How To Listen To A Sermon

How often is Jesus mentioned?

A sermon that doesn’t mention Jesus isn’t about Jesus. Since you can’t preach the Gospel without mentioning Jesus, a Jesus–less sermon is a Gospel–less sermon.

If Jesus is mentioned, is He the subject of the verbs?

A sermon that mentions Jesus but still has you driving the verbs is still about you, not Jesus. The Gospel is all about what Jesus does for you. A sermon about what you do for Jesus isn’t the Gospel. For the Gospel to be preached, Jesus must be driving the verbs.

What are those verbs?

The Gospel isn’t Jesus your example, educator, life–coach or therapist. The Gospel is Jesus, your crucified and risen Savior from sin and death. So, listen for the Scriptural verbs of salvation: The Jesus Who lived for you, suffered for you, was crucified for you, died for you, and rose again for you. The Jesus Who forgives you, redeems you, reconciles you and has mercy on you.

Finally, check for Law and Gospel. When you’re finished listening, step back and get the big picture. Ask yourself, “Did the preacher diagnose my problem as sin, or as something else? And did the preacher provide the solution to my sin in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?”


How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

Romans 10:14