As a young man growing up, even before I thought about preaching, I would always admire those preachers who were able to quote Scripture from memory, effortlessly.
But more impressive than the ability to simply quote Scripture is the weaving together of biblical theology, the ability to trace the doctrines of Scripture systematically. “The Doctor,” D.Martyn Lloyd-Jones, says it better:
We then go on to a study of theology. This again is obvious from what we have already been saying. It is not enough merely that a man should know the Scriptures, he must know the Scriptures in the sense that he has got out of them the essence of biblical theology and can grasp it in a systematic manner. He must be so well versed in this that all his preaching is controlled by it. (Preaching & Preachers, p. 117, emphasis added)
It is this “essence of biblical theology” that Jesus pointed out to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:27) and later to the Eleven (v. 44). This was also quite evident in the teaching and writing of the Apostle Paul (Acts 17:2-3) and his challenge to his protege Timothy (2 Tim. 2:15).
So I challenge fellow preachers to spend time in their study until they master biblical theology and are mastered by biblical theology.