C.I.T.: (S.S.T. etc.)
The chapter and verse reference to the passage which is the scriptural basis of the sermon (Steps, 34-37, 54-65).
Central Idea of Text, a short, clear statement (simple sentence) with past tense verb of what the basic meaning of the text was to those who first heard the passage (Steps, 42-46).
The statement of the C.I.T. with present tense verb, as to the contemporary meaning of the passage. Thesis always grows out of C.I.T., but especially with highly historically conditioned texts, it may not be the same as the C.I.T. (Steps, 42-46).
The designation of a general direction for the sermon in one of the following areas: Evangelistic (to reach the lost); Devotional (to lead Christians to love, adore and worship God); Doctrinal (to inform the congregation concerning a specific doctrinal truth); Ethical (to challenge the congregation to develop some area of Christian relationship); Consecrative (to lead the congregation to commitment for some area of service to God); Supportive (to give encouragement to those in times of suffering) (Steps, 15-18).
A simple sentence relating directly to “one aspect of one major objective in one sermon to one audience on one occasion.” The statement should be formulated following these guidelines: should reach for the most pressing need in the congregations discoverable, should be a single thrust, should be the controlling factor for the entire sermon, should be biblical, that is, grow out of the C.I.T. and Thesis (Steps, 18).
A well phrased, precisely stated summation of the sermon idea. It may be structured as an emphatic word phrase, limiting word phrase, interrogative sentence, imperative sentence or declarative sentence. The title should follow the following guidelines: clarity, accuracy (to text, CIT etc.), narrowness of scope, brevity (2 to 7 words), suitability for pulpit use, relevant to needs of people and originality (Steps, 95-105).
See Steps, 105-129, for important discussion. The headings must be in simple complete sentence, not in phrases or key words. Under each heading supply some detail as to the intended development of that point through the use of explanation, illustration and application. For the purposes of this assignment, give greatest detail to the explanation section. This should be in line, although in simplified form, with the exegesis section of this portion of the text in the paper.
Text: James 2:14-26
C.I.T.: James asserted the falseness of separating faith from works.
Thesis: Saving faith is always a serving faith.
Major Objective: Doctrinal
Specific Objective: That my congregation would understand the true nature of saving faith.
Title: I Believe!
I. Faith cannot be separated from service. vv. 15-17, 19
These negative points will be illustrated under the principle of severed faith is verbal soup (15-17), a comparison to liquid soup in a hospital diet; and also, severed faith is dead orthodoxy (v. 19), a comparison to so many ’inactive’ church members.
The application is to stress the importance of Christians serving God faithfully as the natural outgrowth of genuine faith.
This important principle can be illustrated in everyday life such as actions proving the truth of one’s professed love for his wife. The application centers on a challenge to go to work in God’s service as a key to developing one’s faith, e.g., teaching a S. S. class.
The character of real faith can be illustrated over and over by contemporary Christians who exemplify real faith. This is applied to the congregation as a challenge to move toward that level of confidence in God as daily problems are faced. The words to the hymn, Trust and Obey, underscores this principle.
2For the purposes of this report, neither the Introduction nor the Conclusion elements of the sermon need to be included.