Expository Preaching

Preach the Word

From Faith Pulpit, Summer 2020.

“Preach the word.” Paul’s pastoral command rings with clarity in the heart and mind of everyone who aspires to fulfill the biblical duties of the pastor (2 Tim. 4:2). The world today rejects the authority of God’s Word as well as its proclamation. The world and even many evangelicals see the Bible as outdated and inadequate as a guide for life. If we believe that the Scriptures are indeed inspired and the product of the breath of God, we must proclaim the Bible as the word of truth, the destiny-changing message, and the life-changing gospel that transforms a sinner into a child of God.

A First Commitment

Preaching the Word demands several basic commitments from those who desire to be faithful to this command. First, the command prescribes our message, namely that we restrict the content of preaching to “the word.”

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Expositional Imposters (Expanded)

"I have heard (and preached!) sermons that intend to be expositional, yet fall somewhat short. Below are a dozen pitfalls: five that don’t make the message of the passage the message of the sermon and thus abuse the text, five that fail to connect the text the congregation, and two that fail to recognise that preaching is ultimately God’s work." - 9 Marks

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The Messiness of Being Human

Reposted from The Cripplegate

Part 1

Here’s a glimpse into the sausage factory of expository preaching. A while back my commitment to consecutive exposition was acutely tested. I tackled the chapter every seminoid dreads from the day he graduates, namely Leviticus 15 (you know, the heart-warming one about emissions and discharges of various bodily fluids). The challenges of preaching this sticky wicket are manifold.

First, the preacher himself needs to understand why there is legislation on bodily leakiness in the Bible.

Second, he needs to publicly read and explain the text without blushing or evoking any unsolicited giggles from the congregation.

Third, the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ must be proclaimed from the text, and not just gratuitously or tangentially, but in a way that people grasp the connection and are moved to worship. And finally, application for today needs to be drawn from the Mosaic Law, which is fulfilled in Christ and no longer binding on Church-age believers.

No sweat.

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5 Myths about Expository Teaching in Youth Groups

"Topical teaching is not bad, and it does have a place in our projects. I also believe, however, that expositional teaching – when done well with young people – covers all the topics that we’d want to cover anyway. I believe it does this with more healthy and specific applications, while also imparting skills in how to handle the Bible." - Church Leaders 

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Haddon Robinson and "Big Idea" Preaching

In this excerpt from his classic text, Biblical Preaching, Haddon Robinson explains his view of the “big idea” of biblical preaching:1

I do not appreciate opera; what is worse, I have several friends who do. Being around them makes me feel as if I exist in a cultural desert, so I have taken several steps to change my condition. On occasion I have actually attended an opera. Like a sinner shamed into attending church, I have made my way to the music hall to let culture have its way in me. On most of these visits, however, I have returned home unresponsive to what the artists have tried to do.

I understand enough about opera, of course, to know that a story is being acted out with the actors singing rather than speaking their parts. Usually, though, the storyline stays as vague to me as the Italian lyrics, but the opera buffs tell me that the plot is incidental to the performance. Should someone bother to ask my evaluation of the opera, I would comment on the well-constructed sets, the brilliant costumes, or the heftiness of the soprano. I could render no reliable judgment on the interpretation of the music or even the dramatic impact of the performance. When I return from the music hall with a crumpled program and an assortment of random impressions, I actually do not know how to evaluate what has taken place.

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