Some of the most difficult sections of the Bible to preach is the Old Testament law.
Today, some O.T. practices would be considered animal cruelty by some. How exactly do we preach O.T. texts that seem irrelevant to our daily living?
Should we sweep the book of Leviticus under the category of “Oh, it’s the Old Testament.”
Most Evangelicals would argue that all Scripture is worth preaching, but when was the last time you preached from those sections or heard a sermon from it?
Perhaps we shy away from these passages because of uncertainty of how to preach on them? Perhaps, preaching from the Gospels or Paul’s epistles is much easier to make relevant for today so we simply ignore the Torah?
Consider this sermon outline template to encourage you to dive into difficult sections of the bible.
The sermon structure or sermon outline template should be as follows: Then, Always, Now.
This point covers what the passage meant to the original audience. Why did God establish this law for Israel? Consider consulting a commentary after you thoroughly observed the text by reading the passage dozens of times and allow other biblical scholars to guide you in discovering the background information.
Once you discover the original intent of the law, we may ask ourselves, “What is the universal principle here?” What is it about blood, bulls, and goats?
Usually the text explains why. It can be for reconciliation, redemption, forgiveness, etc. Check the passage or chapter for clues that would provide more insight.
For instance, when dealing with animal sacrifices from the O.T., our universal principle may actually come from the book of Hebrews. See example below.
Here is where the universal answer is discovered. I think this is the hardest part for the outline. Once we discover it the rest of the points will be much easier to do.
This is our application. What does this have to do with me today? How does it apply to me? This is what our audience will be asking as they listen to us. Without this point the sermon will just be a history lesson with little value to our listeners.
Let me give you an example.
Text: Leviticus 1:1-5
I. Then: God Demanded Animal Sacrifices for Sins (Lev1:1-5)
II. Always: Without Sacrifice There is No Forgiveness of Sin (Hebrews 9:22)
III. Now: Trust Christ Who Became Your Sacrifice for Sin (Hebrew 10:12-14)
Question: How have you approached preaching Old Testament law? Leave a comment below.