We all agree (don’t we?) that it’s great to have a bird’s eye view of the Bible as a whole, and especially its overall storyline. But what about attempting this in a series of sermons?
John Percival writes on Unashamed Workman about just such an attempt. His church followed Andrew Reid’s outline of eleven ‘big moments in God’s story’: creation, fall, promise, exodus, conquest, kingship, exile, return, cross, gospel, new creation.
- It was hard work, simply because of the amount of reading and preparation required.
- They wrote small group material to support the series.
- One challenge was the need to look backward (to the promise) and forward (to the fulfilment) in each sermon.
- The series provided the opportunity to deal with ‘big picture’ applications:-
- see your own little story within the context of God’s big story
- see Christ as central to the entire story
- learn to read the Bible in context
- redefine your priorities in the light of the new creation
- applications can be knowledge-based as well as action-based
- Non-narrative parts of the Bible – wisdom, prophecy, and the law – suffered from relative neglect in the interest of keeping the story moving
- Helpful resources include ‘God’s Big Picture’ (Vaughan Roberts), ‘Gospel and Kingdom’ (Graham Goldsworthy), ‘From Creation to New Creation’ (Tim Chester), and ‘Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church’ (Michael Lawrence). Families could use ‘The Jesus Storybook Bible’ (Sally Lloyd-Jones).
- Pray for ‘light-bulb’ moments as people see how the Bible fits together. For some, it helped them to get the great events of salvation history in the right order. For others, they came to a new realisation that the hero of the Bible is God.