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Spelling Out Preaching #7



Once we, as preachers, have handled the Scriptures correctly (Cf. 2 Timothy 2:15), we need to identify the portion of the text, or pericope, from which we intend to preach.

In the original Greek, the word ‘handle’, means to ‘cut a straight path’, and the word ‘pericope’ means ‘a cutting out’. There is a great deal of careful cutting in sermon preparation.

The theologian Gordon Fee writes, “The final product, the sermon, can and must be based on research that is reverent and sound in scholarship. The sermon, as an act of obedience and worship, ought not to wrap shoddy scholarship in a cloak of fervency”.

However, once we have worked hard to cut through the text, how do we cut out the right portion for the sermon?

I keep four questions in mind:

  • What does God want?
  • What do the circumstances require?
  • What does the audience need?
  • ...and what do I have to share?

To answer these questions honestly, I need to pray, acknowledge the season, read the audience, and live my message. Even if we are not preaching regularly, these are essential disciplines.

Do we know Jesus well enough to point people to Him?

Do we know people well enough to help them?

Do we know ourselves well enough to serve as we should?


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