Last week I preached a sermon entitled Jesus is the Lord of History (Revelation 1:4-8). I’ve decided I’m going to start posting my sermon outlines as both an aid to the members of Fellowship Louisville as well as a platform to discuss my reflections on preaching in general.
In every sermon I preach I try to identify two major components: the Fallen Condition Focus (FCF) and the Redemptive Solution (RS). I learned these from Bryan Chapel in his book Christ-Centered Preaching.
- Fallen Condition Focus: The FCF is the aspect of our fallen condition that we share with the original readers. This could be anything from worry, fear, and anxiety to grief, despair, or even death. The FCF is not necessarily a sin we must repent of, though often it is. It can be any aspect of our lives in a fallen world that Christ will ultimately redeem.
- Redemptive Solution: The RS is the answer the text gives to our fallen condition. Since our fallen condition is redeemed only through the person and work of Christ, identifying the RS is vital to making sermons Christ-centered and gospel-focussed.
In my introductions I work hard to expose the fallen condition. My aim in the introduction is to making everybody in the room feel the FCF at a personal level. If I’ve done my job well in the introduction, people are waiting eagerly for the RS of the text. Furthermore, if the entire sermon is set up as an answer to one’s fallen condition, the entire sermon is application. Thus, I rarely end sermons with lists of applications, though sometimes that is effective.
So without further ado, here’s my outline from last Sunday. You can find the audio here.
Jesus is The Lord of History (Revelation 1:4-8)
FCF: Our circumstances have the unique ability to blind us to the presence and power of Jesus in our lives.
RS: John is writing to remind us that Jesus is the Lord of history and our lives rest in his hands.
1. Jesus Is in Control of History (4-5a) 4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
- Because Jesus is the God of History Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ
- Because Jesus is the Redeemer of History [Grace to you and peace]...from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
2. Jesus Redeemed His People To Play a Central Role in History (5b-6)
- What Jesus Redeemed Us From 5 To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood
- What Jesus Redeemed Us For 6 and [Jesus] made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
3. Jesus Is Coming Again to Wrap Up History (7-8) 7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
- Jesus is Coming to Judge 7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him.
- Jesus is Coming to Save Even so. Amen.
Conclusion: Jesus is the Lord of History 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Question: Do you think every sermon needs to be Christ-centered and gospel-focussed? What about obscure Old Testament sermons?