On August 18, 2008, I preached on Genesis 1:1. I concluded the series yesterday, on June 27, 2010. After almost two years of journeying through this amazing book, I can say that the experience was, for this preacher, a truly humbling and soul-stirring exercise. I thought I might take a few moments here and offer a few concluding thoughts in no particular order:
- The statement, “Nowhere is the power of the gospel more evident than in the fact that it survives its own preaching,” seems truer to me today than it ever has before!
- The relevance, power, and usefulness of the Word of God absolutely humbles me. When all is said and done, our best efforts appear as withering grass before the glory and power of the Word itself.
- The idea that modern people will not stomach sustained, systematic journeys through long sections of scripture is as fallacious as it is naive.
- Is it possible that after generations of gimmicky preaching, the people of God are yearning again simply to hear the story proclaimed?
- While one must not try to force Christology into every single jot and tittle, it is an undeniable fact that the unified voice of scripture (the ipsissima vox) is saturated with the lamb of God, points with a cohesive voice towards His coming and work, and can rightly be said to end at the feet of the cross.
- I am so glad that the early church chose to censure Marcion as the heretic that he was, else we might have missed the great blessing of the Hebrew scriptures.
- Preaching is a glorious but trying task. It leaves the preacher sitting alone wondering if he did the Word justice…knowing that he didn’t, but knowing also that God is at work above (and even through?) the failings of the preacher. And yet, despite the immense burden of these concerns, when a church member comes to you after the conclusion of two years of preaching through Genesis and informs you that he was able to use the story of Joseph to rebuff a friend who was encouraging him to act harshly towards another who had wronged him, the preacher is left with an amazing feeling of stupefying gratitude that God has allowed him to be involved in a task such as this.
- Preaching before the First Baptist Church of Dawson, GA, is a seminal joy! Thank you, First Baptist, for your attention, your encouragement, and your receptive hearts.