Why Expository Preaching?

I wanted to share what I am teaching my interns today.  I found it to be a very satisfying lesson for preachers.

Expository Preaching is the Best Method to Express We Believe the Bible True

If your conviction the Bible is true and is God’s Word, then you’ll want to preach it as it is.  You’ll want to preach the whole Bible and not just parts you feel comfortable with.  You’ll want to work and study hard to grasp the Bible’s original intent and communicate those messages to any audience.  If one believes the Bible, then you will preach it fully expecting God’s Spirit will act in listeners’ lives.

Six Arguments for Expository Preaching:

  1. We Need God’s Authority, Not Our Opinion
  2. Ensure God’s Design for the Church
  3. Ensure People are Growing as God Intends
  4. Confront Cultural Preferences with God’s Values
  5. Avoid Unattractive Personal Hobby Horses
  6. Help Your Audience Read and Understand God’s Word Better
1. We Need God’s Authority, Not Our Opinion

When one preaches expository sermons, it makes it easier for the hearers to recognize that the authority rest not in the speaker’s opinion or reasoning but in God, in His revelation through the text itself.  Sermons that touch lightly on the Scripture spend most their time in stories, arguments or thoughtful opinions.  The listener could very easily conclude, “well that just some preacher’s opinion.”  Solid exposition however makes people come in confrontation with God’s opinion which is much more authoritative.

2. Ensure God’s Design for the Church

Preaching expository messages allows God to set the norms for the church.  No one would set up the church the way Jesus does.  And so preaching expository messages means you cannot predetermine what you’re people will be hearing over the next few months.  People will be challenged in ways no one saw coming.

3. Ensure People are Growing as God Intends

Most people beginning with God do not ask the right questions, however, listening to expository messages will provide the material God wants to get people asking and probing in the right direction.  Modern people, for example, come to the Bible looking for certain answers like “How do I build up my self-esteem and feel better about myself?”  Yet if they were to listen to the Bible speak, they would discover that we humans already think too highly of ourselves.   We are blind to the depths of our self-centeredness and are overconfident that we have the wisdom to manage our own problems.  In the end, our thinking needs to be transformed.  We need to hear the Word of God speak as it is.

4. Confront Cultural Preferences with God’s Values

Preaching expository messages helps preachers resist the pressure to adapt message too much to the culture’s preferences which often are in conflict with God’s values.  What does your society think about sex before marriage?  Gay marriage?  Abortion?  Expository messages  will encourage you to declare God’s will on each matter and forces the communicator to address these issues publicly.

5. Avoid Unattractive Personal Hobby Horses

Preachers often have hobby horses that tend to turn up all too often until they drive people crazy.  Expository sermons well help the preacher stay away those personal issues and help him focus on the issues God addresses. 

6. Help Your Audience Read and Understand God’s Word Better

A steady diet of expository messages will help your audience to read their Bible’s more effectively and better informed.  Expository preaching pays attention to details of the text that readers will want to understand and develop their own abilities to discover God’s truths.  They will become more sensitive readers in their own study.

Expository preaching means looking at the context, and so to understand the meaning of a sentence, we must ask, “How does this verse fit in with the rest of the passage?” To understand the passage, we must ask, “How does this fit in with the rest of the book?”  To understand the message of the book, we must ask, “How does this fit in with the rest of the Bible?”  If you do this week after week you will discover the story line of the Bible—the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Because the Gospel is the resolution of every plot line and narrative and the fulfillment of every concept and image in the Bible.  Week after week the listeners understanding of Christ and His Gospel will become clearer and clear with each message.

♦♦Points are taken from “Preaching” by Timothy Keller

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