Friday, October 18, 2013

Preparing a Biblical sermon - illustrations and putting the sermon together

2 Timothy 4:1-2 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

Introduction and review
Over the past couple of days I have been introducing the reader to a few tips and methods that can be used in preparing a sermon.  Even if you are not a preacher, the tools and tips being shared in this blog can still be used for studying God's Word and applying it to your own life.  In yesterday's post we considered a step-by-step method for extracting the meaning out of scripture so as to prepare a message for preaching or a lesson for teaching to an audience.  Today we will be considering some further thoughts about sermon illustrations, introductions, sermon construction and finally, a listing of helpful resources that can help all of us who desire to improve in our teaching and preaching of the Word. 

Some thoughts on sermon illustrations
Whenever anyone communicates God's word, it is important to cloth the truth in the garments of illustration. Preachers can fall into two ditches: either illustrations can be over used or under used.  The best sermon illustrations come from scripture itself.  Why? Because scripture is perfect. Who can forget how Samson's loss of strength due to his disobedience, and not knowing that the Spirit left Him? That episode in his life can be used to highlight what it is like when we as Christians get in the flesh.  Or how about the slaying of Goliath by David as illustrating God's power in keeping His promises and enabling His people to overcome insurmountable odds?  Certainly modern-day illustrations are appropriate for clothing Biblical truth.  Whenever you are using any illustration, ask yourself: "how does this illustration highlight God's character, salvation?" Secondly ask: "does this illustration fit within the context of the scripture from whence I am preaching?"

Some thoughts on sermon introductions
A.What scripture will you read before You preach?

B. How will you plan on starting your Sermon? A story that fits your message?

Interestingly enough, the introduction of the sermon is one of the last things you do before concluding your sermon preparation.  Why? Because in sermon preparation, you begin with where you intend to end - namely your conclusion.  Just as you plan a trip with the destination among the first parts of the planning, sermon preparation is no different.  

Some thoughts on putting together your sermon, typical time frames involved for each part and identifying the main parts of a Biblical sermon
For this part I will simply list the parts of a Biblical sermon with a range of suggested times for each one:

A. Selected Preaching Text:

B. Suggested time for each part of your sermon- 

-Introduction: (5-10 minutes) 
-Propositional statement or one sentence summary of your sermon: (1 minute) 

-Point 1: (5-10 minutes) 
-Point 2: (5-10 minutes) 
-Point 3? (5-10 minutes) 
-Point 4? (5-10 minutes) 
-Point 5? (5-10 minutes) 

-Conclusion: 1 minute or less.

Suggested resources for Biblical Preaching
1. John L. Benson. “A “System of Homiletics” 

2. Bryan Chapell. Christ Centered Preaching.

3. Charles Ryrie. Ryrie’s Practical Guide to Communicating Bible Doctrine.

4. Mark Dever, Greg Gilbert Preach – Theology Meets Practice.

5. Steven J. Lawson. Famine In the Land.

6. John MacArthur. Preaching-How to Preach Biblically

Today's blog and the past couple of posts have featured a suggested method for preparing Biblical sermons. My hope and prayer is that the readers of this post will find anything in these posts useful for expanding God's Kingdom work in both His church and in this world. Sometime in the near future we will look at another important aspect of Biblical preaching: namely the sermon's presentation.

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