Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Commitment to Expository Preaching

My duty as a minister of the Gospel is to “preach the Word” (2 Timothy 4:2). Of all the things a pastor can do and should do, faithfully preaching to and teaching the people of God in his care is the most important. The apostles devoted themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4). Pastors today are to follow this example today. A myriad of activities compete with the pastor’s attention, but a faithful pastor must be committed to and not dissuaded from this sacred charge (see John 21:15-17).

My commitment to the church I pastor is to preach the Word each and every week. I do this through “Expository Preaching.” Expository preaching is the method of studying a particular passage of Scripture, discovering the main point or big idea of that passage, explaining that point to the church and making points of application from that passage’s big idea.

It is my conviction that all sermons should be expository sermons in order to be faithful to the Word of God. When a preacher chooses to preach on a topic or a theme, he runs the risk of injecting his personal opinions or agendas into the sermon and neglecting the main idea of the Biblical text. Every expository sermon follows the same format: the text is read, the text is explained, and the text is applied.

This is why I normally preach through a book of the Bible in a consecutive fashion (like I’m currently doing in the Gospel of John). However, one does not have to preach through an entire book to preach an expository sermon. The key in expository preaching is to take a passage of Scripture, discover its main point, and shape the sermon around that main point.

This approach is exemplified by the great Old Testament priest Ezra. In Ezra 7:10, we read, “For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.” Ezra committed himself to studying God’s Word and applying it to his life on a personal level. He then read the Word, taught the Word, and applied the Word to the nation of Israel.

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