A. ADVANTAGES OF THE BIOGRAPHICAL SERMON
I have intimated previously that this type of sermon relates primarily to teaching from the lives and examples of Bible characters. It entails the detailed study of such characters in order to learn as much as possible from their lives.
An interesting feature of the Bible is the manner in which the men and women who form the narrative are presented just as they are. There is no attempt to cover up their weaknesses and reveal only their strengths and virtues.
Many of the great heroes of the Bible have their human flaws. We are very much aware that they are flesh and blood as we are. They faced temptations common to all men; frequently, their response was little different from that of the average Christian today.
In all the narrative of Bible history, there is only one truly perfect man -, the man Christ Jesus! Even the great heroes of faith are manifestly human. This certainly helps us identify with them.
The art of expounding truths learned from studying the lives of these men and women is an extremely valuable one. It is a style of preaching which may be used to great effect by a pastor.
- Deals With Realities Of Life
It deals with the realities of human life, with its strengths and weaknesses. We can frequently learn so much from the struggles, triumphs and failures of those who have gone before us.
- Are Examples To Learn From
They are examples for our benefit – that we might learn from them, rather than from our own painful experience.
B. HOW TO BEGIN
- Choose Characters From The Bible
You could begin this style of preaching by studying some of the greater characters of the Bible such as Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Paul and Peter.
These are men whose deeds illuminate the history of God’s dealings with mankind. There is SO MUCH to learn from their lives. There are many great women in the Bible, too, whose lives have a special message to convey.
- Study Their Lives
Begin by reading the narrative which tells of the birth of the person. Find out the meaning of his or her name, for most Bible names have tremendous significance. Study the circumstances of his or her upbringing. Pay special attention to the purpose of God in his or her life.
- What did God want to accomplish through him (or her)?
- How did He make His purpose known?
- What was the reaction of the person?
- What can we learn from the dealings of God in his (or her) life?
- Are there some dangers we should be aware of?
- What was the secret of his (or her) success?
- What was the conclusion of his (or her) life?
C. EXAMPLE OF A BIOGRAPHICAL SERMON
There are so many lessons we can learn from these great characters.
- The Life Of David
Let us look briefly into the life of David to give a simple example of a biographical sermon.
TITLE: DAVID, A MAN AFTER GOD’S HEART (Acts 13:22).