Visit www.preachtheword.info and register for the Preach the Word Workshop on September 29-30, 2016 here at Laurel Baptist Church.
My ultimate desire is for our church to know why we choose to preach expository messages. I’ve preached, taught, and championed expository preaching since day one. So, over the next several posts I hope this content will help our church family and friends who are learning more about expository preaching and why we emphasize this approach.
Walt Kaiser said…
It is no secret that Christ’s church is not at all in good health in many place of the world. She has been languishing because she has been fed, as the current line hast it, “junk food;” all kinds of artificial preservative and all sorts of unnatural substitutes have been served up to her. As a result, doctrinal and biblical malnutrition has afflicted the very generation that has taken such giant steps to make sure its physical health is not damaged by using food or products that are harmful to their bodies. Simultaneously, a worldwide spiritual famine resulting from the absence of any genuine preaching of the Word of God continues to run wild.
There are two great dangers in today’s pulpit:
- The increasing desire to innovate the Scriptures in attempt to make them more palatable.
- The reckless, self-serving manipulation of the Scriptures to push personal agenda.
As a result, the church is blinded and confused to doctrinal truth and the Christ-centered teaching of the Bible. But I am convinced that the regular exposition of the Bible and the routined emphasis of the gospel is what brings a church to spiritual growth and maturity.
So, what is expository preaching? Expository preaching is text-driven teaching that produces both clear understanding of God’s intended meaning and life application from God’s intended message. Preaching is not the way to get my message across, but the way to get God’s message across.
In my approach, I believe expository preaching has three essential elements:
Read it → Explain it → Apply it
Some would add a fourth element: Illustrate it; however, I lump that into the idea of explaining the Scriptures. Sometimes it needs illustration and at other times it does not. Whether I like to illustrate or not, it is my clear responsibility to explain it.
Paul told Timothy (1 Timothy 4:13), “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” Read it. Explain it. Apply it. Each time I approach the pulpit at our church or any other church, my job is left incomplete if I have not fulfilled these three elements: Read it. Explain it. Apply it.
This is the foundation of expository preaching – reading it, explaining it, and applying it in proper context and application. Preaching that is constantly jumping around from passage to passage without context or reading one verse to launch a message into psychological babble or self-serving purposes is not healthy for consistent Christian growth. It can eventually lead to the manipulation, minimizing, and mishandling of the voice of God – something Paul warned Timothy about in 1 Timothy 1.
This is why when you attend Laurel Baptist Church that we approach the preaching of the Bible in two fashions:
- Sequential, expository preaching – chapter by chapter, verse by verse through a book of the Bible from beginning to end. This, indeed, is the primary approach to our preaching. Since we started in 2008 we have preached through 20 different books of the Bible, with the goal to preach through all 66.
- Sectional, expository preaching – select passages with explanation and application from the selected text. At times, I may take a topical approach to studying various Bible subjects like marriage, parenting, or evangelism instead of preaching through a particular book. But even then the approach is the same: we take the text God leads us to and we read it, explain it, and apply it in proper context.
Regardless of the approach, sequentially or sectionally, my preaching should always involve the right context, the right explanation, and the right application. It is with this passion, since we started 8 years ago, that I have sought to bring God glory with the preaching of His Word. With God’s help I want to continue, without wavering, in this same focus.
I’ll say more in part 2…
Listen to “Why Expository Preaching” – an audio message from 2 Timothy.