We are called to preach the whole range of the Word of God. This was the apostle Paul’s ambition. He recognized that his ‘divine stewardship’ was ‘to make the word of God fully known’, that is, to preach it fully and completely. Indeed, he could claim, in the presence of the Ephesian elders: ‘I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.’ How few preachers could advance the same claim! Most of us ride a few of our favourite hobby-horses to death. We pick and choose from the Scriptures, selecting doctrines we like and passing over those we dislike or find difficult. In this way we are guilty of withholding from the household some of the provision which the divine Householder in His wise bounty has supplied for them. . . .
The household of God urgently needs faithful stewards who will dispense to it systematically the whole Word of God, not the New Testament only but the Old as well, not the best-known texts only, but also the less-known, not just the passages which favour the preacher’s particular prejudices, but those which do not! . . . Only such faithful exposition of the whole Word of God will deliver us and our congregations from little whims and fancies (whether ours or theirs), and from a more serious fanaticism and extravagance. Only so too shall we teach them to discern between what has been clearly revealed and what has not. . . . The Church needs an instructed laity . . . who are growing in their knowledge of God and of His Word, and who are thereby able to resist the subtle encroachment of modern cults. Nothing can bring about this happy state of affairs but the solid, systematic, didactic preaching of the whole Word of God.
John Stott, The Preacher’s Portrait, IVP 1961, p. 21-23.