Steve McEuen is the senior pastor of Victory Highway Wesleyan Church in Painted Post, New York. This sermon, which Steve preached on October 28th of this year, is entitled, “How the Bible Changes Us,” and is the second sermon in the current series called, “40 Days in the Word.” This week Steve focused on the nature of the Scriptures themselves and how they transform us from the inside out.
- Steve introduced the sermon by addressing human desire. Rather than just jump in with, “Today we are going to talk about how the Bible changes us. Turn to today’s passage…” Steve began with a conversation about human nature. In his view, everyone seems to be seeking after the next best thing. This engaged the congregation right from the beginning. You could feel the wheels start to turn then when he made the statement, “But we’re not looking to fill our attics – we’re looking to transform our lives.”
- Steve focused his sermon on the nature of the Bible and how it changes us. The message was focused. Every story Steve told and every connection he made was firmly tied back to the big picture focus of how the Spirit transforms us using the scriptures as one of the primary tools.
- Steve guided he congregation through the sermon well. You can tell Steve is anan experienced shepherd by the way that he gently guides his flock through his sermon. Notice, for example, the humorous disclaimer he gives before introducing a few Greek words. Too many preachers are eager to throw around their exegetical knowledge when they get up to preach on Sunday. They simply jump into Greek content without preparing the hearer. They end up leaving people in the dust in the process. Steve was able to explain to his congregation why these words and their interpretations are important to the focus of the sermon, which allowed him to mention them and then move on with his point when he used them later. Focusing on why they were important for the sermon focus is key to keeping sermons from becoming Bible Land tours rather than sermons.
- Steve gave a great answer to a big question. This sermon was essentially a 23-minute answer to the question, “Why should I read the Bible?” Just about every Christian has asked that question at some point along the way. His answer was neither cheesy nor cliche, but focused on the heart of the matter: transformation. He made it very clear that we need the Bible in our lives because it has the very real power to transform our lives. It is God-breathed, Spirit-filled, Christ-embodied and is alive, active, and sharp enough to change any person from the inside out. And that’s what we’re about after all: transformation rather than “filling our attics” with more dusty knowledge.
Following up on last week’s article “The impossible possibility of preaching,” this week’s sermon tried to accomplish the impossible: help people want to read the Bible and therefore be transformed. Only God can fully accomplish that aim. At the same time, this sermon gave great space for God to do that work.