I’m a big believer in preaching. We need the Word of God expounded, explained to us systematically and enthusiastically! Regularly. And carefully. That’s part of the reason why I wrote the little booklet Ten Specific Steps You Can Take to Make Your Sermons and Preaching Better! I promise you that the mistakes I have made and learned from you can learn from to!
But I want to give away some of my favorite sermon outlines — with just a dose of explanation along the way. So, here goes a sermon I wrote on God’s amazing grace.
What’s So Amazing about Grace?
(a study of Titus 2:11-15).
I. God’s Grace Is a Salvation-Bringing Grace (v. 11)
This grace has “appeared . . . to all people.” In what sense? Has the gospel gotten to everyone in the world? No! And that’s why God calls missionaries to share the Good News about the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, then, what does Paul mean by this grace “has appeared”? He may be referring to the coming of the Lord Jesus to die for our sins. HE is the grace of God come down to give His life a ransom for sinners (Mk. 10:45).
John Piper’s book God Is the Gospel makes this point quite effectively. Listen to a few quotes from that powerful little book:
“Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God. It’s a way of overcoming every obstacle to everlasting joy in God. If we don’t want God above all things, we have not been converted by the gospel.”
“The critical question for our generation—and for every generation— is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there? ”
“Long looking with admiration produces change. From your heroes you pick up mannerisms and phrases and tones of voice and facial expressions and habits and demeanors and convictions and beliefs. The more admirable the hero is and the more intense your admiration is, the more profound will be your transformation. In the case of Jesus, he is infinitely admirable, and our admiration rises to the most absolute worship. Therefore, when we behold him as we should, the change is profound.”
Piper says many other things in that little book, but essentially his point is: When you believed the gospel, YOU GOT GOD! God’s salvation-bringing grace redeemed you. (to be continued)