Lecture 1 – Different Kinds of Sermons

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Introduction

1.   A brief review of the ground covered thus far in these lectures.

In Unit 3 of the course seven general axioms applicable to all kind of sermons were given. They are as follows:

a.  The proclamation, explanation, and application of scriptural truths in the power of the Holy Spirit must constitute the heart and soul of all preaching.

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

c.  The proclamation, explanation, and application of scriptural truths with perspicuity of form and structure must constitute our conscious endeavor.

d.  The proclamation, explanation, and application of scriptural truths with specific references to the thinking, behavior patterns, affections, consciences, and wills of your hearers must constitute your continuous practice.

e.  The proclamation, explanation, and application of scriptural truths aided by legitimate and judicious illuminating devices must be our constant labor.

f.  The proclamation, explanation, and application of scriptural truths with earthiness, simplicity, and plainness of speech must constitute your continuous labor.

g.  The proclamation, explanation, and application of scriptural truths for a reasonable and appropriate length of time must be our constant practice.

2.   An identification and explanation of the sources used in this particular unit: special revelation and general revelation.

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B.  Specific guidelines applicable to the different kinds of sermons

NOTE – I have used the word “expository” in my description of each kind of sermon. I have done this because it is the responsible exposition of the Word of God written that alone constitutes any God-honoring pulpit endeavor. We must always remember the seven axioms addressed in the previous unit which ought to be embodied in all of our preaching.

1.   Descriptions of the different kinds of sermons 

William G. T. Shedd, Homiletics & Pastoral Theology, (London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1965), p. 126.

a.   Topical expository sermon

1)   Description: In a topical expository sermon, a biblical doctrine, duty, or theme is expounded and applied without being limited to one major text of Scripture. Further, a given subject of general concern may be brought into the realm of biblical discussion or evaluation.

2)   Illustration: A topical expository sermon is like a play in which a text or subject sets the stage and the backdrop, but the scenes and actors are brought from the full range of scripture.

b.   Textual expository sermon

1)  Description: In a textual expository sermon a specific verse or relatively small group of verses, or chapter is expounded and applied without going outside the text for any major component of the sermon.

2)  Illustration: A textual sermon is like a one act play in which the text not only sets the stage and the backdrop, but also all the actors and scenes come from the text except for an occasional introduction of a passage outside the text which helps to explain or illustrate the text.

c.   Consecutive expository sermon

1) Description: Consecutive expository sermons are the consecutive exposition and application of an entire book, chapter, or larger grouping of Scripture.

2) Illustration: A series of consecutive expository sermons is like a serial play with many acts in which the text sets the stage and the backdrop and determines the actors. Although each act is complete in itself, it is connected with and a part of the larger whole.

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