Monday, December 14, 2009


Luke 17:3-4
I'm going to preach on forgiveness in relationships.  Because forgiveness has a conditional component, it requires interaction, confession and face to face dealing with things.

Romans 5:12-21

Predictably I'm also going to preach on this passage.  I preached on it at Crossroads a year ago, got some constructive feedback and am going to refine it accordingly.  They're used to long sermons at Crossroads Classic and marathon sermons with question times at TBT.  In contrast 20 minutes will be my limit at St Georges, Battery Point.  However this is good, it'll give me time to refine and focus what I'm going to say.  One of my biggest preaching weaknesses is application.  So in a nutshell:

Romans 5:12-21 is about idenity in Christ and by contrast what it was in Adam.  (The opening context of Romans 6 focuses on who are now in Christ.) So the big idea of the passage is identity, our identity in Christ or in Adam.  I think the best way to apply this is to show our identity forms the basis of how we feel about things, the decisions we make and how we understand other people. It'd be good to then show the upsides and downsides of identity in Christ and identity in Adam.


Bryan Hickey said...

Sounds great Luke. The real challange is the specific application to the audience in front of you. Finding were people need encouragement, tools and repentance is a real challange for me too. I look forward to hearing this one if it will be recorded.

John Dekker said...

Remember, the way Haddon Robinson et al use "big idea" includes both a subject and a complement. The subject is what you're talking about. The complement is what you say about it.

So, the subject of your big idea is "our identity in Christ or in Adam", but that by itself is not the big idea - what's your complement? It sounds like "forms the basis of how we feel about things, the decisions we make and how we understand other people", but you said that was application.

The thing is, as Jay Adams would say, preaching is application.

Anyway, I would suggest that your big idea is "Our identity in Christ or in Adam forms the basis of our everyday lives", or something like that.

Andrew Bowles said...

In terms of application, we can ask what problem this passage addresses. Lowry would call this the 'oops', because he has no idea how to make preaching theory sound cool. What is the issue that would make identity in Christ a meaningful and transformative concept for the folks you're preaching to? Better to do that than do your exegesis and then cast around for some general application.

Luke said...

Thanks Guys,

Good advice and encouragement. One of the difficulties in preaching straight up in January is that I'm still getting to know the people, still trying to understand what their spiritual state is and what problems they face. The other problem is of my own making in that I've picked an overly complex passage in Romans 5:12. (It's the seat of an entire doctrine!)

If I was to preach through all of Romans, I'd focus on the positive results of our identity in Christ when I got to Romans 5, but since it's a one-off it's a chance to draw out the 'negative' results of our identity in Adam. (I'm thinking of Eugene Peterson here, who writes about the pastor's role of helping people be aware of their identity as sinners.)