Beginning tomorrow I will be starting to preach and teach through the whole Bible beginning in the book of Genesis. As I study this morning I am reminded why I am starting in Genesis. I have noticed over the years two things wrong with much preaching that we find in the modern church world. First, a felt needs preaching style approach to preaching. There is nothing sinful about this approach, however I have many reasons why I do not like this approach of which I will not lay out before you in this post. The second thing that I have noticed that happens most often (not always) is that most Bible teaching/preaching is in a style that teaches the scriptures backwards. Most Bible teaching/preaching I have found begins in the New Testament (NT) and then they go back to the Old Testament (OT) to understand its meaning. I will say that both testaments need each other and compliment each other. However I have noticed that reading the Bible in a backward approach of NT first before OT leads to a lot of error and misunderstandings of the scripture. By doing this approach a person tends to ignore the plain cultural meaning of the text. I could give at least three doctrinal errors that occur by studying the Bible in this way. I have heard all of my life people (including myself) taking things that Paul says or what a NT passage says and using it to contradict or change what Moses or the prophets gave as clear instructions to God’s people. I maintain that if we come to such a conclusion that leads us in a situation where we pin the right side of the Bible against the left thereby cancelling things written in Moses or the prophets then we have not understood the NT correctly and are in need of further study. Why do I say that? Why do I place such a new emphasis on Moses and the prophets in my ministry now? Because what Moses and the prophets wrote is THE FOUNDATION OF what the apostles and NT writers wrote. For example, when you read the book of Acts, you see that, historically, the followers of Jesus did not simply accept whatever new teaching they heard. They could not have tested established revelation(the OT), which they knew to be true, by a new revelation(NT) which they did not know to be true. The three sections of the OT were already accepted and established as God’s holy everlasting word. God had already commanded and Jesus confirmed in his ministry that a new teaching or claim of messiah-ship was to be tested against what God had already revealed-not the other way around. INTERPRETING THE SCRIPTURES BACKWARDS PRODUCES A MESSAGE THAT IS BACKWARDS. Those first century believers in Jesus as the messiah could not and did not justify the teaching of the NT by quoting the NT. They did not use the NT to validate itself. Historically the early followers of Jesus did not accept whatever new teaching they heard. They tested what they had heard against what God had already revealed in the OT which was their scriptures and foundation of beliefs. Where do we find this? Many places but one of my favorites is in Acts 17. To be specific, we find this in Acts 17 verses 3 and 11. The Bereans took what Paul said and TESTED it according to the OT scriptures to see if Paul was teaching truth. The new had to be measured by the true, not the other way around. So once again reading and teaching the scriptures in a backwards fashion produces a message that is backwards. This is why I will be starting my Bible preaching ministry at Bible Truth Church with Bible exposition that begins at the beginning of the Bible, the book of Genesis. Let me make a few things clear. The whole OT and the whole NT is the infallible word of the Lord. Please do not take this post and say that I am saying other wise. I am only saying that doctrinal errors happen when we do not understand the front of the Bible before the back of the Bible. I am also suggesting that the OT is the foundation of the NT and that the writers of the NT would have never taught anything different than what Moses and the Prophets said of which I could give you several verses that teach this plainly in the NT. I am also not saying that preaching a topical sermon is wrong or that preaching through NT books are wrong. I am simply saying that caution needs to be given when we try teaching the NT when we do not have a good grasp of the foundation of the NT, which is the old. THE DICTIONARY OF THE NT IS THE OT. I personally feel the need to take folks through a Bible exposition of the OT and move from there to the NT. I know most churches do it the other way around, and that is fine, however I feel that the BEST WAY to read the scriptures and teach the scriptures is in the way that God wrote it, from the beginning to the end. When done this way we see the unity of the scriptures like never before! I will be posting all of my sermons through Genesis on this website. I hope that these sermons will be a blessing to you and will help you grow in your understanding of the eternal word of God.
God bless, Brady C. Crum