Evangelists are not typically known for series preaching. For many years I thought that sermon series were basically pastoral in nature. More and more I believe that such preaching is simply Bible preaching and it can be done over a long period of time or in a short season.
Preaching through a portion of Scripture follows the pattern shown in Isaiah 28:10, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” The foundation and the building blocks all come directly from Scripture.
When I go into a church I certainly want to be sensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The Lord knows His church and His Word alone can meet the needs of that local body. People do not need my sermons; they need His Word. The voice of the preacher will fade and the minister’s name will soon be forgotten, but God promised that His Word would not return void (Isaiah 55:11). He never gave that promise for my alliterated outline, clever one liner, or illustrations. God uses His Word.
Over the last couple of years God has led me to do a great deal of series preaching in the extended meetings that I have been privileged to participate in. It has been a joy to preach through the second half of David’s life, a host of Psalms, Isaiah 55, Hosea 14, Philippians, Jude, and a number of other sections of God’s Word.
As God has led me to stay in certain Scriptures I have witnessed His work in my heart and in so many others…
- Series preaching gives me a guide. It helps me to have a starting place and a course to follow. In many ways it has helped me to concentrate on God and not people.
- Series preaching keeps people coming back for more. Each meeting leads to the next. Every message builds on the previous. Used effectively, a series will encourage the hearers to return expectantly.
- Series preaching ties us all to the truth. I know that shortly the average church member will be hard pressed to remember my sermon title or preaching points. But if they grow to love the Word of God that will stay with them! I encourage the people to read through the portion of Scripture I am preaching from throughout the week on their own. Many times I have found that God speaks to people about things that I am not even speaking on. This is the work of the Holy Spirit.
- Series preaching helps me stay fresh. There is so much more in the Word of God! We must not confine ourselves to one section or limit ourselves to our favorite sermon. There are whole books and chapters, stories and lives, to be studied and shared with others. We must not grow content with where we are. Stale preachers never bring fresh manna.
- Series preaching meets every need. It is amazing to me. Miraculous. As I preach through God’s Word, the Word speaks to people right where they are. Thing I did not know – could not know! Every emphasis that needs to be made grows right out of the all-sufficient Word of God.
This does not mean that in every meeting I always preach a series. But through it I have witnessed God at work, and I have come to a deeper conviction that the only lasting thing we have to give is the eternal Word of God. Only God’s truth is forever settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). Only God’s truth endures to every generation (Psalm 100:5).
While there are plenty of things that I would disagree with Martin Luther on, I am in full agreement concerning one thing. When asked about his influence on the beginning of the Reformation, Luther responded: “I did nothing. The Word did it all.”
True then. True today. True forever. If any good thing is done, the Word did it all.