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Homiletics - The Art of Preaching - Lesson 04

by Dr. Ray Self

 


 

Defining a Good Sermon



Click the play button to begin video lesson and follow along with the class notes below the video window. When you complete this video, click the "Lesson Assignment" button at the bottom of this page to open the lesson assignment.



Romans 10:14 - How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?


Three Ways that People From the Audience Define a Good Sermon

A good sermon is a sermon I can follow. The main point of the sermon is clear. The sermon is well-organized. The preacher doesn't speak over my head. The preacher doesn't repeat the same point over and over. The preacher uses images, stories and ways of speaking that keep me listening and move me.

A good sermon is rooted in the Bible. It teaches me something from a text of the Bible. A good sermon is not the opinion of the preacher; it's a Word from God that has authority because it's from the Word of God.

A good sermon changes me. It challenges me to a deeper obedience. It stretches me. A good sermon brings me closer to God. It deepens my faith. It makes us a better church. A good sermon makes me a better, more loving person. A good sermon makes me a better kingdom citizen.

  • A good sermon brings the Bible to life and makes it apply to the listener.
  • A good sermon helps people hear from God.
  • A good sermon will be easily understood.
  • A good sermon exalts the person of Jesus Christ.


Helpful Elements of a Good Sermon
  • Tell a story - use humor.
  • Make an Argument: Example – The World view verses Biblical view.
  • Solve a Mystery - 1Corinthians 13:12- For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
  • Paint a Picture - Mark 4:30 -32 - And He said, "How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? "It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR can NEST UNDER ITS SHADE."


Make sure the sermon can be applied to the listener in practical ways that will impact their life.

Avoid theological talks that challenge the intellect but do not have practical applications for today. 1Corinthians 8:1 - Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.

Know when to stop. No one will complain about a sermon that is too short.

Know when to change directions by being sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:14 - For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

At your conclusion have a planned altar call. The Holy Spirit will confirm your message through altar ministry. Isaiah 55:11- So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

Study Questions:

  1. Interpret and explain Romans 10:14.
  2. Define the key elements of a good sermon.
  3. Give another example other than Mark 4:30 in which Jesus painted a picture and discuss it.
  4. How can you increase your personal ability to be led by the Spirit when you are preaching?

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