Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WHY I PREACH EXPOSITIONALLY

EXPOSITIONAL PREACHING
Tonight at Pine Grove Baptist Church we will be tackling the myth that there are multiple races. Genesis 10 will be our base text and the reason for that is that we finished looking at Genesis 9 last week. I did not sit down this week and deliberately decide that our people needed a lesson on racism but the issue simply presented itself in the text. The truth is that the students I pastor are not in any way that I have seen overtly racist or in need of anything other than the transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ like the rest of mankind.
The students that will sit and listen tonight to our sermon are not being forced to hear my opinion or what I believe they need to hear but they will simply hear the Word of God preached boldly and IN CONTEXT and they can rest assured that I did not pick out this passage to condemn them or to uplift them but that this passage is being preached because it is next in the book of Genesis. Preaching expositionally insulates me from being accused of singling someone out or standing on my soapbox to preach on issues that I want to preach on. The people may not like what the Word of God declares but they cannot accuse me of trying to get them by what I choose to preach.
What exactly is expository preaching? There are a lot of possible definitions for expositional preaching. Before I define it let me first describe what it would look like in its most general form on Sunday mornings, nights, etc. Preaching expositionally means preaching through a book of the Bible line by line and verse by verse until the end of that book. . In other words, to preach expositionally is to commit to preach through the book of Philippians, for example,  line by line until the end of the book is reached and then preach another book of the Bible the same way and continue in this process until the whole Bible has been preached.  
Many men have offered up wonderful definitions of what exactly it means to preach expositionally. Here are a few of them:
John Calvin on defining expository preaching: “Preaching is the explication of scripture and the application of scripture. The Words of scripture are the source and content of preaching”
Merrill Unger: “No matter what the length of the portion explained may be, if it is handled in such a way that its real and essential meaning as existed in the mind of the particular Biblical writer and as it exists in the light of the overall context of scripture is made plain and applied to the present day needs of the hearers, it may properly be said to expository preaching…It is emphatically not preaching about the Bible, but preaching the Bible.”
Greer Boyce describing expository preaching and what the result of being unfaithful to a text will be: “In short, expository preaching demands that, by careful analysis of each text within its immediate context and the setting of the book to which it belongs, the full power of the modern exegetical and theological scholarship be brought to bear upon our treatment of the Bible…faithfulness to the text is not to be sacrificed for what we presume to be relevancy. This sacrifice too many modern preachers seem willing to make, producing as a result, sermons that are compound of moralistic advice, their own unauthoritative and sometimes unwise opinions, and the latest psychology. Expository preaching calls the preacher back to his true task: the proclamation of the Word of God in and through the Bible.”
God has given preachers a high call and that is to make known the whole counsel of the Word of God (Acts 20:26-27). There is no better way to do that than to embrace expository preaching, which puts the whole counsel on display for congregations of people week after week. Oh, that God would raise up a generation of listeners that demanded to be preached the whole counsel of the Word and that their preachers tackle tough texts and explain deep doctrines and theology. Oh, that God would raise up a generation of preachers that exposed people to the Word of God and the truth therein so that lives could be radically transformed and souls won for the glory of the Father.
Henry Blackaby stated in his book, Spiritual Leadership, that the job of a spiritual leader is to lead people into an encounter with God. There is no better and surer way to see this happen than by displaying to your whole congregation your own love of the Word by preaching expositionally. I close with this thought. In Isaiah 55:8-11 we are told by God that His thoughts and ways are on a whole other plane than our own and that we could never ascend to the heights that He is working on. We are also told that because of this our ways and thoughts always contain some measure of error but that His words will never fail to accomplish what He has purposed them to do. My words may go unheard and digested for many years but if I am faithful to expose people to the Word of God I cannot fail! I guess the question is do we believe Isaiah 5:8-11 or do we not? May God bless us and shine His face upon us always as we seek to make Him known through His word and through sound biblical exposition.
Love all; Serve One
Kevin Edge (Rom 8:1)


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