Pastor Tyler Griggs
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15
There are many important tools to use when putting together a sermon. I am convinced that among the chief of these tools is a dictionary, especially a Webster's 1828 Dictionary, which I use regularly. Let me share three reasons with you as to why the use of a dictionary is important in delivering a sermon as a preacher.
1. Defining Unknown Words. We all run across words in our Bible reading that we don't know the meaning of. Now, we can simply skip over those words or we can use a dictionary to look up the meaning of the word. An example of just such a word that I didn't know the meaning of was the word IMPORTUNITY found in Luke 11:8. I came to find that the word meant pressing solicitation or an urgent request. Another definition I found was persistence to the point of annoyance. I was able to take that meaning and put together a sermon on us being persistent with our prayers to God and entitled the sermon "Do You Annoy God?”. Had I not known the definition of the word importunity I wouldn't have fully understood the truth presented in this passage nor would I have been able to compile it properly for deliverance in a sermon.
2. Things You Don't Know About The Words. There are words that we know the meaning of or at least what the word is. Yet, there are times when there are words that if we would look them up, we can find something else that we may not have known. An example is the word STILL. In Psalms 46:10 the phrase "Be still" is used and other such phrases are used throughout the Bible. Now we've all heard a parent say to a child, “Be still” and usually that means to stop moving and stay in one place. I learned from defining the word that it not only means to be still in a physical sense but also in a mental sense in our minds and emotions. He was saying not to just be still on the outside but even more on the inside with our emotions and mindset.
3. To Properly Preach God's Word. There have been a few times in my life when I have been sitting in a service listening to the preaching and noticed that the preacher used a word in a way that is not in context with its definition. They would direct the whole sermon off of that word or what they thought that word meant, when in reality, the word didn't mean that at all. When this happens, the people misinformed and it is generally a sign of preacher who hasn’t studied
In conclusion, get a good dictionary to aid you in your Bible study so you can gain knowledge about the Words of God and so that you needeth not to be ashamed. Somebody Say Amen!
“Give me 100 preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God; such alone will shake the gates of hell.” -John Wesley