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Sermons are composed of words, and every sermon rises or falls on the words that preachers choose to deploy. The words preached come with the power of life and death, so the preacher must carefully choose his words.
The point is not so much eloquence as it is intentionality. Over the years, as I have monitored my own preaching and observed others, I have come to realize how intentionally using a few key words will strengthen most any sermon. For example, consider these five.
Bible - Phrase - Billy - Graham - Preacher
“The Bible says,” a phrase popularized by Billy Graham, is one of the sweetest refrains a preacher can offer. It implies so much: God has spoken, his Word is accessible, his Word is true and authoritative, and this is his Word for you.
Make sure your congregation leaves not just exposed to the Bible, but inundated by it.
Word - Bible - Authority - Scriptures - Authority
Intentionally using the word Bible reinforces the authority of the Scriptures and the authority of the sermon. Further, specifically citing the text you are quoting or referencing adds punch. Make sure your congregation leaves not just exposed to the Bible, but inundated by it.
Better still, invite the congregation to look in their Bibles with you. Throughout the sermon, saying “Look with me in verse 2” or “See with me in verse 7” continually pulls your hearers into the text.
Hearers - Line - Text - Point - Emphasis
As you do, your hearers are able to draw a direct line from the text to your point of emphasis, enhancing your sermon’s clarity and biblical weight. Moreover, your hearers will learn how to study their own Bibles, as they see how you have studied yours, leading to a maturing congregation.
Perhaps some pastors avoid the word repent because it sounds too draconian, too judgmental, or too confrontational. But to call for repentance is...
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