Let me tell you why it’s wise to teach the whole Bible (or “the whole counsel of God” as some like to say).
When the Holy Spirit is involved, he knows exactly what every person there needs to hear. The Spirit guides the preacher who wants to be a vessel for his work. He takes seemingly less relevant passages and applies them directly to those who need to hear them.
Case in point: We’re going through the Sermon on the Mount this summer at Calvary. I preached on Jesus’ instructions on fasting from Matthew 6:16-18. Now I don’t know about you, but a sermon on fasting on a holiday weekend seemed like a bit of a mismatch.
But as I received feedback after the service, I heard from two people I know the Holy Spirit had been working on:
1) I talked a good bit about the motivation for fasting–not the legalistic earning of God’s acceptance, but the expression of grace. A young woman, born in the Middle East and raised Muslim, who recently has become a Christian. She is still working through what it means to practice her newfound faith, and how it compares/contrasts to her old one. It’s currently Ramadan, the season of fasting for Muslims. This woman shared excitedly with me how learning what fasting is really for (and how it’s about grace) was extremely helpful to her.
2) I talked about fighting desire with a greater, more worthy desires. A young man, battling drug addiction, shared that he realized he had been trying too hard to fight his addiction in his own strength. What he realized he needed to do was cultivate his appetite for knowing God more.
The Holy Spirit is far wiser than I–I love when he takes what we do and does far more than we could ask or imagine with it.
If you want, you can take a listen to the sermon here.