Summary: Tools for Devotional Exposition of I Cor. 13


DEFINITION - A devotional sermon is designed to warm the heart, inspire to action, and remind people of the sacred truths of scripture. These messages generally stress inspiration and application.

1. Title - Love conquers all.

2. Key Verse(s) - I Cor. 13:4-7

3. Scenario - One Pastor became so successful in supplementing his income with chickens that he moved his children out of their rooms to make room for more baby chicks. Eventually, the wife became so upset that she told her husband one morning, ``Either you get rid of those chickens or I will pack my things to my parent’s home.’’ The Pastor became so infuriated that he said, ``You stupid, hopeless, and fruitless woman, leave my house right now!’’ That Pastor was suspended for failure to love his wife.

4. Theme - Real love is enduring, not easily annoyed, and able to overcome disputes.

5. Application - The Pastor should have rearranged his priorities. He should have placed his wife and children before the chickens. I need to be careful that I keep my own priorities straight: 1). God 2). Wife 3). Children 4). Family 5). Ministry. Real love has the quality of overcoming difficulties since love is the most powerful force in the universe. It is the power by which God draws men to salvation.

6. Concluding thought - Keep out of your life all that would crowd Christ out of your priorities!

Bible Aids For Exposition

1. A Bible dictionary

2. A concordance

3. A OT & NT commentary

4. A OT & NT Word dictionary

5. A topical Bible

6. An English dictionary

7. A study Bible

8. Several effective commentaries on the individual books of the Bible.

9. A Sermon illustration book. (504 Sermon Illustrations For the Nigerian Pastor by the author)


I. Chapter Exposition

DEFINITION - A chapter expositional sermon seeks to describe the main themes, developments, and lessons of a chapter of the Bible.

1. Title - Describe the main contents by assigning it a caption or title. For example, ``Love, the Best Way’’ for I Cor 13 or ``Rewards & Judgment’’ from Lk. 19:11-27.

2. Contents - Summarize, describe, paraphrase, outline, or make a list of the main points of the chapter. Describe your observations and interpretations of the facts. For example, our main observations, interpretations, and correlations for Lk. 19:11-27 would be:

a. Responsibility - God entrusts us with different abilities, roles, responsibilities and holds us accountable for the faithful executions of these. Those who show faithful service will be rewarded with more responsibility and privilege. Those who fail will be punished and have their responsibilities taken away.

b. God expects results - God is not a bad businessman. He expects a return for His investment. Those who fail to be productive, bear fruits, and bring in the harvest (Souls, new churches, fruits of the spirit etc.) will be punished. Those who are productive will be proportionally honored in heaven and on earth. Maintenance mentalities will be shocked to see that they have failed in God’s eyes.

c. To whom much is entrusted from him muchwill be required - Apostasy is worse than ignorance. Those who have been given knowledge, jobs, duties, the gospel, Godly families, Biblical teaching, and the Holy Spirit are expected to produce fruits. Jesus said, ``I have ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit.’’ (Jn. 15:16) Jesus said, ``The axe is lying ready at the root of the trees, so that every tree that fails to produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.’’ (Lk.3:9)

d. Balance - Jesus emphasized a balance of faithfulness with effectiveness. The man with one talent thought he was being faithful by burying his one talent, but he was not effective. The other two servants produced more with their talents and were rewarded.

e. Tests - God entrusts us with talents, money, time, energy, families, children, education, and

gifts. His tests are to determine whether a person is faithful, reliable, and competent with what he has been given. Sometimes people justify inefficiency with their overwork. God does not allow us to be overburdened if we are working by faith. (I Jn. 5:3,4) Neither will God accept excuses that the work is too tedious or unimportant. No duty given by God is insignificant. We must learn to make the most of the time for the advancement of the kingdom of God in qualitative and quantitative ways.

f. Talents - The abilities given by God are not our own. We have been bought with a price, therefore we should glorify God with our talents. We should not boast in our education, money, or positions. God sets up one and puts down another. (Psa. 75:6) Do not Lord your authority over others or you may find yourself demoted like Nebuchanezzar who was forced to eat grass like a cow in order to learn about God’s sovereign power over all.

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