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Preaching the "Profitless" Passages

Why I preach the whole Bible, especially the hard parts.


I wonder what Jesus thinks about how little his servants preach the Bible he used. Jesus preached and taught from the Old Testament, so why don't we?

We claim to believe in the inspiration of Scripture. We frequently quote 2 Timothy 3:16 to support that view. But ironically, we pay little attention to the rest of that verse which teaches the profitability of all Scripture. Simply put, all of the Word of God has a reason to be there. A sovereign and omniscient Holy Spirit included it for all believers of all cultures and all epochs. Whatever cultural differences or span of time might separate contemporary readers from the text, the promise of the Word is that we can discover something timeless and true in every passage of the Bible. We need not be embarrassed by any part of it.

"Profitless" passages?

When I became a preaching professor 16 years ago, I put 2 Timothy 3:16 to the test and forced students to search for the "profit" in passages they might typically avoid. In the course ...

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Displaying 1–2 of 2 comments

John Romanosky

October 21, 2013  9:31am

My preaching pattern is to alternate between the OT books and NT books. I do expository preaching which means everything in the book is covered. I tell the people I would naturally avoid certain topics but if it is in the text, then we must face it. Two of the hardest OT books were Judges and Ecclesiastes for a variety of reasons. Yet, the Scripture is there and the challenge is to open it up for all to see and learn from example, whether a good or bad one.

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Steven Gunter

October 14, 2013  2:48pm

Very encouraging and thought provoking article. While I am not a full time preaching pastor, the thought of some of the subjects makes me cringe. However, seeing the beauty of redemption would really make these tough texts come alive. I would honestly love to hear or read some more of the sermons associated with these texts. Grateful for the link to the sermon provided

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