4 Reasons You Can Preach the Same Text 2 (or 3 or 4) Times


Our church plant started meeting regularly on Sundays during COVID. That ages us immediately in most people’s minds. We’re barely toddlers. And you can quickly do the math to deduce that we’ve heard roughly just over one-hundred sermons together as a congregation.

We value and have had the opportunity to go through the entirety of Ephesians, Colossians, Esther, James, and the Psalms of Ascent (not to mention large swaths of the Gospels and Old Testament narrative).

Yet, of those just-over-one-hundred sermons, we’ve had a couple guests from our parent church preach on texts that were already covered. Our first inclination might have been to encourage preaching from other, untouched texts. We do, after all, long to be a church that preaches, values, and cherishes the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).

I’d like to argue, however, that there are reasons to be confident when returning to the same text multiple times.1

1. A Sermon Is Food, Not Entertainment.

The preached Word of God is something we observe not for novelty, but for nourishment. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). The more we feast on God’s Word—even the same text—the better nourished we are.

2. The Bible Is Alive.

The author of Hebrews writes, “The word of God is living and active (Heb. 4:12).

Therefore, preaching the same text multiple times is a good opportunity to see that reality manifest in a local church. You could, hypothetically, have four different pastors preach the same text four Sundays in a row and have a variety of applications and illustrations while still remaining faithful to its original meaning.

3. It Builds Trust in God’s Word.

A humbling reminder to us preachers: the act of preaching is not to show our own wisdom or homiletical gifting, but to trust the Spirit to impart the wisdom of God to the hearts of his people (1 Cor. 2:12–13). Spiritual truths require the Holy Spirit residing within the recipient in order to be received. His sheep hear his voice (John 10:27), including when “camping out” in the same text for more than one Sunday. Because God’s Word is trustworthy, it develops an appetite within the sheep for his Word, rather than the personality of the one preaching.

 4. It Encourages the Sheep to Make Their Own Meals.

Lastly, slowing down to “dwell” in one passage for more than one Sunday curbs the temptation toward innovation or “flashiness.” In short, it inspires the congregation to make their own meals.

When preachers model a consistent trust in God’s Word by happily returning to the same text, it builds confidence within the body that they can do the same thing and find consistent nourishment. By modeling a simple trust that God will continue to honor the ordinary means of grace with miraculous results, we can teach our congregations that the Word of God never returns empty (Isa. 55:11).

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[1] I want to give credit where it’s due in that my thinking about this method has been greatly influenced by the great preacher D. M. Lloyd-Jones (he preached seven sermons on the same text in his voluminous trek through Romans).

Sean Nolan

Sean Nolan is planting Engage Church in Albany, New York. He is married to Hannah with four kids.

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