From Text To Sermon A Guide To Sermon Preparation Part 3 of 6 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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From Text To Sermon A Guide To Sermon Preparation Part 3 of 6

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  1. From Text To Sermon A Guide To Sermon Preparation Part 3 of 6 Presentation 03

  2. Introduction: The Puritans often spoke of a ‘law-work’, a series of sermons designed to facilitate a conviction of sin. Only then would they proceed to minister the balm of God’s grace and forgiveness. Law without grace can lead to imbalanced preaching. A preacher from my home town claimed to have a demolition ministry! He left a trail of badly crushed men and women behind him. Law and grace should not be separated. Interestingly, a study of Luther’s sermons reveals this twofold structure; law and gospel. First, God’s demands upon man are set out, indicating man’s inability to keep them and secondly, God’s gracious provision in Christ for that failure is unpacked. In this way Christ is presented as the gracious Redeemer of the guilty. Presentation 01

  3. Contents: Study 1: Introduction: Approach To Scripture Approach To Culture Approach To The Hearer Study 2: Selecting The Passage Understanding The Passage Study 3: Determining The Thrust Of The Passage Formulating The Preaching Idea Study 4: Determining The Sermon’s Purpose How To Accomplish That Purpose Study 5: Outlining And Fleshing Out The Sermon Study 6: Application, Conclusion And Introduction Presentation 01

  4. What Is The Thrust Of The Passage? 1. A preliminary reading of the passage should provide an initial impression of what it is all about. As the details of the passage are then studied in greater depth this initial idea is either confirmed or modified. 2. Our grasp of what is happening in the passage can be determined as we try to state as concisely as possible what the biblical writer is talking about - in one sentence if possible. Presentation 03

  5. What Is The Thrust Of The Passage? It is important to be aware of the type of literature you are reading and its literary form; parables, poetry, proverbs, prayers, speeches, allegories, history, laws, covenants, biography, drama, apocalyptic etc. Try to familiarise yourself with the conventions that are unique to each literary form, e.g. the parallelism in Hebrew poetry; the indicative - imperative construction of Pauline epistles etc. Presentation 03

  6. What Is The Thrust Of The Passage? In narrative, a different variety of questions are asked : a. Who are the characters and why did the author include them? b. Do the characters contrast with one another? c. How do the characters develop as the story develops? d. What does the setting contribute to the story? e. What structure holds the story together? f. How do individual episodes fit into the total framework?’ E.g. the repeating pattern found in the book of Judges: see next slide Presentation 03

  7. Disobedience Chastisement Repentance Deliverance Key: Period of the Judges Note repeating patterns between the appearance of Judge-deliverers. Or think of the way in which the ‘I Am’ disclosures in John’s gospel are then balanced with an explanatory narrative.

  8. What Is The Thrust Of The Passage? In narrative, a different variety of questions are asked : What conflicts develop and how are they resolved? h. Why did the writer decide to tell the story? i. What ideas lie behind the story, implied or stated? Presentation 03

  9. Formulating The Preaching Idea ‘Why bother? God will equip me on the day!’ John Stott writes: 'There is no need for me to prepare before preaching', somebody argues; 'I shall rely on the Holy Spirit to give me the words. Jesus himself promised that it would be given us in that hour what we are to say.' Such talk sounds plausible, … Jesus was referring to the hour of persecution not of proclamation, and to the prisoner's dock in a law court, not the pulpit in a church. Trust Spirit is not intended to save us the bother of preparation. The Holy Spirit can give us utterance if we are suddenly called upon to speak there has been no opportunity to prepare. But he can also clarify and direct our thinking in our study. Indeed, experience suggests that he does a better job there than in the pulpit.’ Presentation 03

  10. Formulating The Preaching Idea As we study the text to discover its meaning we will become aware of those places, where in the course of preaching, we ought to become involved: the restatement of what the text is saying. the provision of some background explanation. engaging in some kind of apologetic. and in each case in the text’s application. Presentation 03

  11. Formulating The Preaching Idea Restatement. This is where we use other words than those found in the text to impress or clarify a truth. In Jer. 35-38 Jeremiah uses restatement to drive home his denunciation of the Babylonians. As a preaching tool restatement has limited uses. And if this is all we do then potential for boredom is extremely high. But note Spurgeon was converted during a sermon that was nothing but restatement! “Look to Jesus” “Those sitting upstairs Look to Jesus”….. Presentation 03

  12. Formulating The Preaching Idea b. Explanation. Anticipate your hearers asking, ‘What does he mean by that?’ e.g. Today people would be bewildered by Paul’s comments to the Corinthians [1Cor.8] about eating meat offered to idols. Passages such as this will be misunderstood and misapplied unless the listener understands the historical and cultural background in which it is set. Even an awareness of the configuration of temple to butchers stalls throws light on the ethical dilemma facing some Christians in Corinth. Presentation 03

  13. Formulating The Preaching Idea b. Explanation. One of the major aims of preaching is to attain intelligibility. Did you know that the emperor Napoleon had three commands for his Messengers? Commands which equally apply to every communicator; ‘Be clear! Be clear! Be clear!’ Theological jargon and abstract thought can prevent the preacher from communicating effectively. One student’s sermon began, “Today we gather to consider in christological terms the bi-polarity of the hypostatic union”. Presentation 03

  14. Formulating The Preaching Idea Apologetic. We daren’t assume that our hearers will inevitably accept that something is true just because it’s in the Bible. Heart and mind acceptance is not produced by citing proof texts. It may also require reasoning, validation and illustration. The apostles created an environment for acceptance. In his Pentecost sermon Peter not only cited O.T. prophets but reasoned from recent experience that God had made Jesus both ‘Lord and Christ’.Jesus’ miracles, the crucifixion, the resurrection, the phenomena of Pentecost were all verifiable events which gave weight to Peter’s argument. Presentation 03

  15. Formulating The Preaching Idea c. Apologetic. When Paul presented the gospel in a synagogue situation we read that he reasoned with them [from scripture] Acts17v2,18v4 . On the Areopagusin Athens Paul used a quite different apologetic. He discussed the implications of natural theology and cited Greek poets! CfActs 17v17ff During his prolonged stay in Ephesus when he conducted his evangelistic ministry in the hall of Tyrannus we read that Paul ‘had discussions’ [Acts 18v9] with his hearers! Presentation 03

  16. Formulating The Preaching Idea d. Application. In order to apply a passage accurately, we must be clear about the situation into which the revelation was originally given and then decide what a modern man or woman shares, or does not share, with the original hearers. The closer the relationship between modern man and biblical man, the more, direct the application. Presentation 03

  17. Formulating The Preaching Idea d. Application. E.g. James writes to Jewish Christians scattered across the ancient world, “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does, not bring about the righteous life that God desires” Jas. 1v19-20. Here the application is clear for Christians of every age. Presentation 03

  18. Formulating The Preaching Idea d. Application. When the correspondence between the C20th and the biblical passage is less direct then, helpful application is more demanding. The expositor then asks not only what modern men and women have in common with those who received the original revelation but also what differences lie between them. Presentation 03

  19. Formulating The Preaching Idea d. Application. E.g. Paul's exhortations to slaves clearly had a direct application to Christian slaves in the C1st and throughout history. Have such passages anything to say to those living in parts of the world where ‘slavery’ does not exist? Of course they do! For today, many of the principles dealing with master-slave relations can also govern employer-employee relations. However, to ignore the fact that modern employees are not slaves would lead to gross misapplication of these passages.. Presentation 03

  20. Formulating The Preaching Idea When the expositor reads the text of scripture he attempts to enter the world of the writer and to grasp spiritual reality from their perspective. Too often, preachers read texts in order to confirm what they already believe. The text of scripture can be treated as a mirror that reflects only what we expect to see- this explains why some can read their Bibles throughout the course of their ministry and not have one opinion that changes. They have not allowed the text of scripture to shape their thinking it is simply a storeroom where they rummage to find their own opinions. This is what C. S. Lewis describes as ‘using’ the text rather than ‘receiving’ it. Presentation 03

  21. Conclusion The rush to construct a sermon and to find something in the text that resonates with a view or an opinion that we hold often reflects a heart that has cooled towards God. John Stott writes; “There is no greater need for the preacher than that he should know God. I care not about his lack of eloquence and artistry, about his ill-constructed discourse or his poorly-enunciated message, if only it is evident that God is a reality to him and that he has learned to abide in Christ. The preparation of the heart is of far greater importance than the preparation of the sermon. The preacher's words, however clear and forceful, will not ring true unless he speaks from conviction born of experience”. Presentation 03

  22. Conclusion This cannot be over emphasised; if God is not more precious to us than the carefully crafted sermon then we are wasting our time. Where the heart is right God will work even through our stumbling words. Have you read David Brainard, the missionary to the North American Indians. He records in his journal that he often preached by reading his manuscript by candlelight, while having his sermon translated by an inebriated interpreter! Brainard had a heart for God and it showed, and he was a conduit that God used to the blessing of many Indians. Presentation 03