Using a new commentary series can be daunting, especially when different volumes serve a variety of purposes. The Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible Commentary Set (POSB) is an in-depth tool to help you maximize your scriptural study for sermon prep, devotionals, small groups, or personal enrichment.

The POSB allows you to prepare messages in different ways, which will help you keep your sermons from becoming formulaic every Sunday. In this blog, we will look at three approaches you can take for crafting your sermons with the Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible Commentary Set.

Before we begin, it’s worth saying that the best way to maximize the POSB is to use the three book types (Commentary, Outlines, and Master Subject Index) in tandem. We are simply highlighting how you can start writing your sermon from any place!

Sermon Strategy 1: From the Text

God gives sermon inspiration through a variety of ways, but one of the most common is from reading His Word. Even if you’re not a senior pastor, you have probably thought, while reading your Bible, “This would be perfect for a sermon”. By starting with the text, you are rooting your thoughts within the context of Scripture. You’re listening to the Word and then responding to it.

Let’s examine how the POSB New Testament Commentary can complement your Bible reading.

Let’s say you’re reading Matthew 5:1-2 (right before the Sermon on the Mount).

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said:

Matthew 5:1-2 NIV

In your haste to get to the words of Jesus, you might miss the homiletical (teaching) potential of these two verses. Here is what the POSB NT Commentary has to say:


(5:1-2) Compassion: Jesus saw the multitudes. It is to be noted that the Sermon on the Mount was given to the disciples not to the multitudes. “Seeing the multitudes,” Jesus was moved with compassion over their desperate plight and need. (for context, Mt. 4:25 speaks of large crowds from the entire region following Jesus) He knew that He could not reach them by Himself, so He was driven to get alone with His disciples. he had to begin preparing them for their ministry to the multitudes. How long was He with His disciples on the mountain? A day? A week? Several weeks? It simply says that “when He had come down from the mountain, multitudes followed Him” (Mt. 8:1).

Thought 1. There are two basic ingredients for reaching the multitudes.

  1. Compassion: Seeing the multitudes; keeping one’s eyes open so people and their needs can be seen.
    • “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (Mt. 9:36).
    • “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his piety he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old” (Is. 63:9).
  2. Discipleship: Realizing that one cannot accomplish the task alone. others must be taught to help in the great commission.
    • “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Mt. 28:19-20).
    • “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Ti. 2:2)

Thought 2. Preaching and teaching are not to be done only in church, but wherever people are found– on mountains, by the seashore, in homes, on the streets– any place and every place.

Thought 3. Crowds are important, but a small band of disciples is critical to accomplish the great commission. The mission of the Lord is reaching people, but the method of the Lord is to make disciples. It is giving intensive training to a small group so they can help in the ministry to the multitudes. Making disciples was also the method of Paul (see notes– Mt. 28:19-20).

  • “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Mt. 28:19-20).
  • “Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek…Him would Paul have go forth with him” (Ac. 16:1, 3).
  • “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Ti. 2:2).

Thought 4. Christian leaders are to call together small bands of disciples for special training and preparation. Matthew says without any explanation that “His disciples came to Him” (v. 1), but Mark and Luke say that Christ called the disciples together for training and preparation (Mk. 3:13; Lu. 6:13).

Thought 5. Three things are needed for training and preparation: a place, a time, and a message. The words “He went up…and when He was set” seem to be saying that Jesus had deliberately chosen this place and time for this training. All had been planned; Jesus was personally prepared. (What a lesson too often neglected.)


What a wealth of information drawn from only a few words! Whether you base your sermon completely off of the above commentary or carry a single thought, the POSB Commentary is perfect for getting the sermon points to flow.

Sermon Strategy 2: From the Structure

Structural analysis was always my favorite activity in Bible school. You can learn a lot from the way a verse, chapter, or book is structured. Starting with the structure is an under-appreciated method of sermon writing, but with POSB Outlines, you can see how a single verse fits into a section’s narrative.

Example: Psalm 6

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your wrath.
Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
    heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in deep anguish.
    How long, Lord, how long?

Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
    save me because of your unfailing love.
Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
    Who praises you from the grave?

I am worn out from my groaning.

All night long I flood my bed with weeping
    and drench my couch with tears.
My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
    they fail because of all my foes.

Away from me, all you who do evil,
    for the Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has heard my cry for mercy;
    the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
    they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.

Psalm 6

With the POSB OT Outline, you can view this Psalm from a structural perspective. Each Psalm is summed up with a helpful title, too.

Psalm 6: How to Pray for Healing

  1. Ask God not to rebuke or discipline you in anger (judgement): Ask Him to correct you in love, He. 12:5-13 (6:1)
  2. Pray for God to heal you (6:2-7)
    • When to ask for healing
      1. When you are weak & suffering agonizing pain
      2. When your very soul is in anguish – wondering how much longer you can bear the pain
    • Why ask God for healing
      1. Bc. God will deliver you
      2. Bc. God is merciful and loving
      3. Bc. you cannot praise God or be a testimony for God if you die
      4. Bc. you cannot bear the pain any longer: You are worn out from groaning and lack of sleep
      5. Bc. you suffer deep grief due to people’s mockery, ridicule, & opposition
  3. Declare your confidence in God (6:8-10)
    • Rebuke your enemies because God hears your weeping
    • Rest assured in the Lord – that He has heard your cry for mercy & accepted your prayer
    • Know that your enemies will be ashamed & troubled: They will stop attacking you

POSB Outlines, geared toward gleaning information for the purpose of teaching, are perfect for starting a sermon or seeing how a verse fits into the larger unit.

Sermon Strategy 3: Topical

No matter your opinion on Biblical vs Systematic theology, sometimes you need to address a specific issue, world event, or theological point. You’ve probably needed to respond to your congregation asking, “What does the Bible say about XYZ“? This is where the POSB New Testament Master Subject Index shines. Inside, you can either search the dictionary or scroll through the alphabetical entries.

For example, here is the entry for Anxiety – Anxious. Because it is an index, each line corresponds to one or more verses.


ANXIETY – ANXIOUS (See CARES OF THE WORLD)


From the entry above, a simple sermon or devotional with 3 points could be:

  1. Anxiety is caused by/results in…
  2. It is our duty/goal to view anxiety as…
  3. How to overcome anxiety…

Try It Yourself

preacher's outline and sermon bible set

Hopefully, we have demystified this resource for you. The Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible Commentary Set is convenient, accessible, and deep. (The only thing it’s missing is a volume of pre-sermon jokes and anecdotes!)

If you want to learn more about the Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible Commentary Set, read the review we wrote or find it in the store.

What sermon starting place do you tend toward? Let us know down below in the comments!

1 Comment

  1. Janet Burney Woods Reply

    I thank you for this blog on how to use the POSB Commentary. So much wealth of information you give to those in ministry who preach and teach the Word of God. I have been blessed since I began using the Olive Tree app.

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