There is an old joke among preachers that sermonettes are for Christianettes. Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. The Scriptures are our life. Believing what we do about the absolute authority of the Bible, it only makes sense that the sermon would be important to our worship. But we also have to note that sermons are not just important because of the propositional content from the Bible that they relay; preaching is also an important event in its own right. It is through the foolishness of preaching that those who believe may come to salvation (1 Cor. 1:21). Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the preached word (Rom. 10:14). Undervaluing the importance of preaching is to undervalue the importance of human souls.
As a general rule, sermons in the CREC are expository. This means that messages take care to apply the teaching of Scripture to our lives passage by passage. It is also important to note that Old Testament books are not neglected in this—they are not the Word of God emeritus, or put out to pasture. They, together with the New Testament, are the minister’s tool chest (2 Tim. 3:16).
This is not to say that all the messages will be expositional, working through books of the Bible. But most of them will be. Some of the messages will be keyed to the church year, expounding what the Reformers called the “evangelical feast days,” marking events like Christ’s birth, or resurrection, or ascension into Heaven. At other times, there may be a series of topical sermons, addressing a particular need that a congregation might have. But for the most part, sermons are anchored in particular books of the Bible.
One other point should be made. Once the exposition of a text has been declared, it is crucial that the minister goes on to apply the principles involved in the text to the lives of the people before him. This is the point of application, and sermons that are not applied are just exercises in self-deception (Jas. 1:22-24).
Published by Canon Press