1. Identify the three main parts of a good Bible message, place them in the order in which they are used in a Bible message, and explain the purpose of each part.

  2. Prepare a simple Bible message based upon the gospel of Matthew.

  3. Explain the concept of synthesis and compare it to analysis.

  4. List the four basic steps to a home Bible study and prepare a Bible Study of your own when given a pass age from the gospel of Matthew.

  5. Take part in a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of Home Bible Studies.

How to Prepare a Sermon

We have been studying the Sermon on the Mount.  It was preached by the best preacher in the world.  Oh, how people loved to listen to Jesus!  It is a challenge for us to follow His example, isn’t it?  You will have your first lesson on preparing a simple Bible message.

Look up Luke 24 and keep your Bible open.

When the risen Christ walked with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, He explained to them what was written about Him in the (verses 27)

After Jesus disappeared from their sight, these two disciples said (verse 32), “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the to us?”

Again in verse 45, the text says that Jesus helped His disciples under stand the .

What does this tell us about our own preaching and teaching?  That we should base our preaching upon the .

Of course, we know that it is a good idea to use symbols, illustrations, and examples from daily life.  Experiences from the lives of other Christians may also be helpful.  But , there should be used only to bring out what the Bible teaches.  They are to make the Bible teaching more clear and help others understand the message of the biblical text.

Examples or illustrations outside of the Bible should never become the main part of the sermon.  The really important thing is not the example, but the teaching of the word of God.

Although our goal is to teach what the Bible says, it is not enough to just explain what the text or Bible passage means.  This could end up only as a far off idea which has nothing to do with the real life of the people in the congregation.  Our reason for teaching the Bible is to change the lives of people (both the congregation and the preacher).

Turn to 2 Timothy 3:15-17 and read these verses.  Keep your Bible open to this place.

2 Timothy 3:15-17 talks about two ways that lives can be changed through the teaching of the Bible.  one of these is mentioned in verse 15.  That verse says that the Scriptures can make us wise for through faith in Christ.

So then, we should try to teach the Bible in such a way that the unsaved become believers in Christ and thus obtain .  On other words they will give themselves to Christ and accept Him as their personal Savior.

What is the goal of our preaching when we are speaking to the unsaved?

2 Timothy 3 describes another way that lives can be changed by biblical teaching.  Read verse 17 in the NIV and complete the following.  According to this verse, the Scripture is profitable for the man of God so that he may be for every good

In “Good News for Modern Man” translated, “thoroughly equipped ” which is used in the NIV “Fully Qualified.”

This second way in which lives are changed can be summarized by saying that our goal in preaching the Bible to believers is to help them grow and become mature Christians.  When we are preaching to unbelievers our goal is to bring them to

We have said that the main purpose of biblical preaching is to change the lives of the listeners.  people’s lives can be changed in many ways.  For example:

  • They could repent and trust Christ

  • They could promise to improve their stewardship

  • They could begin to testify of Christ to their neighbors

  • They could begin to resist temptation

  • They could quit spreading gossip and rumors about others

  • They could decide to help some needy person in a very practical way

  • They could begin to read the Bible more regularly

  • They could begin to attend the Wednesday evening prayer meeting.

Limit your sermon to just one of the changes we want to see in peoples lives.

The main portion of the sermon ought to be concerned with the explanation of the Bible passage we have chosen.  But, if we are going to produce the changes needed in the lives of our listeners, it is also necessary to apply the teaching to them.

When we explain the passage we speak mainly about the passage and what it means.

When we apply the passage we speak mainly to the listeners and what they ought to do in light of the Bible’s teaching.

The following sentences are quotes from a sermon on the temptations of Jesus.


  • Jesus was tempted by the devil for 40 days.

  • Jesus refused the temptation to use His power as God just to help Himself out of the temptation.

  • The devil used part of the Word of God for his own ends.


  • Sometimes we are also tempted by this same devil

  • We should refuse to use the gifts which God gives to us for own purposes.

  • We should be very careful so that we do not twist the Word of God to suit ourselves.

After you have successfully introduced the passage and brought the listeners attention to the message, you must then the passage and the passage.

A Bible passage must be explained first.  After this, it can be applied to life.  The whole explanation can be made first and then applied, or as was the case in the example above one can explain, apply, explain, apply, etc.  Whichever way you choose to use in your sermon it is always necessary to explain something before applying it.

It is also a good idea to add a brief introduction to the beginning of the sermon.  The introduction presents the Bible passage to the listener.  When someone stands up to preach, a fight begins in the minds of those in the congregation.  Many different things are trying to take their attention away from the sermon.

of course you want them to pay attention to what God has to say to them through the Bible passage.  To make sure that this is what they think about you must offer them something much more interesting than the many other things Satan will bring to their minds at this moment.  We know that what the Bible passage says is more important but that doesn’t mean that it is also more interesting to them at the moment.  For example, if you begin by saying something like this in a very, very high sounding and serious tone of voice: “My beloved brethren, our subject for this evening is prayer, …”  Only the very spiritual will be very interested.

But, if they don’t see any need to pray, they are exactly the people whom you want to reach with your sermon.  The problem then, is how to get them interested.  That is what the introduction to the sermon is for.  It introduces the Bible passage in an interesting way in order to capture the thoughts of the listeners.  It is like a bridge to take their thoughts to the beginning of the sermon.

Here are some interesting introductions:

  1. Some questions about the Bible to make people curious.

  2. A story from daily life which relates to the passage you have chosen for the sermon.

  3. An example of how useful the teaching of the Bible passage is going to be for the listener.

  4. A contrast between what most people think and what the Bible actually says.

  5. A drawing, painting, photograph or some object (like a coin, broom, rock) that will serve as a symbol of the teaching in the Bible passage.

Give one example of a interesting bridge which might be used to introduce a sermon.

Very good!  Now I want to point out to you that we have added another technique to the technique of analysis.  It is a frequent companion to it.  This new technique is called Synthesis.  Synthesis is used in the preparation of messages and Bible studies.

Analysis begins with a whole and divides it into its parts.  Synthesis begins with the parts and puts them together in a whole.

As a example, when a man and woman have a child, that child has parts from each of the parents.  This is the way it is with Synthesis.

Up to this point, we have not mentioned another important part in the preparation of a good sermon or Bible message; the need to prepare oneself to preach the sermon.  of course, we did learn how to prepare ourselves to lead in public prayer.  Similar preparation is needed to preach a Bible message.

When you prepare your messages then they ought to be something entirely new.  When you gather information to introduce the sermon, give examples from everyday life, explain, and apply the Bible passage, the message you bring is a new creation.  It has been born in prayer and from your own experiences.  Each message, prepared with prayer, and the help of the Holy Spirit, will be different from every other message, even though it might be based upon the same passage from the Bible.

Leading Small Group Studies

By this time some of you may be saying to yourself: “Thanks ‘Prof.’ for that good lesson an how  to preach!  I understand it just fine; Ah, there is just one thing though,  I’m not going to be doing any preaching!  No Sir, that’s not for me:  My knee knock like mad, my voice completely disappears and I forget everything I planned to say.  No Way,…

I can’t preach

But, you really don’t have to worry.  Many people feel just the someway.  Even so, You will be able to use what you have learned in our last section to help you lead effective small group studies.  In this section we are going to learn how to do just that.

There are also advantages for those who attend the small group study.  When aa sermon is preached in church in the traditional way, it is not possible for those in the congregation to ask questions or clear up areas of misunderstanding.  Neither can they share their own doubts and troubles, or their ideas and experiences.  In a small group it is possible for everyone to take part.

Jesus often allowed people to ask questions and discuss problems while He was teaching.  Example: Matthew 16:13-16; 19:16-21; 22:16-21; 22:41-43; Luke 10:25-29; 10:36-37.

One of the reasons for having a small group study is to encourage people to study the Word of God themselves and take part in sharing what they have learned.  There are some practical things which can be done to make the Bible study a better time for everyone.  For instance, the way people are seated has a lot to do with how well they will take part in the Bible Study.  They should be seated in a circle facing in.

When people are seated this way, they usually find it much easier to talk informally.  It is possible though especially if no one in the group has been in a small group study before, for this in formal time of Bible study to become just another chance to visit with friends about all the things happening in town!  The time ought to be relaxed and friendly, but it should also be orderly:

  1. Pray together and ask God to help you understand the Bible passage you will be studying.

  2. Read the part of the Bible you will be studying.

  3. Talk about what the Bible passage means and how it applies to you.

  4. Pray about the lessons you have learned from the study together.

Every Bible study ought to begin with prayer asking the Holy Spirit to help us understand what He wants to teach us.  After prayer together, the Bible passage ought to be read aloud to the group who might have a hard time answering a question or speaking up during the discussion.

Now it is time to talk about the passage.  As the small group leader, you will have to prepare for this part of the study.

If the Bible Study leader fails to prepare for the group discussion, one of two things will almost always happen:

  1. There will be a lack of order to the discussion; you will never really talk about the truth in the Bible, or

  2. There will be complete silence!  No one will have anything to talk about.


Be sure to prepare.

One of the secrets for success in leading the group’s discussion is to make up a list of questions ahead of time.  These questions should be designed to make people think about the Bible passage and their own lives.  They should help the group discover for themselves the teachings of the passage.

You must decide before hand what the important points are which are taught in the passage.  As an example:  Read Luke 10:30-37 to refresh your memory about this parable.

  1. The Samaritan give help to someone who was in need.

  2. The Samaritan gave help to someone who belonged to a people normally thought to be an enemy.

  3. The example of the Samaritan’s unselfish care to make sure the man was taken care of while he was gone.

Obviously, there are three important points to this story.

  1. The example of the Samaritan in giving practical help.

  2. The example of the Samaritan in giving help to an enemy.

  3. The example of the Samaritan in giving help even though it cost him something.

The questions found below are examples of the kind of questions which can be used to bring out these three points in a small group study to help people discover these truths for themselves.


  1. What kind of relationships did the Samaritan have with the people of the wounded man?  Why?

  2. Did the Samaritan feel satisfied that he was sorry for the man or did he do something to help him?

  3. What kind of sacrifices did the Samaritan have to make in order to take care of the man?


  1. Is it enough for us to do good only for those who are our friends or relatives.

  2. What will it cost us to follow the example of the Good Samaritan?

  3. Is it enough for us just to feel sorry for people who are in trouble?  What else does Christ ask of us?

The questions which are the easiest to answer are those which can be answered by the text of the Bible itself (questions on observation (to observe).

Not everyone who comes to the small groups study will have the same ability to answer questions, but every effort should be made to get everyone to take part, even the most shy person there.  The easiest questions can be asked of those who are uneasy about talking in front of others, or of newcomers to the group.  Leave the harder questions for those who have more experience and are able to talk better in front of the group.  Shy people = Observation Questions; Good talkers = Interpretation & Application questions.

Keeping a good discussion group going is a lot like keeping a campfire burning brightly.  If the fire is to burn the right way, the wood has to be arranged in the proper manner and the fire has to be started.  Only then will it burn.

Explaining each point of the Bible passage is lot like putting the pieces of wood in the right place.  This is done with questions of , and .  It might also include the technique of comparison.

However, unless a match is placed to the wood, it won’t burn.  In the same way, our discussion has not accomplished its purpose either until it begins to deal with the way truth can be applied, to our day lives.  If we were to continue our illustration we might say that the fire of discussion is only lit with questions having to do with

All that we have said so far about small group studies work well with an experienced group.  But, what do you do with a group which is totally new?  In a situation like this, the leader himself must take the time to introduce the Bible passage.  He must also take responsibility for explaining many of the parts of the passage.  Only then will the group be ready to discuss the way this should affect their own lives.  An inexperienced group will not be able to handle as large a section of the Bible, so the group leader must decide ahead of time which of the practical points are important.

What should be the topic of prayer at the end of small group studies?

I hope that you will follow my suggestions for a small group studies.  It might be a good idea for you to practice as a student.  Then, why not try to start a weekly small group Bible study with some new believers, or better yet, try to find people who might be won to the Lord Jesus through a study of the Bible in their own Home.

Although the main theme of Matthew 8 and 9 is the Miracles, not all of the episodes actually deal with this theme.  There are four parts of Matthew 8 and 9 which are not miracles.  They belong to a secondary theme.  These four sections of Matthew 8 & 9 are as follows:

  • Matthew 8:18-22 Those who wanted to follow Jesus

  • Matthew 9:9-13 Matthew’s Call

  • Matthew 9:14-17 The questions of John’s disciples

  • Matthew 9:35-38 Workers for the harvest.

What is the secondary theme in Matthew 8 and 9?


TES:Testimony of Joyce Mlinek

As I look back on the past thirty-eight years of my life, I can’t
help but be amazed at the gentle hand of God guiding me along the way.
Born and raised a Roman Catholic, I had always had a deep love and
reverence for God and possessed a desire to please Him. I wanted to be
the best Catholic I could be. I accepted everything I was taught
without question. I even tried to read the Bible a few times, but would
always get discouraged and quit.

In my later teens I began to ask God to enlighten me spiritually so
that I could discern truth. I had a lot ow facts given to me by people
but no concrete proof that this was in fact what God wanted. I had all
along assumed that the priests and certainly the pope knew what they
were talking about. Yet, I never read the Bible to verify their
teachings for myself. I wanted truth but I guess I wasn’t interested
enough to take the time to find it.

As I look back now, I can see how God honored my simple prayer for
truth and opened my eyes spiritually to a few of the things that were
happening around me. The Catholic church began making changes in their
teachings. It declared that eating meat on Fridays was no longer a
mortal sin. That really confused me. How could one generation be cast
into hell for something that was okay a generation later? Is that God’s
fairness? Other issues began to arise through which God helped me to
realize that something was wrong. If God is the same yesterday, today,
and forever as it says in Hebrews 13:8, then how can things that were
once so wrong be perfectly permissible now. In spite of my confusion, I
continued to be faithful to my church and its beliefs.

During the next ten years as I married and raised a family, both my
husband and I were faithful Catholics but God continued to open both
our eyes to the inconsistencies in the Catholic church.

Unknowing to me, God was also dealing with my younger brother,
Larry. One evening I received a call informing me that Larry had left
the Catholic church and joined a Baptist church. I immediately called
Larry to find out why. We agreed on a family meeting to be held at the
end of the week in which Larry brought with him his new pastor.

The big evening finally arrived and we, as Catholics, were prepared.
We found our Catholic Bible and were ready to defend our faith even
though not one of us knew one Scripture verse. The Baptist minister
began to talk about heaven and hell. I began asking questions. He was
so sure he was going to heaven. I had tired to live my best but I sure
couldn’t claim that I knew for sure I was going to heaven. The pastor
then showed me 1 John 5:11-13, “…These things have I written unto you
that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye
have eternal life…”

God was telling me here that I could know that I would have eternal
life. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:8, “We are confident, I say, and to
be present with the Lord.” He knew where he was going when he died,
didn’t he?

The pastor then asked me if I was trusting Jesus alone to be my
personal Saviour. Well, he had me there. I certainly knew that Jesus
had died for my sins on the cross and I believed in the Bible but I
couldn’t say that my only trust was in Jesus. I trusted in a lot of
things to get me to heaven. I certainly had hoped that my good living,
my attending church, and the sacraments I received would help. I prayed
to Mary to intercede for me and many times have I said the rosary on
the first Saturday of each month so I could go to heaven. The pastor
then showed me what God had to say about my good works in Ephesians
2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith and that now of
yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should
boast.” and Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all
our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” He explained that my being
good and doing everything I was supposed to do would not help get me to
heaven. They may seem good to us but next to God’s perfection, all the
goodness we can muster up is still filthy rags. He asked me to turn to
1 Timothy 2:5 and I read, “For there is one God and one mediator
between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” That was really convicting
to me. If there is only one then there is no other. My prayers to Mary
were not going anywhere. God says Jesus is the only go between. I was
practicing idolatry. I was trusting in other things to help me to

That was it! Jesus totally paid for everyone’s sins on Calvary. John
3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son
that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting
life.” God offers us all His free gift of salvation through Jesus
Christ. All we must do is accept that gift and call upon the name of
the Lord. Your good works can’t save you, Jesus can; your church can’t
save you, Jesus can; and even Mary can’t save you, only Jesus can.

It was all so clear now. I saw myself as a lost sinner trying to get
to heaven every way except the right way — which is accepting God’s
free gift of forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ.

Needless to say, I accepted Christ as my Saviour. I no longer have
to worry about purgatory. There’s no such place. Paul says in 2
Corinthians 5:8, “that to be absent for the body is to be present with
the Lord.”

My life was totally changed. Christ says in 2 Corinthians 5:17,
“Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature’; old things
are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” My husband also
called on the Jesus to save him. We promised God that we would begin
reading His Word, the Bible, and search for what God says is truth, not
man’s truth. We joined a church that uses and teaches the Bible. Life
has new meaning for me now. I’m happy in Jesus and I want others to
find that happiness. Maybe God is speaking to you through this tract.
The Bible states in John 6:44, “No man can come to Me, except the
Father which hath sent Me draw him…” It could be that the Father is
trying to draw you into the true Body of Christ. The Bible also says in
2 Corinthians 6:2, “…behold, the accepted time; behold, now is the
day of salvation.” It may cost you to take a stand. It may cause
friction between family members and friends but isn’t everlasting life
worth it? Read Matthew 10:34-39.

The whole world is lost in the darkness of sin

The light of the world is Jesus.

Like sunshine at noonday His Glory shown in

The light of the world is Jesus.

Come to the light, tis shining for thee.

Sweetly the light had dawned upon me.

Once I was blind, but now I can see.

That the light of the world is Jesus.


If you will turn to God in prayer and pray these words and mean them
with all your heart, then God will save you.

Dear Lord Jesus, I now realize I am a sinner in need of personal
salvation. I now put my full and complete trust in Your sacrifice on
the cross to save me. I now believe You are the only mediator between
God and men. I open my heart’s door and receive You as Saviour and Lord
of my soul. I repent of my sins and ask You to take full control of my
life and help me to live for you from this day forward…Amen.

Joyce Mlinek

the Salvation Online Network


About georgehach

I am a retired Lay Minister, acting as a prophet for God to understand the end times that is comingg and how to prepare for it.
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