Over the next 6 weeks we will dig into the wisdom of Proverbs at North Bullitt Christian Church. The question begs to be asked: Why Proverbs? As a local church that stands on the authority and applicability of all of the Bible, it is imperative that we show how each part of the Bible is relevant to our present life. This includes both Old and New Testaments—we’ll never unhitch our church from the Old Testament! I believe we can only prove this point by consistently preaching through the whole counsel of Scripture. And Proverbs gives us a great opportunity to look at Jesus through the lens of biblical wisdom. Through preaching Proverbs, we can begin to understand what it means to live a holy life, the importance of the whole counsel of God, and ultimately how Jesus enables us to live in light of the Proverbs.
Growth in holiness can be a word that we avoid like the plague amongst our churches and in our everyday life. However, we are called by the Lord to grow in Christlikeness—holiness—in the present age. Proverbs gives us a fantastic framework to view our everyday lives, and grow in holiness day by day. The short statements of Proverbs are memorable, and are easily recalled when faced with a difficult temptation. Throughout the next six weeks we will aim at the specific areas of instruction on sex and lust, friendship, family, and money, just to name a few. Moreover, Proverbs helps us to encourage and love one another through the application of wisdom in the fellowship of believers.
Preaching through Proverbs promotes the importance of all of Scripture! My personal preaching wheelhouse is the New Testament. Preaching the Gospels or New Testament letters is natural, and much easier for me… Proverbs, in all honesty, not so much! But it’s God’s Word, and we must take every word into account and learn from it. The Proverbs present a particular challenge insofar as they can have the misconception of a foolproof cause and effect type relationship, when we know this is not always true in everyday life! I hope and pray that I am able to present a better understanding of these great wisdom sayings for use and reflection in our everyday lives, and to import the treasure of biblical wisdom gleaned from the Old Testament into our current situation!
Finally, Proverbs ultimately points us to the grace, mercy, and love of Jesus. We cannot possibly uphold all the instructions of Proverbs in our own strength! But we do have the strength of another. We have a great king who has walked the path perfectly in our place before us. Who has shown us the better way, as our better king! Proverbs will always remind us of our deficiencies, but this must also point us to the Lord’s efficiency in winning us into His Kingdom by His own blood. We will look at Jesus in each section of learning that we draw from in the coming weeks. And hopefully gain a greater appreciation for His wisdom, love, mercy and grace.