Homiletics Lesson 2

Homiletics Lesson Two
Instructor: J. VandenHurk

Monday, 23rd January 2017


Preachers most often build sermons in one of the following formats:


a. A topical sermon is built on one subject.
b. It typically draws from a number of different passages on the same subject.
c. You are looking through the whole Bible by deep digging – not easy.
d. An advantage is that it is specific.
e. A disadvantage could be that preachers are tempted to express their own views or the ideas of others instead of, “Thus saith the Lord.”


a. A textual sermon is usually built on just a verse or two.
b. It tries to expound the general idea from the verse, using it as a springboard.
c. An advantage is that it draws attention to key phrases or words and helps you to fully remember phrases.
d. A disadvantage could be that it is possible for preachers to lift a text out of its context and say whatever they want.

i. It is easy for preachers to be intellectually dishonest about what the Bible actually says.
ii. It is easy for preachers to use their own thoughts as a framework instead of God’s truth.
iii. There are many preachers who are preaching sermons but not preaching the Bible.


a. First, expository sermons are based upon a passage of the Bible.
b. An expository sermon grows out of an exegesis of a whole passage.
c. This is also often called the “inductive method.”
d. It is to tear the passage apart to see the parts and then to put it back together again.
e. It is essentially to look at and study the Bible and then turn around and preach it.

i. The passage is studied in the wider framework of its context, with attention given to its central idea.
ii. *Every passage of Scripture only has one main message.
iii. Explain what God’s original intent is. Why did God give us this passage?

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iv. The outline of the sermon consists of a series of progressive ideas that grow out of the passage and are all related to the theme. Your points are the truths that are gathered around the central theme.

1. Do not force an outline on the Bible.
2. The outline should be true to the text

v. The main divisions of the sermon are gathered from the divisions of the passage itself.

1. You don’t use an outline first and try to make the Bible fit.
2. Instead you go to the Bible first, “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15)
3. Then work at applying these truths using every possible method, with the objective of getting the hearers to obey.

f. An advantage is that it makes you true to Scripture.
g. A disadvantage could be that although you are doctrinally sound, you fail to make a Spirit led application.
h. Expository preaching has less to do with the length of the passage itself, and more to do with how the Scriptures are handled (2 Cor. 4:2).

* Note: It is possible to preach a Topical or a Textual sermon in such a way that it is expository.

  • With Topical sermons, every passage must be exegetically studied to be sure you are using it correctly. It is then a topical exposition.
  • With Textual sermons, the verse must be exegeticaly and thoroughly digested. You must have textual exposition.

Whatever type of sermon you are building,
remember these A-Z foundational principles:

A. As you build a sermon, begin with God (Romans 10:14-15)
B. As you build a sermon, your primary task is to give the exposition of the Word. This is impossible without the proper interpretation of God’s Word.

a. Every passage of Scripture has one correct interpretation. The Charismatics have done a great disservice in interprettig the Scripture with the expression, “This is what is means to me.”
b. Once we have determined the correct interpretation of Scripture, we may make many applications of that Scripture.

C. As you build a sermon, your preaching will improve if you approach the text using the larger context.

a. Most preaching misses the mark because the preacher errs in not knowing the context of the Scripture (Mt. 22:29; Mark 12:24).
b. Know the context and allow it to set the background for the passage with which you are dealing.

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c. When considering the context, place the emphasis where God places the emphasis.

D. As you build a sermon, preach what is in God’s heart, not what is in your heart. Some mistakes made when preaching is saying,

a. “I want to tell you what’s on my heart”
b. “I want to let you know how much I know” (Greek or Hebrew / no application)

E. As you build a sermon, letting God’s Word speak gives the sermon authority (Mt. 7:28-29). Preach the clear commands of God.
F. As you build a sermon, follow the biblical pattern of “thus saith the Lord,” no matter what the audience. The message is the same for “every man” Colossians 1:28.
G. As you build a sermon, remember that preaching is the declaration of truth, as God in His Word has revealed it to men.
H. As you build a sermon, remember that the aim of preaching is the glory of God (I Corinthians 10:31).
I. As you build a sermon, remember to always lift up the Lord Jesus Christ.

a. If Christ is not in the message, do not preach it yet. Look for Him. He is in the Bible; if you preach the Bible, He will be in your message.

J. As you build a sermon, explain how the passage relates to the area of salvation. Be clear in stating how to know Christ and presenting the way of salvation clearly. Never make vague statements that provide no clear understanding.
K. As you build a sermon, remember that you are preaching the Bible. Without any prejudices ask, what is God saying in the Bible?
L. As you build a sermon, you are a Biblical detective, without preconceived ideas. You search the Scriptures (Acts 17:11) to see what God is saying.
M. As you build a sermon, remember that every passage is trying to produce something in our lives or stir us to action. The hearts of God’s people are stirred as they hear God’s Word preached in the power of the Holy Spirit.
N. As you build a sermon, always have some godly direction and purpose for your message. It must lead to a verdict. This is not a tacked on addition to the sermon; it is the whole purpose of the sermon!
O. As you build a sermon, in order to get to a verdict, you must be “apt to teach. ”

a. Turn to your related text and support Scriptures rather than just always quoting them. Help people get used to using their Bibles.
b. Emphasise that the message is based on God’s message.
c. This is especially important for pastors (1 Tim. 3:2; 2 Tim. 2:24).
d. Pastors have two responsibilities in 1 Peter 5:2 –

1) To feed the flock of God (teaching / preaching God’s Word) and
2) To take the oversight thereof (through leadership and direction)

P. As you build a sermon, always start with reading a Bible text.
Q. As you build a sermon, as early as possible be able to write a conclusion to justify the effort that is going into the preparation of that sermon.

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R. As you build a sermon, know where to start and where to stop.
S. As you build a sermon, maintain biblical goals for the message for the church, Ephesians 4:11-16.

a. It builds the church in faith, v12-13
b. It brings the believers to maturity, v13-14.
c. It produces people who have integrity, v14-15.
d. It equips the church for service, v16.

T. As you build a sermon, try to leave enough time to meditate on the passage of Scripture you are preaching.

a. Meditation adds breadth, height, and depth to the message.
b. We are to “ponder” or “connect the dots” (Luke 2:19) and “meditate therein day and night” (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2).

U. As you build a sermon, aim to be able to state the purpose of the message in one clear sentence.
V. As you build a sermon, try to take your title from the Bible text.

a. Remember we are delivering God’s message, and His words are expressions of His thoughts.

W. As you study the Bible and read it devotionally, be on the lookout for key words and key phrases.

a. You will notice that the Word of God states certain things in a way that gets our attention in a profound way. If these things get our attention profoundly as we read devotionally and study, we will find that they get the attention of the people and linger in their hearts long after the sermon is preached.
b. Our hearts should be on fire when the Lord Jesus speaks to us along the way (Luke 24:32)
c. Keep a record of these key thoughts and ideas that pass through your mind.

X. As you build a sermon, remember to preach the Bible (2 Tim. 4:2), not about the Bible.

a. Too much preaching is simply about the Bible and not the Bible.
b. Preach what you find in the Word of God, not what you find in other sources.

Y. As you build a sermon, preach what you know, not what you do not know.
Z. As you build a sermon, preach the messages and lists that God has given us in His Word.


– This type of preaching was predominant in the twelve centuries following Christ, and the church grew.
– As papal authority increased, so did a departure from apostolic preaching.
– The Dark Ages were the result.
– The exposition of the Scripture by John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, etc., led to the Reformation.
– Preaching today is marked by both biblical and non-Bible centred approaches. (The second is used most, so the first is so very refreshing when you hear it!)