compiled by Dr. John Williams & Dr. C. Raj Kumar

 An IICM Publication, 2006
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WBC 610


1. Introduction

2. What is Homiletics?

3. Expository Preaching in the Postmodern world

4. Preaching Christ Alone

5. Preaching Christ in all of Scripture

6. Preparing for the pulpit

7. Delivery of Sermons

8. Conclusion


Homiletics simply means the Art of Preaching.  The purpose of this book is to help and train those who are desirous of preaching the word of God, even though they may not be interested in serving God on a full time basis as a Pastor or an Evangelist.  We have to bear in mind that when we preach to a group of people, a subject or a portion of the Bible, the listeners should benefit in one of the following ways:

·        By knowing some truths in the Bible, that will have some practical value in their lives

·        By knowing their rights and privileges as the Children of God

·        By knowing the promises of God which we can appropriate by meeting some conditions

·        By knowing the mysteries of the Kingdom of God

·        By getting Spiritual Enlightenment which simply means knowing more about God and truths

·        By getting some Revelation Knowledge from a text in the Bible which may be familiar to us

·        By learning about some conditions that we have to meet to appropriate the promises of God

·        By knowing about three kinds of truths which are recorded in the Bible, namely the Prophetic Truths, the Historical Truths and the Spiritual Truths (which are the Laws of God that tells us the cause and effect of every issue related to our life)

·        By discovering God’s Will for our lives in general and knowing God’s specific Wills in our lives in a particular situation.

 The purpose of preaching should not be:

·        To become popular

·        To impress the audience

·        To display one’s talents

·        To keep the audience spell bound or as captive audience

·        To demonstrate the knowledge of the Bible

·        To entertain the audience through stories and jokes

 Any message given by a preacher to a group of people should meet the following conditions:

1. To communicate a Spiritual Truth, a mystery of the Kingdom of God or a secret of God

2. To edify, admonish or to exhort the audience to refrain from indulging in activities, which are not in line with the word of God

3. To share a promise of God which will be the answer to the problems of the people and to state the conditions that we have to meet to appropriate that promise

4. Not to be descriptive only in sharing the Word of God but to be prescriptive by giving a practical solution to the people for at various points of needs.

5. To encourage and motivate the people to be in a state of Joy and anticipation to receive answers for their needs.

6. To challenge the listeners to make some decisions that will make a difference in the Spiritual life which in turn will make the difference in other areas of their life.

7. To help find the answers for the questions people have in general in their lives

8. To get a clear understanding of the Word of God that is shared through a message

9. To get a general idea about the content of the Bible and to convince of the fact that every word written in the Bible is true and also it has some special significance and relevance to their lives.

10.To know and understand God better and to establish a personal relationship with him.




What Is Homiletics?

Homiletics is the art of preaching a topic from the word of God. It is the ability to communicate the teachings of Scripture in a way that the listener can understand. The development of types of sermon may differ from one another, i.e. expository, topical, devotional, and textual, they may include illustrations from life or fiction, but they should be clearly presented so that others may follow the importance of the subject introduced. The Scripture text at all times must be central (not forgotten) as it is clearly defined, explained and discussed.

The preacher’s ability to prepare a sermon has an important aim in view. It is not to astound others with rhetoric but to stimulate faith and guide others towards a deeper knowledge of God. His first concern is to present the message of salvation to the lost, and then to offer instruction for godly living to those who are followers of Christ. A preacher should be well prepared to combine both of these into any sermon he gives. Such an ability must be the anointing of God (His call on the preacher’s life), but it grows with a constant walk with God and daily study of His word.

Within homiletics there includes the need to speak clearly, effectively, and genuinely. Therefore as a craftsman knows his tools, so too should an ambassador of Christ know how to use the Bible to prepare a message, use his voice, emotions, and other talents for the glory of God. In whatever age the preacher lives, or to whatever people he ministers to, he needs to be relevant. In a real sense it is the pastor who has been given the opportunity to be relevant since he should be aware of the needs and concerns of his own church.

The development of a Scripture text into a sermon is like putting flesh on bones. A sermon being a ‘word building’ that grows out of a plan (blueprint) into a quality product. This ‘flesh’ means that Scripture must be added to Scripture, personal insight and illustration, and revelation must be brought together as the sermon is molded. Therefore is it vital that the preacher know his subject, otherwise he will other his congregation rambling thoughts that produce no real fruit. He must have an understanding of all the foundational teachings and doctrines of the Christian faith through his own personal study of the Scriptures.

The sermon may be seen as putting across an argument containing an introduction (foundation), the topic to be discussed (the building), and a conclusion (roof). If the materials used are both Scriptural and godly then the outcome will be a solid structure. This means that the sermon must have unity and order, that is, it must be presented in a logical and understandable manner.

Unlike a speech or a public address, which is usually for the entertainment of an audience, the sermon is the proclamation of God’s eternal word. The preacher has nothing worthwhile to say if he does not minister from the Holy Scriptures. Such a proclamation may take the form of evangelistic preaching, a devotional, encouragement or theological teaching, but it must always be firmly established and built upon the Bible.

 Meaning and Definition:

homiletics : the art of preaching. This is usually taught in a seminary, to the future ordained ministers of the church. The usual result is that the student who comes in with little ability to preach is able to become passable in speaking about gospel truths to a large group of people, in the form of a sermon or homily.

The core of preaching is to draw those truths from Scripture and share them with the people at hand. While that purpose is a good one, it is not achieved just by presentation, but by living out a life of faith in Christ in front of those same people, and everyone else, once the sermon is over. And it all adds up to nothing if the Holy Spirit does not empower it in those who hear it. The Spirit's work in a preacher, in turn, does not usually take effect outside of much prayer and learning the Bible, and outside of a real love for those to whom the preacher speaks.

There are also other ways of presenting the gospel truths and their meaning in today's world. Many people do not respond well at all to listening to someone speaking to them for 15 to 30 minutes on some matter. It's a problem for schools, training seminars, and public meetings, not just church.


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Single Topical Sermons
121 sermon outlines on miscellaneous Bible topics

These outlines were developed in the course of my ministry as a preacher of the gospel. Feel free to use them as they are, or adapt them to suit your own personal style. To God be the glory!

They are also available in a .PDF file (887K), suitable for printing. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Mark A. Copeland


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Textual Sermon Series

505 textual sermon outlines categorized according to the books of the Bible

Numbers above in parenthesis ( ) indicate total outlines in each study.

An asterisk * indicates the study is also available in .PDF format, suitable for printing.
You will need the free
Adobe Acrobat Reader.

These outlines were developed in the course of my ministry as a preacher of the gospel. Feel free to use them as they are, or adapt them to suit your own personal style. To God be the glory!

Mark A. Copeland


Expository Preaching in a Postmodern World
John F. MacArthur, Jr.
Copyright 2002 Grace Community Church. All rights reserved.

A doctoral student recently interviewed John MacArthur for a dissertation about preaching in a postmodern world. The following is a transcript of that interview.

Over the course of your ministry, why have you remained committed to expository preaching over other preaching paradigms?

Well first, because it is a biblical mandate. It doesn’t fluctuate with culture, with expectations, with times or seasons. Expository preaching is the best way to preach the Bible. If every word of God is pure, if every word of God is true, then every word needs to be dealt with. And expository preaching is only way you actually come to grips with every word in the Scriptures.

Secondly, expository preaching familiarizes people with the Scripture itself instead of simply giving them a speech, as true and as reflective of biblical teaching as that speech may be. With expository preaching, people become familiar with the Scripture. They can go back to the passages that have been addressed, and they can be reminded by the text itself of what it means. So you give people the Word of God in a way that has long-term impact, because it makes them familiar with Scripture.

Thirdly, it makes the authority unequivocal, and that authority is the Scripture. That’s very clear no matter how powerful or gifted the preacher might be. In consistent, expository preaching, the people always know what the authority is. It’s not about homiletics. It’s not about personal viewpoints and insights. It’s about relentlessly affirming the true authority of Scripture, which is the most critical thing that anybody can ever learn. It isn’t about, “Wasn’t that a great sermon?” It isn’t about, “Wasn’t that a great outline? Wasn’t that clever?” It’s always about, “What did the Word of God say?” And that makes it truly authoritative, because the Word is from God. No other preaching paradigm does this.

What are the unique challenges or difficulties of preaching to a postmodern culture?

First of all, you have to understand that when you talk about a postmodern culture, that’s an academic assessment of the culture. The average Joe doesn’t have any idea what that means. All he knows is he’s pretty much free to think and do whatever he wants. That’s how postmodernism filters down to the guy in the pew. It’s not a philosophy—it’s a lifestyle. The average guy just knows that the culture doesn’t care what he does. The movies he sees don’t make a moral judgment on anything except racism or somebody’s intolerance. So he’s free to do whatever he wants in the society, and nobody can tell him what to be or what to do, and the bottom line is that he should feel good about himself. That’s what filters down.

But all this goes completely against the grain of his conscience and his reason, and ultimately what he knows to be true. The unbeliever’s conscience is a reality, and even reason tells him that there have to be some absolutes.

The bottom line is that expository preaching confronts the amorality of postmodernism with an authoritative message of absolute truth. It’s not a question of debating. It’s not a question of trying to find some way to sneak that in. It’s an issue of confronting this kind of thinking with the absolute authority of Scripture and then letting the Spirit of God make the application to the heart.

What are the advantages of expository preaching in a postmodern culture?

Expository preaching is the only thing that is going to change anything. There isn’t any other way to affect people positively aside from hitting them with that kind of authority. In my own preaching, my objective is not to court the postmodern mind. My objective is to confront it—to hit it stone cold in the face with truth. It’s irrelevant to me how the person thinks. It’s only relevant to me how they need to think. So I’m not going to play around with their sensitivities to postmodernism.

At a recent Bible conference, I spoke on the exclusivity of the gospel, and I set forth the distinctiveness of Christianity. And afterward some guys who were seminary students and philosophy majors came up to me and said, “What’s really interesting about your message is that you gave us a philosophy of thinking, a worldview. But we’ve never heard anyone give that kind of worldview without a very intricate philosophical defense.” And I said I didn’t need to give an intricate philosophical defense, because this is exactly what Scripture says, and there is no need to defend it. You just proclaim it. See these guys were struck by the fact that what they heard was an absolute authoritative statement of a worldview that takes on postmodernism, without having to fuddle around and make all kinds of philosophical and rational arguments, and without having to answer every objection that arises.

So the advantages of preaching expositorily and authoritatively in a postmodern culture are the same as they are in any environment where there is error—you bring an authoritative word to bear upon how people think.

In a lot of today’s literature on preaching, the idea exists that preaching should impact culture and culture should shape the style of preaching. How does that land with you?

I don’t think either of those things is true. I don’t think preaching is going to impact culture—I think preaching is going to impact people. And indirectly, if the Lord determines to save a mass of people, it’s going to have some social impact on the country or the nation or the world. You have the Great Awakening in America having some short-term—and maybe even some long-term—cultural impact, but unbelievers are always going to behave like unbelievers. The culture may be more or less influenced by Christianity, but I don’t think the objective should be impacting culture, if by that you mean anything less than conversion.

As far as the culture shaping preaching, I would say it shapes preaching only in the sense that you address the issues. If you want to define what’s wrong with a society, you need to know something about the society. In different cultures there are different dominant sins or kinds of behavior or belief systems that need to be addressed. If you are preaching the gospel in a third-world country, for example, the things that dominate their lives would be different than ours. They might not include materialism and the kinds of things that are unique to an affluent Western society. So when you’re talking about the sins of the age or the dominant influences in the culture, they vary from place to place, and it is helpful to know what they are. But that doesn’t say anything about what style of preaching you use. That only says how you enter into the dialogue with the culture.

Paul says, if I speak to Jews I speak a certain way, and if I speak to Gentiles I speak a certain way. But that’s only at the point of entry. That has nothing to say about the style. In other words, people today are used to watching sitcoms on TV, but that doesn’t demand that you preach in a narrative style. I would say you ought to avoid that style, because people are so used to it. People are used to plays and theatrics and movies, and so avoid all of that in your preaching, and your message will come in a very unfamiliar package. There will be a starkness to it, and it will be distinct and contrary to what they are used to hearing. That’s one reason I prefer the expository and authoritative sermon—it’s so contrary to what people are used to that it’s riveting and compelling.

Apart from the gifting of God and His unique work through you, what have been the keys to the effectiveness of your preaching ministry over the years?

The first thing is interest. I think it’s interesting. I don’t know why it’s interesting. I’ve tried to understand and assess that, but I really don’t know. People are not going to come Sunday after Sunday, year after year, and listen to me for an hour in the morning and another hour at night if they’re not interested in what I’m saying. And that has nothing to do with outlines or illustrations. Outlines serve a purpose and some illustrations capture the moment, but over the long haul in order for people to listen to expository preaching week-in week-out, there has to be a compelling interest to it.

Some of it has to do with the element of surprise. Preachers who are interesting say things that people don’t expect them to say. As a preacher, you cannot simply say those things that are obvious to everyone and expect to create interest. There must be an element of surprise. It may not be that you’re introducing a surprising doctrine, but you’re saying it in a captivating way.

If you’re boring in a personal conversation, you’re probably going to be boring in a sermon. Some people are just interesting people—and interesting to talk to—because they have interesting insights and an interesting way to express things. Some of that is innate, but you can also become interesting if you can get interesting material. So I think the challenge is to be interesting, and the way to be more interesting than you would normally be is to have interesting information. And that demands that you be an extensive reader.

In addition to being interesting, a preacher must also be profound. And when I talk about profound, I’m not talking about being thick and heavy and obscure—I’m talking about being deep. In other words, there’s something underneath the surface, something under the popular radar that’s in the text and that you’re able to give to the people. You’re able to go down into the passage and pull up the treasure that they—no matter how many times they go over it on their own—are not going to get. And it’s not just for the sake of interest—it comes with some weight, because it deals with the question, “What is God really saying here?”

On the surface there are certain things that people can see, but by the time I get done with a passage, there is a depth of understanding of what God is communicating in the text that is surprising to them because they couldn’t see it. And it’s weighty to them, because it brings the force of truth to bear on their lives.

Another thing that makes preaching effective is creating the original setting of the text so it becomes a living event. Whether it’s Paul writing to a church or Jesus with the Pharisees, you want to bring your people there, so that they are in the environment, living it and seeing it unfold. And that means you have to do a lot of background and context work—you’ve got to create the context as a living context.

Rather than trying to take the Bible and bring it into the modern day, I try to take the modern day and bring it back to the Bible. And that’s a distinction you want to make. This stuff about culture shaping preaching is taking the Bible and redefining it in modern terms. My goal is to take modern culture and the people of that culture and redefine them in biblical terms so that they are living back in the Scriptures.

Along with living a life of integrity and being prayerful and dependent on the Lord, those are the keys to effective preaching.


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Bible sermons.org is for you who are hungry to know God better in his revelation to us through the Bible. The Bible declares itself to be the revelation of God written down as the authors were carried along by God's Holy Spirit. The Bible is the most amazing book ever written. The Bible took 40 authors over a period of 1500 years to bring together this diverse collection of works that all tell one interwoven story of God's revelation of Himself to man. That collection of books is what we today know as the Bible. My goal in preaching and teaching the Bible has been to stay honest with what I read there and not put any one denominational perspective on it. You may find some different ideas in the sermons here. Some I have learned from other authors but found to be consistant with the Bible.

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If our preaching does not center on Christ--from Genesis Revelation to --no matter how good or helpful, it is not a proclamation of God's Word.

Michael S. Horton
©1993, 1999 Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

"You search the Scriptures in vain, thinking that you have eternal life in them, not realizing that it is they which testify concerning me." With these words, our Lord confronted what has always been the temptation in our reading of Holy Scripture: to read it without Christ as the supreme focus of revelation.

Many people who come to embrace the specific tenets of the Protestant Reformation (grace alone, scripture alone, Christ alone, to God alone be glory, faith alone, etc.) are liberated by the good news of God's free grace in Christ. Pastors who used to preach a human-centered message suddenly become impassionate defenders of God's glory and particular doctrines which often characterized the messages and shaped the teaching ministry of the congregation are exchanged for more biblical truths. This is all very exciting, of course, and we should be grateful to God for awakening us (this writer included) to the doctrines of grace. Nevertheless, there are deeper issues involved.

Not infrequently, we run into a church that is very excited about having just discovered the Reformation faith, but the preaching remains what it always was: witty, perhaps anecdotal (plenty of stories and illustrations that often serve the purpose of entertainment rather than illumination of a point), and moralistic (Bible characters surveyed for their usefulness in teaching moral lessons for our daily life). This is because we have not yet integrated our systematic theology with our hermeneutics (i.e., way of interpreting Scripture). We say, "Christ alone!" in our doctrine of salvation, but in actual practice our devotional life is saturated with sappy and trivial "principles" and the preaching is often directed toward motivating us through practical tips.

What we intend to do in this issue is present an urgent call to recover the lost art of Reformational preaching. This isn't just a matter of concern for preachers themselves, for the ministry of the Word is something that is committed to every believer, since we are all witnesses to God's unfolding revelation in Christ. It is not only important for those who speak for God in the pulpit in public assemblies, but for the layperson who reads his or her Bible and wonders, "How can I make sense of it all?" Below, I want to point out why we think there has been a decline of evangelical preaching in this important area.

I have already referred to this threat and it will be the target of a good deal of criticism throughout this issue. Whenever the story of David and Goliath is used to motivate you to think about the "Goliaths" in your life and the "Seven Stones of Victory" used to defeat them, you have been the victim of moralistic preaching. The same is true whenever the primary intention of the sermon is to give you a Bible hero to emulate or a villain to teach a lesson, like "crime doesn't pay," or, "sin doesn't really make you happy." Reading or hearing the Bible in this way turns the Scriptures into a sort of Aesop's Fables or Grimm's Fairy Tales, where the story exists for the purpose of teaching a lesson to the wise and the story ends with, "and they lived happily ever after." In his Screwtape Letters, Lewis has Screwtape writing Wormwood in the attempt to persuade Wormwood to undermine the faith by turning Jesus into a great hero and moralist.

He has to be a 'great man' in the modern sense of the word--one standing at the terminus of some centrifugal and unbalanced line of thought--a crank vending a panacea. We thus distract men's minds from Who He is, and what He did. We first make Him solely a teacher, and then conceal the very substantial agreement between His teaching and those of other great moral teachers.

This is the greatest problem, from my own experience, with the preaching we hear today. There is such a demand to be practical--that is, to have clever principles for daily living. But the danger, of course, is that what one hears on Sunday morning is not the Word of God. To be sure, the Scriptures were read (maybe) and there was a sermon (perhaps), but the message had more in common with a talk at the Lion's Club, a pop-psychology seminar, prophecy conference or political convention than with proclamation of heavenly truth "from above."

Because we are already seated with Christ in the heavens (Eph.2:4) and are already participating in the new creation that dawned with Christ's resurrection, we are to be heavenly-minded. This, of course, does not mean that we are irrelevant mystics who have no use for this world; rather, it means that we are oriented in our outlook toward God rather than humanity (including ourselves), the eternal rather than this present age, holiness rather than happiness, glorifying God rather than demanding that God meet our "felt needs." Only with this kind of orientation can we be of use to this world as "salt" and "light," bearing a distinctive testimony to the transcendent in a world that is so bound to the present moment.

Finally, moralism commits a basic hermeneutical error, from the Reformation point of view. Both Lutherans and the Reformed have insisted, in the words of the Second Helvetic Confession, "The Gospel is, indeed, opposed to the law. For the law works wrath and announces a curse, whereas the Gospel preaches grace and blessing." Calvin and his successor, Beza, followed the common Lutheran understanding that while both the law and the Gospel were clearly taught in Scripture (in both Old and New Testaments), that the confusion of the two categories lay at the heart of all wayward preaching and teaching in the church. It is not that the Old Testament believers were under the law and we are under grace or the Gospel, but rather that believers in both Testaments are obligated to the moral law, to perfectly obey its precepts and conform to its purity not only in outward deed, but in the frame and fashion of heart and soul. And yet, in both Testaments, believers are offered the Gospel of Christ's righteousness placed over the naked, law-breaking sinner so that God can accept the wicked--yes, even the wicked for the sake of Christ.

Both Lutherans and the Reformed have also affirmed that the law still has a place after conversion in the life of the believer, as the only commands for works that are now done in faith. Nevertheless, preaching must observe clearly the distinction between these two things. As John Murray writes, "The law can never give the believer any spiritual power to obey its commands." And yet, so much of the moralistic preaching we get these days presupposes the error that somehow principles, steps for victory, rules, guidelines that the preacher has cleverly devised (i.e., the traditions of men?) promise spiritual success to those who will simply put them into daily practice. Those who are new in the faith regard this kind of preaching as useful and practical; those who have been around it for a while eventually burn out and grow cynical about the Christian life because they cannot "gain victory" even though they have tried everything in the book.

It must be said that not even the commands of God himself can give us life or the power to grow as Christians. The statutes are right and good, but I am not, Paul said in Romans 7. Even the believer cannot gain any strength from the law. The law can only tell him what is right; the Gospel alone can make him right by giving him what he cannot gain by law-keeping. If the law itself is rendered powerless by human sinfulness, how on earth could we possibly believe that humanly devised schemes and principles for victory and spiritual power could achieve success? We look to the law for the standard, realizing that even as Christians we fall far short of reaching it. Just then, the Gospel steps in and tells us that someone has attained that standard, that victory, for us, in our place, and now the law can be preached again without tormenting our conscience. It cannot provoke us to fear or anxiety, since its demands are fulfilled by someone else's obedience.

Therefore, it is our duty to preach "the whole counsel of God," which includes everything in the category of law (the divine commandments and threats of punishment; the call to repentance and conversion, sanctification and service to God and our neighbor) and in the category of Gospel (God's promise of rest, from Genesis to Revelation; its fulfillment in Christ's death, burial and resurrection, ascension, intercession, second coming; the gift of faith, through which the believer is justified and entered into a vital union with Christ; the gift of persevering faith, which enables us to pursue godliness in spite of suffering). But any type of preaching that fails to underscore the role of the law in condemning the sinner and the role of the Gospel in justifying the sinner or confuses these two is a serious violation of the distinction which Paul himself makes in Galatians 3:15-25.

Much of the evangelical preaching with which I am familiar neither inspires a terror of God's righteousness nor praise for the depths of God's grace in his gift of righteousness. Rather, it is often a confusion of these two, so that the bad news isn't quite that bad and the good news isn't all that good. We actually can do something to get closer to God; we aren't so far from God that we cannot make use of the examples of the biblical characters and attain righteousness by following the "Seven Steps to the Spirit-Filled Life." But in the biblical view, the biblical characters are not examples of their victory, but of God's! The life of David is not a testimony to David's faithfulness, surely, but to God's and for us to read any part of that story as though we could attain the Gospel (righteousness) by the law (obedience) is the age-old error of Cain, the Pharisees, the Galatian Judaizers, the Pelagians, Semi-Pelagians, Arminians, and Higher Life proponents.

There are varieties of moralism. Some moralists are sentimental in their preaching. In other words, the goal is to be helpful and a loving nurturer who aims each Sunday at affirming his congregation with the wise sayings of a Jesus who sounds a lot like a talk-show therapist. Other moralists are harsh in their preaching. Their Gospel is, "Do this and you shall live." In other words, unless you can measure a growth in holiness by any number of indicators or barometers, you should not conclude that you are entitled to the promises. The Gospel, for these preachers, is law and the law is Gospel. One can attain God's forgiveness and acceptance only through constant self-assessment. Doubt rather than assurance marks mature Christian reflection, these preachers insist, in sharp distinction to the tenderness of the Savior who excluded only those who thought they had jumped through all the right hoops. The sinners were welcome at Christ's table, the "righteous" were clearly not.

Therefore, even the Christian needs to be constantly reminded that his sanctification is so slow and imperfect in this life that not one single spiritual blessing can be pried from God's hand by obedience; it is all there in the Father's open, outstretched hand. This, of course, is the death-knell to moralism of every stripe. The bad news is very bad indeed; the good news is greater than any earthly moral wisdom. That's why Paul said, paraphrased, "You Greek Christians in Corinth want moral wisdom? OK, I'll give you wisdom: Christ is made our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Aha! God in his foolishness is wiser than all the world's self-help gurus!" (1 Cor. 1:18-31).

Moralism might answer the "felt needs" of those who demand practical and inspirational pep talks on Sunday morning, but it cannot really be considered preaching.

Verse-By-Verse Exposition
Having been raised in churches which painstakingly exegeted a particular passage verse-by-verse, I have profited from the insights this method sometimes offers. Nevertheless, it too falls short of an adequate way of preaching, reading, or interpreting the sacred text.

First, an explanation of how this is done. I remember the pastor going through even rather brief books like Jude over a period of several months and there we would be, pen and paper in hand as though we were in a classroom, following his outline--either printed in the bulletin or on an overhead projector. Words would be taken apart like an auto mechanic taking apart an engine, conducting an extensive study on the root of that word in the Greek language. This is inadvisable, first, because word studies often focus on etymology (i.e., what is the root of the work in the original language?) rather than on the use of the word in ancient literature, for very often the use of a particular word in ancient literature had nothing at all to do with the root meaning of the word itself. It is dangerous to think of biblical words as magical or different somehow from the same words in the secular works of their day.

This approach is also dangerous because it "misses the forest for the trees." In other words, revelation is one long, unfolding drama of redemption and to get wrapped up in a technical analysis of bits and pieces fails to do justice to the larger context of the text. What God intended as one continuous story that is proclaimed each week to remind the faithful of God's promise and our calling is often turned into an arduous and irrelevant search for words. The same tendency is present in Bible study methods or study Bibles that outline, take apart, and put back together the pieces of the Bible in such a way as to get in the way of the Scripture's inherent power and authority.

Another fault of this verse-by-verse method is that it often fails to appreciate the variety of genre in the biblical text and imposes a woodenly literalistic grid on passages that are meant to be preached, read, or interpreted in a different way. The Bible is not a textbook of geometry that can be reductionistically dissected for simple conclusions, but a book in which God himself speaks to us, disclosing his nature, his purpose, and his unfolding plan of redemption through history.

A final danger of this method is that it tends to remove the congregation from the text of Scripture. Even though the hearers may be very involved taking notes, it only serves to reinforce in their experience that they could not simply sit down and read their English Bibles for themselves and discover the deeper meaning of the text apart from those who have the method down and know the original languages.

Unfortunately, too much of the preaching we come across these days does not even have the merit of attempting a faithful exposition of the Scriptures, as these preceding methods do.

When John Calvin was asked to respond to Cardinal Sadoleto as to why Geneva was irretrievably Protestant, the Reformer included this indictment of the state of preaching before the Reformation:

Nay, what one sermon was there from which old wives might not carry off more whimsies than they could devise at their own fireside in a month? For as sermons were usually then divided, the first half was devoted to those misty questions of the schools which might astonish the rude populace, while the second contained sweet stories and amusing speculations by which the hearers might be kept awake. Only a few expressions were thrown in from the Word of God, that by their majesty they might procure credit for these frivolities.

Calvin then contrasts this former way of preaching with the Reformation approach to Scripture:

First, we bid a man to begin by examining himself, and this not in a superficial and perfunctory manner, but to cite his conscience before the tribunal of God, and when sufficiently convinced of his iniquity, to reflect on the strictness of the sentence pronounced on all sinners. Thus confounded and amazed at his misery, he is prostrated and humbled before God; and, casting away all self-confidence, groans as if given up to final perdition. Then we show that the only haven of safety is in the mercy of God, as manifested in Christ, in whom every part of our salvation is complete. As all mankind are, in the sight of God, lost sinners, we hold that Christ is their only righteousness, since, by His obedience, He has wiped off our transgressions; by His sacrifice, appeased the divine anger.

The Genevan Reformer goes on to ask the Cardinal what problem he has with that. It is probably, says Calvin, that the Reformation way of preaching is not "practical" enough; that it doesn't give people clear directions for daily living and motivate them to a higher life. Nevertheless, the Reformers all believed that the preacher is required to preach the text, not to decide on a topic and look for a text that can be pressed into its service. And the text, said they, was aimed not at offering heroes to emulate (even Jesus), but at proclamation of God's redemptive act in the person and work of the God-Man.

Who couldn't find in Calvin's description of medieval preaching something of the contemporary situation? In many of the church growth contexts, once more the sermon is not given the central place liturgically and the sermon itself often reveals that the speaker is more widely read in marketing surveys, trend analyses, biographies of the rich and famous, "One Hundred & One Sermon Illustrations," and Leadership journal than in the Greek New Testament, hermeneutical aids, and the riches of centuries of theological scholarship. One can often tell when a pastor has just read a powerful book of pop-psychology, Christian personality theories, end-times speculations, moral or political calls to action, or entrepreneurial successes. He has been blown away by some of the insights and has scouted about for a text that can, if read very quickly, lend some divine credibility to something he did not actually get from that text, but from the Christian or secular best-seller's list. "I'm a pastor, not a theologian," they say, in contrast to the classical evangelical notion, inherited from the Reformation, that a pastor was a scholar as well as a preacher.

Good communicators can get away with the lack of content by their witty, anecdotal style, but they are still unfaithful as ministers of the Word, even if they help people and keep folks coming back for more.

The "Christ And..." Syndrome
In C. S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters, the devil's strategy is not to remove Christ altogether from the scene, but to propagate a "Christ And..." religion:

What we want, if men become Christians at all, is to keep them in the state of "Christianity And." You know--Christianity and the Crisis, Christianity and the New Psychology, Christianity and the New Order, Christianity and Faith Healing, Christianity and Psychic Research, Christianity and Vegetarianism, Christianity and Spelling Reform. If they must be Christians, let them at least be Christians with a difference. Substitute for the faith itself some Fashion with a Christian colouring. Work on their horror of the Same Old Thing (Letter XXV).

Today, we see this in terms of Christ and America; Christ and Self-Esteem; Christ and Prosperity; Christ and the Republican or Democratic Party; Christ and End-Time Predictions; Christ and Healing; Christ and Marketing and Church Growth; Christ and Traditional Values, and on we could go, until Christ himself becomes little more than an appendage to a religion that can, after all, get on quite well without him. That is not, of course, to say that the evangelical enterprise could do this without some difficulty. After all, every movement needs a mascot. We say we are Christ-centered, but what was the sermon about last Sunday?

In fact, it is not even enough to preach the centrality of Christ. It is particularly Christ as he is our sacrifice for sin and guarantor of new life because of his resurrection that the Bible makes central in its revelation. After a tragic car accident, Fr. James Feehan, a seasoned Roman Catholic priest in New Zealand, realized afresh the significance of Paul's command to preach Christ and him crucified:

If the pulpit is not committed to this utter centrality of the Cross, then our preaching, however, brilliant, is doomed to sterility and failure. We preach the Christ of the Mount; we preach the Christ of the healing ministry; we preach the Christ of the sublime example; we preach the Christ of the Social Gospel; we preach the Christ of the Resurrection but rarely, if ever, do we preach the Christ of the Cross. We have evaded the very heart of the Christian message. In our preaching we tend to decry the human predicament, the turmoil of our lives, the evil in the world, and we wonder if there is a way out. The Way Out is staring us in the face. It is the Way of Christ, the Way of the Cross (Preaching Christ Crucified: Our Guilty Silence [Dublin: The Mercier Press, 1991], p.19).

In other words, to guard the centrality of Christ in our preaching, it is necessary to guard the centrality of Christ's ministry as prophet, priest and king. Otherwise, we will even use "Christ" as a means of preaching something other than Christ. We will insist that we are preaching Christ even though we are really only using his name in vain as a buttress for some fashionable tangent we happen to be on this week.

What then is the proper method for reading, preaching, and interpreting God's Word? Many resist the idea that there is a proper method at all, dismissing it as naive. The content is normative and unchanging, they say, but the method is relative and depends on what works best for each pastor. It is often treated as a matter of style, like whether one wears robes or has the choir in the front or the back of the church. But not only does the Bible give us the content of what we are to believe; it gives us a method for properly determining that message.

For Further Reading:
Bryan Chapell,
Christ-Centered Preaching Redeeming the Expository Sermon (Baker).
Geerhardus Vos,
Biblical Theology (Banner of Truth), Redemptive History & Biblical Interpretation (Presbyterian & Reformed).
Herman Ridderbos,
The Coming of the Kingdom (Presbyterian & Reformed).
D.A. Carson,
Exegetical Fallacies (Baker). Cross and Christian Ministry: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians (Baker)
Michael Horton,
A Better Way: Rediscovering the Drama of God-Centered Worship (Baker)

Michael Horton


Preaching Christ in All of Scripture

Author: Edmund P. Clowney

Description: What makes a sermon distinctively Christian? Christ does. Edmund Clowney explains that a truly Christian sermon must take into account the full drama of redemption and its realization in Christ. Clowney lays the theoretical foundation for preaching Christ in the whole Bible and then gives practical tips for preparing such a sermon. The rest of the book is a collection of Clowney's own sermons that exemplify the preaching of Christ in all of Scripture. For experienced preachers who want to hone their preaching focus on Christ, this book offers guidance on how to do that. For aspiring preachers, Clowney's example is a model of faithful Christian preaching.

Voicing one theme for the entire Bible and structuring all sermons around that idea may seem to be an impossible challenge. For veteran pastor and preaching professor Edmund Clowney it will not do to preach a text from either the Old or New Testaments without fully preaching its ultimate and primary focus—the person and work of Jesus Christ. He writes, “To see the text in relation to Christ is to see it in its larger context, the context of God’s purpose in revelation.”

Clowney’s rationale for emphasizing Christ’s presence in the Old Testament rests on the purpose of the Hebrew Scripture. The Old Testament follows God’s one great plan for human history and redemption, and the plan is not only from him but centers on him: his presence in his incarnate Son. The witness of the Scriptures to Christ is the reason they were written, so it is appropriate to emphasize this element in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament.

By offering numerous full-length examples of his own sermons that emphasize Christ as the principle theme of Scripture, Clowney illustrates for those who will never have the privilege of being his students how they can craft sermons which present Christ as the primary consideration of the text. He also offers specific instructions on preparing such a sermon. He discusses the personal habits of prayer and Bible study that prepare pastors to seek out Christ’s presence.

Clowney emphasizes the importance of including a specific application in every sermon so that Christ is presented both in what he says and does to reveal himself in the biblical text and in what he says and does to direct Christians’ lives today.

Students preparing for the pastorate, pastors desiring to increase their emphasis on Christ in their sermons, and those seeking Christ’s presence in all of Scripture will find a help in Clowney’s writings.

“Edmund Clowney is this generation's patriarch of redemptive-historical preaching. For decades he was the voice crying in the wilderness to encourage evangelical preachers to make Christ the focus of all their messages, since he is the aim of all the Scriptures. Now, many others have joined Clowney's gospel chorus, but none with greater mastery than he of the harmonies that weave the symphony of grace throughout the Bible. As Clowney shares with us the jewels of his research, message, and heart, we discern ever more clearly how to make the Pearl of Great Price shine through all the treasures of Scripture.”
--Dr. Bryan Chapell
President and Professor of Practical Theology
Covenant Seminary

“Edmund Clowney has given a wonderful gift to the church in general and to preachers in particular. Preaching Christ in All of Scripture is the kind of book that isn’t just about preaching. It’s about Christ and the call on all believers to see him and his glory in all of God's Word. Preachers can rejoice and profit from the practical and profound teaching, and all believers can rejoice in the awesome reality of Jesus as Lord.”
--Dr. Stephen W. Brown
Professor of Preaching
Reformed Theological Seminary

Here is instruction from a master Bible teacher on how to preach God-honoring, Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered sermons. Edmund Clowney's classes at Westminster Seminary transformed my understanding of how the whole Bible fits together, and I expect this book will do the same for all who read it.
--Wayne Grudem
Research Professor of Bible and Theology
Phoenix Seminary

“Ed Clowney taught me how to preach the gospel to postmodern people. To anyone who wants to learn how to do so as well, these sermons are priceless.”
--Rev. Tim Keller
Senior Pastor
Redeemer Presbyterian
Church of New York City

 Preparing for the Pulpit

Expository preaching is hard work. Given the amount of time and effort that a pastor must spend studying and preparing to proclaim God’s Word, an investment in books on preaching is a worthy one. The following are those most highly recommended by the pastors on staff at Grace Community Church.

·         John MacArthur and The Master’s Seminary Faculty, Rediscovering Expository Preaching. Dallas: Word Publishing, 1992. 

·         Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix, Power in the Pulpit: How to Prepare and Deliver Expository Sermons. Chicago: Moody Press, 1999.

·         D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1972.

·         R. L. Dabney, Evangelical Eloquence: A Course of Lectures on Preaching. Carlisle, Penn.: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1999. 

·         John Piper, The Supremacy of God in Preaching. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1990.

·         Samuel T. Logan, ed., The Preacher and Preaching. Phillipsburg, N. J.: Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 1986.

·         Jay E. Adams, Preaching with Purpose: The Urgent Task of Homiletics. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982.

·         John R. W. Stott, Between Two Worlds: The Art of Preaching in the Twentieth Century. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982.

·         Alex Montoya, Preaching with Passion. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2000.

Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "MacArthur's Collection" by:

Tony Capoccia
Bible Bulletin Board
Box 119
Columbus, New Jersey, USA, 08022
Our websites:
www.biblebb.com and www.gospelgems.com
Online since 1986


The delivery of sermons

Sermons are usually, but not always, delivered in a house of worship, most of which have a pulpit or ambo, an elevated architectural feature from which sermons are given. Sermons are occasionally known as homilies, especially in the Roman Catholic Church and similar traditions. The word "sermon" comes from a Middle English word which was derived from an Old French term, which in turn came from the Latin word sermō; ("discourse"). (Actually, it meant "conversation", and early sermons were delivered in the form of question and answer, only later did it come to mean a monologue)

In modern language, the word "sermon" can also be used pejoratively in secular terms to describe a lengthy or tedious speech delivered with great passion to a disinterested audience. A sermonette is a short sermon.



Famous preachers of sermons

The Sermon on the Mount by Carl Heinrich Bloch.

The most famous sermon is probably the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus of Nazareth. This sermon was probably delivered around 30 CE and is accounted by the Gospel of Matthew as being delivered on a mount on the north end of the Sea of Galilee, near Capernaum. Some modern Biblical scholars believe that Jesus did not actually give the speech as is traditionally thought, and that the sermon was instead complied later from precepts said by Jesus. The Sermon on the Mount lays out the core principles of Christianity. During the later history of Christianity, several figures became known for their sermons or a particularly significant sermon. Sermonizers of the early church include Saint Stephen, Tertullian, John Chrysostom, Gregory Nazianzus. Sermons in this era were used to spread Christianity across Europe and Asia Minor. During the Middle Ages sermons were used to start new religious orders (Dominic, Francis of Assisi). Pope Urban II began the First Crusade at November 1095 Council of Clermont in France when he exhorted French knights to retake the Holy Land in Palestine.


The sermon takes center stage in Protestantism

Later the Reformation led to Protestant sermons, many of which defended the schism with the Roman Catholic Church and explained new beliefs on scripture and devotion. Since the distinctive doctrines of Protestantism held that salvation was by faith alone, and convincing people to believe the Gospel and place trust in God for their salvation through Jesus Christ was the decisive step in salvation, in Protestantism the sermon and hymn came to replace the Eucharist as the central act of Christian worship. To rouse deeper faith in the churchgoers, rather than have them partake in a ritual, was the goal of Protestant worship conditioned by these beliefs.

In the 1700s and 1800s during the Great Awakening, major sermons were made a revivals, which were especially popular in the United States. These sermons were noted for their harsh "fire-and-brimstone" message, typified by Jonathan Edwards's famous "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" speech.


Notable preachers of sermons

·   Lancelot Andrewes

·   John Donne

·   Jeremy Taylor

·   Jacques-Benigne Bossuet

·   Charles Taze Russell

·   George Whitefield

·   John Wesley

·   Charles Spurgeon

·   Jonathan Edwards

·   Billy Sunday

·   Aimee Semple McPherson

·   Billy Graham

·   John Piper

·   John Stott

·   Philip Jensen

·   Austin Farrer

Many sermons have been written down, collected and published. Such sermons include John Wesley's 53 Standard Sermons, John Chrysostom's Homily on the Resurrection (preached every Easter in Orthodox churches) and Gregory Nazianzus' homily "On the Theophany, or Birthday of Christ" (preached every Christmas in Orthodox churches).


Types of sermons

There are a number of different types of preaching, that differ both by their subject matter and by their intended audience. Not all types of preaching are within the gift of every preacher. These types of preaching include:

*        Topical preaching - concerned with a particular subject of current concern;

*        Exhortatory preaching - concerned with changing or affirming the behaviour of the congregation in a particular way;

*        Biographical preaching - tracing the story of a particular biblical character through a number of parts of the Bible;

*        Evangelistic preaching - seeking to convert the congregation or bring them back to their previous faith through a recounting of the Good News;

*        Charismatic preaching - impassioned preaching, seeking to inspire the congregation to an immediate spiritual experience;

*        Expository preaching - exegesis, or preaching from a text and seeking to expound the text to the congregation;

*        Fire and brimstone preaching - delivering a sermon that scares people into repentance through the threat of God's wrath or Hell

*        Redemptive-Historical Preaching - Preaching that takes into consideration the context of any given text within the broader history of salvation as recorded in the canon of the bible.


Delivery methods

Sermons also differ on the amount of time and effort used to prepare them.

*        Scripted preaching - preaching with a previous preparation, it can be with help of notes or a script, or rely on the memory of the preacher.

*        Extemporaneous preaching - preaching without notes and sometimes without preparation.

*        Impromptu preaching - preaching without previous preparation.


Sermons and sexual psychology

In addition, numerous studies have been done on sermons and their connection to other topics such as psychology, linguistics, and gender. One such example is Frances Lee Smith's "The Pulpit and Woman's Place: Gender and the Framing of the 'Exegetical Self' in Sermon Performances," published in Framing in Discourse.


See also

*        Preacher

*        Dawah

*        Expository preaching

*        Extemporaneous preaching

*        Kerygma

*        Theology

*        Midrash

*        Christian Virtues

*        Redemptive-Historical Preaching


External links

*        Online sermon notes archive covering wide range of topics -- by courtesy of the All Nations' Church

*        LutheranSermons.org -- a service of the Church of the Lutheran Confession (CLC).

*        Homiletics Portal -- A list of links, sermons, and articles of aid to preachers.

*        Sermon Central -- an online sermon archive.

*        Sermon Links.com -- links to sermons articles and devotions.

*        Sermons Online -- tools for publishing sermons on your church web site.

2005 Publications

Aaron, Charles L. Jr. Preaching Hosea, Amos, and Micah. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2005.

Aaron, Charles L. Jr. Your Faith Has Made You Well: Preaching The Miracles — Cycle B. Lima: CSS Publications, 2005.

Allen, Ronald J. Hearing the Sermon: Relationship, Content, Feeling. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2005.

Avram, Wes. Where the Light Shines Through: Discerning God in Everyday Life. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2005

Allen, Ronald J. and Mary Alice Mulligan Believing in Preaching: What Listeners Hear in Sermons. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2005.

Allen, Ronald J., John McClure, Dale Andrews, L. Susan Bond, Dan Moseley, and G. Lee Ramsey, Jr. Listening to Listeners: Homiletical Case Studies. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2005.

Bland, Dave and David Fleer. Performing the Psalms. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2005. Available May 2005.

Gunter, W. Stephen and Elaine A. Robinson. Considering the Great Commission: Evangelism and Mission in the Wesleyan Spirit. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2005.

Jensen, Richard A. Envisioning The Word: The Use of Visual Images in Preaching (with CD-ROM). Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2005.

Jiminez, Pablo A. and Justo L. Gonzalez. Pulpito: An Introduction to Hispanic Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2005.

Kalas, J. Ellsworth. Preaching about People: The Power of Biography. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2005.

Lundblad, Barbara K. Marking Biblical Time: Homiletical Encounters with the Biblical Text. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2005.

Shields, Bruce E. Preaching Romans. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2005.

Van Seters, Arthur. Preaching and Ethics. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2005.

Willimon, William H. Conversations with Barth on Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2005.

Wilson, Paul Scott. Preaching and Homiletical Theory. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2005.

2004 Publications

 Alling, Roger and David J. Schlafer. Preaching as Prophetic Calling: Sermons that Work XII. Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 2004.

Avram, Wes, ed. Anxious About Empire: Theological Essays on the New Global Realities. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2004.

Braxton, Brad R. Preaching Paul. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2004.

Childers, Jana. Purposes of Preaching. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2004.

Clader, Linda L. Voicing the Vision: Imagination and Prophetic Preaching. Harrisburgh, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 2004.

Edwards, O. C. A History of Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2004.

Jones, Kirk B. The Jazz of Preaching: How to Preach with Great Freedom and Joy. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2005.

Kirk, Martha Ann. Women of Bible Lands: A Pilgrimage to Compassion and Wisdom. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2004.

MacPherson, Duncan. Pilgrim Preacher: Palestine, Pilgrimage, and Preaching. London: Melisende, 2004.

McClure, John S., Ronald J. Allen, Dale P. Andrews, L. Susan Bond, Dan P. Mosely, & G. Lee Ramsey, Jr. Listening to Listeners: Homiletical Case Studies. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2004.

Whiteley, Raewynne and Beth Maynard, eds. Get Up Off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalog. Boston: Cowley Publications, 2004.
Promotional website:

Wilson, Paul S. Broken Words: Reflections on the Craft of Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2004.

Wisdom, Andrew-Carl, O.P. Preaching to a Multi-generational Assembly. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2004.

2003 Publications

Allen, Ronald J. Wholly Scripture: Preaching Biblical Themes. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2003.

Alling, Roger and David J. Schlafer. Preaching Through Holy Days and
Holidays: Sermons that Work XI.
Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 2003.

Bartlett, David L. What's Good About this News? Preaching from the Gospels and Galatians. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003.

Bartlett, David L., Claudia A. Highbaugh, and Stephen Butler Murray, eds. Crossing by Faith: Sermons on the Journey from Youth to Adulthood. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2003.

Berquist, Jon L. Strike Terror No More: Theology, Ethics, and the New War. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2003.

Bond, L. Susan. Contemporary African American Preaching: Diversity in Theory and Style. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2003.

Hedahl, Susan K. Who Do You Say that I Am? 21st Century Preaching. Minneapolis, MI: Augsburg Fortress Press, 2004.

Jeter, Joseph R., Jr. Preaching Judges. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2003.

Jones, Kirk Byron. Addicted to Hurry: Spiritual Strategies for Slowing Down. Valley Forge: Judson, 2003.

Lose, David J. Confessing Jesus Christ: Preaching in a Postmodern World. Grand Rapids: Eerdman's, 2003.

Turner, Mary Donovan. Old Testament Words: Reflections for Preaching. St. Louis: Chalice, 2003.

McClure, John S. and Burton Z. Cooper. Claiming Theology in the Pulpit. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003.

Mosser, David and Brian Bauknight. First Fruits: 14 Sermons on Stewardship. Nashville, Abingdon, 2003.

Zink-Sawyer, Beverly. From Preachers to Suffragists: Woman's Rights and Religions Conviction in the Lives of Three Nineteenth-Century American Clergy Women. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003.

Koptak, Paul E. Proverbs: The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

2002 Publications

Aden, LeRoy H. and Hughes, Robert G. Preaching God's Compassion: Comforting Those Who Suffer. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002.

Allen, Ronald J. and Joseph R Jeter, Jr. One Gospel, Many Ears: Preaching for Different Listeners in the Congregation. St. Louis: Chalice, 2002.

Allen, Ronald. Preaching: An Essential Guide. Nashville: Abingdon, 2002.

Allen, Ronald J. Preaching Is Believing: The Sermon as Theological Reflection. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.

Andrews, Dale P. Practical Theology for Black Churches: Bridging Black Theology and African American Folk Religion. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.

Buttrick, David. Speaking Jesus: Homiletic Theology and the Sermon on the Mount. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.

Campbell, Charles L. The Word Before the Powers: An Ethic of Preaching. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.

Craddock, Fred B. Overhearing The Gospel (second edition). St. Louis: Chalice, 2002.

Eslinger, Richard. The Web of Preaching: New Options in Homiletic Method. Nashville: Abingdon, 2002.

Fleer, David and Dave Bland. Preaching Romans. Abilene: ACU Press, 2002.

Gross, Nancy Lammers. If You Cannot Preach Like Paul. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002.

Holbert, John. The Ten Commandments: A Preaching Commentary. Nashville: Abingdon, 2002.

Kysar, Robert. Preaching John: Fortress Resources for Preaching. Minneapolis, Fortress Press, 2002.

LaRue, Cleophus J. Power in the Pulpit: How America’s Most Effective Black Preachers Prepare Their Sermons. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.

Lischer, Richard, ed. The Company of Preachers: Wisdom on Preaching, Augustine to the Present. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.

McKenzie, Alyce. Preaching Biblical Wisdom in a Self-Help Society. Nashville: Abingdon, 2002.

McMickle, Marvin A. An Encyclopedia of African American Christian Heritage. Valley Forge: Judson Press, 2002.

Mosser, David, ed. The Abingdon Preaching Annual, 2003 Edition. Nashville: Abingdon, 2002.

O'Day, Gail. The Word Disclosed (second edition). St. Louis: Chalice, 2002.

Schmit, Clayton J. Too Deep For Words: A Theology of Liturgical Expression. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.

Thomas, Frank. The Lord's Prayer: For Times Such as These. St. Louis: Chalice, 2002.

Thomas, Frank A. Spiritual Maturity: Preserving Congregational Health and Balance. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002.

Turner, William C., Jr. Discipleship For African American Christians: A
Journey through the Church Covenant
. Valley Forge: Judson Press, 2002.

Wallace, James A., C.Ss.R. Preaching to the Hungers of the Heart: The Homily on the Feasts and Within the Rites. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2002.

Ward, Richard. Speaking of the Holy: The Art of Communication in Preaching. St. Louis: Chalice, 2002.

Webb, Joseph M. and Robert Kysar. Greek for Preachers. St. Louis: Chalice, 2002.

Zink-Sawyer, Beverly, ed. The Abingdon Women's Preaching Annual, Series 3, Year B. Nashville: Abingdon, 2002.

2001 Publications

Ailing, Roger and David Schlafer. Preaching Through the Year of Matthew: Sermons that Work X. New York: Morehouse, 2001.

Allen, Ronald J. Preaching and Practical Ministry. St. Louis: Chalice, 2001.

Childers, Jana. Birthing the Sermon. St. Louis: Chalice, 2001.

Craddock, Fred B. As One Without Authority: Revised and with New Sermons. St. Louis: Chalice, 2001.

Craddock, Fred B. The Cherry Log Sermons. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001.

Fleer, David and Dave Bland. Preaching Autobiography: Connecting the World of the Preacher and the World of the Text. Abilene: ACU Press, 2001.

Gibson, Scott M. Preaching for Special Services. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001.

Harris, Daniel E. We Speak the Word of the Lord : A Practical Plan for More Effective Preaching. Chicago: ACTA, 2001.

Hedahl, Susan K. and Richard P. Carlson. Preaching 1 Corinthians 13. St. Louis: Chalice, 2001.

Hedahl, Susan. Listening Ministry: Rethinking Pastoral Leadership. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001.

Heille, Gregory, O.P.., ed. Theology of Preaching: Essays on Vision and Mission in the Pulpit. London: Melisende 2001.

Jacobsen, David Schnasa and Günter Wasserberg. Preaching Luke-Acts. Nashville: Abingdon, 2001

Lowry, Eugene. The Homiletical Plot: The Sermon as Narrative Theological Art Form. Expanded Edition; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001.

McClure, John. Other-wise Preaching. St. Louis: Chalice, 2001.

Nieman, James R.and Thomas G. Rogers. Preaching to Every Pew: Cross-Cultural Strategies. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001.

Sawyer, Ken and Jane Rzepka. Thematic Preaching. St. Louis: Chalice, 2001.

Shelley, Carter.
Preaching Genesis 12-36. St. Louis: Chalice, 2001.

Simmons, Martha and Frank Thomas. 9.11.01: African American Leaders Respond to an American Tragedy. Valley Forge: Judson, 2001.

Smith, Christine M. Risking the Terror: Resurrection in this Life. Cleveland: Pilgrim, 2001.

Taylor, Barbara Brown. Speaking of Sin: The Lost Language of Salvation. Boston: Cowley, 2001.

Ward, Richard. Speaking of the Holy. St. Louis: Chalice, 2001.

Ward, Richard and Mike Graves, eds. Craddock Stories. St. Louis: Chalice, 2001.

Wilson, Paul. God Sense: Reading the Bible for Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon, 2001.

 4. www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/homiletics


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 Some of the principles that we should follow while giving sermons are stated below:
    We should preach with strong conviction
    The content of our message should be biblically 100 percent, except for any illustrations given by the
    The language we use should be appropriate for the audience and the words we use must be precise, apt
       & fit.
    We should give the title of the message when we give the key scripture for the message must be clearly stated with the reference like Jesus used many parables when he preached, we should use illustrations and stories to communicate the points clearly.
    The message should not to be too lengthy
    We should maintain eye to eye ball contact to the audience.
    We should not try to maintain to impress the audience by being flamboyant
    We should not try to be too humorous and be clowning
    We should not guarantee too much as they do theoretical performance
           It is a good idea to use 3-5 points in our sermons which may rhyme to some extent for easy remembrance
           To some degree, we should try to captivate to get their attention and retain their interest
           We should speak with authority of the Word of God, but not based of our own education tidal and position
           How we end our message is very important and we should conclude our message challenging or persuading the audience to make the decision to do some thing, which Bible requires us to the frame to do some thing the Bible prohibits.
           In everything that is said in the message, the name of God should be glorified.
           The faith of the people should be built and the spiritual truths said in the message should be excessive to digest, absorb and assimilate.

 Some of the things said in the Bible concerning “ The Word of God” as cited below are significant and particularly the following verses:

1.    Ye shall know the truths and truth shall make you free (John 8:32)

2.    It is given unto us to know the mysteries of God (Luke 8:10)

3.    And not ashamed of the Gospel because of the power of God’s salvation

4.    But who so keeps his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby we know that we are in him. (I John 2:5)

5.    Thy word is the truth (John 17: 17)

6.    And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: (Luke 24:19)

7.    Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)

8.    Heaviness in the heart of man makes it stoop: but a good word makes it glad. (Proverbs 12:25)

9.    Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for Ever. (I peter 1:23)

10. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. (Psalm 119:50)

11. A word strictly spoken is like apples of Gold in pictures of silver. (Proverbs 25:11)

12. Scripture cannot be broken . (John 10:35)



1.What do you understand by the term “ Homiletics “ ? Why is it important ?

2. What are the different types of sermons followed in the preaching ? And describe how they are different to each other in expression?

3. When and how topical sermons are more effective in day to day preaching?

4. When and how Textual sermons are very effective ? Give reasons?

5. Why it is very important to preach Christ from the old testament Bible? Give scriptural proof ?

II. Choose ‘TRUE’ (T) for right answer and ‘ FALSE ‘ ( F) for wrong answer : 

1.Homiletics is the art of preaching a topic from the word of God. T/F

2. It helps in the  development of types of sermon may differ from one another. T/F

3.There are  different types of sermons like expository, topical, devotional, and textual in preaching. T/F

 4. The development of types of sermon may differ from one another. T/F

5. The Scripture text at all times need not be central. T/F

6. The preacher’s ability to prepare a sermon has an important aim in view. T/F

7. The preacher need not worry about the members spiritual status in sharing the word of God. T/F

8. A Preacher should always keep the congregation in mind before he prepares the sermon. T/F

9. A preacher can use two or one type of method in preaching. T/F

10. A preacher can use both Old and New Testament Bible in his message. T/F

11. It is not necessary that the preaching should be Christ centered. T/F

12. The preaching of Gods word can be based upon the persons own understanding and interpretation. T/F

13. A preacher should proclaim Gospel according to the revelation received by the Holy Spirit. T/F

14. One should grows with a constant walk with God and daily study of His word. T/F

15. A preacher can choose the topic of his sermon according to the need of the congregation. T/F

16. A preacher can use his message to ridicule and attack the members when ever needed. T/F

17. A preacher should be a crafts men and a tool in the God’s word. T/F

18. A preacher should not use illustrations in his sermon. T/F

19. A preacher can use parables taught by Jesus Christ in his sermons. T/F

20.A preacher should proclaim God’s word being anointed by Holy Spirit. T/F

21. The development of a Scripture text into a sermon is like putting flesh on bones. T/F

22. He must have an understanding of all the foundational teachings and doctrines of the Christian faith. T/F

23. The sermon must have unity and order, that is, it must be presented in a Biblical and understandable manner. T/F

24. A sermon is the proclamation of God’s eternal word. T/F

25. A preacher should be aware of the needs and concerns of his own church. T/F

26. Homiletics is a study,  in the art of preaching. T/F

27. The ability to preach becomes possible in speaking about gospel truths. T/F

28. Preaching and teaching should go together along with practical life experience. T/F

29.  A Preacher outside the pulpit can live as he likes. T/F

30.  It is good for a preacher to go for long time sermons. T/F

31. The Sermon on the Mount lays out the core principles of Christianity. T/F

32. Expository preaching is hard because of time management. T/F

33. Preaching Christ through scriptures is not possible. T/F

34. Preaching does not centre from Genesis to Revelation. T/F

35. Preaching does not make any sense to the people who listen. T/F

36. Sermons are usually used to bring worship to God. T/F

37. Sermons are used to lay scriptural foundation . T/F

38. Preaching brings enlightenment to the word of God. T/F

39. Preaching helps to reach many at a time. T/F

40. Expository preaching in a postmodern culture. T/F

41. Jesus Christ is the greatest preacher and teacher of all times. T/F

42. A sermonette is a short sermon. T/F

43. Preaching without Christ is vain talk. T/F

44. Preaching brings convection and change in man’s life. T/F

45. Preaching God’s word enriches and provides peace to the mind. T/F

46. Preaching is an act of blasting and self boasting. T/F

47. Using of Bible dictionary and concordance to prepare sermon is prohibited. T/F

48.Using of modern technology is prohibited in the preaching. T/F

49. A good preacher should rebuke gently at the mistakes T/F

50. A preacher should reflect the qualities and characteristics of Jesus. T/F