To “correctly handle the word of truth” we must spend time dissecting, exegeting and wrestling with the text. It’s so easy to superimpose our opinions over it. But we must let God’s Word superimpose it’s “opinions” on us and our sermon outlines.
Honestly, my time prepping for sermons comes with a consistent process of repentance. The Greek Word for repentance means, “a change of mind.” My sermon outlines, theology and practice are steadily being adjusted and transformed by the truth of God’s Word.
Our opinions don’t matter. God’s do. Let’s make sure we are preaching God’s infallible truth in our sermons, not our very fallible opinions
Give the application, not the Gospel.
“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2
There are so many sermons that I’ve heard that I want to call “great” but dare not, because the Gospel was not given clearly. A preacher that doesn’t give the Gospel is like a singer who refuses to sing, a comedian who doesn’t give the punchline and a lifeguard who won’t swim.
As someone once said, “Take your text and make a beeline for the cross.“
Too many sermons are application rich and Gospel poor. They have much for the believer and nothing for the nonbeliever. They give 5 steps to changing your life but not the one essential step for saving your soul.
What a waste.
When I was a pastor I gave the Gospel every week no matter what. And people came to Christ weekly.
When we had guest preachers I would warn them, “If you don’t give the Gospel clearly during your sermon then I will have to get up after you and do it.” And there were times I did.
Whether they were offended or not was NOT my chief concern. I was more worried about God being pleased and the lost being reached.
Just yesterday, I visited my old church (I resigned in 1999 to do Dare 2 Share full time.) My lifelong friend, Rick Long, who planted the church with me in 1989 has been the lead pastor since. Guess what? Many people indicated faith in Jesus during the service because he gave the Gospel clearly…like he does every week. The church now numbers in the thousands and the vast percentage of people who attend came to Christ as a result of the relentless Gospel preaching. Every sermon, no matter what, makes a beeline for the cross!
Preacher, if you are not clearly giving the Gospel every week, then make a commitment to start right now. If you are not willing to make that commitment then ask yourself why.
May these preaching reminders help us all preach the Word with maximum impact for the glory of God!
This article originally appeared here.