it's all tied together, the organic principle. It's all tied together. In order to understand what comes later. You have to understand what came before. But by the way, you understand what came before because of what happens later. They explain each other. Jesus said, even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the son of man be lifted up. Now, how do you know what that means? Well, because you remember what he's talking about. Remember Moses leading the people of Israel? They're in the desert. They're tired of wandering. And they're tired of the manor. Oh, no, Lord. More manna and an emblematic of the poison that is coming from their lips. Vipers come. And strike them and they're dying.

[00:22:45] And God says to Moses, Lift up a serpent. This thing that is emblematic of their sin. You fashion the serpent of metal and lift it up on a post and tell them to look at it and they'll live. You depend on what God provides and you'll live even despite the venom that's come from you. And Jesus said, even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the son of man be lifted up. Which means what? You must look to me to live. I'm the answer to your poison. I know what Jesus meant because of what happened in Moses time. The brazen serpent explains what Jesus mean. But by the way, I understand more of what the brazen serpent is about, by the way that Jesus uses it. The background of Moses explains what Jesus is talking about, but Jesus is explaining what Moses background is about. They're explaining each other at the same time. Keep going. The final principle for divorce was the redemptive principle. He said. This revelation is inseparably linked to the activity of redemption. Now, that's important. God is not just showing himself to be showing himself, right. He's not just saying, Here's another attribute. Go memorize it. Here's another attribute of my nature. You're going to take a test. Now he's saying the revelation is inseparably related to redemption. What God is revealing about himself is related to redemptive processes. So revelation, he says, is the interpretation of redemption. To see Revelation properly, we must see it in its redemptive context. The context and the content of some revelation may be in seed form as it relates to redemption, but it is intricately related to the mature message and is not properly understood or communicated until this relationship is made clear.

[00:24:52] Now, that's just absolutely crucial. The revelation is intricately related to redemption. So anything that God is saying is related to a redemptive message. Now, of course, the hard part is figuring that out. In what way is it related to a redemptive message? But it's understanding. It's not just there for some future test. It's not just will receive it for information. The revelation is saying something about what God is doing. Redemptive, like now, involves concedes right away, he says. He says that revelation as it relates to redemption may just be insane for him. It may not appear to be much about redemption. It may just be this little mini seen message, but it's still connected. And he's saying, You don't really understand the seed until you connect it to its mature form. On the campus as if I've still got it. I picked up. I picked up an acorn. Now, if I were to explain to you what this acorn is, I could say I found it on the ground and I can say it's kind of pointed on one end and it's got this little cap on the other end. And the cap is kind of corrugated and rough and the point it in is smooth and the cap is darker and the smooth is lighter colored. And squirrels gather this in the fall and they eat it in the winter. And that's what ACORN is. Now, I just told you many true things about the acorn, but I neglected to tell you about something that you need to know in order to really know what the acorn is about. What did I neglect to mention? I didn't its purpose. I didn't mention the oak tree. Right. I. If you don't know how this is connected to its mature form, I can say many true things about it.

[00:26:52] And you still don't understand what it's really about. Here may just be seed. Here's another seed, if you can imagine in your mind's eye. Here's another seed. This acorn is the commandment you shall not steal. Now this commandment occurs in the Decalogue. Moses gives it the commandment that you shall not steal. Appears again in the New Testament. In Colossians, in first Thessalonians. Always in the Bible. Stealing is wrong. It's a bad thing. The Bible says not only show you not take other people's possessions. You shall not take anything that is not your own. You shall not even take another person's reputation if it's not yours. You have no right to take it. Stealing is bad. Don't do it. Now, is there anything untrue that I just said? No, it was all true. But somehow Paul says in Galatians that the law was our schoolmaster to lead us to. Christ. It was our pedagogue, the thing that came along to lead us to it. Well, wait a second. It just said, don't steal. How does that get you to Jesus? Well, let's just ask a couple of basic questions. First question is, if God says do not steal. What does that tell me about God? If God gives a commitment that I should not steal. What does that tell me about the nature of God? Your turn. God says don't steal. Was that. Tell me about God. Brian. Say he doesn't steal. It's beyond his ethical character to do so, even if it's outside of God's character to steal. What else do we know about God? Who is he concerned about? Is people protecting relationships. He's protecting their possessions. He's loving. If it's beyond his character to hurt his people. Or to have them steal or himself to steal.

[00:29:13] I also learned something about ultimately God's character. What is it He is? Holy. God is holy. I understand that from the commandment. What do I understand about me from the commandment? You shall not steal. You shall not take little things. You shall not take big things. You're never to take anything that is not your own, not even somebody's reputation. Not to demean other people. Stealing is bad. Don't do it. What do I learn about me? And I'm at this exactly right that we're all thieves. Now, listen, here's a problem. God's holy. And I'm a thief. There's a problem here, and I can't fix it. The law is telling me that you got a problem and you can't fix it because the God who gave the law is not going to find your behavior. You can't make your behavior acceptable to him. Somehow, the God who gave the requirement is going to have to meet the requirement for you. Oh. The law was our pedagogue to lead us to Christ. Now, all I did, I didn't look at the commandment, just saying, All right, what's what's the tenths of the verb? And you know, what is this in Hebrew? And where's that? I've got to do all that still, but I've got to look at the text in its redemptive context. Why could Paul do that? He said, Wait, the message isn't done. As God was revealing himself back there through the law, He was also leading us to understand something else, what he would have to do through Christ. Therefore, if I am interpreting that same passage, those same laws, those same character reference. I've got to do the same thing. I've got to say, how is that revealing redemptive truth as part of the revelation and context and asking basic questions like, What does this tell me about God? Was this Tell me about me our ways that that will happen just at the bottom of your notes on page two, to finish the thought in the same sense as trying to explain an acorn without mentioning the oak tree, we cannot properly explain any aspect of revelation, even if we say many true things about it until we have in some way related it to redemption.

[00:31:40] That's really lost his point that it's not enough just to say, Here's a piece of revelation. It's got to be related to redemption, because that ultimately is its context. In the biblical record, it's got a redemptive context. Page three What are the implications of such a redemptive perspective? The first is this That divine provision is necessary for holy living. Since all Scripture is redemptive revelation addressing our fallen condition, that is our inadequacy, our incompleteness, then we must recognize in some way every passage points not only to our need of redemption, but also to God's provision of our redemption. Get that. Somehow the Scripture is not just pointing to our need of redemption, but also to God's provision of our redemption. The Bible is not a self help book. Now I say that easily, and I said that in a lecture some years ago, and a student then brought me a photocopy of a recently published Bible. I'm going to ask Kyle, read me what it says in the subtext, the Living Bible, and then what? The self-help edition, the. You know, they miss something. The Bible is not a self-help book. Even if you have a self-help edition. It's not a self-help book. How do I know that? Jesus, said John 15. What? Apart from me, you can do nothing now. And that has tremendous implications for our preaching, right? If all I have said to people is you go out and do it. God said, don't steal, so don't. I may not have intended to, but I just preached from the self-help edition because I provided no other means of help. I isolated the message to the text without mentioning its redemptive context. And context is all we really just keep pushing for here.

[00:33:57] Number two, under implications, Biblical theology is therefore necessary for proper interpretation. If I recognize that holiness requires God's help, then then biblical theology has to come into play. That which keeps pointing me toward God's provision for what God is requiring me to do. Calvin said it this way, and here's a long quote from his sermon on Ephesians two. He says, We must gather that to Prophet much in the Holy Scripture, we must always resort to our Lord Jesus Christ and characterize upon Him without turning from Him At any time. You will see a number of people who labor very hard indeed at reading the Holy Scriptures. They do nothing else but turn over the leaves of it. You kind of see the image there. They're just turning the leaves. They don't really know why they're doing it. They're just turning the leaves of it, he says. And why? Because they do not have any particular aim in view. They only wander about, although they gathered together a number of sentences of all sort. Yet nothing of value results from them. Even so, it is with them that labor and reading his Holy Scriptures and do not know which is the point they ought to rest on, namely the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. You believe that all Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit, that Holy Men of God wrote as they were carried along by the Spirit. But Jesus tells us in John 14 and 16 what the Holy Spirit and job is. He said, The Spirit is to testify. Of what? Me. He said the spirit is the testify of me. That's his task. So as the Spirit is inspiring the scriptures, what you have to say, what is his task? It is to be revealing the work of God in Christ.

[00:35:57] That's why Revelation is and separately related to the activity of redemption. These things are working together. That work of the Holy Spirit and why Calvin could say, and really you all know this, I mean, Calvin simply is not thought of as being in the biblical theological movement. He's kind of a precursor to it. But you see these kinds of sentences, these kinds of heroism and what what a wonderful some insight he had. Why is so valuable to us? He somehow seemed to be able to see that the elements in themselves could not function unless they were related to the redemptive message. A little bit later in the semester, I'm going to ask you to read from the institutes Calvin's understanding of the law. And remember, Calvin is the one who gives the three uses of the law. And between Lutherans and Roman Catholics and Calvinists, you know, we always talk about the different uses of the law, but what sometimes is missed and what I'll try to kind of perkier eyes to see as you go through is how Calvin doesn't just talk about the three uses of the law. He ties all the uses of the law to the revelation of Christ. And we hardly ever talk about that piece of Calvin. And yet he was he was doing it even as he talked about the uses of the law. Not Calvin, but kind of one who says it in a very pithy way is Jay Adams. And I know and you know that you didn't get the words soon enough for this lecture to do the readings ahead of time. And so you don't have your paper assignments ready and all that sort of thing. Two quick words. You just all get s.

[00:37:29] No, no, you, you won't have to do it. But remember and will say in all of your assignments, you'll be tested on that material before September 15. So there will be a, an online test that will be available to you. And I would suggest you wait till the four lectures are done. And then there's an online test and it will include those readings. So even though you will not turn into a reflection paper, I still encourage you to do the readings and your professors will tell you more about that. But for the moment, just note this. This is Jay Adams, one of the readings that would have been for today. He writes this It is easy to become moralistic when preaching. Now he's just dealing with that notion of the need for redemptive understanding in the text. He says it's easy to become moralistic when preaching. He said, While there's nothing wrong with preaching morality, I mean, obviously you don't want to preach the opposite of morality. There's nothing wrong with preaching morality. In contrast, he says, moralism is legalistic, ignores the grace of God and replaces the work of Christ with self help. Now it's that ignores the grace of God that I want you to have kind of ringing in your ear, okay, tell people what to do. But you just ignore the grace of God. That's when it becomes moralistic rather than moral. He says. The problem with this kind of preaching is the lack of recognition that there is no merit in keeping God's commands. Do you know that there's absolutely no merit in keeping God's commands? When you've done all that you shouldn't do? What does Jesus say? You are an unprofitable servant. Isaiah tells us our best works are only what filthy rags.

[00:39:22] There is no merit in keeping God's commands, or else Christ death would not have been necessary. Is their blessing in keeping God's commands. Surely there is blessing if I am faithful to my spouse. There is blessing in keeping God's commands. But God does not love me more because I do better than the next guy. God loves me because of the work of Christ, not the merits of my work. Therefore, Adam says this If you preach a sermon, that would be acceptable to the members of a Jewish synagogue or a Unitarian congregation. There is something radically wrong with it. Now, I hear that if you preach what any Jew be upset if you said, don't steal. Be faithful to your spouse in a Unitarian upset. And yet here is Adam saying there's something wrong with this message. And the message that it's wrong is revealed by the fact that the Jew and the Unitarian are not upset. He says this. There is something distinctive in a Christian message, and what makes it distinctive is the all pervading presence of a saving and sanctifying Christ. Jesus Christ must be at the heart of every sermon you preach. This is just as true of edification, of preaching as it is of evangelistic preaching. You know, we know we have to mention Jesus on the evangelistic sermons preached once a quarter. Right. But he's actually saying in the edification of sermons where you're saying, here's how to pray better, here's how to be good to your wife or to your neighbor. He's even in those If Jesus is out of the message, apart from him, you can do nothing. So there has to be this understanding the provision of God as part of the message or it is not even Christian.

[00:41:26] I'll ultimately say here in a few minutes that the problem with the messages that are only instructive do these things is not that they haven't quite reached the threshold of a Christian message. You know, they're just kind of some Christian and quite met the standard yet they're not merely sub Christian they are anti Christian. Every other faith in the world says it's what you do that fixes it spiritually with God. Christianity is the one that says you cannot fix it spiritual. And that's the uniqueness of the Christian message. So to simply say to people, do better, do more. Straighten up, fly right. Be more disciplined. All of those messages are not just some Christian. They are actually pushing people away from the savior to their own self effort. And that is why they're actually contrary to the message of the gospel, not just failing to reach its full potential. As you continue down on page three there. This could all just be good theory. But you also see, number three redemptive interpretation is necessitated by biblical instruction. First Corinthians two two, Paul said, I'm resolved to make nothing known among you but Jesus Christ and what a good guy he was and how you can be really good if you try it. Resolve to make nothing known among you about Jesus Christ and him. Now, that's an amazing we almost want to argue with Paul. Now, that's not true. Paul, you talked about worship practices, you talked about stewardship. You talk about marriage relationship, you talked about lots of other things. But Jesus and him crucified. But apparently in Paul's mind, there was always this core. There was always this heart, this thread that's moving through all the messages. In fact, I think you'll begin to see it right.

[00:43:24] Even the way the Epistles are formed before Paul gets to the marriage instructions, What does he say? That a man should love his wife as Christ loved the church? That there's this thread that you will get the doctrinal instruction which will say God is love you with an everlasting love through His son before he will say therefore love one another. There's always this redemptive context, this core, this heart, which is why Paul didn't, I don't think, feel he was being false in any way to say I was going to preach anything to you but Jesus Christ in him crucified. There is this atonement message, this provision of God that is always in view as Paul is preaching. He said in this chapter, just preceding We preach Christ crucified a stumbling block to the Jew and foolishness to the Gentiles. No Jew is upset by saying don't steal. No Jew is upset by don't take the Lord's name in vain. What what was the stumbling block? As he said, You are thieves, you are adulterers, and Christ had to die for you. That was the the disturbing message that made the gospel message so much a stumbling block. Jesus himself would say such things is described in Luke 2427. The scene is after the resurrection Jesus walking with the disciples, the two disciples on the road to Aeneas. And then we read, beginning with Moses and all the disciples. He explained what was said in all the Scriptures concerning. Himself. Now, for a biblical theologian, those calls are all important. Beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he said What was in all the scriptures concerning himself? Now look at the note, since Jesus says all Scripture is about Him. When we try to explain a text without mentioning his redeeming work, we neglect to expound the very thing Jesus said the text reveals.

[00:45:32] And that's a rather amazing hermeneutical principle, right? He says it's about him. So if we're explaining the text and fail to relate it to him, we fail to say the very thing he said it's about. Not to mention Jesus is to fail. Well, it was for another way. Not to relate the text to Jesus is to fail to say what the text is about. Here's where the title of the book can get you in trouble. When when people look at the title of Christ centered preaching, what they almost always think initially, is that what I'm saying and other people like me are saying who are biblical, theologically oriented is you got to somehow show where every text mentions Jesus. You know, I don't get it. Is he in that camel track or behind that bush over there where you get getting Jesus? You see, that's not the point at all. The point is not to force Tex to mention Jesus. It's to identify where the Tex stands in relation to Jesus. Where does the Tex stand in relation to what God will be accomplishing in His son? The visual representation of this is Matthew 17. The Transfiguration member, Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus in the cloud. Moses is representing what? The law. Elijah's representing the prophets. And. And here is Jesus. They appear with him, say, this is the culmination, this is the climax. This is what this has been about. So they come they give testimony of what they represent to him. It's all been leading up to it's all been driving toward what he now represents. Jesus would tell the Pharisees, remember, you diligently study the scriptures, but you do not know on what they can carry. They speak of me. That's John 539 through 40.

[00:47:30] Paul would relator write an acts toas he's giving the summation of his own ministry. The Lord Jesus has given me the task of testifying to the Gospel of grace. That's my task. My task is to testify to the Gospel of Grace. The keynote at the bottom, therefore, is this These verses and others like them demonstrate that the term Christ centered is syntactically. Remember what that means. The part for the whole. Syntactically the term Christ centered is syntactically for all of God's redeeming work that makes us know and depend upon His grace ultimately provided in Christ. A Christ centered sermon does not attempt to make Jesus appear where the text does not speak of him. But rather demonstrates the relation demonstrates the relation of the text to his person and or work. Thus, these are also referred to as redemptive messages or Christ centered messages are shown at grace focused messages. Next page Our goal in Christ centered preaching is not to make Jesus magically or allegorically appear in every text, but rather to demonstrate the redemptive principles, the redemptive principles evident in the text that are most fully revealed in Christ person and our work, and are necessary for our growth in Christ likeness. Now, people will get so concerned because they will say, You can't mention Jesus in this sermon because the text doesn't mention him. And I say, Whoa, wait a second. You live this side of the cross. You you were given the biblical theology, the biblical record of everything that has led to this point. Why, if you understand that all those things were leading to him, that when you preach from one of those passages that, you know was intended, that you can't mention him? Somehow God is revealing redemptive principles here.

[00:49:46] He's not saying, Oh, not that Elijah met the enemies of God at the crossroads. Crossroads, Crossroads, Crossroads. And Jesus met our enemy at a crossroad, you know. That's what we're talking about. We're talking about God somehow is saying, I provide for a faceless people through my faithfulness. Now, ultimately, we're gonna see how that's done in Christ. But right here, I'm just saying Elijah's ministering at a time when the people of God have turned away from God and still God is providing His strength and their weakness, His faith and their faithlessness. There are grace principles on display here. So when Christ ultimately completes his mission will understand what that's about. So what I'm doing in these grace principles is I'm not looking for wordplay. Crossroads relates to the cross. You know, Moses met the women daughters of Jethro at a well, and Jesus met a woman at the well, you know, we're not doing that wrapped cloth was what color? It's red. And therefore it symbolizes the. Just wait. What? God delivered his people when they could not deliver themselves. One of those people that He made his own was a prostitute. And when all the town fell, he rescued her. Despite her sin, despite her iniquity, there was grace toward one totally undeserving. I'm not making Jesus blood appear in the red cloth. I'm saying here are grace principles on display that will reach their culmination in the Ministry of Christ. And I understand what he's done by what God has been revealing all along. We will talk much more about how we discern these things next time. Okay. Today's message, I hope I'm just trying to say to you it's necessary to see the redemptive development of scripture. That's all I'm trying to say today.

[00:51:43] It's necessary to see the redemptive message developing in Scripture to properly interpret it. Next time we're going to. But how do you do it then? How come next time? Just now I'm trying to say, Why do this? Why? Look at it? Why is it necessary before we maybe go down the path of forming those redemptive messages? Roman numeral four on page four just talks about the nature and design of non redemptive messages. It's just. Just learning to recognize what is not going to be faithful to the revelation of God's redemptive in all the scriptures, the nature of non redemptive messages. They are inevitably solar bootstraps. Okay. You pick yourself up by your own bootstraps. It's your job. You just get going, brother. Right. It's the solar bootstraps. The message that we're going to try to avoid. It can come in various forms. You know, pick up your self by your own bootstraps or ten steps to a better fill in the blank Financial future. Ten steps to a better relationship with your neighbor. Ten steps to a better marriage with your. You know, here are ten things you do to fix something. And God's work is just kind of off on the side somewhere. It's just what you do according to this person, this person, this verse, it's all about you. Well, that's the problem. It's not all about you. Not the scriptural message. All these forms of solid bootstraps that say, do this thing or this behavior to get yourself right with God. The basic problem, again, these are not merely some Christian messages. They are anti Christian messages since no scripture in context. And that's the keyword. No scripture in context says just be good and God will be happy. You just be good and God will be happy with no Scripture says that the thing we do at times is we create this kind of false dichotomy and we have in our minds kind of what separates Christianity is, you know, there there is legalism on one side of something that's wrong and there is liberalism on the other side of what's wrong.

[00:53:55] And somehow true Christian is going to be a balance in here of those things. But I want you to think about something. If you if you said theologically, what does a legal is say will make you right with God? What does one of the legal say? We'll make you right with God. Your works. And in this society, for the legalistic side, what kind of works typically are those? Don't go to bad movies. Don't cuss. Take your hat off in class. Wear a tie. Yeah. I do have you in class this semester. I can. What does a liberal say will make you write with God through theological liberal? Okay, so it's it's a care for the poor, oppressed, your fellow man, etc.. Now, while these sets of behaviors are very different, what I want you to recognize is these are actually the same thing. These fall back on themselves. This says what you do makes you right with God. And this says what you do makes you right with God. It's just a different set of views, but the same theology is in play. What I want you to recognize is Christianity can't be found on that scale. It's something else entirely. It is not what you do that fixes things. It must be dependance on what Christ has done, and if you will, if you believe that it profoundly affects your preaching and what you're willing to say as you preach to to think about it into some very basic terms. The design of non redemptive messages, what I will call how do you recognize messages that just are not redemptive at all? Are recognizing these deadly BS? You heard of the killer bees. These are the deadly bees messages that just cannot be automatically recognized as non redemptive.

[00:55:59] I will tell you guys, I have preached these messages. I teach this material and sometimes I walk down from the pulpit and go, what did I just do? You know, because it's so easy just to do these profoundly simple, behavior oriented messages. The first form of A deadly B are B like messages. B, like messages. Follow this example. B, like Daniel. That dare to be like Daniel. B like David. B like Moses. Or you really want to make people feel bad. Just be like, Jesus was good. Just. Just be like Jesus. And think of how these messages go. We look at we look at a portion of David's life and we say, you know, fought the lion and the bear. He walked with God. He wrote tremendous poems praising God. He led God's people. He's a man after God's own heart. He showed mercy to me. Felicia, You know, David was a wonderful guy. You should just be like. David. Well ignore that bashing the thing and. Ignore that, add something and forget about that thing about numbering the troops at the end of his life. Do you recognize? The Bible takes care to tarnish almost every figure? Almost everyone. I mean, I recognize there's a couple of people we don't have much dirt on. But, you know, virtually everybody, you know, the patriarchs were scoundrels. The apostles were cowards. Why do we see such terrible sin in the heroes of the Bible? So we'll say, Isn't God great? Isn't His grace marvelous? Were it not for God, David's sin would have toppled a nation, but it was God who said, I will make an eternal kingdom through your line, despite your great undeserving. Would David have said, Just be like me? So if David wouldn't say it, we shouldn't either.

[00:58:14] If you could. I wish you can almost put neon lights around that kind of boldfaced blank in your notes, which simply to say this God is the hero of every text. God is the hero of every text. Gideon is not the hero. He was not her. Abraham was not the hero. He gave away his wife over and over to other men, and his children did the same thing. And yet God preserved and used him. And we're here because God was faithful when he was not. God is the hero of the text. We keep pointing to God's work in men's behalf. Second form of non redemptive message. Be good messages. These are various forms of save yourself message. Don't drink or smoke or chew or go with the girls. That do would be the mark of a legal list of the past generation. Sadly, in our current context, you get certain churches who are very much out of evangelical circles pushing nothing but social agendas. It's that that message that says discipleship is not faith in Jesus Christ. It is doing what Christ said. And so it used to be the social gospel of the 1930s, forties and fifties, now being adopted by some evangelicals. What really proves you're a Christian is you care for the poor more than the next church. You welcome unlovely people more than the next church. And what is the mark of discipleship is not faith in Christ, but the outperformance of other churches with regard to good discipleship. Now, there are typically things that we respect and like, so we kind of admire the message, but it can be just another form of legal. You be really, really, really good, even sacrificially good, and you'll be okay with God and not recognize it's been around before.

[01:00:14] We've heard the message before and it is not the one of grace. Hunker down and try harder in any form is not what God in his gospel is proclaiming. The third, and maybe most easy to our lips are be disciplined messages. These are all about sanctifying yourself, Pray more, read your Bible more, Go to church more especially go my church more. Just do more and more. And more and more. And then God will be happy. By the way, how much more will be enough to make God happy? You know, people like this, they sin. And so what do they do to make it up to God? They read their Bible more. They go to church more. They sing songs louder this week in church. They're making it up to God by doing more than they did before. Now, listen, repentance truly shows itself in good works. It does. But the good works do not earn God's favor. They are the fruit of those who have been favored. And it's it's totally counter instinctive to the way humans function. To say I am living out of grace, not to gain it. It's sometimes is why it's so difficult to preach redemptive messages because it's so counterintuitive. I want to say you straighten up or God's going to hate you. Instead of saying God loved you before you ever knew Him while you were his enemy, he died for you. Therefore live for him. It's counterintuitive. Now I have to be careful here. I just said some fairly stark things. You didn't challenge me. Even just Paul. Ever say, follow my example, Be like me. Paul, Never say that. Well, at least five times. So finish the verse. Follow my example as. See, it's got a redemptive context.

[01:02:18] Always, always, always. There will be a redemptive context that we have to remember, of course, be messages, our inscription, but we always have to identify their context. Now, again, I wish you could put neon lights on the bottom sentence of this page. Recognize the messages are not wrong in themselves. They are wrong messages by themselves. Catch that. It Is it wrong to tell people don't steal, you know? Don't be a thief. That wrong? Well, in itself, that's not wrong to tell people. Be holy is God is holy is not wrong in itself. What makes it wrong is by itself. If that's all you say, if you don't throw them upon Christ, upon his grace upon his provision, let me just just be straight with one. Why do people fear grace oriented messages? The greatest fear among Orthodox Christians is they fear Anthony Leninism. That's their fear. If you do too much of this grace thing, people will do whatever they want. Okay, listen. Jesus said, If you love me, you will keep my commands. He was not an antenna, man. At the same time, he said, Apart from me, you can do nothing. The reason to preach grace is not to avoid the commandments. It's to enable obedience to them so that we are saying it's by him. It's through him. It's for him that you would do these things. And it's. It's this compulsion of grace that's actually the power of the Christian message. It's not Antonioni. And it and we're going to say, Oh, now, I can't say there might be something anymore. No, you can't say that alone. But you must actually it would be actually terrible for a preacher not to tell people to obey God. I mean, what wounding we would do to them if we did not take them on a path of holiness.

[01:04:15] It's to their safekeeping, it's to their good. It's to their glory and blessing and joy to walk with God. But we have to make sure that they don't think they are earning God's favor by doing it. He was walking with them before they ever chose to be his children and do what he chose. The messages last page be messages by themselves imply that we are able to change our fallen condition by our own efforts. Such messages, stated or implied, make us no different than Unitarians or Muslims or Hindus. If all we're saying is just be a good person. There's no distinctive Christianity in that at all. The demerits of non redemptive messages, why they don't help is first, there is no merit in keeping God's commands blessing, but no merit. And there are various passages that say that for you, you see Adams and Kiper. The confession, first paragraph there out of chapter 16. Good works, Daniel obeys. The God's commandments are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith. But Christians ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ. So why we can't just tell people be good and be done? There has to be dependance pushed upon the work of God. Number two Challenges to holiness without mention of grace. Force a human centered religion. People cannot do what they are told to do, apart from God, from Christ, grace, requirements of holiness by themselves in people. Because without provision of divine aid, they either will despair of hope or trust in their own righteousness. Which is worse, by the way. Trick question. If you tell people you just be holy, there's only two alternatives. If you tell somebody, be holy and think, I'll never be holy, I'll never measure up.

[01:06:22] What's the other alternative? Okay, I'll be holy. And either one is spiritually deadly. Desperation or arrogance are both spiritually deadly. They wound people. If we have not mentioned grace, that's if you wound even unintentionally, you are obligated to heal. We heal by wedding all requirements of holiness to a proper relationship with him, who alone can provide holiness and showing where and how. The scripture we are interpreting does the same thing. How Paul does it. Ephesians six here Paul is at his most strident put on the full armor of God. Right. Take out the sword of the spirit. Put on the helmet of salvation. Resist the fiery dog so that he's speaking with all the strength he can muster. But before he gets into any of that, what does he say? Be strong in the power of his might. His mind. If all he had said was, you know, he used to hunker down and try harder. It would have been foreign to the Christian message. So he says, fight, but you fight with his mind. And what we want to say to God's people, what really makes it the joy of the Christian message, I must say, fight live for him. By him, by his strength, by his wonders grace, which is revealed in the context of this text as well. Here's the bottom line, where we're going to go. When you've preached or when you counsel or when you've talked to your own child, at some point this person that God has given you to minister to is going to walk out the door away from you. And I hope just in your mind's eye, you can say I just sent them out to do what God requires. With whom do they go? Am I just sending them out with me, myself and I in hand? We're going to do it.

[01:08:19] Or am I sending them out with the Savior? Because if they do not go with the savior, they go to despair. But if we send them out with the Savior, they go to Joy. And the joy of the Lord is our strength. We're going to talk a whole lot about how to do this next time. But as you read the readings, say to yourself, well, if not this, if it's not redemptive, what is the alternative? And I think if you think of it that way, you'll say there can't be any alternative. There can't be any alternative. Apart from him, we can't do nothing. We have to learn how to have the grace of God within the message. And when you do it, there is such, such joy in your preaching that will be your own power to keep doing it.