Expository Preaching

I have just been reading Ten Conclusions About Expository Preaching from Adrian Warnock's Blog. My favourites are the first two.

I think that the first point is an excellent definition: Expository preaching should be defined as preaching that seeks to explain the main point of the portion of the Scripture selected. This cannot be overemphasized. Another way of putting it is that the text is the master and the preacher the servant, rather than the other way around as so-often is the case. Then text becomes a tool to get across our favourite doctrine or bring whatever correction we think the congregation needs at the time.

I remember once in my early days of preaching first deciding what the people "needed to hear". I then set about finding a passage that would "say it". After picking my passage and studying it for a few hours, I gradually realized that the main concern of the writer was not the subject I was planning to preach about! I could kind of get my message from the passage, but it certainly wasn't the main point. In the end I decided to ditch my original plans for what to say and allow the text to speak, but it forced me to think through my whole methodology. Although there is nothing wrong with a topical sermon, I am never very comfortable unless the message is firmly and fairly rooted in the exposition of a passage.

The second point: Expository preaching does not always have to take place as part of a long series working slowly through a book, is also very important. In fact, it is possible to take a long series through a book and not be expository at all, but just be preaching a series of sermons that find springboards in each text. The slower the progress through the book, the most likely this is to happen!

The seventh point also bears repeating: Preaching is entirely dependent on the supernatural and sovereign activity of the Spirit, who equips both preacher and hearers for what is an impossible task and makes the words of the Bible live in its hearers hearts. Preaching needs to be passionate, emotive (though not necessarily emotional), and bring about a holy moment of experiencing the presence and voice of God through His Word.

Amen! Preach it brother!

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