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Sermon #PP10

Preparation of the Sermon

A Lecture on Preparing a Sermon



Sermon Description

The charge to stand in front of God’s people and faithfully deliver God’s word is a serious calling. Congregations can understand and sympathize with the sheer weight of this task. Often, however, what is missed by Christian laypeople is the mental labor of sermon preparation from which faithful sermons emerge. The Christian minister is overwhelmed with decisions during this time that he may not be prepared for through theological education alone. And an honest minister might wonder if he is doing this part of his job correctly. In this lecture on preparing a sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones considers some of the mechanics of sermon preparation such as topical preaching, expository preaching, and tips for covering the whole counsel of God’s word. Working under the framework of Christian liberty and the freedom of the Holy Spirit, Dr. Lloyd-Jones talks about the pros and cons of other topics such as preaching through a catechism, the mechanics of sermon series, evangelistic opportunities through the church calendar, and holiday sermons.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The preacher must always prepare himself before preparing the sermon. This is the most important part of preaching.
  2. Decide on the type of sermon: evangelistic, edificational, or instructional. This is a major decision that influences the rest of the preparation.
  3. There are no absolute rules for preparing a sermon. The preacher must be led by the Spirit.
  4. Do not preach on subjects or catechisms. Preach from Scripture.
  5. Decide between preaching on odd texts or a series of sermons. Spurgeon believed in preaching on odd texts as the Spirit leads. The Puritans believed in preaching sermon series. Either can be led by the Spirit.
  6. Special occasions like Christmas, Easter, etc. should be observed in preaching. They bring people back to the foundations of the faith.
  7. Take advantage of any special occasion to preach the Gospel. For example, preach on the fleeting nature of life on New Year's Day.
  8. Break into a sermon series for special occasions or if the Spirit leads in a different direction. But each sermon should still stand alone.
  9. A sermon series can be long or short. It depends on the preacher and congregation. Constantly assess yourself and your people.
  10. When preaching on odd texts, use texts that have struck you in your personal reading and study. Also use texts that the Spirit brings directly to you.
  11. Expository preaching should always come out of Scripture, not the preacher's own thoughts.
  12. Types of sermon series: preaching through a book of the Bible, a section of a book, a topic like spiritual depression, etc.
  13. In preparing a sermon, first determine the meaning of the text. Be honest with the text. Do not force it to fit your own ideas.
  14. Check your understanding of the text with lexicons and commentaries. But spiritual understanding is most important.
  15. Ask questions of the text to determine its meaning and thrust. But do not force the text.
  16. Make sure you determine the main message and thrust of the text. Many preachers miss this. Let the main thrust be the burden of your sermon.

Sermons: Preaching and Preachers

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.