Thursday, October 17, 2013

Preparing a Biblical Sermon - A method for studying the Bible

Ezra 8:2- "Then Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month."

In yesterday's post we began considering some opening thoughts on preaching and the key ideas involved when beginning to think about what makes up a good, Biblical sermon. In today's post we will begin considering the sermon's preparation.

The main point of sermon preparation 
So what is the main point of sermon preparation? To put together sermons that can meaningfully link words from the scripture through the preacher to the audience for the glory of Christ.

A suggested step-by-step method in preparing a Biblical sermon
As I had mentioned yesterday, by God's grace I will be presenting a session at an annual Baptist association conference on this subject of sermon preparation, presentation and invitation. In that session we will be looking at a suggested step-by-step method of preparing a Biblical sermon. Each preacher is different and I am sure (and know) there are better methods out there than what I am presenting here. Nevertheless it's good to start somewhere. So what steps does one go through in preparing a sermon?

1. Key Words, ideas
Underline or circle the repeating words, ideas of phrases in whatever Biblical text you are preaching.  I always suggest starting with a well known chapter like John 3 or 1 Corinthians 15, since those chapters represent the heart of scripture's main work: the salvation of sinners by Jesus Christ. Perhaps if not a chapter, start with a portion of a chapter or even one verse, such as Romans 11:36 or John 3:16. 

2. Transition words
Whenever you see the following words in the Biblical text, circle or underline them, since they signify certain meanings, transitions and emphases in the text:
A. “so that”, “in order that” = purpose

B. “because”, for this reason”, since”, “for” = cause of something

C. “if” and “then” = condition, something expected of someone in order for promise or blessing to be fulfilled

D. “let” or “must” = command or imperative

E. “before” or “while” or “when” or “after” or
“as” = time emphasis in the writer’s mind

F. “but” or “rather” or “however” or 
“nevertheless” = contrast with what was just said 

G. “now” = explanation

H. “really”, “certainly” “even”, “indeed” = Emphasis

3. Six questions
Whenever you have noted the key words and key transitional words, the next thing to do is to ask the Biblical text the following questions:

A. Who wrote it? Who is the Audience? Believer, unbeliever, or both?

B. Why was it written?

C. What promise is there to claim, command to keep, sin to avoid, blessing to claim, Christ to see?

D. When was it written?

E. Where was it written?

F. How do I apply it? How will this e
nable me to see more of Christ?

4. The Context of the passage
Note: These are levels of context follow when finding meaning of a given scripture

A.What is the verse saying?
B.What is paragraph or surrounding verses saying? 

C. What is chapter saying? 
D. What are surrounding chapters saying? 
E. What is section of the Bible book saying? 
F. What is the whole Bible book saying? 
G. What is the section of the Bible saying? 
H. What does whole Bible say on the subject? 

5. Cross references

The greatest tool I can think of in studying the scripture is comparing other portions of scripture that speak on that same subject.  That practice is what we call cross referencing. 

Having considered a basic method for approaching a given text of scripture and extracting the meaning, we can then begin to consider some tips for using illustrations to help the listener connect to the truth that is being proclaimed from God's word.  

More tomorrow.......... 

No comments:

Post a Comment