Much preaching today does not attempt to relate the Old Testament to Jesus but to their narcissistic audience: Get rid of the frogs in your life, purge yourself of poverty, find your purpose, live your dream, reach your po-tential. What they don’t do is expository preaching, that is, preach the Bible, verse by verse and connect it to Jesus. We should, writes Sinclair Ferguson, “develop an instinctive mindset and, corresponding to that, such a passion for Jesus Christ himself, that we will find our way to him in a natural and realistic way rather than a merely formulaic way. This is a much bigger issue than how we preach Christ from the Old Testament, for at least two reasons. First, because (if my own assessment is correct) many sermons from the Gospels – where the focus is explicitly on the person of Jesus – never mind from the Old Testament are far from Christ-centred. How is this possible? The preacher has looked into the text principally to find himself and his congregation, not to find Christ.The sermon is consequently about ‘people in the Gospels’ rather than about Jesus Christ who is the gospel.The real question the preacher has been interested in asking and answering, is not ‘How do we find Christ in this Gospel?’ but “Where am I in this story?” (PREACHING CHRIST FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT Sinclair B Ferguson).
A Christian is called. To do what? “Follow me.” And the crucial part of this calling by Jesus is getting nailed – as Paris Reidhead once said – to the back of the cross; the “purpose-driven” crowd’s worst nightmare.