Preaching through the New Testament in 7 months

A few years ago, I ran across this article on the Logos website. It is a testimonial from a pastor in Texas who described an intense project of preaching through the Bible in one year. I started talking about it with my wife and the more we discussed it the more interested I became.

Our church people have varied educational backgrounds. A couple have college and university degrees, but most have just finished high school (and a few haven’t). All but one have never had a Bible college education. Their overall understanding of the Scriptures is rudimentary at best.

The project intrigued me, so I downloaded the materials and began planning for adapting it for our own use.

Last fall and winter, we preached through the entire Old Testament, organized chronologically. I called it “9 Months of Wondering Through the Old Testament”. Every service was devoted to this project. Three on Sundays and every Wednesday night. We covered every book. Our messages were mostly “birds-eye” views, detail-oriented sermons simply couldn’t be done in order to keep up with the schedule. Using pastor Bolender’s study guide, we produced our own (some minor doctrinal differences, plus a different schedule).

This summer, I preached through Malachi (still not as detailed as I would like!)and also taught some lessons in our Adult Bible Study hour on the Intertestamental Period.

Today we start our next project, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, a seven month series through the New Testament. The series involves preaching Matthew/Mark/Luke using a Harmony of the Gospels, then Acts interspersed with James, Galatians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Romans in harmony with their time of writing, followed by Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, and 1 Timothy (Paul writing from prison). Next is Titus, 1 & 2 Peter, 2 Timothy, Hebrews, and Jude as the activities of the apostles and the church become constrained under the Neronian persecution. Finally we conclude with John, 1, 2, & 3 John, and Revelation, providing the capstone of God’s revelation to men, a reflective look back on the first century of Christianity by the last apostle, and a magnificent look forward to the final revelation of Jesus Christ at the end of the age.

We will again be devoting four sermons a week to this project, we will be covering approximately eight chapters every week. Our first study guide includes some extra introductory material but is 26 pages long! Hopefully the next one will be a little shorter.

Our Old Testament study will shortly be available by CD-ROM with an HTML index. I hope to provide the same for the New Testament when we are finished. We are also thinking about putting all the messages

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on a DVD with the written material. This will provide a resource for our people in the future. We aren’t going to go back and do this project again!

It has been a great blessing to our church to see the Old Testament unfold before our eyes, and I am sure the New Testament study will do the same, with greater understanding now that we have worked through the Old Testament.