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The Main Point of a Passage Should Not Always Be the Main Point of Your Sermon

Use a sub-point or the author's logic as the main point of your sermon.

The Main Point of a Passage Should Not Always Be the Main Point of Your Sermon

I recall back in my homiletics class the professor instructing us in the art of exegetical preaching. The point of exegetical preaching, we were told, was to find the main point of the passage and then to make that point the main point of our sermon. If Paul's main point in Romans 3 was that all have sinned, then the main point of our exegetical sermon on Romans 3 should be that all have sinned. This is pretty standard instruction in circles that emphasize exegetical preaching.

I'm a firm believer in exegetical preaching. And generally, I think this is sound advice. But is it always the case that the main point of the passage should be the main point of one's sermon? Didactic passages of Scripture have a logical flow to them; they drive toward a conclusion—be it ethical or theological. And narrative passages likewise have a specific reason for being included in a given text. Grasping the conclusion of a didactic passage or the reason for a narrative passage's inclusion ...

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Displaying 1–2 of 2 comments

Alan Cruz

April 14, 2018  8:22am

As I finalize my sermon on Romans 10:1-13, i stand thankful that i read your article because just as we appreciate art, we can also appreciate the beauty and grandeur of the Scriptures in all of its wonderful facets and our people are blessed and refreshed of God when we discover further beauties of note to share that God has revealed to the proclaimer. God bless you for this encouragement!

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Brian Neville

April 11, 2018  10:24am

Agreed! I started reading this article ready to disagree, but I appreciate you honoring the point of the scripture and also finding meaning and value in the journey along the way! I especially appreciate that you took the time to say "the main point is about unchaste Corinthian men" but that you would be focusing on the passage's application to human sexuality. Without that caveat I would probably object. Too often I hear sermons on scripture ripped from their context and devoid of any connection back to its original purpose. The sermon doesn't have to be exactly about the final point of the passage of scripture, but if it doesn't consider the context and acknowledge its original intent, to me the sermon doesn't have a point! Its just words from people!

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