How To Preach A Sermon: What do you make of the story of Joseph?
Joseph was sold into Egypt by his brothers. This would have been a traumatic experience for him.
While in Egypt he found favor with Potiphar, an official of Pharaoh. However, Potiphar’s wife accused him falsely of seduction and Joseph was put into prison.
While in prison Joseph found favor in the eyes of the keeper of the prison and therefore was given the responsibility of all the prisoners.
Joseph was able to interpret the dreams of two of Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody at the time. When Joseph interpreted their dream, he asked them to remember him. But of course they forgot him.
Two years later Pharaoh had a dream but no one could interpret his dreams. Pharaoh’s official remembered that Joseph interpreted his dream while he was in custody in prison. Pharaoh asked Joseph to interpret his dreams.
In light of this, Pharaoh appointed Joseph governor over all Egypt. In the seven years of plenty, Joseph stored up grain under the authority of Pharaoh. When the famine years came, Joseph was in charge of distributing the grain.
The famine was severe in all the lands and the famine affected Jacob and his family. Jacob and his sons learned that Egypt had grain for sale. So Jacob’s sons went to Egypt to buy grain. However, they did not recognize Joseph as the governor of Egypt and the distributor of the grain. After all, twenty-five years had passed since they sold Joseph into Egypt.
After some testings, Joseph revealed himself to his brothers and he explained how God used all what happened to preserve a posterity for Israel (Genesis 45:4b-8).
I want you to notice that after all that Joseph endured, there was no bitterness, no hatred, no vengeance, only understanding and forgiveness. God had made a difference to Joseph’s life.
When we become Christians, God makes a difference to our lives. Those differences or qualities should reflect in the way we live and experience life.
When Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, he noted some godly qualities that would help them to work together for kingdom of God. Qualities that we should embrace also.
The first godly qualities that will help us work together for the kingdom of God involves…
1. Speaking Truthfully (4:25)
Look at verse 25, “Therefore, putting away lying, each one speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.”
To speak truthfully requires one to put away lying (NJKV) or falsehood (NIV).
Also, to speak the truth is to embrace the truth which is in Jesus.
The second godly qualities that will help us work together for the kingdom of God involves…
2. Resolving Anger (4:26-27)
Look at verse 26, “Be angry, and do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your wrath.”
To resolve anger, we must understand the difference between righteous anger and revengeful anger.
Righteous anger is the stirring of the soul toward justice, especially in light of injustice, evil and ungodliness.
Revengeful anger wants to pay someone back – leads to bitterness and retaliation.
As someone said, “Remaining angry when the sun goes down is a good sign of anger turning from righteous to revengeful.”
The problem with revengeful anger is that it takes control of you and once that happens it gives place to the devil. Look at verse 27, “…nor give place [opportunity] to the devil.”
The third godly qualities that will help us work together for the kingdom of God involves…
3. Working Hard (4:28)
Look at verse 28, “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.”
To work hard means we work for a living rather than steal for a living. Notice also, working hard gives us an opportunity to help those who are less fortunate.
The fourth godly qualities that will help us work together for the kingdom of God involves…
4. Edifying Speech (4:29-30)
Look at the beginning of verse 29, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification…”
There are two types of speech – one tears down and one builds up. Notice the speech that builds up “imparts grace to the hearer” (4:29b).
The speech that tears down “grieves the Holy Spirit” (4:30).
The fifth godly qualities that will help us work together for the kingdom of God involves…
5. Forgiving Others (4:31-32)
To forgive others, we must lay aside six vices that lead to unforgiveness.
Look at verse 31, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put way from you, with all malice.”
To forgive others, we must embrace three commands.
Look at verse 32, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.”
If these five qualities are reflected in our lives, we should be able to work together for the Kingdom of God.
Click here for more Sermons From Ephesians.
Resources For How To Preach A Sermon
Sermon structure is an important part of preaching a sermon well. For more information on sermon structure, click on Sermon Structure.
Further Resources for How To Preach A Sermon
Chapell Bryan, 1994, Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Koller Charles W, 1995, How To Preach Without Notes, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids Michigan.
Braga James, 1981, How To Prepare Bible Messages, Multnomah Press, Portland, Oregon.