4 MARKS OF SERMONS THAT WORK
                By Eddie Lawrence, D.Min.




What qualifies a sermon to be classified among ...
message from one Sunday to the next, if they cannot
remember what it was.

2. Secondly, it connects on three levels.
The s...
change occurs. Preaching should be done within the
crucible where real life occurs. Pain is real. Lust is real.
Temptation...
4. The last mark of such a sermon is that it
is incarnational.
Now, that's a big theological word that simply means, in is...
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Sermons that work

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What qualifies a sermon to be classified among a list of sermons that work. There are tens of thousands of sermons preached every week, but what sets one apart from another? Are there characteristics that are common among the best, or is it simply the charisma of the person doing the preaching? Of all the pastor resources that are needed, relevant sermons are near the top. To speak to people about God is serious business and touches eternity. So, what sets aside a sermon as one that does the work it should do?

With these questions in mind, I suggest that there are four things to consider that sets a sermon apart:

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Sermons that work

  1. 1. 4 MARKS OF SERMONS THAT WORK By Eddie Lawrence, D.Min. What qualifies a sermon to be classified among a list of sermons that work. There are tens of thousands of sermons preached every week, but what sets one apart from another? Are there characteristics that are common among the best, or is it simply the charisma of the person doing the preaching? Of all the pastor resources that are needed, relevant sermons are near the top. To speak to people about God is serious business and touches eternity. So, what sets aside a sermon as one that does the work it should do? With these questions in mind, I suggest that there are four things to consider that sets a sermon apart: 1. First it is memorable. Let's face it, if after the final "Amen!" is spoken, everyone forgets what was said, then what was said was not that impressive. An audience has a hard time applying a
  2. 2. message from one Sunday to the next, if they cannot remember what it was. 2. Secondly, it connects on three levels. The sermon should be reasonable and make sense. It should connect intellectually. A sermon on faith can stretch a man's natural mind, yet make sense that God would work in such a way since God is a spiritual being whose ways and thoughts are beyond ours. In other words, it makes sense that we cannot always understand God. But to bathe a sermon in ignorance of context, history, good exegesis, and bad exposition can be a hindrance to the hearer. It is amazing how Jesus taught in a way that common people could easily understand his illustrations, yet were tremendously stretched by his application. The sermon should connect emotionally. Aim at the heart and those "gut" feelings will begin to be stirred within your hearers. Aiming only at the mind without regard to the heart is equally foolish. The heart level is where life
  3. 3. change occurs. Preaching should be done within the crucible where real life occurs. Pain is real. Lust is real. Temptation is real. Desperation is real. A message may work in a mental lab and fall flat on its face on the street corner of the real world. This is where a sermon becomes relevant. The last aspect of connecting has to do with the will. It should connect volitionally. God made us with a will and we use it constantly. Your audience is continually deciding to tune in further or change the channel on you. Aim at the will. Target why what you are sharing is important. An old adage says, "A man persuaded against his will is of the same opinion still." You may get the mind, and the heart, but the will is the decision maker. A good message answers the question, "Why does this matter?" This is the jugular of the will. Jesus did this, "Repent or you will perish!" 3. The third mark of a sermon that works is that it is true. For the preacher to build any sermon on a foundation that will not rest upon the eternal truth of Scripture is to plan to fail. Not only will the sermon fail but the people who apply it will as well. Truth is established. It has been set in place by God Himself through His Word. Build on what He has said, not what someone else has said. Known and applied truth still sets men free.
  4. 4. 4. The last mark of such a sermon is that it is incarnational. Now, that's a big theological word that simply means, in is delivered through a human being. The man or woman somewhat becomes the message. It is not delivered apart from the personality through which it is being presented. The truth of the Gospel is that God became a man to deliver us. Through the art of preaching, truth is to brought to men as the Spirit of God bears witness. Passion and concern mark the man who has been marked by the message. Certainly there are other elements to consider, but these four are important and I believe a part of sermons that work. There are tons of sermons that work available on SermonSeedbed.com which is a wonderful and free resource site for pastors and Bible teachers.

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