Sermon Preparation

Savoring Jesus: The Christ-Connection in the Letter of James

Martin Luther, the Reformer who famously (and unknowingly) ignited the Protestant Reformation by nailing his ninety-five theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, found solace in Paul’s teaching on justification by faith alone in Christ... Read More »

Illustrating James

The book of James is a practical book.  In chapter one James exhorts his readers to stand strong in the face of trials and temptations.  Chapter two exposes the hypocrisy of a faith that lacks corresponding good works. Chapter three is James’ exposition on... Read More »

Explaining James

The book of James is one of the most beloved books of the New Testament because of its street-level practicality. Its applicational nature is further enhanced by its frequent word pictures and everyday illustrations that can seamlessly translate into vivid and... Read More »

Important Words in James

When the Lord spoke to his prophets in the Hebrew Bible, the common refrain was “Thus says the Lord.” The prophet was to repeat what the Lord said to his people, heralding the command of the Lord to a people who rarely listened and obeyed. The Lord also co... Read More »

Context Clues for the Book of James

Great detectives know how to follow clues to find answers, and the same skill is required for any student of the scriptures. Understanding context clues helps us get a better grasp of the meaning of the letter and the original intent of the author. Without con... Read More »

Themes of James

The topic of “Themes of James” is related to the issue of the letter’s structure, which has been a matter of persistent scholarly discussion and debate. Does James have an intentional structure and, if so, what is it and what does this structure reveal a... Read More »

Preaching with Theological Clarity

The National Review carried an article recently which quoted Democratic National Committee Chairman, Tom Perez, complaining that voters are being “Influenced By The ‘Pulpit On Sunday.’”  My initial response was “Hhmm … I hope so!”  Fran... Read More »

Preaching that Forges the Church’s Identity

My pastor and mentor in the ministry told me, “Always put some of the cookies on the bottom shelf.” I tell my own students, “One goal is for the kindergarten kid to be able to tell mommy and daddy at lunch exactly what your sermon was about.” Clarity i... Read More »

Communicating the “Cash Value” of Your Sermon

We barely notice the cough medicine on the shelf until the day the allergies hit. We don’t give a second look to the gas station until the needle points toward empty. And the car commercials? We flip the channel until our clunker finally gives up the ghost a... Read More »

Engaging the Audience’s Emotions

C. W. Brister,[1]C. W. Brister was a professor of Pastoral Ministry at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX for 47 years. During this time it was said that Brister instructed more men in pastoral ministry than any other in the history of... Read More »