3 Things Every Good Sermon Gives
Preaching is hard work. It’s not easy to stand in front of a group of people who are looking for soul-food, and then deliver a 45 minute monologue that is tight doctrinally, uplifting, interesting, and inspiring…not to mention how hard it is to do this on a weekly basis year after year! We have a high calling, my brothers, and we must take it seriously.
Here is one way to evaluate if your sermon is good: does it have the three essential ingredients?
Something to Know
Preaching is first and foremost a declaration of truth. We preach not our own ideas (2 Peter 1:16), but the truth as revealed in God’s Word. Preaching is nothing if it based solely on opinions or emotions. Feelings come and feelings go, but truth stands like a rock. Believers need to build their lives on the sturdy pillar of the Bible. Every good sermon gives the listeners a truth to grab hold of, a promise to cling to, or a challenge to reckon with.
Something to Sing About
Though truth is essential, good preaching should not neglect the heart. We are emotional beings by God’s design, and the truth about God – in particular his grace, mercy, forgiveness, love, provision, care, companionship, and the like – are meant to fill us with joy! There is a reason that a typical gathering of believers includes not only the preached Word, but also a response in singing. God is good, and we should declare it with our voices in song! We ought to lift high the great King! A good sermon, even one that calls hard for repentance, ought to include a message of the mercies of God, and that is always worth singing about.
Something to Do
Preaching is meant to be transformative. How incomplete is it when a Christian learns a truth, is emotionally moved by it, and then doesn’t do anything about it? Truth is meant to move us to action. Worshipping God in song is part of that action, but it alone is not enough. Our whole life is meant to be worship of God. A good sermon will give the people knowledge, inspiration to sing, and something to do when they leave. The goal of preaching is transformed lives, and that only comes through obedience to the truth that was preached.
Head, heart, hands. All three matter. Make sure your next sermon is a complete one!