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Saturday, March 7, 2009

What Makes a Good Sermon?

A preacher needs to constantly be aware that it doesn't matter which Sunday it is when he delivers his sermon. Every opportunity to preach God's word is special. There are no special sermons for special occasions which need to be better than others. The heart of the preacher committed to God is the first and foremost quality in a good sermon.

A good sermon is covered in prayer. There should be prayer for the preacher before the sermon is delivered, prayer by the preacher for a heart to hear from God and prayer during the sermon for the people and the preacher. The work of a sermon is done by the Holy Spirit. The preacher is just the delivery boy.

Sermons should be experienced before they are delivered. I don't mean that a preacher must experience the sin before he can preach but even when he preaches about certain sins he should know the pain they cause families, individuals and God. He should be aware that he, too, could be in that sin if not for the grace of God. He needs to let God's word run through him before he speaks of it to the congregation.

A good sermon is an act of obedience. The preacher should not measure the success by the number of decisions that were openly made. It may be that the sermon was for one person in the congregation (though that is very rarely the case). The preacher must answer the question, "Was I faithful to God in this sermon?" If the answer is yes, there is no need to scrutinize the sermon further.

A preacher should not say he has preached a good sermon by the praise he receives. Not everyone will love a sermon which God has delivered through a preacher and some people will love sermons that don't change anyone for God's glory.

A good sermon must be biblical. The preacher has nothing to say if he doesn't say it from God's word. It is His word for all time. It will never fade away. It is powerful; more powerful than a two-edged sword. The preacher cannot be obedient without being faithful to the Word. He must study the Word and pray of it. It must become a part of him before the sermon can be delivered.

I hope that you hear a good sermon this Sunday.

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