The Ten Commandments of Preaching

25 Feb

J. Tyler Scarlett wrote an insightful article, “The Ten Commandments of Preaching,” in the March/April 2010 issue of Preaching magazine.  Here is a condensed version of his list:

  1. Thou shalt not put words in God’s mouth. God doesn’t need our help to add to or take away from his word.
  2. Thou shalt prepare and preach every message as though it were thy last. Regardless of the size of the crowd, don’t take any opportunity lightly. It may be your last sermon or the last sermon someone listening ever hears.
  3. Thou shalt not present the Word of God in a boring and non-compelling manner. If someone falls asleep during your sermon, it’s not God’s fault. Plead passionately and desperately with those listening to hear and heed God’s word.
  4. Thou always shalt point to Christ in thy message. Seeing that Christ is the focal point of every passage, he should be the focal point of every sermon.
  5. Thou shalt edify they hearers to faith and obedience. Remind people that whatever the issue or doctrine at hand God and his word are reliable.
  6. Thou shalt not be one kind of person and another kind of preacher. Don’t live like the devil during the week and expect to preach with the tongue of an angel on Sunday. Don’t try to imitate other preachers; be yourself.
  7. Thou shalt not open a commentary until thou hast read the passage 100 times. The truth is most powerful when it is from the lips of a person whose heart and mind have marinated extensively in God’s Word.
  8. Honor thine context above all else, so that it may go well with thee in thy message. Don’t ever lose the context.
  9. Thou shalt make the point of the text the point of the message. Don’t dumb-down the Bible; smarten-up the people. The Bible is the most relevant thing in the universe because God is the most relevant Being in the universe.
  10. Thou shalt preach and teach doctrine above all else. Many churches are weak and lifeless because they have spiritual anemia–they lack doctrinal iron in their bloodstreams.
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Posted by on February 25, 2010 in Preaching, Quotes


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