Preaching, part 7

I appreciate my brother and friend Pastor Cali for his interaction on these posts. I wanted to use what he and I have discussed to fine tune what I am saying about a couple of things.

  1. The Objective of a sermon – This is a short single sentence explaining what the aim, objective, purpose, goal, outcome you hope to achieve from your sermon.
    1. You hope for it, because you pray and lean and rest on the Holy Spirit and only his work will cause the hard heart of the sinner, the rebellious heart of a saint, the discouraged heart of one of God’s children to repent. So we hope to accomplish this by God’s grace. We can’t produce in others what only God can. So an objective is just our hope and aim.
    2. You might never speak your objective sentence in your sermon. You might, and I would think by and large you should, but you might not. This objective is direction to your sermon and helps your sermon to be about ONE thing.
    3. I also use the objective to bridge the gap between Back then historical and now here today.
    4. This objective arises from the Text of Scripture itself. And here is how I would conceive of it:
      1. The Passage you are current in, has the large literary context of the chapters and verses around it.
      2. It also hast he context of the whole book that it is in.
      3. Then it has the context of the other writings by the same author, and then to the writings of contemporaries.
      4. It then has the context of the Testament and even Covenant that this passage falls within.
      5. And final the whole of Scripture forms up a context for this objective.
    5. You have studied the passage in front of you, and you have made it to all of these various contexts allowing each level to help shape the meaning of the passage in front of you.
    6. To write the objective: you start with the entire book that the passage is in first.
      1. John’s gospel’s stated purpose is so that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing you might have eternal life. So this must inform the objective of EVERY SINGLE SERMON from John’s Gospel.
      2. Then I go to the passage itself and think through how does this passage answer, help, illustrate, or advance the main purpose of the book. I let this also inform me of how to write my objective.
      3. Before I am done, I let the rest of Scripture, in all the various levels of context inform the objective statement that I am writing.
    7. So I write the objective, and it looks something like this for John 3:9-15:
      1. Every person can come to understand the new birth’s necessity by understanding 2 things about Jesus. 
        1. Every person stems from John 20:30-31, and the Flow of the Old Testament into the New Testament concerning all families of the earth will be blessed in Abraham, and the church’s commission to make disciples of all nations.
        2. Can come to understand the new birth’s necessity – This does not mean that they will understand it. I am not using can in the since of just learn these two truths and you got it. I am allowing what the Scriptures say as a whole concerning the work of the Holy Spirit and how we come to know anything is by the work of the Spirit in us  It is also related to Nicodemus’ question in verse 9 “How can these things be?” I could have added in the objective: believe, repent, worship and on and on, but I am trying to keep the structure lean so that it is easy to keep in my head.
        3. 2 things about Jesus. Jesus answers Nicodemus’ question by revealing two big broad categories of things about himself. Sure you could go deeper and talk with more detail about these things, but I keep it way up high. My sermon will take up explaining these two things about Jesus that Jesus himself explains. And I will follow Jesus in how he explains.
    8. But I will write the objective and let my two points rise up out of John’s gospel and then explain from wherever necessary.
  2. I think personally, that when your objective is written this way, and your points follow from that objective: which has arisen from the text, the whole of the Scriptures, your people can turn back to that passage, and say this passage is about two things about Jesus, and then they can follow the same trail I did.

Okay, I am out of words for now.

I will pick this up next week.