I suppose it is obvious, but some preachers have lost sight of the obvious. When we preach, we should preach the Bible (for the alternatives offered by contemporary culture, sophisticated philosophy or personal insights will always fall short). Yet when we preach, our goal is not really to present the Bible itself. The Bible itself is not the end, it is not the goal, it is not the god. We preach the Bible not because of what it is in itself, but because it is God’s Word.
This distinction in no way undermines our view of the Bible. In fact, it should only strengthen it. What does God’s character and intimate involvement suggest about the quality of the revelation He has given? But we must not forget that it is just that – a revelation from and of Him.
Preaching that presents the Bible, but somehow loses God, really loses the Bible too. It is easy to turn the Bible into a set of historical data, stories with morals attached, illustrations for our own thought processes. But our goal is not to turn the Bible into anything. Our goal is to preach the Bible well, so that the giver of the revelation is presented. Biblical preaching is about presenting God himself.
Evaluate your next message before you preach it. Where does God fit in the message? Is He the main character? Is He the real hero of the story? Is the message pointing us to respond to Him?
It is easy to leave God as a background assumption as we preach a human level story with human level applications – be good, be better, be like so and so. May God never be a background assumption as we preach the self-offering and self-giving revelation He gave to us!