Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Defining Expositional Preaching
Part 3: Describing Expositional Preaching
Part 4: Defending Expositional Preaching
I hope that this brief overview of expositional preaching has provided a helpful introduction on this subject for you. Make no mistake about it, whether you are a preaching or a Dad trying to find the right church for his family, expositional preaching should be important to you. Expositional preaching is the best method for fulfilling the biblical mandate to preach the word. This does not mean that expositional preaching is the only task of a healthy church. However, expositional preaching is a key element of a healthy church. Expositional preaching makes the pages of God’s word come alive for the modern day church goer. Through the faithful exposition of the bible God speaks His word to His people. Just as the Israelites were able to leave the presence of the prophets knowing that they had heard a word from the Lord, Christians can depart from their local church on Sunday knowing that they have heard a word from the Lord. But this can only happen if the preacher derives his message from the bible. Anything less than this will fall short of biblical preaching, and will leave God’s people spiritually malnourished.
Just in case you are still a little unclear about what this expositional preaching is, here are a list of places where you can listen to the best of expositional preaching:
Grace To You – You can now download all of John MacArthur’s sermons for free here.
Verse-by-Verse Radio – This is the radio ministry of Pastor Steve Kreloff. Pastor Kreloff is one of the best at expositional preaching, and one of my all time favorite preachers.
Grace Bible Church – This is my home church, and it is where you will get to hear the preaching ministry of Chris Pixley. At our site you can download our weekly sermons, or sign up for the podcast.
These certainly are not the only preachers doing expositional preaching, but they are three of my favorites. If you listen to these guys then you will certainly get a taste for expositional preaching.
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Defining Expository Preaching
Part 3: Describing Expository Preaching
IV. Defending Expository Preaching
The bible does not use the term expository preaching. Nor does it command preachers what method of preaching they are to use in their pulpit. However, there are biblical and theological grounds for expository preaching. Additionally, there are some very practical advantages to expository preaching.
Biblically, the argument could be made that all of the great sermons found in scripture are expository in one sense or another. That is to say that they derive their message directly from the word of God. Old Testament prophets received their message through direct revelation. New Testament preachers had two forms of divine revelation: the Old Testament and the teaching of Jesus. For today’s preacher the only way to receive a message directly from God is through the bible. This means that in order to preach like the preachers of the bible we must preach from the bible.
Theologically, expository preaching honors the doctrines of inerrancy, perspicuity, inspiration, and infallibility (Don’t hold me to everything these links say; I only provided them to introduce you to terms that may be new to you. The important point is that all these doctrines that hold a high view of the bible.). By its very nature the word of God should be esteemed. Preachers should always use it as the source of their message. Additionally, expository preaching takes into consideration the doctrine of sin. Because man is totally depraved the only message powerful enough to save him is the message of the bible.
Practically, expository preaching is profitable for the expositor as well as his listeners. For the preacher, it is a safeguard against preaching a message that is inconsistent with the message of the bible. Plus, the expositor never has to worry about what he will preach next. Preaching expositionally through a book will take care of the preaching schedule. For the listener, it is a safeguard against hearing a message that is not consistent with the message of the bible. As the member of a church committed to expository preaching you can be assured that you will consistently hear the word of God being taught. Additionally, expositional preaching teaches listeners how to study the bible for themselves. Preaching through a book of the bible encourages listeners to read and study through a book of the bible on their own. These are just a few of the many advantages of expository preaching.
With all of this in mind, if you are looking for a church shouldn’t you be looking for a church that practices expository preaching? And if you are preparing a sermon shouldn’t you be preparing an expository sermon?
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Defining Expository Preaching
III. Describing Expository Preaching
Expository preaching has become a popular method in recent years. Many preachers claim to be expositors. However, there are many who make this claim that are not doing exposition in the way that it has been defined above. Sometimes it is difficult to immediately distinguish the true expositors from those who simply make the claim. For this reason it is helpful to give a broad description of what an expository sermon looks like.
First, expository preaching is usually done in a “verse-by-verse” fashion. In other words, the expositor preaches through a book of the bible from verse one of chapter one all the way through the entire book. This is not the only form of expository preaching and it does not ensure that a sermon is an expository sermon, but it is a helpful indicator.
Second, expository preaching is text driven. A true expositor will constantly point his listeners back to the text. He will spend more time explaining the passage than he will on stories, illustrations, or application. He will not preach a principle or truth without justifying it from the text of Scripture.
Third, expository preaching is practical. The principles uncovered in an expository sermon should be practical and pertinent to the people of God in today’s world. A sermon filled with facts and data about a passage, but with no practical import on modern day listeners is not an expository sermon.
Introduction (pt. 1)
II. Defining Expository Preaching
Simply put, expository preaching is biblical preaching. That is to say, the message of an expository sermon is consistent with message of the bible. However, there is more to expository preaching than just this. Consistency with the message of the bible is a claim that many preaching methods could make. What separates expository preaching from all other methods is that not only is the message of an expository sermon consistent with the message of the bible, but furthermore the message of an expository sermon comes directly from the bible. Other methods may develop a message and then attempt to support it with scriptural truth, but expository preaching derives its message directly from a specific passage of scripture.
Expository preaching examines a biblical text in its context, exposes the truth that passage is teaching, and applies the truth to the modern day listeners. In order for a sermon to be an expository sermon all three of these elements must be present. A text must first be examined in its context. This means that the expositor is looking for the authorial intent of a passage. He wants to know what the original author of the biblical text was trying to convey to his original readers. Once this has been established the expositor then turns his attention to the abiding truth, or principle, that the passage is teaching. This principle must be derived from the original intent of the author, and reflect a timeless truth taught or exemplified by the passage. The expositor must bring this truth to light in order to connect modern day listeners with an ancient text. After bringing this truth out the expositor must then apply that truth to the lives of his listeners. This means that he must investigate and communicate all the implications that a particular passage might have on his listeners. The goal of an expository sermon is to bring about a change in the life of the listeners; to spurn them on towards godliness. This should be the aim for both preachers and listeners.
Beginning today I am going to be posting some of my thoughts on the topic of expository preaching. I have entitled the series “Expository Preaching 099.” Considering my position in life, my experience, my training, and my abilities I don’t think that I am qualified to teaching expository preaching 101 (or above). But I do think that it would be profitable for everyone to talk about some of the basics of preaching, in particular expository preaching.
Whether you are preaching every week, or just looking for a church to minister to your family the topic of preaching is important. Given its importance, today I am going to briefly introduce the topic of preaching. My aim with this post (an the whole series) is not to inform you of everything there is to know about preaching. But rather, I hope to get you thinking about this topic and how it relates to you and your family. For those of you who are not preachers, don’t think that this is not important for you. At some point you are going to have to decide what church to attend, and you are going to want to be informed on the topic of preaching.
God has used His heralds to communicate with His people since the time of Moses. This heralding, or preaching, has always been a vital part of God’s plan. The great prophets of the Old Testament received oracles of God which they communicated to the people of Israel. Jesus, while on this earth, made preaching the Gospel of God the primary function of His ministry (cf. Mark 1:38). His disciples followed in His footsteps and preached the message of Christ crucified as first hand witnesses.
In the wake of the apostles, the Church was left with this great task of communicating God’s truth to God’s people. Just as Paul commended his protégé Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2, so to the church is responsible to “preach the word” and “be ready in season and out of season.” However, simply engaging in the act of preaching will not fulfill this great responsibility. In order to be faithful to the long line of God’s heralds, and fulfill her responsibility the church must preach “the word.” Anything less than this will fall short of scripture’s mandate, and will not be used by God to communicate with His people. In light of this, it is of the utmost importance to determine how to faithfully preach the word of God. Many methods have been articulated on this issue. However, none of them consistently fulfill the biblical mandate as effectively as expository preaching.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scripture references are taken from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update
(LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995).
…pitchers and catchers have reported for Spring Training. Baseball season is upon us.
V. Practical Disciplines
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Slaves,obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.
- List some of the major responsibilities that you have at work/home/church/school.
- Are you fulfilling those responsibilities excellently? Are you neglecting any responsibilities? Would the people around you describe your work as excellent and done heartily to the Lord?
- How would you evaluate your eating and exercise habits? (remember you can go overboard on either side with this one)
- How would you evaluate you time management skills? Are you using the time that God has given you like a good steward? How can you improve?
- How would you evaluate your sleep habits? (too much; not enough)
- Do you spend an appropriate amount of time in recreation? (i.e. T.V., movies, vacation, hobbies, sports, girlfriends, family time, etc.)
- How does your recreation time compare with the amount of time you spend serving the church?
- How would you evaluate your use of money? Are you making wise purchases?
- Are you giving sacrificially? Based on the way that you spend your money, would the people around you know that your money really belongs to Jesus?
- Compare the amount of money that you have spent on recreation and that you have saved for yourself with the amount of money that you have given. Is your giving sacrificial?