Thursday, October 16, 2008

Good Sermons

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A little introduction to a two-part post i've been writing:
For all the preparation the preacher does (or not) before gathering up the guts to speak to us, i'd hope that he'd have prepared a good sermon. And a right response to that sermon (good or not), would be good listening


I'm no preacher, but i am a more than once weekly pew/seat/floor warmer, sitting at the feet (or on a chair) in front of a speaker. After listening to these speeches for a while, there'll come a point where you take note of the difference between good sermons and bad ones (that is, if you've been paying attention - read about that in the sequel to this post). 

A few things i've found helpful in a sermon:
  1. A good preacher preaches a sermon that draws your attention not towards himself, but points to God.

    That's the whole point of preaching at the pulpit, to quote someone wiser than me, "to hold the microphone for God." Long life experiences, funny anecdotes and other such things shouldn't distract from the message God brings. 

  2. It is good to teach and explain Bible passages (expository/explicatory preaching).

    Where better to start than with Scripture to hear God speak? It's great when the Bible is explained to us on the pulpit, in direct opposition to using Scripture here and there to support a cause/ulterior motive/just your own message. We should hunger for what God is saying, not what man wants to say.

  3. It is necessary to help people understand biblical theology.

    It's great when i get help in understanding how a text from the Bible relates to me and salvation etc. Since the Bible (both the testaments) shows God's unfolding plan of salvation climaxing with Jesus Christ on the cross, we should seek to understand any given text in the Bible within God's whole plan, revealed to us in Scripture. The Gospel should remain the center of any message, always the climax, never the footnote or postscript.

It's not an exhaustive list and feel free to correct me if i'm wrong, but these are things we all need to hear on Sundays and everyday. We all need to remember and be reminded of the cross all the time - whether from the pulpit or elsewhere - and make it a point to live a Gospel-centered life, not a gospel sidelined life.


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