Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
December 14, 2014 at 10:45 AM
Bridging The Gap
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday December 14, 2014
Bridging The Gap
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Mal. 4:5 ) “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” ( Matt. 3:1-2 )
Today is the third Sunday in Advent of 2014. This period 
of four Sundays before the birth of Christ commemorates the 
end of the Silent Years, the fulfillment of Malachi’s 
prophesy, and the forthcoming birth of Jesus Christ who 
embodied the First Advent. 
The Silent Years is a designation for the 400 years 
interval between the end of the Old Testament and the 
start of the New Testament. In terms of symbolism, these 
two Testaments were separated by a gap, or time interval. 
Each one had its origin, nature and function, yet both of 
them were separated by Four Centuries. The period between 
them can be labeled as a gap. Since human life can be 
studied as multi experiences that include: worry or 
happiness, loneliness or contentment, fear or courage, 
unemployed of employed, loss of family member or family in 
tact, our sermon today has been prepared around the 
subject - Bridging the Gap. It will include the following three 
parameters, namely: meaning of the word gap, bridging the 
gap between the Old and New Testaments, and bridging the 
gaps in our life. 
To properly anchor the sermon, attention will be 
place on the word gap. It is a term used to denote a 
space between to points or locations. It has many shades 
of definitions, some of which are: a break in structure that 
connects areas, the severance in a pathway that make 
impossible human movement from one location to 
another, an opening within a pathway that provides 
movement from one location to another, and an impasse 
over a river or larger body of water. In a slightly different 
contact, the word gap has social psychological implications 
that include a discrepancy between moral and immoral 
behaviors, professed humanitarianism and egoistic 
proclivities, and promise and fulfillment. 
A lingering memory of a physical gap in Albany, 
Georgia following two major floods less than five years 
apart. One of the disastrous consequences was a decision 
by the Corps of Engineers was a call to demolish the Broad 
Avenue Bridge; it was done thereby creating a gap over 
the Flint River. Fortunately, the city has a second bridge, 
one block over, that is heavily traveled. So the gap over the 
Flint River has not curtailed all travel across the river. This 
fact leads to the second type of gap - i.e., Biblical included 
in the sermon entitled Bridging the Gap. The one of 
reference is that of the 400 Years between the Old 
Testament and the New Testaments. That period of silence 
was a manifestation of God’s disenchantment with the 
chosen people. They had been recipients of innumerable 
blessings, some of which included: touching the heart of 
God regarding their bondage in Egypt as they suffered 
under the toils of sadistic task makers, they had been 
sent one of their own, Moses, who call it was to lead 
them out of Egyptian slavery, they had received the 
decalogues while at Mount Sinai, they had successfully 
crossed the Red Sea and watched Pharaoh’s army be 
drowned, and they had crossed Jordan and entered the 
Promised. Sadly, they soon commenced a pattern of 
neglect, violations of the Decalogues, intermarriage with 
Canaanite women, disregarding prophetic warning, and 
numerous other types of behaviors non consistent with 
the expectations of the Chosen People. God, through a 
series of prophetic warnings spoke to His devious 
people through Malachi who warned them of the impending 
period labeled as The Silent Years, but his prophesy also 
referenced an end with the coming of Elijah as recorded 
by Malachi; that message would be the last time God 
would speak to His People until 400 hundred years later. 
Thus, Malachi writing was the beginning of the Gap 
between the Old and News Testaments. The end of the 
Gap was marked by the beginning of the New Testament 
in which the John the Baptist, a forerunner of Jesus Christ, 
appeared preaching the wilderness saying “Repent ye: for 
the kingdom of God is at hand” ( Matt. 3:1-2 ). The word 
of John’s preaching repentance “ went out to Jerusalem, 
and all Judea, and all the regions about Jordan.( Matt. 3:5 ). 
John was criticized by the Pharisees and Sadducees while 
claiming themselves to be children of Abraham. He called 
them a generation of vipers and told them that there was 
one coming after him who would baptize them with the 
Holy Ghost. That act soon followed and, Jesus, at the same 
time bridged the spiritual gap between the Old and New 
Testaments. To firmly etch that fact into human history 
and concurrently open the pathway ( or bridge ) for anyone 
desiring salvation, it was necessary for Jesus to die on the 
cross at Calvary. Hence the only gap now is in the 
human choice because Jesus said, “I am the way, the 
truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but 
by me.” ( Jo.14:6 ). This glorious fact leads to the third, 
and, final concern of this sermon - bridging gaps in our 
It is herein acknowledged that the human existence is 
often filled with gaps. The somber question today becomes 
are there gaps in your life? Although they may be numerous, 
elusive, erratic, undetected, denied, one must never forget 
that God gave Jesus to make human redemption possible, 
and the Holy Spirit as Paraclete, or helper. Hence, 
humankind should take comfort in the words, “Be not 
dismayed whatever you do, God will take care of your...” 
With this Divine assurance, attention will be directed 
to some widespread gaps within the human sojourn and 
see What the Bible Teaches about the Gap! 
It is herein submitted that an array of gaps exist in 
the live of many persons. A few of the areas are herein 
identified and, hopefully, you our readers and/or hearers 
will assess your experiences and, where ever needed, 
embrace the biblical teaching on the gap. Might the 
gap be in the area of family life that include stresses 
and strains? If so, the Bible already contains teachings 
on bridging the gap. It calls on children to obey their 
parents, husband to love his wife, and lastly a bit 
problematic, wife to obey her husband. 
Might your gap in the neighborhood? Could it entail 
neighbors who are inquisitive, excessively loud, keep 
visitors until early in the morning, or on the other hand, 
might they seem more prosperous than you? In either 
setting, the biblical approach to bridging the gap is to 
love thy neighborhood as thyself. 
An area in which gap is increasing and becoming 
more widespread is that of the workplace. As the economy 
acquires a more frugal stance, many employees are 
becoming disenchanted and even hostile toward the 
decision makers. Again, there is a biblical response 
regarding those so called ‘head hunters’ - it states that 
humankind should honor those in authority and, this 
preacher adds, allow God to take care of you. 
The Worship Center is another area in which a gap 
prevails. It is seen within a membership where strife, 
jealously, and exclusions are evident. The Bible teaches 
that out of one blood all nations of the earth did He 
make and, also, God is no respecter of person. Hence, 
that gap can be bridged over by remembers whose worship 
is to magnify the Holy God and not to evaluate one’s self 
in terms of another worshiper. 
There are many other areas of gap, some of which are 
economic status, material possession, physical health, 
and Christian behavior. In the interest of time, just a few 
comments will be made on Christian Behavior. It is possible 
for one to be a Christian and yet have a gap in action. Such 
was the case with the Apostle Saint Paul. This sermon will 
close with taking a brief look at Saint Paul’s personal 
testimony of his spiritual gap. It is found in Romans 15:7-25. 
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