When we connect the transforming power of God’s Word to the daily lives of our people, they will be transformed into a people who will make a name for the Lord. We seek to grow in Christ-centered sermon application because connecting the transforming power of God’s Word to daily life produces a people who live for the glory of God.
Legend has it that philosopher Søren Kierkegaard was fond of illustrating the point that Christians should be doers of God’s Word (James 1:22) by telling the parable of waddling ducks. The parable goes something like this:
One balmy Sunday morning in the land of ducks, all the ducks waddled to church. When they found their pews, their duck preacher waddled to the pulpit. Opening the duck Bible, he preached a spellbinding sermon about God’s great gift to ducks—wings! “God has given you wings to rise above the confinement of pens and soar to the heavens,” the duck preacher exclaimed. All the ducks in the congregation uproariously shouted, “amen, praise God for the gift of wings.” Then they all waddled home.1
The parable reminds preachers that growing in Christ-centered sermon application is our important privilege as we seek to form local churches that reflect the glory of God. In Christ-Centered Preaching, Bryan Chapell defines sermon application as “the present consequence of Scriptural truth.”
It’s not easy to grow in Christ-centered sermon application. In this article, we will explore four reasons why, despite the challenges, it’s well worth our time and effort to grow in Christ-centered sermon application. The four reasons arise from reflection on Isaiah 55:10–13.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.