The Meaning Of Expository Preaching – What It is – What It Is Not

NOT ALL THAT CLAIMS TO BE EXPOSITORY PREACHING IS EXPOSITORY PREACHING. WE CANNOT PRETEND THAT THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH MOST OF THE PREACHING IN THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH TODAY. THE FAMINE IN THE LAND IS IN EPIDEMIC PROPORTIONS. READ “WHY JOHNNY CAN’T PREACH” BY GORDON. BECAUSE JOHNNY HASN’T BEEN UNDER A STEADY DIET OF EXPOSITORY PREACHING. ONLY 15% OF PREACHING HAS A DISCERNIBLE POINT. AND IN LESS THAN 10% OF THOSE, THE POINT HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE TEXT. EXPOSITORY PREACHING HAS FALLEN OUT OF FAVOR IN THE CHURCH. THE EXPOSITORY PREACHER IS A DINOSAUR. BUT THE ELECT WILL LISTEN. EXPOSITORY PREACHING IS EXPOSITORY (ADJECTIVE) AND PREACHING (NOUN). EXPOSITORY DESCRIBES THE KIND OF PREACHING. IT IS A MARRIAGE. IT IS FIRE AND GAS BROUGHT TOGETHER.

 

I. ESSENTIAL TERMS

A. Expository Is The Adjective

Describes The Kind Of Preaching. Oxford Defines Expository “A Setting Forth, An Explanation, A Commentary, An Exposure, A Definition, A Setting Forth Of Information That Explains A Text.” Synonyms: Informative, Explanatory, Interpretive, Exegetic. What Does God Mean By What God Says. It Starts With A Text, It Stays With The Text, It Explains The Text, It Stays With The Authorial Intention Of The Text.

 

B. Preaching Is The Noun

Beyond Teaching. Standing On The Shoulders Of Teaching To Reach Higher. Preaching Must Include Teaching But Go Beyond. Teaching Is Imparting And Explaining Information. Preaching Involves Motivation, Application, Exhortation, Edification, Persuasion, Conviction, Passion, Unction. It Is Designed To Move The Hearer. Preaching Calls For The Verdict On The Teaching. Expository Teaching Is A Redundant Term. Teaching Is Content, Preaching Is Proclamation.

 

II. BIBLICAL WORDS

A. Greek Words For Expository

1. Didasko

To Teach, To Instruct With A View Of Impacting The Life Of The Listener. See Acts 13:35, 20:20, 21:28.

2. Dianogio

To Open Up The Meaning Of A Passage, As On The Road To Emmaus. See Acts 17:3.

3. Paratithemi

To Prove By Setting Forth Side-By-Side. See Acts 17:3, Also To Entrust To Someone Else. See 2 Tim. 2:2.

4. Ektithemi

To Set Forth The Meaning Of Or Explain. Acts 28:23.

5. Katecheo

To Instruct, To Inform.

“I See It Now.” The Way To A Man’s Heart Is Through His Mind. Instruct The Mind, Enflame The Heart, Influence The Will. Begin With Teaching, But Don’t Stop There.

B. Greek Words For Preaching

1. Keryso

 A Herald Or Ambassador Proclaiming The Royal Message.

2. Evangelizomai

To Announce The Good News. Good News Is Enthusiastic. The Word “Enthusiasm” Comes From “In God.”

3. Katangello

To Proclaim Solemnly As Is Lives Were In The Balance. See Acts 13:5,38.

4. Anangello

To Proclaim. See Acts 20:20,27.

5. Parresiazomai

To Speak Openly Or Boldly. In A Straightforward Manner. A Full Disclosure Of The Truth.

6. Diamartyromai

To Be A Witness, To Declare Thoroughly And Solemnly.

7. Noutheteo

To Warn Of Imminent Danger, To Admonish.

 

III. BASIC DEFINITIONS

 

A. John Calvin

The Explication Of Scripture, Unfolding Its Natural Meaning And Making Application. See 1 Tim. 4:13. Read-Explain-Exhort. Making Each Point From The Text.

 

B. Merrill Unger

Communicating The Real And Essential Meaning Of A Passage Of Scripture As It Existed In The Mind Of The Author And The Overall Context Of Scripture And Applied To Present Day Needs Of The Hearers. It Is Not Preaching About The Bible, It Is Preaching The Bible. See John Stott’s “Between Two Worlds.” Preaching Must Be Plain, And The Plainer The Better.

 

C. J. I. Packer

The Preacher Is A Mouthpiece For The Text, Opening It Up And Applying It, As The Word Of God To The Hearers. Let The Text Talk.

 

D. Al Mohler

Mode Of Preaching That Has Its Purpose Presenting The Biblical Text. The Text Dictates The Substance And Structure Of The Sermon.

 

E. Sinclair Ferguson

F. Iain Murray

G. Philip Ryken

 

IV. NECESSARY BALANCE

 

ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER IS DEADLY.

 

A. An Imbalance Is Dangerous

1. Heavy Exposition, Little Preaching

Lifeless, Cold, Calculating, And It Produces People Just Like This. No Passion, No Personality.

2. Heavy Preaching, Little Exposition

All Hot Air, Loud, But No Life, Shallow, Superficial, All Surface, No Depth. All Style, No Substance. Filling The Building Without Filling The Pulpit. Makes For A Congregation Of Unsaved People.

 

B. A Balance Is Dynamic

This Is The Puritan View – Build A Fire In The Pulpit.

1. Fire Produces Light

Light=Truth, Illumination (Exposition). “I See It.”

2. Fire Produces Heat

Heat = Urgency, Expectation, Exhortation (Preaching). “I’ll Do It.”

If It Is Not Expository, It Is Suppository – Steve Lawson

 

V. TRAGIC DEPARTURES

A. Seeker Sensitive

B. Emergent Movement

C. Improvisational Chats

D. Motivational Speaking

E. Culture Commentary

F. Moralistic Talk

G. Psychological Introspection

H. Book Reviews

I. Story Telling

J. Text Springboarding

K. Data Dump


The Institute for Expository Preaching whole series


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