Homiletics Lesson 12

Homiletics Lesson Twelve
Instructor: Colin Pavitt

Homiletics – The Axiomatical Sermon (Page One)


Principles Underlying The Word:

An Axiom: Dictionary Definition:

“A Proposition that commends itself to general acceptance;
a well established or universally conceded principle;
a Maxim, Rule; Law.

Axiomatical preaching is simply taking a PRINCIPLE of Scripture

and illustrating it from the Scripture and life;

and then applying it to the congregation.

It is a matter of taking an AXIOM and proving it with effect.

It is a method that can be greatly used for the encouragement and exhortation of the Lord’s people.


1) Take the principle alone from Scripture.

Formulate the theme into a clear, crisp sentence which the hearer can understand.

2) The Principle must now be elaborated upon proving and illustrating from:

a) The Bible

b) Illustrations from Church History; biographies; testimonies of God’s people etc.

“The various aspects of the principle will now be revealed mainly by illustration”

3) Draw from the principle a logical conclusion, thus showing the needs of the people and how that need can be met.


1) The Principle is Announced

(An opening illustration leading up to the Axiom may be used)

2) The Principle is now Proved and Illustrated.

3) The Principle is Applied.


1) Guard against the commonplace

– Dig deep into the Scriptures to find Axioms

– Feed God’s people with fresh and sometimes not commonly preached principles.

2) Let the Axiom have Depth and Significance.

The only way a preacher can achieve this is to be in the Book and a real student of the word of God.

3) Preach the Principles in the Bible and not Platitudes or personal opinions.

Homiletics – The Axiomatical Sermon (Page 2)

4) Get to know the congregations need

– They are living in the real world and there are Axiom’s and principles in Scripture which can be brought to bear down in any situation bringing strength and blessing to individuals.

5) Be sure to always not to Just mention the Axiom or principle but also to APPLY it.

This rule of course of applying what we are preaching applies to all sermon types and structure.

6) Sometimes preaching Axiom and principles can be painful for the listener particularly if it is addressing a situation in their life

– Don’t be fearful

– It will be good for them if preached with the correct Christian spirit.


1) Faithfulness – Brings Fruitfulness

2) Grace – Is Always Triumphant.

1. In the past at the cross

2. In the present in life

3. In the future at judgement.

3) Bind the strong man – And then spoil his goods.

“This could be an axiom for young people

— i.e. personal victory is required before attacking Satan’s Kingdom”

4) Before David could reign – Saul must die.

5) God works miracles – When faith is extended.

6) Whatever we give to God – He gives it back in a greater way.

7) You must always be prepared to carry the weight

– If you intend to carry Holy Things.

8) God defeats a man – In order to deliver him.

9) Faith turns weights – Into wings.

10) To be on God’s side – Spells and Equals victory.

11) Pain plants the flag of reality

– And thereby conquers the rebel heart and self sufficient heart.

Homiletics – Illustrations (Page 1)

Homiletics – Illustrations


Lord Macauley

“Logicians may reason from abstractions but the great mass of men must have images. Doctrine must generally be embodied before they can excite a strong public feeling?”


“The preacher must provide material for the picture forming faculty of the mind.”

Dr. David L. Clifford

“ The foundation of the house is the text.

The Pillars of the house are the headings.

The windows of the house are the illustrations.”


“Illustrations let in the light like windows.

However, the sermon should not resemble a glass house.”

1) The Need of Illustrations.

1: Illustrations assist ARGUMENT or REASONING.

2: Illustrations bring the truth into “life”

Kevan:- “In addition to explanation there should be the setting forth of the truth in some living form. Illustrations show the thought in action. It gives to an eternal truth a temporal environment and by it a theory becomes incarnate to the immense help of the hearer.”

3: Illustrations Personalizes the truth.

If you speak the truth as you feel it that very act clothes it with light and warmth.

4: Illustrations help the hearer to remember.

5: Illustrations provide for various backgrounds, classes and personalities.

6: Illustrations bridge difficult areas of exposition.

7: Illustrations stimulate imagination.

Arab Proverb:-” He is the best speaker who can turn the ear into an eye.”

Oh, I see = I understand.

Homiletics – Illustrations (Page 2)

8: Illustrations rest the audience.

9: Illustrations enforce the truth.

Jesus said “The Kingdom of heaven is like.”

10: Illustrations make preaching interesting.

Sangster:- “So much is dull .” “ Banish boredom from the pulpit”.

11: Illustrations make the truth impressive.

12: Illustrations help to persuade people.

13: Illustrations allow repetition without weariness.

14: Illustrations can arrest a restless congregation.


1: Figures of speech.

“Words being used in other than their literal sense

– or in other than their ordinary locutions in order to suggest a picture”

2: Analogy – figures of speech. “Similarity between like features of two things”

To use an established fact – i.e. of science and nature.

3: Allegory.

Sangster:- “Imaginative narratives of spiritual importance in which vices, virtues and moral qualities of men are personalised and which an emblem is suggestively used to convey a meaning other than the literal one.
i.e. Pilgrim’s progress.

4: Fables

Stories not founded on fact in which moral truth is imparted by attributing reason and language to trees, birds, beasts, the elements, etc.

Homiletics – Illustrations (Page 3)

5: Parables.

Stories that enshrine spiritual truth and reveal the revelation of God to this world.

6: Historical illusions.

7: Biographical incidents.

Nothing interprets life more than life itself.

8: Personal experience used with restraint

Talking about oneself is a fearful thought.

9: Anecdote

Note our Lord’s use of illustrations:-

  1. From the Old Testament Scripture
  2. By Parables – His art in inventing stories
  3. From nature – corn, lilies, sparrows, etc.
  4. From Industry – sower, shepherds, fishing, husbandry etc.

“ He spoke of lilies, vine and corn
The sparrow and the raven
And words so natural yet so wise
Were in men’s mind engraven.”


1: From Scripture with its histories, types, characters,visions and parables

2: From experience.

A: One’s own.

See that all illustrations are not always from your experience and never exaggerate.

Homiletics – Illustrations (Page 4)

B: Others

Be absolutely truthful. Do not let it appear that you are unjustly criticizing others. Names need not be used.

C: From your own imagination.

This must always be stated to be so i.e. Let us imagine.

Develop the art of inventing illustrations to fit into your theme.

D: Nature with its parables and pictures.

e.g. “I was digging potatoes yesterday.”

E: From History.

i. Verify these illustrations for yourself from history books.

Catch the ears of local people by using local history.

ii: Present day history.

Newspapers may furnish you with a fund of useful illustrations.

Don’t forget to read newspapers, listen to the radio, and watch the television.

iii: Church history can supply wonderful illustrations.

iv: Natural history.

F: From Industry.

Always keep an ear and eye open in your city or country and illustrate the Gospel to your audience from their own industry.

Store your material and keep in a file marked illustrations with headings under alphabetical order.


1: To use as decoration. Remember illustrations are there to show the way OF TRUTH not just to beautify.

2: To build the sermon around the illustration. The truth itself must grip the hearer and the preacher.

3: Using illustrations which need long explanations and illustrations themselves.

4: To harp on one theme.

5: Self Display.

Homiletics – Illustrations (Page 5)


1: Don’t confuse illustrations with arguments.

2: Don’t illustrate the obvious

3: Don’t make it a rule always to have the same number of illustrations in a sermon.

4: Keep to the facts.

Don’t transfer to yourself what has happened to somebody else.

5: Don’t glorify yourself.

6: Don’t use illustrations that steal attention from the sermon’s theme.

“Beware of diverting”