Monday, July 23, 2007

It is my hope over the next few posts I will lay before you the need for expository preaching. I hope to do this in defining expository preaching in three various ways.

Expository Preaching:

1. Exposing the congregation to the knowledge of God
2. Explaining the meaning of a text to know and understand the meaning of Scripture
3. Exhortation to the congregation leading them to obedience and to response*

I hope that you will better understand what expository preaching really is, and furthermore, that you would long in your soul for expository preaching. Today we will look at:

I. Expository Preaching - Exposing the congregation to the knowledge of God.

It must be understood first and foremost that it is in the pages of Scripture that God is understood. That is not the only means by which God reveals Himself, however. There is the revelation of God in a general (that is, universal) way in and through creation (Psalm 8, 19 and Romans 1). But God can be known in his essence, character, attributes and sovereignty through the pages of Scripture.

It is through the Bible that we can understand who God is and the overall redemptive plan that God has ordained before the foundations of the earth were ever laid.

Hosea 6:6 6 For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

It is here that the Prophet Hosea speaks of the knowledge of God being more desirable than "burnt offerings," meaning that it is the heart that God is concerned about. This "knowledge of God" comes by understanding His Word. Listen to the way David phrases it:

Psalm 19:7-9 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.

Part of what the Law of the Lord does is that it makes wise the simple (v.7). Back to our point, expository preaching does just this. It reveals the Word of God to the people of God and, in so doing, reveals the God of the Word. As a preacher goes expositionally through a passage, a book, a section of Scripture or whatever, it is his duty and responsibility to touch on the text so as to expose the congregation to the full counsel of God. It says in Acts 20:27 27 For I did not shrink back from declaring the whole counsel of God to you.

We believe that God is known in and through His Word. Through His word comes insight, knowledge and understanding. This is what Joshua means when he writes to the children of Israel:

Joshua 1:8-9 8 "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. 9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

In a word, how will one know that "the LORD your God is with you wherever you go" unless he spends time in the book of the Law? Thus, the need for expository preaching is to first expose the congregation to the knowledge of God by the Word of God with the power of God leading to faith in God. May we all long for the truth like newborn babes (1 Pet 2:2) and grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:18).

*This three-fold outline for expository preaching comes from Dr. Richard Mayhue


your wifey ;-) said...

Praise the Lord for faithful men, like Phil. He totally took the decietful lies that have crept into the church and confronted them head-on with the truth contained in the Word of God; all with the intent of helping us to not only acknowledge the lies, but put them off and to replace them with the truth... may we all strive to do so in our own lives (Ephesians 4:22-24).

May we all strive to search our own hearts and bring them before the full counsel of the Word of God. If there be any beliefs or thinking in the recesses of our hearts that fall out of line with God's counsel, then may WE strive to put-off that belief or pattern of thought and put-on biblical thinking in its place. May we also help our fellow brothers & sisters in Christ to do the same in love, to the praise and glory of God! Amen.

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