What Is Expository Preaching?
Pastor David Denny
Expository preaching focuses on a passage of Scripture and trys to explain exactly what that passage means.
Exposition of Scripture is built on careful exegesis. Exegesis is
the study of the original author's intended message through
consideration of the language, grammar, historical setting, genre,
context and theology. Expository preaching brings the fruit of
exegesis to the audience.
As an expository preacher, I preach systematically through the various
books of the Bible. Each message looks at a particular portion of
Scripture and the next message moves to the next portion. In this
way, whole books are eventually covered in some depth. My goal is
that people will know what the Bible says and obey it for the glory of
God. My secondary goal is that people will learn how to interpret
the Bible for themselves through exegesis.
Too much modern preaching is not expositional. In many cases,
preachers select a topic, consider what they want to say about the
topic, then select various passages of Scripture to "proof text" their
points. Some problems with this approach are that 1) it depends
too much on the preacher's knowledge of the topic, 2) it assumes that
the Bible really addresses the topic in any direct way (e.g., self
esteem?), and 3) it usually involves a cursory treatment of various
passages of Scripture. At its best, this approach yields some
Biblical thoughts about a topic. In many cases, however, such
messages have only an incidental relationship with what the Bible says.
As Pastor Jon Jacobs puts it, "There is a difference between
teaching about what the Bible says and teaching the Bible."
Topical preaching can be done in an expository way. The preacher
investigates passages that deal with his topic, exegetes them, then
preaches them expositionally. Even so, if the preacher wants to
deal with "the whole counsel of God" he eventually needs to get down to
the business of preaching through whole books of the Bible.
3:16-4:2) ¶ All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction
in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. I
charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will
judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
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