INCORRECT SERMON OUTLINES
First Topic: They way of salvation consists of (1) faith and (2) true repentance. An error such as this would make you a genuine Antinomians and Herrnhunters.
Second Topic: Good works. A discussion of (1) what they consist of, (2) that they must be performed in faith. In such as outline you would state what good works are, without having spoken of faith. A description of good works needs a statement that they must be performed by believers. Otherwise, you would have to judge good works according to the Law. But, of course, that is wrong. For viewed in the light of the Law, any good work-even that of a Christian-no matter how good it may appear, is damnable in the sight of God.
Third Topic: Concerning prayer. (1) True prayer is based on the certainty of our being heard. (2) True prayer is based on faith. According to this outline, the first part of your sermon would be entirely wrong.
Fourth Topic: Prophecies and threats contained in the Word of God. (1) Prophecies. (2) Threats. When I hear these parts of a sermon, I say o myself: Frist, the preacher is going to comfort me, then he will throw rocks at me, causing me to forget everything that he said at the start. No. First, you must come down on your hearers with the Law, and then bind up their wounds with the divine promises. When a preacher concludes his sermon with threats, he has done a fine job of making that sermon unproductive.
Fifth Topic: True Christianity consists of (1) Christian living, (2) true faith, (3) a blessed death. This outline is simply horrible.
Sixth Topic: What must people do to become certain of salvation? (1) They must amend their life and become different people. (2) They must repent of their sins. (3) They must also reach out for Christ by faith. How can you lead a better life when you have yet reached the stage at which you hate sin and a wicked life? The worst section is part 3, for there is nothing that give me greater assurance of being saved than my own subjective faith.
Law & Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible by C. F. W. Walther (A Reader’s Edition) p 106