Preaching From The Prophets – Kerry Clark

Preaching From The Prophets – Kerry Clark

Gospel preachers need to stand boldly as the apostles did and preach from the prophets. As more preachers are moving away from the simple preaching of God’s Truth and being turned to fables (2 Tim. 4:4); the preaching we draw from the prophets is both humbling and empowering. But the question we are considering is how does one preach from the prophets?

We need to look no further than the preaching recorded in the book of Acts to find the answer to our question. Acts Chapter Two is a text-book example of how the apostles preached. Notice from verse 14, “But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them….” Peter then quotes from Joel, David (Psalm 16), Samuel
(2 Samuel 7), and David again (Psalm 110). In fact, it is difficult to determine exactly how many times Peter is quoting from the prophets in these verses, but rest assured, the apostles used the method we call “proof-texting.”

In Chapter Three, Peter reminds them “But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled” (verse 18). In Chapter Four, Peter quotes from Psalm 118:22-23. Acts Chapter Seven is an inspired history of Israel based on the writings of Moses and Solomon. Stephen ties many Old Testament verses together to give us the entire history of Israel in a matter of a few words.

The apostle Paul in Romans 3:10-18 quotes from so many different prophets in the Old Testament that it is difficult to list all his references.

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Another notable example of preaching from the prophets is found in the book of Hebrews. The first two chapters are filled with quotes from the Old Testament prophets. The writer begins with this statement,

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they (Heb. 1:1-4).

The entire book of Hebrews relies on making application of the Old Testament to the New Testament.

The book of Revelation contains four hundred and four verses of Scripture. At least two hundred and seventy-eight are references to the Old Testament.

So, we come by to the original question, how does one preach from the prophets today? This question has hopefully been answered. You look at the original context of what the prophet was teaching, you compare it to the fulfillment in the New Testament; then you make the application for our lives today. The prophets are deep, rich, breathtaking texts filled with meaning and application for us. Read the prophets, believe the prophets, and preach from a well which will never run dry!