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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 53 : The Preaching of the Word

"Of the Preaching of the Word", from the
Directory for the Publick Worship of God
(1645)

Paragraph 2 :

53-2. The subject of a sermon should be some verse or verses of Scripture, and its object, to explain, defend and apply some part of the system of divine truth; or to point out the nature, and state the bounds and obligation, of some duty. A text should not be merely a motto, but should fairly contain the doctrine proposed to be handled. It is proper also that large portions of Scripture be sometimes expounded, and particularly improved, for the instruction of the people in the meaning and use of the sacred Scriptures.

[DIGEST: The current text provides a rare example in which the PCA has, after the initial adoption of a paragraph text in 1973, revisited the subject and decided that an earlier wording was more or lesser superior.]

ANTECEDENT TEXTS:
1. PCA 1973, Adopted text, DfW 6-2 [M1GA, Appendix, p. 156]
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, DfW Proposed text,
and
3. PCUS 1933, DfW, VI, §323.
The purpose of a sermon is to set forth the teachings of Scripture, and their proper application to the needs of the people. The text may consist of a longer or shorter passage of the Bible, as the judgment of the preacher may dictate. A text of Scripture should not be used merely as a motto.

PCUS 1925, DfW VI-2 [§323]
PCUS 1894, DfW VI-2
and
PCUSA 1789, DfW VI-2
The subject of a sermon should be some verse or verses of Scripture, and its object, to explain, defend and apply some part of the system of divine truth; or to point out the nature, and state the bounds and obligation, of some duty. A text should not be merely a motto, but should fairly contain the doctrine proposed to be handled. It is proper also that large portions of Scripture be sometimes expounded, and particularly improved, for the instruction of the people in the meaning and use of the Sacred Oracles.

PCUSA 1786, DfW 2d draft
The subject of his Sermon should be some verse or verses of Scripture, holding forth some principle of religion, inculcating some duty, or reproving some sin. Let him not use a text merely as a motto, but be careful that the doctrine proposed be fairly contained in it. It is proper also, that large portions of Scripture be sometimes expounded, and particularly improved, for the instruction of the People in the meaning and use of the Sacred Oracles.



©PCA Historical Center, 12330 Conway Road, St. Louis, MO, 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter Index [links to Par. 1 of each chapter]:
FoG..
1
2
3.
4
5.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
§2
§3
§4
§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]