I'm reading through The Imperative of Preaching by John Carrick (pub. by Banner of Truth). It's really good so far. The one thing that's really stuck with me so far is his discussion of the indicative and imperative in Scripture and its relation to preaching. The indicatives are the statements of fact - these ought to be the major part of each sermon. The imperatives are the directions based on those facts - normally we call this application.
Carrick really helped me by pointing out that, Scripturally, there's not just one indicative and one imperative, but two of each, going something like this:
Ind - Jesus died an atoning death and was raised from the dead to seal salvation.
Imp - Repent of your sins and confess Jesus as Lord.
Ind - In Christ you are a new creation, made holy by the power of the Spirit
Imp - Act like the new creation that you are!
This put into words how I have typically tried to structure sermons; Paul's words from Philippians often ring in my ears: Let us live up to what we have already attained. The "attained" is the indicative, what is presently true. The "live up" is the imperative - an application not desperate, but founded upon present reality.
I include this here not because you all are preachers, but to help you listen to sermons better and because it may help you read Paul's letters a little better.