Broadus says, " The sermon may or may not have a text. It must have a subject.
When the subject is first selected, then carefully look for a text which will exactly present
If the text comes first, then seek to work out from it some definite subject.
The relation between the subject and the text should be clear and unquestioned."
To state one central idea as the heart of the sermon is not always easy, especially in textual
and expository preaching.
But the achievement is worth the effort.
Even when a text presents several ideas, all of which should be incorporated in the sermon,
it is desirable to find for them some bond of unity, some primary idea that will serve
as a focus or orbit.
Besides the simple rhetorical expression of the central idea or the relation of ideas
to be discussed in the sermon, two other ways of stating the subject must be considered,
-- as title and as proposition.
The principal function of the title is to attract and interest the public.
Some preachers are gifted with the ability to select titles that are vital, interesting, timely,
and still conform to the laws of good taste and dignity.
Through practice and imagination a preacher should become resourceful and efficient
in the phrasing of sermon titles.
The proposition deserves more attention than is given by most preachers.
The proposition is a statement of the subject as the preacher proposes to develop it.
It is subject (idea) and predicate.
The subject answers the question, "What is the sermon about?"
The proposition answers the question, "What is the sermon?"
The proposition should not contain unnecessary or ambiguous words.
It should contain everything that is essential to the sermon.
It's important to distinguish between the proposition and the objective.
The objective has to do with the desired end of the sermon in the character and conduct
of the hearers.
The proposition has to do with the form and substance of the message.
The proposition is the gist of the sermon.
The minister of a congregation is faced continually with the task of choosing sermon topics.
Broadus gives two broad principles in choosing sermon topics.
1. The first is in terms of the object or purpose of preaching, which is life.
Broadus says that preaching is unto life -- life in the meaning of Jesus: spiritual, eternal,
abundant, and dynamic.
2. The second principle is in terms of the subject or contents of preaching, which is truth.
The preacher must remember that he is a messenger of God.
He must be deeply aware of God's authority and the absoluteness of God's Word.
The Bible is the touchstone of all true preaching, and every subject worthy of
a Christian pulpit will establish a connection between its teachings and the needs of life.
The preacher must never depart from the Word of God.
He must select sermon subjects that lend themselves to the proclamation of divine truth.
Dr. Broadus states, "The surrender of the vanity of originality and the smartness of modernity
for timeless truth will be rewarded by a new breadth and depth of knowledge,
and by richness and effective power in his ministry."