Five Reasons Why Expository Preaching Is Important

In the previous two posts on this subject I have described a personal testimony about how expository preaching has played a significant roll in my own life followed by a look at precisely what is expository preaching. I now want to turn my attention to why expository preaching is important. I have thought of five points for your consideration although surely there are more.

1. Because Of What Expository Preaching Is

I have look at this aspect extensively in the last post (I encourage you to read it here). In short, this form of preaching because of its systematic way of dealing with the text, it is the best way of representing accurately what the text actually says.

2. Because of What The Bible is

The bible is God’s word, written down for us, for grammar-confuses-the-nature-of-the-holy-spirit.jpg.crop_displayteaching, for reproof, correction, training in righteousness and so on (2 Timothy 3:16). However, as a piece of literature it is a fairly complex document. We would consider it an instruction manual. But it is not just a book of rules that sets out a “when this happens, do that” system. Instead it is a compilation of letters, songs & poems, proverbs, law, census material, history and apocalyptic literature. All this to say, it takes some effort to study and understand it well. Now I believe that anyone illuminated by the Holy Spirit can understand many of the precepts of the bible, certainly enough to get saved, and to grow in holiness. But to fully understand the depths of its treasure you are going to need such items as a Bible dictionary and a concordance, very much assisted by other books such as commentaries and if you really want to dig deep, study the original Hebrew and Greek. All this helps you understand the all important context. An easier way is to be under expository preaching, where a pastor has spend many years studying at a seminary to be able to do all of this for you.

Now, I’m not saying we should never study our bible, absolutely we should and must; but because of what expository preaching is, it allows the preacher to do all of the above for us. Expository preaching wades through the different forms of literature allowing us to get the meaning and application, one verse at a time. You could argue that topical preaching can have the same effect,  possibly so, but I would argue that expository preaching does a far better job because the preacher follows the flow of the passage because the subject is the next verse rather than the preacher’s latest random topic that he decided on. It also allows us to read what the bible actually says rather than using the bible to say what the preacher wants to say.

3. Because of the Roll of the Preacher

It is the roll of the preacher is to proclaim what God has said, specifically in the bible. Let me say it again, his role is to proclaim, to preach, what God would have His children know, NOT what the preacher would have God’s children know. In a sense, this is how it works: The preacher steps back and simply allows the meaning of the text to hit the ears of the people. The preacher plays an important roll. He is the one who studies and now knows Greek and Hebrew. He has studied context, studied commentaries, studied the passage, parallel passages, cross referencing every which item the text contains, squeezing every last drop out of the text in a way that the average lay Christian could never do. He spends a week studying that one or two verses so that he can preach the passage. This is the expositor, the preacher who goes verse by verse, understanding the text in a way most people never could.

stevelawson-preaching-2And using all of that preparation, he allows the bible to speak for itself. If the next verse is on prayer, that’s what he preaches, but not just on prayer in general, but on the specific points that that particular text emphasises or teaches. Or if the next text is on (to pick a random subject) election, then he proclaims precisely what that passage teaches on election. Or sin, or judgement, or Christ’s atoning love for us, or spiritual gifts. or… and so on. Very often, topical preaching, especially in those churches where topical is the main form of preaching, the sermons deal with pleasant, uplifting subjects, very rarely if ever do they cover the hard, or worse, the scary passages in the bible.

Thus to sum up, its the preacher’s job to proclaim God’s word, not his own, even if his own lines up with scripture. That’s very much a bottom line statement.

4. Because the Bible Commands it

2 Timothy 3:16 – 4:1-2

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”

2_timothy_titleThe statement I just made above, about the preacher’s job, that statement is based on the above verse (2 Tim 3:16,17 –  2 Tim 4:1-2). God commands his preachers, in light of the fact that all scripture is breathed out by Himself, to preach that scripture, preach the word. I could elaborate further, but frankly I don’t think I need to, the meaning of that text is pretty self evident and speaks for itself.

5. Because it Forces us to Confront Difficult Passages


lloyd-jones

Please click on the audio player above to listen to this point. I think I will let Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones say this one, he can do it infinitely better than I could. The context of what he is talking about in the following audio, is the Calvinism- Arminian debate and the various sides involved. The text he refers to is Ephesians 1:4

 

Bearded gentleman, Christ follower, Christian and theologian blogger. Owner of Havelock the cat. Reader of Tolkien lore

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