Jim Hamilton on Revelation

Andy Naselli —  April 11, 2012 — Leave a comment

If you’re preaching through Revelation, you’ll want to include this book on your shortlist of helps:

James M. Hamilton Jr. Revelation: The Spirit Speaks to the Churches. Preaching the Word. Wheaton: Crossway, 2012. 457 pp. (20-page sample PDF)

Jim embraces historic premillennialism.

His sermons in print follow this basic structure (pp. 15–16, formatting added):

In the introduction I seek to do five things:

  • (1) Grab attention.
  • (2) Raise awareness of a real need that people have, a need that is addressed by the teaching of the text. The goal is to make people feel that they need to listen closely. Ideally, the need we have will be connected somehow to the opening attention-grabber.
  • (3) State the main point of the text. The main idea of the text is the main idea of the sermon. This main idea seeks to meet the need that has just been raised.
  • (4) Preview the structure of the text that will be preached. The structure of the text will then become the structure of the sermon.
  • (5) Give the wider context of the passage at hand. Depending on the details of the text, the discussion of the wider context will focus on either the book of Revelation or the whole canon of Scripture, and relevant information from the historical background might be introduced here as well.

The body of the sermon then proceeds through the structure of the text.

  • There are as many points in the sermon as there are sections in the text being preached.
  • In addition to expositing the meaning of each section of the passage,
  • I seek (1) to connect the main ideas in this section to the main point of the passage, and
  • (2) to apply the teaching of this section of text to the congregation.
  • In thinking about how to apply texts, I have benefited from Mark Dever’s “Application Grid.”

The conclusion of the sermon

  • seeks to restate the key ideas in the sections of the text, which should naturally lead to a restatement of the main idea of the passage.
  • A sermon might also conclude with some poignant example or illustration that communicates the burden of the sermon.

Expository preaching happens when the main point of the text is the main point of the sermon and the structure of the text is the structure of the sermon. More gifted expositors may be able to exposit texts in a variety of ways. The rest of us are helped by “cookie-cutter” structures like the one I have just outlined.

Related:

  1. Jim Hamilton’s sermons on Revelation (at the bottom of the page)
  2. Jason McClanahan interviews Jim Hamilton on Revelation (audio)
  3. Crossway interviews Jim Hamilton on Revelation
  4. Denny Burk interviews Jim Hamilton on Revelation
  5. Kevin Boling interviews Jim Hamilton on Revelation (audio)
  6. Matt Smethhurst interviews Jim Hamilton on Revelation

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