PODCAST: The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 5 (Proclaim #56 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to episode #56 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.

Our Scripture Verse on preaching is Acts 10:42 which reads: “And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.”

Our quote on preaching today is from Reinhard Bonnke. He said, “You may not be allowed to stand on the pulpit in your church to preach, but every junction in your area is a pulpit, stand there and preach.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

Today, our topic is titled “The Road from Text to Sermon, Part 5” from “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.

1. We Explain It: “What Does This Mean?”

The first developmental question centers on explanation: What does this mean? Does this concept, or parts of it, need explanation?

The question, “What does this mean?” can be pointed at different targets. First, it can be directed toward the Bible: “Is the author in the passage before me developing his thought primarily through explanation?” When Paul wrote to his friends at Corinth, he explained how the diversity of gifts granted to its members should work for, and not against, unity in the congregation. He sums up his idea in 1 Corinthians 12:11–12: “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ” (NASB). In the verses surrounding this statement Paul explains the concept either by breaking it down into particulars, such as enumerating spiritual gifts, or by illustrating it through the example of a human body. By that analogy he explains that a church, like a body, consists of many different parts, but each one contributes to the life and benefit of all. A preacher handling this section of the Corinthian letter should be aware that Paul expands his thought primarily through explanation, and that explanation will probably be the major thrust of a sermon from this passage.

When the apostle Paul wrote to his young associate Titus, he wanted him to appoint elders in Crete. In Titus 1:5–9 Paul explained to Titus what he was to look for in appointing overseers in the churches. He wrote:

The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. (NIV)

Paul’s subject is “What are the qualifications for a leader in the church?”

His complement is “The candidate must be ‘blameless.’”

Paul states that twice. The apostle explains what “blameless” means in three concrete frameworks: the candidate’s family life, his personal life, and his ministry. A sermon based on this passage will do a great deal of explaining of the particulars that Paul lays down. (In addition, you might want to consider other characteristics that might go into a “blameless” leader today.)

Let’s Pray —