Lecture 3 – Selection of Sermonic Materials

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2. The proclamation, explanation, and application of scriptural truths which are most needed by your regular hearers must constitute your constant goal.

Introduction: Explanation of the terms of the axiom

a. The biblical basis of this axiom

1) The nature of preaching in relationship to the prophetic office of Christ.

Mt. 18:20
Rev. 2, 3
1 Cor. 14:37
Eph. 5:29

2) The implications of the pastoral office

Acts 20:28
Ps. 23
Jn. 10
1 Thess. 2:11
1 Tim. 3:5
Heb. 13:7, 17
Eph. 4:11-12

3) The pattern of biblical preaching

b. The fundamental principle operative in a wise selection of sermonic materials. There is a constant and delicate interplay of the natural and supernatural.

Phil. 2:12-13
Phil. 4:13
Col. 1:29
2 Tim. 2:7

William M. Taylor, The Ministry of the Word, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1975), pp. 107-109.

a) Beware of the iron-clad rule makers.

b) Beware of a wooden inflexibility with your own plan.

c) Beware of copying others.

d) Beware of the two great dangers of enthusiasm and rationalism.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971), pp. 188-190.

C. H. Spurgeon, “On the Choice of a Text,” in Lectures to My Students, Book I, (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim Publications, 1990),pp. 88-89.

c. Some general guidelines for wise selection of sermonic materials.

1) Seek to be consistently prayerful for divine guidance.

2 Cor. 2:16
Jas. 1:5
Lk. 11:13
Prov. 3:5-6
Jas. 4:4

2) Seek to be aware of the needs and present capacity of the flock of God.

Acts 20:28
Prov. 27:23
2 Cor. 11:28
The Epistles
1 Tim. 1:3
Titus 1:5
Sermon on the Mount
Mk. 4:33
Heb. 5:11-14

William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armor, vol. 1, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1989), p. 231.

Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1974) p. 113.

a) Various categories

(1) general needs

(2) specific critical needs

(3) occasional needs

b) Means for developing awareness

(1) You must have a cultivated alertness to the needs of your
own people.

(2) You must be in contact with your people.

(3) You must cultivate good communication with your fellow elders.

John Owen, “The True Nature of a Gospel Church and Its Government,” in The Works of John Owen, vol. 16, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1968), p. 141.

(4) Keep in touch with the general currents of thought which influence your people.

3) Seek to be sensitive to God’s dealing with your own heart and mind.

Gardiner Spring, The Power of the Pulpit, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1986), pp. 119-120.

John Owen, “Grace and Duty of Being Spiritually Minded,” in The Works of John Owen, vol. 7, (London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1965), p. 263.

4) Seek to be sensitive to your own present development as a preacher.

Rom 12:3

Gardiner Spring, The Power of the Pulpit, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1986), pp. 120-121.

5) Seek to be sensitive to the reaction of the flock of God.

Gal. 1:10
1 Thess. 2:1-4 with Rom. 15:30-31


Phillips Brooks, Lectures on Preaching, (New York: E. P. Dutton & Company, 1902), pp. 153-155.

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