c. Historic Context. When was this statement written? Did what was transpiring at that time influence what was written? Do events at the time of writing have specific bearing on what was said?

           d. Geographic Context. Where was the writer when he w rote these words? Where were the people to whom he wrote? Does their geographical location have any bearing on what was said?

           e. Total Biblical Context. “All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God” (2Tim 3:16). Each part must be faithfully interpreted to agree with the whole.

No Scripture should be removed from its context; it must be interpreted by what the whole revelation of the entire Scripture teaches. Scripture must interpret Scripture, and our exposition of one text should always agree with what the Bible as a whole teaches.

D. ARRANGING YOUR MATERIAL

The orderly arrangement of material is a distinct advantage, both to the preacher and to those who will hear him. For the preacher, it affords the clearest grasp of his subject. His thoughts are not muddled or confused. It also helps him to ensure the most adequate treatment of the subject.

As for his audience, it will obviously assist them greatly in their grasp and comprehension of the sermon.

  1. What An Outline Does For You

A good outline is the best and simplest way to organize your material.

  • It makes you carefully analyze your subject and the material you have gathered. In doing this, you ultimately select only the best of your material.
  • It reveals any weak areas in your treatment of the subject and the development of your presentation.
  • It enables you to get the most out of your material, because you reduce it to its most relevant and essential substance.
  • It makes it easier for you to remember all you want to say, and to present it in a progressive and orderly fashion, with the least obvious dependence on your written notes.
  • It makes it easier for your listeners to follow the development of your presentation, because it is communicated in the most orderly and logical fashion.

       2. Concerning Your Notes

  • Keep Them Brief. Train yourself to use the “skeleton-type” notes which you can take in at a glance.
  • Make Them Orderly. You need to be able to follow them easily at all times.
  • Let Them Be Comprehensive. Endeavor to cover every aspect on which you intend to speak.
  • Concentrate On Ideas. Condense your thoughts into brief sentences. Learn to crystallize your thoughts and express them in terse sentences. Practice reducing and expressing a concept in one sentence.
  • Make Condensed Notes. Remember that the notes are there to prod your memory. Even one significant word can remind you of some instance you wish to recall and share with your audience.
  • Make Them Easy To Read. If you possess a typewriter, you may find typed notes easy to read. If not, then print your notes as clearly and legibly as possible. Never scribble out your notes so that you need to ponder over them in the pulpit in order to decipher what you have written.

E. THE STRUCTURE OF A TEXTUAL SERMON

The outline of your sermon will usually contain three major elements:

  • The Introduction;
  • The Main Statement Of Truth;
  • The Conclusion And Application.

Let us examine these in greater detail.

  1. Introduction

Your introduction may well be the most important part of your message, for if you do not win your listeners’ attention in this initial period, they ma y pay little attention to the remainder of your sermon.