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Preaching primarily begins as an examination of a text. This will be true whether the sermon is an exegetical sermon or a topical sermon.
I have tried to follow an organized method for each of my exegetical sermons. This begins with the text in its original language, and draws on many discussions from literary sciences and linguistics. It also connects with historical and cultural information from the world of the first listeners or readers of the text.
The process then moves through the history of development of thought on that passage and closes with an application to present circumstances.
For topical sermons, this process is altered somewhat as more attention is given to relationships within texts regarding one topic.