The question is not “which variety of preaching is best” and then choose from the various genres and sub-genres of preaching options.
Some prefer topical sermons, because just like topical ointments, they go right to where the itch is…
Others prefer a more narrative approach, since life is one big unfolding story, shouldn’t our sermons include stories, or even be framed as one big story itself?
Maybe the autobiographical yet informative Ted talk is the way forward?
The real question is “is God’s Word powerful?” And since the answer is yes, we who have opportunity to speak about it in public need only to discover what model of preaching allows the Word to speak the most plainly, most directly - or to put it another way, what form of preaching unleashes God's Word?
Since the Bible is God’s very words, and have within themselves His very authority - I believe that expository preaching should be the most consistent offering that we offer unto God and to His people
What is expository preaching?
Quite simply it is exposing what is inside the pages of the Bible to the hearers, for all to understand believe and apply.
think of a report who does an expose on a politician or a corporation. She does the work of discovering what is hidden and what previously is unknown, and then she exposes it to the watching world. “I want to tell you the true story of what you may only know the surface of”
Not to imply that the scriptures are unknowable, and locked to all but a few experts. It isn't that the main message of scripture is inaccessible, but simple that it is un-accessed by many.
(Another example of exposition … maybe the mohler quote?)
So what the expositors does, week after week, is go deep into the pages, the themes, the paragraphs and the words of scripture.
But what is also happening - is that the expositor is going deep into the Word, and the Word is going deep into the heart of the expositor.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:12–13, ESV)
Naked and exposed. The expositor is also the exposed one!
Such is the power of God’s word and that is why expository preaching is powerful because it is putting people into direct contact with God’s Word.
And what does it do? It exposes us. It lays us bare! τραχηλίζω trachēlizō
This is the only time this word is used in the whole Bible.
Its used in extra biblical literature to describe when a defendant at a trial is made to face their accusers : a knife was put to their chin so that they would have to meet their gaze, they couldn’t look down in shame, or they couldn’t look away as a way of escaping the consequence of what they did, or the severity of the situation that they are in.
It is also used to describe grave face-to-face confrontations of two wrestlers who meet in the middle of the mat. they would grab each other by the throat to start their competition.
This is what God’s Word does to us! Now- granted this is very confrontational, and nearly violent language, but I want to highlight it to us right now at the start of this training event. We will be speaking about techniques and approaches for us to expose the meaning of ancient passages and how to help other people grasp the truths… but make no mistake… this truth is grasping you by the throat! You are being held in its gaze! You are laid bare before it. The expositor first and foremost must be exposed.
And - after that takes place in our personal study, then we are ready for public proclamation.
Since we are convinced of the inherit power in God’s Word, and as we shape our addresses to be plainly, simply, exposing one section at a time; it should be a humble yet confident act on our part.
Since this is God’s very Word - we’re not up there to speculate, we’re not surmising, we’re not commenting, we’re not sharing : we have something to proclaim!
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:10–11, ESV)
No more sharing - it is time to proclaim
I flew over here from Ireland yesterday. There is a world of difference between the safety announcements at the beginning of a flight, and then what would happen if there is severe turbulence or if there is an actual emergency in the air. Instructions will be given, and everyone should listen, because this is crucial now.
My friends, we are alive in crucial times - no more messing about. There is a peripheral of frivolity that still exists, but more and more people are coming to realise that the times are getting serious, the stakes are getting higher
And lets not kid ourselves, your sermon isn’t going to save the world - but as we arrange opportunities for small or large groups of people to have a living, face to face, knife to the throat, hand to the neck confrontation with the living God; THAT is going to be what changes lives, and from a changed life, who knows what the ripple effect could be from there?
The God who spoke the the world into being now uses our words to shape the world to His will. - John Koessler
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