Shape of the Sermon
A Lecture on Sermon Structure
The shape of the sermon should reflect the goal of any sermon. The shape is to show the original context, the meaning of a passage, and apply it to life today. In this sermon titled “Shape of the Sermon,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones discusses outlines, the main points of a sermon, the place and importance of headings, and the balance between the written and extemporaneous sermon. First, he warns against professionalism. Too many sermons have been ruined by one’s vain attempt to manipulate ideas to fit a clever sermon outline. Form is important, but it must never become more important than the sermon itself. Each point must inevitably arise out of the text. Dr. Lloyd-Jones then addresses the tradition of writing out a sermon, addressing its benefits and its dangers. Finally, he deals with the topic of using quotations in sermons. His concern lies in the motivation behind such a practice. Never should the preacher’s concern be an appearance of scholarship or intellectualism. The sermon must always be prepared for a mixed group of people, helping everyone in the congregation. Overly academic notions should, therefore, be avoided. Listen in as Dr. Lloyd-Jones instructs his students on the importance of the sermon’s shape, content, and structure.
About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.