How We Preach Colossians

For this exhortation I want to talk a little about the type of preaching we do at Cities Church. All of our preaching comes from the Bible. Our goal, in every sermon, is to see the glory of God in his Book. A lot of times this is called expository preaching, and by expository, it means that the sermons are meant to explain. The sermons are not trying to say something you’ve never heard before. Expository preaching means that we are trying to explain, or expound, what the Bible says.

And we’ve done that first by going through the book of Acts, and we went through that pretty quickly, really a chapter at a time. Because it’s a story, and we’re able to understand it section by section. And then with the Old Testament series last fall, we went through the 12 Minor Prophets book by book. And we did that because the books are all trying to across the same message, and they’re each connected.

So we think that one of the ways we should explain the Bible is to be sensitive to genre of whatever book we’re in. And that’s why this Colossians series is going to be different from the others. Because Colossians isn’t a story or a poem or an apocalyptic prophecy. It’s a letter. And what Paul says, the message of the book, is expressed through arguments and logic that are tied together by detailed words and sentences and flows of thought. And so we want to give attention to those things, which means: these will be a more detailed sermons where we’re turning over every rock we think matters for us to understand what the passage means.

How I worked on this Colossians sermon has been different from others because I dug into the grammar how one word was connected to another word, and this sentence to that sentence, and all that. So this sermon series will be a little different from others because of our attentiveness to to little details in the text, and that’s because of its genre, and that’s because the kind of preaching we want to do is to explain the Bible.

And that’s because I can’t help any of you. We as pastors have nothing in ourselves that we can say or do that will have any good effect for you and your life. We need the Bible. So we as your pastors, as those preaching, are just beggars who are telling other beggars where to find bread.

And even I say that, something in me doesn’t like that. We don’t like the thought of being beggars. Of being hungry. So pray with me:

Prayer of Confession

Father, you tell us that man does live my bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from your mouth. And most of us have plenty of food. We’re not hungry in a physical way. But when it comes to our souls, we’re famished. We need your word. We need the bread of heaven. We need Jesus and his grace to fill us and strengthen us and energize us for what’s ahead. So we ask that you would do that. Father, we ask that you do that, and that you would forgive us for thinking that we don’t need your word. Forgive us for thinking that we have enough resources in ourselves to make it in this world. We don’t. We are desperate for you. Show us that now, please, as we confess our sins to you in silence...