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How Sermons Work
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How Sermons Work


Evangelical Press 2011

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How do sermons work? How does a preacher get from the basic nuts and bolts of a few Bible verses to the delivery of a full sermon? That’s the question David Murray answers in this instructive and immensely practical book. He demonstrates that behind the 30 to 45 minutes we see and hear on a Sunday morning are many hours of mental, spiritual, and practical labor. Like all pastoral labor, it involves head, heart, and hand.

Murray breaks up the sermon preparation process into a clear and simple step-by-step method, covering topics such as how to choose a text, how to introduce a sermon, how to explain a text, and how to apply it. How Sermons Work will provide an excellent refresher for experienced preachers and a reliable guide for those just starting out. It will also be extremely helpful to Bible class teachers, Bible study leaders, or anyone who has to prepare a Bible message.

Above all, however, it is the author’s desire that this volume will also be read by those who do not preach. He wants to give non-preachers an insider’s look at sermon preparation. By taking readers behind the scenes and asking, “how do they do that?” Murray wants to supply answers that will increase respect for pastors and their preaching.

With the Logos Bible Software edition, you have unprecedented access to resources that offer relatable and insightful material to aid you in your sermon or Bible study preparation. The powerful search tools in your digital library help you locate the specific material relevant to you, whether it is textual or topical. Hours of biblical research can be accomplished with the simple click of a mouse. With lightning-speed searching, instantly-viewable Scripture references, a vast library of resources, and much more, Logos is the perfect software to expand your understanding of the Word.

Key Features

  • Analyzes the sermon preparation process
  • Provides a simple and helpful step-by-step guide for preparing a sermon or Bible message


  • Introduction: How Do They Do That?
  • Preparation: Preparing to Preach
  • Selection: Selecting a Text
  • Interrogation: Exegeting the Text
  • Variation: Varying the sermons
  • Introduction: Beginning the Sermon
  • Organization 1: The Principles of Sermon Organization
  • Organization 2: The Practice of Sermon Organization
  • Application 1: The Principles of Application
  • Application 2: The Practice of Application
  • Presentation: Preaching a Sermon

Praise for the Print Edition

The biblical, theological, and pastoral foundation of How Sermons Work is one of the many reasons I heartily commend David Murray’s ministry. David’s fruitful experience as a preacher and his faithful pastor’s heart oozes from every page of this book. It is written with a precision that will immensely benefit both young aspiring pastors as well as the most seasoned preacher. I commend this practical guide to all who seek to evaluate their preaching with an aim to grow more faithful in this divine calling.

—Brian Croft, Senior Pastor, Auburndale Baptist Church

Product Details

  • Title: How Sermons Work
  • Author: David Murray
  • Publisher: Evangelical Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 160

About David Murray

David Murray is a professor of Old Testament and practical theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was born in Scotland and served as a pastor and lecturer there.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition

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