Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Expounding Christ in through the Structure of Redemptive History Part Two

By Edmund Clowney

In this lecture we will look at the structure of a sermon preached by Edmund called
The Life of Joseph: From Pit to Palace the Lord’s Blessing through Testing based on Genesis 37.

1) God’s blessing on Joseph, the Lord was with Him
Through the favour of the Father
Through the dreams speaking of his future that God gave him
God’s constant presence was with Joseph. This resulted in his success
He was faithful in the service of all people. He was faithful to Potiphor’s officer. He was faithful to Pharaoh.
Joseph gained favour in the eyes of Potiphor. Potiphor gave him authority over his state. God blessed Potiphor because Joseph was there. Wherever Joseph went blessing went.
Potiphor’s wife took a liking to Joseph- this led to Joseph’s imprisonment. The officer in charge of the prison began to like Joseph. Joseph was given power to run the prison. Joseph interprets dreams successfully in the prison.

There was constant success in everything he did.

2) Everything Joseph did well led to more testing.
He tells his dreams to his brothers and they start to hate him. They plan to kill their own brothers. Judah wants to sell him to the Midianites.
Potiphor’s wife wants to sleep with Joseph. Joseph refuses, she screams and Joseph gets imprisoned.
Joseph is betrayed in prison when the butler forgets about him for two years.

Troubles come as Joseph continues in faithfulness. Every betrayal was necessary for God’s blessing.

3) Everything Joseph did worked for ultimate God
How did Joseph get from pit to palace? Through trials. God blest the nations through Joseph’s trials. Egypt is blest by Joseph. Joseph’s family are blest primarily by the revealing of their own sin. They were brought to repentance through Joshua’s trials. God meant in all for God (Gen 50:20).

4) How does all this relate to Christ?
Christ fulfils this story by purchasing redemption through trials and sufferings.
Jesus succeeds constantly because God is constantly blessing and helping Him.
Jesus Christ was constantly tested in His ministry when betrayed by the people of Israel, Pilate and Judas.
The triumph of the cross looked like weakness and at the same time was a sign of ultimate success over all our enemies.

5) How does all this relate to us?
The story of Joseph shows us that we can’t be shortsighted in our sufferings. Our union with Christ changes the emphasis of our sufferings. Our trials are part of what God is doing in the good of His Kingdom. Sufferings work for our good and the good of the Kingdom. Christ gave His life so that the success of the plan of God might be worked out in our lives.


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