Truth Is Still True

We all know that truth is taking a bashing on many fronts.  The notion of truth is questioned like never before by philosophers as well as the countless pseudo-philosophers excited by a couple of books they have read recently.  The representatives of truth are under scrutiny due to numerous news stories of ship-wrecked integrity.  The security of truth is generally jettisoned as people find their personal security in personal shaped worlds of their own making.  The reliability of truth is continually undermined by “progress” that shows previous pronouncements from scientists and social commentators alike to have been premature at best.  The availability of truth is shaky in a world where access to information is greater than ever, but in-depth study looks much like infomercials or virtual investment scams.

Truth is under attack.  But truth is still true.  You know your audience when you preach next time.  You know how much “apologetic” is needed for the truth that you will preach.  You know what approach will work best for those people at this time in their lives.  But remember this, truth is still true.  When you have studied God’s Word and have a central concept, a main idea, a biblical truth to proclaim, then proclaim it.  State it.  Say it.  Preach it.  Whether or not you choose to tune the apologetic element of the sermon to a high pitch, make sure you state the truth.  In a world of false and flawed claims, truth carries an uncanny attraction.  In a world of false teaching, God desires for the truth to be known.  If you have something true to preach, preach it.  Truth is still true.

Remember the Main Thing

It’s easy to be overwhelmed as a preacher.  So many things to keep in mind.  The different aspects of delivery, built on the different elements of a sermon, not to mention the multiple facets of biblical study.  You pour in whatever hours you can find in order to try to understand the passage, then to shape a sermon that will accurately and effectively communicate the meaning of that passage to your listeners with some degree of relevance to their lives.  And maybe the many details feel overwhelming.

It’s easy to get caught up in the introduction, the conclusion, the illustrations, the support materials, the elements of style, effective delivery and so on.  These all matter.  These are all important, but they are all details.  The best delivery you can conjure is hypocrisy without a solid message to preach.  The best message flesh in the world doesn’t look good unless it is on a well-formed skeleton.  And the best bones in the world only make sense as an outline when there is a master design involved.  And that master notion needs to be worthy of all the work.

Delivery makes the most of a good sermon.  The flesh of the sermon makes a skeleton of an outline into an attractive and compelling being. But the skeleton only makes sense if it is serving the main idea of the message – each bone supporting the unity of the message, each detail moving the message forward toward a goal.

I’m not undermining the importance of any sermonic detail.  Details of the sermon and details of delivery, are important, but they are details.  Unless there is a core concept, a big idea, a central proposition, whatever you want to call it.  Unless there is that main idea derived from effective study of the passage to the best of your ability, all pursued in dependence on the Spirit of God.  Unless there is that, there are only details.  Random details.  Remember the main thing.  The main idea is your goal in Bible study.  Then that main idea is boss of the message.  The main idea is the main thing.  Let’s remember that.