I am convinced that a steady diet of the faithful verse-by-verse preaching of God’s Word will feed the flock of God better than anything else. We can have topical sermons that bounce around the Bible, of course, but no matter what kind of sermon it is, it will include only one or two topics but leave out thousands of others.
I believe God knew all about that when He had Paul tell Timothy, “Preach the Word,” and when He had Peter write, “Feed the flock of God which is among you.” Pastor Peter realized the best way to feed the congregation was through one meal at a time.
As I reflect on the 1 Corinthians series we’ve been in for over a year, it is astonishing to me how many topics we have covered: marriage and divorce, faith, giving, church, the ordinances, spiritual gifts, charity, soul-winning, separation, dress, the resurrection, church leadership, sexual sin, church discipline, lawsuits, church unity and division, the Gospel, guest preachers, and many more.
We have covered topics I have never heard in church before, yet are every bit as important as the Gospel itself. We say, “And that’s the Gospel Truth” to emphasize how true something is, and we ought to get to more than one or two of those truths in the course of a year’s preaching.
“But what about the Gospel?” Someone might think we have to preach the story of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ every sermon, or else the sermon is a failure. To be sure, the evangelists of Acts often did just that, but the Old Testament prophets just preached “the burden of the Lord,” or, whatever God told them to preach. Sometimes it was obscure and bizarre, but all of it was good.
You can do as much as a Gospel sermon to convince an unbeliever of his or her need for salvation by how you respond to the preaching (see 1 Cor. 14:23–25). Also, you reveal the invisible God to others by your love:
“No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us… If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” 1 John 4:12, 20
We gather in God’s house to worship Him and hear His Word proclaimed. What a privilege! What a responsibility!
As we near the end of our series and look forward to the next one, let’s be careful to thank God for giving us His Word—all of it—and allowing us to study it weekly.