Listening to Sermons: A Sermon about Sermons

It is because I’ve been looking through the notebooks I use when I listen to sermons I posted previously about listening to sermons. I talk a lot about preaching, read a lot about preaching, read a lot of sermons, listen to a lot of sermons, and occasionally get to preach them. I also have notes from some Q and A sessions, lectures, and discussion/forums that I’ve been too. I can’t express how beneficial it has been to me to take notes for retention and learning’s sake. But also, so that I can come back on evenings like this one and see how God spoke through his prophets.

Dr. Darrin Patrick spoke in chapel at SEBTS in April of 2010. I’d like to share the notes I took that day with the world. Its about Paul’s preaching and what good Christian preaching should be. In a room full of seminary/college students and future pastors/preachers/teachers/missionaries the words he spoke were quite applicable.

(Disclaimer: mind you ever note taken isn’t going to be an exact quote. Often times I paraphrase for the purpose of listening and brevity. I’ll blog soon about my way of taking notes and how its changed over the years.)


Dr. Darrin Patrick: Romans 1:14-17 4/8/10

How do you preach in such away that believers in church bring their unbelieving friends?

How can you motivate people to serve without getting burnt out?

How do you preach so that people come to faith and do not later come to you saying they are leaving for something deeper?

How do you preach sin without having the post-moderns blowing you off as a fundy?

A: Preach the gospel! It answers all these questions.

God himself has come to rescue sinners through the person and work of Christ on our behalf.

“The Bible screams the gospel.”

We must tie all of our sermons with the implications of the gospel to sinners and saints. Preach Christ. (This was Paul’s method. i.e. 2 Corinthians 2:2)

Don’t miss v.15 – Paul is preaching the gospel to Christians. We constantly remember v.14 and v.16 but often times miss v.15.

This has two implications. Gospel –> Preach it to sinners and saints.

Repent–>Believe–> This is how you are saved. But, we do this over and over.

The Xtian life is one of repentance. – Luther

To believe in the gospel is to grow in acknowledging our acceptance in Christ.

“As you have received Christ as lord, live like that.”

Rejoicing in your acceptance is a way of praising God until you heard is sweetened and rested, which causes us to relax. – Tim Keller

Q: Who is the hero of the sermon?
-The preacher?
-The church?
-Spiritual disciple?
-Biblical principles? (Pragmatic sermons)

It is not like we never intend for Jesus to be the hero.

We must talk about felt needs, but we must take them all the way up to Christ. – Piper

Money: 2 Corinthians 8:9 – Paul is trying to make them motivated by pointing to Christ. He is not using fear or guilt. He says look at Christ. He gave everything and make him your example. Paul goes to the heart. “You know the generosity of Christ. But I want you to know it. Let me take you back to the gospel.”

Marriage: Ephesians 5:21-25 – Paul talks about marriage by talking about roles. To first have the right role in a marriage one must have the right role in Christ. He says husbands will only be loving when they understand the love of Christ. You will only sacrifice for your wives when you understand the sacrifice of Christ.

Sex: 2 Corinthians 6:9-20 – Paul’s motivation here is the gospel. The main issue is that Christ owns you and you have his righteousness. This is why you shouldn’t commit sexual immorality.

How will this effect your preaching?

1) It will produce Spirit-filled believers not just moral converts. The gospel can people on the spot! Preaching felt needs in light of the gospel changes lives.

2) It effects the focus of your sermon. It preaches Christ as Savior first and as an example second. Luke 24:24-46

We need not put the imperative (the command) before the indicative (the gospel truth).

When we put the imperative first we make moral people who are trying to be better.

Q: Can the last sermon you preached happen if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead?


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