I would like us to examine more closely the preparation of a textual type of sermon. I have previously defined this method as an analysis and exposition of a brief portion of Scripture, usually a single verse or text.
A. ADVANTAGES OF HAVING A TEXT
1. Captures Interest
The announcement of an interesting text immediately captures the interest of your audience, thus giving you an attentive congregation. They are intrigued to see how you will deal with it. They want to know what thoughts and implications you will bring forth out of your text. The minds of your listeners are stimulated and alert, affording you an interested congregation.
- Prevents Wandering
A specific text helps to prevent the preacher from wandering from his subject. It is difficult for an audience to retain active interest in a speaker who wanders in his presentation.
Having a particular text – and a context from which you have taken your subject – helps to avoid such wanderings, and to retain the active interest of your hearers.
- Keeps Sermon Biblical
Centering your talk on a specific portion of Scripture helps to keep you (the preacher) biblical. Having presented text directly from the Bible, your message is obviously biblically-based. The tendency is then to substantiate your theme from other relevant parts of the Bible.
Conversely, if your announced topic is other than a biblical one – whether it be psychological, social, cultural, etc. -then the substantiation for your theme will generally be obtained from a similar source. That is not good. We are commanded to “Preach the Word!” (2 Tim 4:2).
- Increases Boldness
Preaching directly from the Bible increases the boldness and authority of the proclamation. When you specifically preach the Word of God, there is a special anointing of the Spirit upon it. God anoints His Word.
Statements taken directly from the Bible can be presented with great feeling and conviction. This is because you are not presenting your own ideas; you are telling the people what God has to say on the matter. It carries enormous weight and authority when you declare, “The Bible says!” and then read or share the verse and give the meaning.
It was when the disciples went forth “preaching the Word” that God worked with them, confirming the Word with signs following. The Lord “worked with the word” (Mark 16:20).
- Aids Recall Of Message
A good text helps to fix the message in the minds of your listeners. They will remember it long afterwards. When they recall your message, it will frequently be the Scripture on which you based your talk which will be remembered most vividly.
B. CHOOSING A TEXT
1. Read The Bible Regularly
If you wish to become a capable and effective preacher, you must read your Bible regularly. Determine to develop good habits in respect to Bible reading. Have a special time each day to read the Bible. Carry a small Bible with you so that, if you have spare moments, you can spend them profitably in reading the Scriptures.
- Study The Bible
Do not merely read it superficially. Dig beneath the surface. Meditate diligently on the things you read. Toss them around in your mind. Look at them from every point of view. Practice analyzing what you study. Take it apart in your mind and put it together again.