Right Preaching #2 Expository Preaching
Aaron J. Dodson
What is expository preaching? Expository is an adjective that describes the kind of preaching; its root word is exposit, a verb which means to explain, to expound, to inform, to describe, to define, to expose information and its meaning. An expositor of God’s word reads the Bible text, explains the text and exhorts with the text. Paul wrote “until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13 NASB). To exposit God’s word is to open up the meaning of the text and show its relevance. “Preaching” is a noun and it stands on the shoulders of teaching. Preaching meddles with peoples lives, it reaches higher than mere teaching in tone and trajectory. Preaching involves: declaration, application, confrontation, edification, persuasion, conviction, correction, invitation and affirmation with passion. Exposition without preaching is all content with no challenge which creates a congregation that is stoic, cold and lifeless. It results in all hearing and little doing - a congregation with little personality and passion. Preaching without exposition is all hot air. It is loud, but has no life. It’s shallow, superficial and is surface. Preaching without exposition is all style with no substance; all theatrics with no theology. The result will be unconverted people. The Holy Spirit commanded “Preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2). Expository preaching is communicating the real and essential meaning of a passage of Scripture as it existed in the mind of the Bible author, considering it as it exists in the overall context of Scripture.
Marks of Expository Preaching
First and foremost, expository preaching is text driven! It starts with the text of Scripture, stays with the text, explaining it and applying it. Such preaching says what the text says, goes where the text goes, warns what the text warns and promises what the text promises [where applicable].
Second, expository preaching is a commitment to the Bible. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness..” (2 Timothy 3:16). God is speaking this present hour, through His written word and we need to hear it!
Third, expository preaching is commitment to inerrancy. “In hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago” (Titus 1:2). Every word of Scripture is flawless and without blemish (cf. Proverbs 30:5).
Fourth, expository preaching is based on the infallibility of God’s word. Isaiah wrote “the grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of God stands forever” (40:8). Jesus taught that the word of God cannot be broken (John 10:35).
Fifth, expository preaching rests on the authority of Scripture. The psalmist wrote, “the law of the Lord is perfect restoring the soul” (Psalm 19:7). Note, the law of the Lord - not His suggestions. The authority is in the fact that it is God’s word not mans.
Sixth, expository preaching relies on the sufficiency of Scripture. God’s word will do all God intends it to do within His will - “…so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17).
Seventh and finally, scripture is immutable. It is forever the same. It is settled in heaven and cannot be altered - “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven” (Psalms 119:89). I would encourage you to expect and demand this type of preaching. To be continued...