There is an art and a science in preparing an expository sermon.
PRELIMINARY THINGS ARE NECESSARY. CERTAIN THINGS MUST BE IN PLACE.
A. Sanctify Your Life
Prepare our own heart. Humility, prayer, confession, asking for direction, enlightenment, help from the Holy Spirit, enthusiasm.
B. Select the Text
Obviously. Every text is a treasure-house. Select the appropriate division of the text.
C. Secure the Resources
Gather the books. Isolate the resources. Get it in a form you can write on. Extract the gold. See where you need to drill down more. Be greedy at this point. Get the whole choir in front of you. Have all the clubs in your bag laid out.
Quiet place. Good lighting. Good chair. Large desk.
D. Seek the Lord
A. Read the Passage
Over and over again. Mark it up. Be aggressive. Investigate the text. Make observations. Be driven into the text. Look for key words, main verbs, conjunctions.
B. Investigate the Text
1. Who Is Speaking?
The text will not make sense unless you know who wrote it.
2. Where Is He?
3. When Did He Write This?
4. To Whom Is He Speaking?
5. Why Is He Speaking?
6. What Else Was Occurring?
7. What Preceded It?
8. What Follows?
C. Note the Features
Figures of speech, proper names, parallelism.
D. Discover the Thrust
Discover the central theme. We must have a message with unity. All planets revolve around this sun.
A. Read the Various Commentaries
Rely on work others have done before you in the past. Start with the simplest and work up to the most difficult.
B. Construct a Block Diagram
Subject-Verb-Object. Focus on the verbs.
C. Discover the Issues
Cause and effect. Repetition.
D. Consider the Proper Meaning
The right interpretation. Who has nailed the right interpretation?
A. Write a Simple Outline
Summarize the outline and the main idea. Anticipate what your preaching outline is going to be. You need the railroad tracks that the sermon is going to go down.
B. Write the Central Theme
One sentence. What is the text about? Study Bibles are very helpful.
WRITE THE MANUSCRIPT. YOU MUST PREACH ENOUGH IN ORDER TO BECOME A GOOD PREACHER.
A. Write the First Heading
Skip the introduction. Save it until later. Start with Roman numeral I. Read, explain, apply, maybe illustrate.
B. Write the Transition
Set up the first verse.
C. Write the First Verse
D. Write the Explanation
Use the dictionary and the thesaurus.
A. Dig Deeper into the Text
1. Word Studies
2. Verb Tenses
3. Grammatical Structure
5. Historical Background
6. Geographical Setting
7. Authorial Intent
8. Figurative Speech
9. Cross References
10. Book Argument
11. Systematic Theology
Tell the people what they cannot normally pull out from the text.
B. Incorporate the Additional Findings
1. Write It in the Manuscript
2. Merge It with These Findings
APPLY AS YOU GO, AS CLOSE TO THE EXPLANATION AS POSSIBLE. GET TO THE “YOU”. READ THE FACES OF PEOPLE.
A. Show the Relevance
You don’t have to make the Bible what it already is. You SHOW the relevance, not MAKE the relevance.
B. Relate the Implications
C. Urge the Following
This is the implementation.
MOST ILLUSTRATIONS TAKE TOO LONG. THE BEST ILLUSTRATIONS ARE BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATIONS. ALSO HISTORICAL ILLUSTRATIONS ARE GOOD. NOT YOUR FAMILY. NOT YOUR CAT. LIMITED PERSONAL ILLUSTRATIONS. WE ARE NOT THE HERO.
A. Use Biblical Illustrations
B. Use Historical Illustrations
C. Use Personal Illustrations
D. Use Cultural Illustrations
Some cultural illustrations are good to create a crisis in the pulpit and then solve it in the sermon.
E. Use Created Illustrations
Like Pilgrim’s Progress.
F. Use Quotations
They shouldn’t take much time.
G. Use analogies and metaphors