Expository Preaching

October 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Pastor

I recently faced a stunning reality – I am now the “other generation”. Let me explain.

I had invested an entire afternoon reading, studying and writing on the topic of Expository Preaching. I enjoy a very significant library. The material I examined relfected the perspective that I know as foundational to this discipline. This includes knowing the original languages, diagramming the text, doing word studies, and consulting lexicons and commentaries as well as praying for the illumination of the Holy Spirit. In short, immersing myself in the message so that when people hear me speak it is “Truth through personality” (Phillips Brooks). They have no doubt that the message is God’s and I am merely giving voice to Truth. They see me live it and what I declare is matched by the way I live (cf. 1 Cor. 4:16-17).

That evening I read an article in a popular “Christian” journal. The focus of the article was upon a gathering identified as a church plant. The “message” was impromptou drama, made up on the spot. There was no mention of Scripture. There was no mention of sin, confession, repentance, grace, forgiveness, justification or any of the other terms associated with the vicarious suffering of the Messiah, the Son of the True and Living God who propitiated our sin. There was no connection with history. There was no text and no proclamation of the Truth sealed in the text of Scripture with the blood of the prophets and the saints who died declaring the timeless message. There was no clear gospel. In the words of the hymn writer – - There is A Redeemer, Jesus God’s own Son! Tell the listener this in clear and compelling terms using terms that God chose to shape this message.

I prayed that night with a particular passion. I asked God to cause me to speak with grace and kindness. I ask God to make me (and IgniteUS) a relentless champion of preaching that brings clarity, light and Applied Theology to the lives of those who hear. The objective is the transformation of redeemed sinners into the fulness of the image of Christ (Col. 1:28). Time marches on. Truth does not change. Every great movement of God thorughout church history has been charaterized by – - not drama, not programmatic extravaganza, not slef-help seminars, but Expository Preaching. Sound exegesis opens the meaning of the text and humble, passionate proclamation seals it to the lives of those listening. They are Transformed and God is glorified. May it ever be so.

This is your invitation to immerse yourself in mastering the message God has given us. Then, as Jeremiah found this message burning within his bones, declare it with compassion, weeping and great expectations as to how God will honor His word. YOU may be the spark that God uses to bring renewal to Expository Preaching in your commuinity. That my friend transcends all generations, past, present and future! I am as the ‘flower that fades’, my time will end, but Truth is the same through all generations. Give it voice thorugh proclamation.

Comments

One Response to “Expository Preaching”
  1. R. Barry Morehead says:

    I believe this to be critically important to the church of our time. I am rapidly becoming one of the “old guys”. The “contemporary” movement that appears to be drawing large crowds concerns me because of the absence of the things you mention. Not only is there no mention of sin and repentance but emotion is replacing spiritual maturity. There is no obvious change after the emotion subsides.