I was listening several weeks ago to a pastor preaching a sermon around Christmas. The sermon was focused on Joseph, the husband of Mary. The sermon was done quite well. It was structured well. There were numerous positive points highlighted from the life of Joseph. These points in turn were used to instruct today’s men in the church on how they should live.
Sadly, the glaring ommision of the sermon was Jesus Christ. He was a side point in this sermon.
I am one of those who believe all sermons should have necessary parts where the Scripture should be tied into God’s redemptive purposes and how Christ fulfills that particular Scripture being preached. Jesus himself taught his disciples from the entire Old Testament how the Scriptures spoke of him (see Luke 24:27).
Too often we turn sermons into moralistic lessons. The Scripture is God’s self-revelation. Sermons preached should always feature God’s work and God’s words. Sermons preached should always feature that one whom God is glorifying, namely Jesus Christ. Sermons preached should always feature the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in God’s redemptive plan.
Moralistic teaching is too frequently found in children’s lessons as well. Ask your children what they learned, and they will tell you about Moses, Jonah, and David, but rarely will the first thing out of their mouths be about God. Sometimes this is due to them being children, but other times because we have placed the emphasis in the wrong place.
Two questions we should always ask are:
What does this text teach me about God?
What does this text teach me about myself and my need of God?