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Why Preach a Series or Preach a Whole Book?

As we have been going through the books of 1 Thessalonians and Romans the question has been asked, “Why Preach a Series, Why Preach through a Whole Book?”

There are several reasons for doing this, here are a few.

1. Authority

Scripture is our authority, not the preacher.  Any authority the preacher has comes from the authority of the scriptures.  When we preach through a book we submit our selves to the authority of scripture.

2. Whole council of God

We want to proclaim the whole council of God, the way God gave it to us.  We don’t want to edit it, water it down, cut out the difficult parts.  This also forces us to deal with any difficult issues or passages in the book that we might otherwise be tempted to overlook.

When we preach through a book or a series faithfully we are saying what God said to us in the way that God said it.  This allows God and the Bible to dictate the message.

3. Jesus said the scriptures testify of me.  When we preach a book or series, we are preaching all of Jesus, not just the comfortable parts.

But there is another issue or thought behind this and it comes from the influence of the charismatic movement.  The question of is preaching a series or a book “inspired by Holy Spirit?”

Was the Bible inspired by God?  2 Tim. 3:16 says all scripture is God-breathed.

Each book was designed by Holy Spirit with a logical flow and structure.

Were the writers of scripture inspired by God? 

But still the books of the Bible have a purpose (example Acts 1).

The writers of scripture were inspired by God but the books of the Bible have a structure, they can be outlined and diagramed.

a) Holy Spirit inspired writers who wrote books and letters, not lists.  How do you read a book? How do you read email?

b) Holy Spirit is always with us, including when the decision to preach the series was made.  This line of thought implies that only decisions that are spur of the moment are lead by the Spirit. (doctor, architect, mechanic)

So what is really behind the question is preaching a series inspired?

I believe this comes from the liberal bias against study, against preparation, against seminary.

Being systematic, organized, and intentional does not imply an absence of Holy Spirit’s leading.  The Bible is all of these things (systematic, organized, and intentional) and it was clearly lead by the Spirit when it was written and preserved.

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