How To Prepare Bible Messages
In How To Prepare Bible Messages, James Braga states that he is convinced of the need of a textbook which applies the principles of homiletics to the construction of discourses in such a manner that the student may learn from the outset how to prepare messages directly from the Word of God (Braga 11).
James Braga goes on to say that he is impressed upon the need in a work of this kind of an adequate number of examples which clearly illustrate the step-by-step processes in creating sermons (Braga 11).
Braga suggests that students should feel free to use reference books in the preparation of messages; however, he suggests that they should do their main study in the Scriptures (Braga 12).
Preachers should not borrow sermon outlines from reference books or commentaries; instead, preachers should learn to formulate their own sermon outlines.
This may not be easy in the beginning but overtime preachers will become more and more proficient in preparing sermon with a distinctive homiletical structure.
In How To Prepare Bible Messages, James Braga also asserts that the most important factor in the preparation of sermons is the preparation of the heart of the preacher (Braga 12).
As James Braga states: “No amount of knowledge or of learning or of natural endowments can take the place of a fervent, humble, devoted heart which longs for more and more of Christ. Only the man who walks with God and who lives a holy life can inspire others to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. Such a man will spend much time in secret with Jesus, holding daily, uninterrupted, unhurried communion with Him in His Word” (Braga 12).
Furthermore, Braga states that the preachers must be a man of prayer. E. M. Bounds said, “Prayer puts the preacher’s sermon into the preacher’s heart; prayer puts the preacher’s heart into the preacher’s sermon” (Braga 12).
The man who is to preach the message of the book must also be a man of the book.
In other words, the preacher should not just study the Word of God to get a message for his congregation. The preacher must also live the Word of God out in his own life. The Word of God must become his meat and drink.
James Braga also points out that the methods of sermon preparation discussed in How To Prepare Bible Messages are by no means the only valid forms of discourse. There are many different ways to communicate truth to an audience.
Brief Summary of Books Content
In part one, Braga discusses there principal types of biblical sermons; such as the topical sermon, the textual sermon and the expository sermon. He gave a definition for each of these types of sermons.
The topical sermon is one in which the main divisions are derived from the topic, independently of a text (Braga 21).
The textual sermon is one in which the main divisions are derived from a text consisting of a brief portion of Scripture. Each of these divisions is then used as a line of suggestion and the text provides the central theme of the sermon (Braga 35).
The expository sermon is one in which a more or less extended portion of Scripture is interpreted in relation to one theme or subject. The bulk of the material for the sermon is drawn directly from the passage and the outline consists of a series of progressive ideas centered around that one main idea (Braga 53).
In part two, James Braga discusses the mechanics of sermon construction. He discusses homiletical structure, the title, the introduction, the proposition, the divisions, the discussion, the illustrations, the application and the conclusion (Braga 17).
In the closing chapter of How To Prepare Bible Messages, James Braga gave a brief summary of the processes in the preparation of a biblical message.
Step one involves choosing the passage of Scripture from the Bible. Step two involves the exegesis of the passage of Scripture selected.
The third step involves discovering the main preaching theme of the passage of Scripture. The four step involves creating a sermon outline for the passage of Scripture.
Step five involves putting content to the sermon outline. Step six involves writing the introduction, conclusion and a relevant title for the sermon. The seventh step involves prayer.
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How To Prepare Bible Messages by James Braga