The Expositors Collective

Episode 40 – How to Preach Christ from Every Text

By March 26, 2019No Comments

The Bible makes sense in its deepest and richest capacity only when we read it through Jesus shaped goggles. When we see all of it through the lens of its Main Character – it should cause us to preach explicitly Christian sermons.

Recorded November 31 in Bradenton Florida

Christ Centered Preaching Handout

1. Two vital hermeneutics:

1. First, we must have a good grasp on the original context of our particular passage and the original intent of the message. (who wrote this and why?)

2. Second, we must always understand the context of our passage within the context of all of scripture, and also understand it in terms of the grand narrative of God’s redemption.

2. Redemptive-Historical progression

1. Redemptive-historical progression traces God’s history with the world from his good creation (Gen 1), to the human fall into sin and God’s plan of redemption through the seed of the woman (Gen 3:15), to a long history of God continuing the line of the seed of the woman (Gen 3 – Malachi), to Christ (the Gospels), the Church (Acts and the New Testament Letters), and finally to the new creation (Rev 22).

2. In other words, in the Bible we can trace a continuous redemptive history which centers in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who then ascends to rule his church from heaven until he comes again. Creation to New Creation.

3. Promise Fulfillment

1.If the text contains a promise of the coming Messiah, then you can easily move to the New Testament to show the ultimate fulfillment of the promise in Jesus Christ.

1. Example: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and the obedience of the peoples is his.” – Gen 49:10

2. Show the fulfillment in Matthew 1:1-17 Jesus Christ, the king of kings, born of the tribe of Judah and the House of David.

4. Typology

1. Old Testament events, persons, or institutions can function as types which foreshadow the great Antitype – the person and work of Jesus Christ.

2. Examples: The fall of Adam and Eve. Adam is the human race’s representative, he prefigures Christ the second Adam, who also is a representative of a new human race.

1. Noah’s Ark; The Ark of the Covenant; the tabernacle; the rock in the wilderness; Crossing the red sea; The Passover Lamb; Pentecost; Issac; Moses; Joshua; King David…etc

5. Analogy

1. Analogy exposes parallels between what God taught Israel and what Christ promises the Church; what God demanded of Israel (the Law) and what Christ demands of his Church.

2. Example: Genesis 12:1-9 Israel must claim Canaan for the Glory of God; in the New Testament Jesus mandates his Church to claim all nations for God (Matt 28:18-20) Your message or theme then would be something like -God reclaiming the earth as his good kingdom through the work of Christ.

6. Longitudinal Themes

1. Although similar to redemptive-historical progression in some ways, it is distinct in focusing on the development of theological ideas rather than development in redemptive history. Longitudinal themes refers to themes that can be traced through the scriptures from the Old Testament to the New – Themes such as God’s coming kingdom, God’s covenant, home and exile, rest and sabbath, God’s redemption, righteousness and nakedness, God’s presence, God’s love, God’s faithfulness, God’s grace, God’s justice and judgment, God’s providence.

1. Every major Old Testament theme leads to Christ

7. New Testament Reference

1. The New Testament reference makes a direct bridge to Christ.

1.Example: God created his good creation by his powerful “word”; John in his gospel tells us that that “Word” is Jesus Christ (John 1:1,3)

8. Contrast

1. Because of the coming of Christ the text’s message for the contemporary Church may be quite different from the original message for Israel. So we preach by contrast.

2. Example: circumcision was a commanded by God for every Jew; but for us we know that Christ is our circumcision and circumcision is a heart issue. Circumcision was the outward sign of the Old covenant, but in Christ baptism is the sign of the New Covenant- which is an outward expression that we have died with Christ and have been raised with him to new life.. So we contrast the the Old and the New.

Examples 1-8 taken and adapted from Sydney Greidanus Preaching Christ from Genesis*

9. The Imperative vs. Indicatives model

1. An Imperative is an immediate action. Example of a Biblical imperative: “Do not be drunk with wine which is dissipation but be filled with the Spirit.”

2. An Indicative serves as a sign or indication of something. Example: “You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.”

3. The idea here is that God never commands us to do something apart from the grace he has already shown us through the work of Christ. The commands of God are never separate from who he is and what he has done for us in Christ

4. Though obviously clear in the letters of Paul and most of the NT, we can see this model going back all the way to the giving of the Ten Commandments.

1. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me…”

1. Scripture is full of the Imperative vs. Indicative model showing us that whatever we do for God it is out of grateful love and adoration of what he has already done for us. This is a wonderful exercise for the mind and heart of any pastor and wonderful tool for us as ministers of the Gospel.

10. Jesus as fulfillment to our hopes and longings.

1. What is the scripture commanding or offering to us? What is it, and why we want and need it?

2. How do we fail to live up to this command or standard? Or how and why we fail to obtain what is offered.

3. How does Jesus and what he has done through the cross answer my dilemma?? How Jesus offers it to us freely. (Themes like Freedom, righteousness, faithfulness, bravery/courage, justice & mercy, forgiveness, love, etc)

11. Connecting our story to a Biblical character or Biblical story

1.Any passages where we are dealing with an Old Testament character who is showing incredible faith/trust in God we can ask the simple question – how much more reason do we have to trust God? We have God’s complete trust-worthiness displayed in the cross. Jesus, God incarnate, became vulnerable, weak, helpless, killable – for you and for me. You can trust him. We have much greater reason to trust God than any OT figure because of the cross.

Recommended Resources for Further Study:


Jesus Storybook Bible – Sally Lloyd Jones

Preaching – Tim Keller

Christ Centered Preaching – Brian Chappell

Preaching Christ in All of Scripture – Edmund Clowney

Preaching Christ in Genesis – Sidney Greidanus

Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture – Graeme Goldsworthy

The Soul Winner – Charles Spurgeon

Standing in Grace – David Guzik

Preaching and Preachers – Martyn Lloyd-Jones

The Heart of the Gospel – Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Christ in the Psalms – Patrick Henry Reardon

The Gospel – Ray Ortlund Jr

Rhythms of Grace – Mike Cosper

Romans: Encountering God’s Power – John Stott

Prodigal God – Tim Keller

Knowing God – J.I. Packer

Between Two Worlds – John Stott

Why Grace Changes Everything – Chuck Smith

Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament = D.A. Carson

Online Courses:

Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World – Tim Keller & Edmund Clowney (iTunes U)

Christ Centered Preaching – Brian Chappell (Covenant Seminary resources)

The Bible Project


What is Gospel-Centered Ministry? – Tim Keller (Gospel Coalition Conference Message 2007)

They Testify About Me – Preaching Jesus and the Gospel from the Old Testament (TGC 2011)

Preaching Christ from the Old Testament – Sinclair Ferguson

Preparing the Way for Christ – ESV Study Bible Article

Resources from

What is Gospel Centered Preaching – Pete Nelson

How to Wreck a Sermon : 5 Simple Steps – Pete Nelson

10 Minute Seminary – What is Gospel Centered Preaching? – Mike Neglia

The Key to Understanding and Obeying Scripture – Mike Neglia

3 Benefits of Seeing Christ in the Old Testament – Andy Deane

Expositors Collective is part of the GoodLion podcast network, for more quality content visit their webpage

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