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Preaching Fundamentals

Preaching Fundamentals
"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

Prepared by: Shelene Huey-Booker

Preaching Fundamentals
Dear fellow brothers/sisters in Christ, Firstly, I would like to congratulate you for having a desire to further your knowledge and insight of the things of God. Many persons shun such classes and seminars because of pride. As a result, many preachers and teachers of this sacred gospel have succumb to popular sayings, clichs, incorrect interpretations and the applause of man to qualify them as good preachers/teachers. However Timothy gives us direct and clear caution in this regard. 2 Timothy 4:2-4 (Amplified Bible)

Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold, 4And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions. We will take a journey together discovering both natural and spiritual principles to presenting the word of God and the riches of the salvation story. Along this road, it is my prayer you will find some treasured nuggets to help you achieve excellence in your workings of your gifts.

Fellow servant in Christ, Shelene Huey-Booker

Preaching Fundamentals
Table of Contents Knowing your calling.2 Walking in the excellence of your calling.. Rightly Dividing the word of truth The art of sermon writing Proper etiquette.


Exegesis means exposition or explanation. Biblical exegesis involves the examination of a particular text of scripture in order to properly interpret it. Exegesis is a part of the process of hermeneutics, the science of interpretation. A person who practices exegesis is called an exegete. Good biblical exegesis is actually commanded in scripture. Study [be diligent] to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). According to this verse, we must handle the Word of God properly, through diligent study. If we dont, we have reason to be ashamed. There are some basic principles of good exegesis which serious students of the Bible will follow: 1. The Grammatical Principle. The Bible was written in human language, and language has a certain structure and follows certain rules. Therefore, we must interpret the Bible in a manner consistent with the basic rules of language. Usually, the exegete starts his examination of a passage by defining the words in it. Definitions are basic to understanding the passage as a whole, and it is important that the words be defined according to their original intent and not according to modern usage. To ensure accuracy, the exegete uses a precise English translation and Greek and Hebrew dictionaries. Next, the exegete examines the syntax, or the grammatical relationships of the words in the passage. He finds parallels, he determines which ideas are primary and which are subordinate, and he discovers actions, subjects, and their modifiers. He may even diagram a verse or two.

Preaching Fundamentals
2. The Literal Principle. We assume that each word in a passage has a normal, literal meaning, unless there is good reason to view it as a figure of speech. The exegete does not go out of his way to spiritualize or allegorize. Words mean what words mean. So, if the Bible mentions a horse, it means a horse. When the Bible speaks of the Promised Land, it means a literal land given to Israel and should not be interpreted as a reference to heaven. 3. The Historical Principle. As time passes, culture changes, points of view change, language changes. We must guard against interpreting scripture according to how our culture views things; we must always place scripture in its historical context. The diligent Bible student will consider the geography, the customs, the current events, and even the politics of the time when a passage was written. An understanding of ancient Jewish culture can greatly aid an understanding of scripture. To do his research, the exegete will use Bible dictionaries, commentaries, and books on history. 4. The Synthesis Principle. The best interpreter of scripture is scripture itself. We must examine a passage in relation to its immediate context (the verses surrounding it), its wider context (the book its found in), and its complete context (the Bible as a whole). The Bible does not contradict itself. Any theological statement in one verse can and should be harmonized with theological statements in other parts of scripture. Good Bible interpretation relates any one passage to the total content of scripture. 5. The Practical Principle. Once weve properly examined the passage to understand its meaning, we have the responsibility to apply it to our own lives. To rightly divide the word of truth is more than an intellectual exercise; it is a life-changing event. Heremeneutics Biblical hermeneutics is perhaps summarized best by 2 Timothy 2:15, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Biblical hermeneutics is the science of knowing how to properly interpret the various types of literature found in the Bible. For example, a psalm should often be interpreted differently than a prophecy. A proverb should be understood and applied differently from a law. This is the purpose of biblical hermeneutics - to help us to know how to interpret, understand, and apply the Bible. The most important law of biblical hermeneutics is that the Bible should be interpreted literally. Literal Bible interpretation means you understand the Bible in its normal/plain meaning. The Bible says what it means and means what it says. Many make the mistake of trying to read between the lines and come up with meanings for Scriptures that are not truly in the text. Yes, of course, there are some spiritual truths behind the plain meanings of Scripture. That does not mean that every Scripture has a hidden spiritual truth, or that it should be our goal to find all such spiritual truths. Biblical hermeneutics keeps us faithful to the intended meaning of Scripture and away from allegorizing and symbolizing Bible verses and passages that should be understood literally.

Preaching Fundamentals
A second crucial law of biblical hermeneutics is that a verse or passage must be interpreted historically, grammatically, and contextually. Historical interpretation refers to understanding the culture, background, and situation which prompted the text. Grammatical interpretation is recognizing the rules of grammar and nuances of the Hebrew and Greek languages and applying those principles to the understanding of a passage. Contextual interpretation involves always taking the surrounding context of a verse/passage into consideration when trying to determine the meaning. Some mistakenly view biblical hermeneutics as limiting our ability to learn new truths from God's Word or stifling the Holy Spirit's ability to reveal to us the meaning of God's Word. This is not the case. The goal of biblical hermeneutics is to point us to the correct interpretation which the Holy Spirit has already inspired into the text. The purpose of biblical hermeneutics is to protect us from improperly applying a Scripture to a particular situation. Biblical hermeneutics points us to the true meaning and application of Scripture. Hebrews 4:12 declares, "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any doubleedged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Biblical hermeneutics is keeping the sword sharp!

Preaching Fundamentals

Tips to writing a sermon Preaching is one of the most difficult tasks you can undertake. Add to it the theological burden of attempting to proclaim God's Word and who wouldn't be nervous? That is part of the reason the three point sermon has endured for so long. It is a simple structure that is sturdy and takes some of the anguish out of writing a good sermon. Here are some practical tips on how to write a good three point sermon that is convicting and inspiring.

1.Make sure you begin, continue, and end your preparation in prayer. Ask for guidance, prayerfully meditate on the text, ask God to reveal your own struggles and faults in the text. Make each of these next steps a matter of prayer as well. 2.Make sure it has one big point. Every sermon needs to be unified and focused. Tom Long in Witness of preaching calls it the "focus" and Haddon Robinson calls it "the Big Idea." Each of your three points should unpack, explain, expand, and/or apply your focus statement/Big idea. 3.Make one point per point.

That is really the first rule of points. That sounds easier than it really is. If you have the word "and" in your point be might be two points. This isn't a question, a paragraph, or a heading for a section of material. It is a point. You are saying one thing to the congregation. 4. Make your point directed to your hearer. It has to connect with the listener. "The Pharisees were self-righteous" doesn't connect with the hearer. "Love is never self-righteous" or even "Root out your self-righteous thoughts" does. This doesn't mean it can't be general or about God. It just has to connect with the hearer. 5.Make brief points. Brevity adds to memorability. Your listeners don't carry your outline around with them. They need memorable handles to hold onto. In a point-based sermon that means brevity is a virtue. 6.Use simple language. This is true for all preaching. Never use a dollar word when a nickel word will do.

Preaching Fundamentals
7.Consider making every point an application. There are certainly times when the passage doesn't fit this sort of movement. But in general, centuries of preaching theorists have pointed to application as the key for a sermon hitting home. Don't wait to the end to give a final application. Humans have three zones for application: thinking, acting, feeling. Use imperative verbs to communicate to those three dimensions. "Change judging for understanding" or "Remember God as much as possible" or "See Christ in the face of the poor." 8.Structure the points to have movement between them. Move toward climax at the end. Alternatively, move between conflict and resolution. Consider using the first two points and false solutions, with the third point being the best solution. Points should go somewhere. And they should go together. As Eugene Lowry says in his book Homiletical Plot, learn to focus on the mortar and not just the bricks. What holds the sermon together? How does one point (brick) transition into the next (mortar)? Is there a logical flow? Is there a question, problem, issue, or logical direction that guides the entire sermon? 9.Make sure your points preach to you. This is the best test of a sermon: does it move, convict, and inspire you? If you haven't preached to yourself yet, your preaching may completely miss your hearer as well. 10. Carefully choose illustrations, anecdotes, visual aids, experiential items, that will further the message. These are best if they organically arise from the passage and your thoughts on the passage. Ask yourself, what is the best way I can put this point on my street? How does this look in my world, my hearer's world? 11.Practice it before you present it. Preach it to an empty room. Drive to a lonely cemetery and preach in the car. A sermon is never written (even if it is in a manuscript). A sermon is always spoken. Until we speak and hear it, we are not fully prepared to preach. But there is another element to the word "practice." Be sure you try to apply this sermon in a new way to your life this week. Ask "how can this change the way I live today?" Until it does, you are not ready to preach with conviction and inspiration.

How to Write a Three Point Sermon |

Preaching Fundamentals
Example of Sermon Outline Format

Your introduction can be written in a more complete form... just to get your started. No more than one paragraph of notes. It shouldnt take more than 5 minutes to speak.
I. FIRST MAJOR POINT: Usually just a one sentence statement A. First Sub Point. This is a supporting statement relating to the main point. Or a statement

speaking about the main point. B. Second Sub Point. Additonal supporting material for the main point.
Illustration: When you want to illustrate a point, or sub point I recommend writing the

illustration separate and in paragraph form like this. This makes it stand out from the rest of the outline. Sometimes you need to write out the illustration so you will be able to tell it exactly but I recommend that you learn the illustration and only write down a brief memory jogger to help you remember all its points. For example, if my illustration was "Mary Had a Little Lamb" I might make notes like this:
Mary had a little lamb... white as snow, followed her, school , made II. SECOND MAJOR POINT: A. B. C. Illustration Transitional sentence III. THIRD MAJOR POINT: A. B. C. Illustration Transitional sentence kids laugh.

CONCLUSION AND CALL TO ACTION: At the end of the sermon outline you need to wrap up all the points with one paragraph. If you have

crafted a good sermon you should be able to reach a solid conclusion, and then call the congregation to act on it.

Preaching Fundamentals
Difference between topical sermon and expository sermon