Homiletics of Expository Preaching and Teaching–Part 3 Activities for Expository Exegetical and Homiletical Outlines

In my last blog, I explained the distinctions between exegetical and homiletical outlines regarding expository preaching and teaching.  Let’s apply these principles using activities based on Paul’s admonition to his mentor, Timothy, recorded in 2 Timothy 4:1-5.

The Hammer Approach

I’ve found one of the most effective approaches to address sermon outlines explained in an article published by Preaching Today called Five Hammer Strokes for Creating Expository Sermon Outlines.

Jeffrey Arthurs and others share Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ comparison of expositional sermon preparations to that of a blacksmith who continuously hammers a horseshoe to perfection. 1 
Arthurs divides the Hammer Strokes approach into five stages:
  • First Stroke: State the Exegetical Outline
  • Second Stroke: Rephrase (and Possibly Re-order) the Points as a Homiletical Outline
  • Third Stroke: Develop the Points
  • Fourth Stroke: Link the Points with Clear Transitions
  • Fifth Stroke: Write the Introduction and Conclusion

Activity #1:  Drafting Exegetical and Homiletical Outline of 2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NASB)

In order to create an exegetical outline, I highly suggest having an tactile experience by printing a copy of the scripture text.  Here’s a PDF of 2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NASB).
General Principles of Exegetical and Homiletical Outlining

As we begin, let me share two general principles that guide us.  First, preachers can find a central idea of a passage several ways:  from a statement in the passage, a larger context from the entire book or large section, and/or repeating ideas.   2

Second, “the first step in preparing to preach on a passage is to determine the parameters of its context. Failure to define the parameters usually results in the misunderstanding and misrepresentation of a passage’s meaning. The only way to determine these boundaries is to study the syntax of a passage and determine where a section begins and ends. The standard chapter and paragraph divisions identified in various ways in Hebrew, Greek, and English Bibles cannot be used for this, because they are unreliable.”  3

Examples of Exegetical and Homiletical Outlining

In summary, an exegetical outline arranges scripture in manageable chunks based on the sequential order in which the scripture appears.  I’ve included two PDFs I created for an exegetical outline for 2 Timothy 4:1-5.  The first one consists of handwritten notes based on my observations (What does the text say?). The second document is my typed exegetical outline


Unlike the exegetical outline, the homiletical outline arranges scripture based on the topical order of your developed ideas.  Therefore, a homiletical outline might lead to you changing the order of scriptures emphasized for the sake of presentation.  Here’s my homiletical outline of 2 Timothy 4:1-5.  Notice how my comments are not only numbered differently from the sequential order of the verses but include the labelling of manageable subtopics involving the crisis, command, charge, cure for addressing false doctrine.  


Transition from Exegetical and Homiletical Outline to Lesson about 2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NASB)

My exegetical and homiletical outlines led to developing my blogs series Preach the Word: The Antidote to False Doctrine.   Needless to say, there were several other steps necessary to reach the final draft.  If you, your church leadership, or clergy would like to learn more about this process, I’m available to provide church leadership and training development workshops in this area. 

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