There are 66 books in the Bible, but I overwhelmingly stick to four. I don’t think anyone would disapprove about skirting around the layout of the tabernacle in Leviticus or Obadiah laying into the Edomites. But what about Romans? There’s some deep stuff in there. What about Genesis and its incredible stories? What about Revelation? No one really understands it but it’s always fun to read.
I believe the entire Bible is inspired by God and given to teach us about Him and about life. But the reason I preach the vast majority of my sermons from the gospels is simple: I’m trying to get people to fall in love with a person, not a book. As great as the Bible is, the Bible is not the center of my faith. Jesus is. As profitable as Bible knowledge is, love for Jesus is infinitely more important. (If you have knowledge of the Scriptures but no love for Jesus, the biblical definition for that is a Pharisee). As much time as Christians spend arguing over theology and right beliefs, the seminal command given by Jesus in John 13:34-35 wasn’t to have right theology but to love one another.
Now I see incredible value in the rest of Scripture. I have significant portions of the New Testament outside of the Gospels memorized. But as the Apostle Paul so eloquently put it, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1). If Christians today tend to lean to one extreme, it would be the extreme that replaces love for God and love for others with more and more Bible knowledge. We want to explore the deep truths of Scripture, we want to go deep, all the while leaving a lost and dying world in its precarious state.
American Christians have a dangerous temptation to fall more in love with a book than a person. That’s why I preach a majority of my messages from the Gospels. If you don’t think Jesus is deep, I’ll let you take that up with him. He’s deep. He’s challenging. He calls you to follow him. He calls you to action, not just knowledge. I’m trying to get people to fall in love with a person, not a book.