Tag Archive | The Institute for Expository Preaching

Questions And Answers With Steve Lawson

Q. Is teaching the indicative and preaching the imperative?

We must know how to move from the indicative to the imperative to the interrogative. Questions force people to think. Rhetorical questions are powerful. The imperative is a command to action.

 

Q. How to go about being filled with the Holy Spirit – any specific actions?

See Col. 3:16. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you. Also see Gal. 5:16. Conscientiously take steps to walk in the Spirit.

 

Q. How careful do we need to be in respect to Biblical translations?

We should have great confidence in our English Bible. There are many reliable translations. We would want to use the most word-for-word translation. We need to be aware of words added by the translator to provide meaning. The NASB, ESV and NKJV are good translations. ESV is not as literal. Study Bibles are also an excellent resource. They stay close to the text and stay at a common language.

 

Q. Are there any pitfalls in handling expository preaching inappropriately?

To become a rambling commentary. To cut and paste from other resources without doing the work on our own and by ourselves. Researching on the internet. Using blogs for information – we are too easily pulled away by what we read. An expositor must be careful not to lose evangelistic zeal. Christ is not in every text, but we should get to Christ with every text.

 

Q. Preaching with the sole purpose of getting a response as compared to preaching Biblically and expecting a response?

The so-called church invented the altar call, not the Bible. The call to get up out of your seat and walk forward should never be a part of our sermon. The whole sermon should be a summons to come to Christ in faith. If someone needs to talk to a counselor after your sermon, then you did not do a good job with your sermon. But just explaining the gospel is not appropriate. We must call people to Christ.

 

Q. The difference between mastering the text as compared to being mastered by the text?

We need to repent of sins that revolve around self. Self-sufficiency, self-determination, self-elevation. No more “I will”, but more of “Thy will.” Remember that “apart from me you can do nothing.”

 

The Institute for Expository Preaching whole series


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The Marks Of Expository Preaching (I) Priorities in the Pulpit

FURTHER CLARITY ON WHAT EXPOSITORY PREACHING IS. IT IS NOT ONE KIND OF PREACHING. IT IS NOT THE BEST KIND OF PREACHING. IT AND ONLY IT ARE PREACHING. IF IT IS NOT EXPOSITORY, IT IS NOT CHRISTIAN.

 

I. TEXT-DRIVEN

ROOTED AND GROUNDED IN A TEXT OF SCRIPTURE. NO LAUNCHING OFF INTO THE WILD BLUE YONDER. NO PREACHING YOUR OWN AGENDA. THE SERMON SHOULD SAY WHAT THE TEXT SAYS. IT STARTS WITH THE TEXT. NO 10 MINUTE INTRODUCTION ON SOMETHING THAT IS NOT DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE TEXT. TO INTRODUCE A SERMON WITH SOMETHING NOT TAKEN FROM THE TEXT IS TO PREACH YOUR OWN AGENDA. LEAVE YOUR OWN IDEAS, AGENDAS, DREAMS AND FANTASIES AT HOME. WE NEED MORE OF THE BIBLE IN OUR SERMONS. QUOTE THE TEXT AGAIN AND AGAIN. PREACH THE WORD.

A. This Is the Underlying Principle of Exposition

1. It Starts with a Text

2. It Stays with the Text

3. It Scrutinizes the Text

4. It Supports the Text

5. It Synthesizes the Text

B. There Are Various Kinds of Exposition

1. Sequential Exposition

Sequential preaching of entire books of the bible. this should be the meat and potatoes.

2. Sectional Exposition

Sectional preaching of sections of a book of the bible.

3. Thematic Exposition

Topical preaching of a particular doctrine or subject.

4. Biographical Exposition

Study of a person or group of people

5. Isolated Exposition

A one-time sermon, for a wedding or funeral

6. Seasonal Exposition

Christmas or Easter

 

II. GOD-EXALTING

NO MAN HAD A GREATER VIEW OF GOD THAN JOHN CALVIN.

 A. Exposition Magnifies God

Expository preaching puts the glory of God on display.

1. It Elevates His Attributes

2. It Promotes His Character

3. It Honors His Names

4. It Praises His Acts

B. Exposition Inspires Worship

Shallow preaching leads to shallow worship If we want our worship to be the worship of God, then our sermons must be full of the glory of God. The worship leader is the preacher.

 

III. CHRIST-CENTERED

WE MUST ALWAYS BE PREACHING CHRIST. SEE 1 COR. 1:23, 2:2. THE MERELY PRACTICAL SERMON IS WORTHLESS. THE MORALITY SERMON WITHOUT CHRIST IS WORTHLESS.

A. The Person of Christ Must Be Expounded

1. His Eternal Deity

2. His Sinless Humanity

B. The Teachings of Christ Must Be Expounded

1. His Precise Doctrine

2. His Tender Appeals

3. His Profound Wisdom

4. His Stern Warnings

 

C. The Example of Christ Must Be Expounded

1. His Perfect Actions

2. His Perfect Reactions

 

D. The Work of Christ Must Be Expounded

1. His Saving Death

2. His Powerful Resurrection

3. His Present Enthronement

4. His Imminent Return

5. His Final Judgment

 

E. The Grace of Christ Must Be Expounded

1. His Saving Grace

2. His Sanctifying Grace

3. His Strengthening Grace

4. His Serving Grace

 

IV. SPIRIT-EMPOWERED

WITHOUT THE SPIRIT, PREACHING IS JUST A LECTURE. EVEN JESUS WAS FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT WHEN HE PREACHED. SEE LUKE 4:1FF, ESPECIALLY V.18. EVERY SERMON MUST BE DELIVERED BY TWO PEOPLE, YOU AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. WHAT GOT INTO PETER ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST? THE HOLY SPIRIT. PREACHING IS GOD ACTING.

A. The Spirit Illumines Our Minds

B. The Spirit Enflames Our Passions

C. The Spirit Emboldens Our Words

D. The Spirit Deepens Our Convictions

E. The Spirit Liberates Our Hearts

F. The Spirit Enlarges Our Compassion

G. The Spirit Raises Our Confidence

 

V. EXEGETICALLY-GROUNDED

BUILT UPON DIGGING INTO THE BIBLICAL TEXT. LOOKING FOR THE NORMAL INTERPRETATION OF THE TEXT. GIVE ATTENTION TO WHAT WORDS MEANS. THE MAN WHO GOD HAS CALLED TO PREACHED HAS BEEN GIVEN THE MIND BY GOD TO KNOW THE TRUTH.

A. Scripture Must Be Rightly Exegeted

1. Word Studies

2. Grammatical Structure

3. Literary Genre

4. Biblical Context

5. Historical Background

6. Geographical Setting

7. Verb tense, voice and mood

8. Textual variants

 B. Scripture Must Be Rightly Interpreted

1. Literal Interpretation

2. Historical Interpretation

3. Grammatical Interpretation

 

The Institute for Expository Preaching whole series

 

 


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The Mandate Of Expository Preaching – Priority of the Pulpit

THE ONE WHO HOLDS UP THE BIBLE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THEIR COMMUNITY. HOLD UP THE LIGHT IN A DARK PLACE. THE PULPIT SHOULD HAVE THE PRIORITY. AS THE PULPIT GOES, SO GOES THE CHURCH. THE PULPIT SETS THE THERMOSTAT OF THE CHURCH.

THE GREATEST INFLUENCE IN THE WORLD IS THE CHURCH. THE PULPIT IS THE MOST STRATEGIC PLACE ON EARTH. THE MOST URGENT NEED IN THE CHURCH TODAY IS BIBLICAL PREACHING – TO A HIGH STANDARD.

 

I. THE NATURE OF GOD DEMANDS IT

 

EVERYTHING BEGINS WITH GOD. WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND OURSELVES WITHOUT FIRST UNDERSTANDING GOD.

 

A. The Personal Nature of God Demands It

God is a personal God, not an it, but a he. He chooses to reveal himself to us by speaking. Since God has spoken, we must speak. We have nothing to say apart from the word of God. We echo the voice of God. He has spoken through his word. See Heb. 1:1ff. God has condescended to speak to us, but it is intelligent and clear. God speaks very well, and so should we.

 

B. The Truthful Character of God Demands It

Everything that God has spoken is true. God tells it like it is – reality comes from God. God determines what is truth. What does God say?

 

C. The Sovereign Call of God Demands It

We must preach because God chooses individuals to preach, to be his instruments. See Jer. 1:5. They are set apart, holy. No one called can say “Who am I to speak?” See Gal. 1:15. It is something we must be certain about – that it comes from above.

 

II. THE NATURE OF SCRIPTURE DEMANDS IT

THE BIBLE DEMANDS THAT WE SPEAK. TO SPEAK FROM ANY OTHER SOURCE IS INSANITY.

 

A. The Verbal Inspiration of Scripture Demands It

See 2 Tim. 3:16. The Bible is no common book. It is breathed out of the mouth of God.

 

B. The Divine Inerrancy of Scripture Demands It

Unvarnished truth, uncorrupted and incorruptible. The sum of God’s word is truth. The only logical response to an inerrant scripture is to preach it expositionally.

 

C. The Supreme Authority of Scripture Demands It

 The pulpit is God’s throne in the church. See Deut. 4:1. Teach in order to urge people to live it – this means authority. See Matt. 7:28-29.

 

D. The Intrinsic Clarity of Scripture Demands It

The perspicuity of scripture. People are not too stupid to understand the Bible. All need access to the Bible. It is not confusing. The Bible is lucid and clear – it must be taught. See Psa. 19:8 – pure means lucid. It is not hard to understand, it is hard to swallow for the unbeliever. The problem is that man is blinded by sin. See Matt. 12:5, 19:4, 22:31.

 

E. The Complete Sufficiency of Scripture Demands It

Scripture is sufficient to convict, save, condemn, counsel, sanctify. Preaching anything else is playing games.

 

F. The Invincible Power of Scripture Demands It

It has supernatural power to overcome the forces of darkness. See Matt. 4 and Luke 4.

 

III. THE NATURE OF PREACHING DEMANDS IT

 

A. Being a Herald of God’s Message Demands It

Every preacher is a herald of God’s word. A herald (according to Kittel) delivers a message as it is given to them. Exactly as it given to them. Not their own message. Not their own views. The herald is bound to the one who commissions him. No message other than that given to us by God. No room for original thoughts or fresh looks. Delivery must be accurate and clear. The response to the herald is not his concern.

 

B. Being a Sower of God’s Seed Demands It

We are to scatter the seed as far and wide as we can – broadcast. As much seed as we can as far as we can. The seed will fall on different kinds of soil. That is not our business.

 

C. Being a Steward of God’s Truth Demands It

We are stewards, entrusted with the proclamation of the word of God. We are dispense the wealth of the master to the household. We must give an account of how we have handled the word of God.

 

D. Being a Shepherd of God’s Flock Demands It

Feed the flock God’s word. To do anything else is to be unfaithful.

 

IV. THE NATURE OF MINISTRY DEMANDS IT

WHAT IS MINISTRY? PREACHING AND TEACHING THE WORD OF GOD.

 

A. The Great Commission Demands It

“Teaching them to observe” – information and practice “all that I have commanded you.” We either preach the word or we have gone AWOL.

B. The Apostolic Example Demands It

Read the book of Acts. There is no other example given than speaking the word of God. The engine driving the early church was the preaching of the word of God.

C. The Pastoral Epistles Demand It

If you don’t cut hair, you’re not a barber.

 

V. THE NATURE OF CHURCH DEMANDS IT

 

A. The Truth-Centered Mission of the Church Demands It

1 Tim. 3:15. The church is the pillar and support of the truth. Constant and continual holding up the word of God. The church should not meet without the preaching and teaching of the word of God. No gimmicks, no techniques, no pragmatism. When someone comes into church they should be shocked at how the world has lied to them.

B. The Truth-Teaching Mission of the Church Demands It

The lampstand is to hold for the light. The only thing on the lampstand should be the light of the word of God.

 

WE MUST FEEL THE WEIGHTINESS OF THIS MANDATE. IT HAS BEEN ENTRUSTED TO US. WE MUST PASS IT ON.

 

The Institute for Expository Preaching whole series


 

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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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The Institute for Expository Preaching – May 20-22, 2013 – Sproul Q&A

Somehow I missed posting these, maybe because the past few months have been way too busy!

 

Questions and answers with R.C. Sproul

 

Q. The difference between preaching and teaching?

 

The difference goes back to the NT, the difference between proclamation and explanation. Teachers cannot help but preach and preachers should also be teaching. Preaching needs to have exhortation. Preachers need to explain the meaning of the text.

 

Q. How do you prepare an expository sermon?

 

Preparation begins a long time before the sermon preparation begins. But then there is immediate preparation. Start a week beforehand. Written sermons and outlines sometimes get in the way of communicating with the hearers. Immerse yourself in the text. Commentaries, word studies. Existential approach – look for the drama in the text. Significance of the application of the text as it relates to the hearers. Lose a few vocabulary words.

 

Q. What advice for young men in the ministry for preaching?

 

Commit to expository preaching. Preach through whole books of the Bible. Spend as much time in the gospels as possible.

 

Q. Advice for older preachers?

 

Same as above. You will never run out of material. Don’t beat the same drum over and over again. Preach the whole counsel of the Word of God. You never have to worry about what to preach next.

 

Q. Tie in expository preaching with evangelistic preaching?

 

Calling for response and conversion – do this as the text allows. Do it on a regular basis. This is not the primary purpose of Sunday morning preaching. Sermons should not be tailored to unbelievers.

 

Q. In sermon preparation and delivery, how to enjoy and not stress out?

 

Sermon preparation should be a delight because you are in the text. Delivery can be a stress, but that stress is from yourself. Depend on God. It is not uncommon to feel stress before you speak. It often goes away when you start to speak. Look away from ourselves, look to the lord, look to the people whom we are speaking to.

 

Q. Reading commentaries on difficult passages they often differ. How much attention should I give to them.

 

Refer to commentaries very infrequently. Exegesis is not preaching. Do not just repeat what you have been learning. A sermon is not a lecture. You may what to mention briefly that there are various viewpoints.

 

Q. What should be learned about preaching from Martin Luther?

 

Preaching doctrinal issues from the Scriptures, especially controversial issues of the day. The gospel preached boldly will inevitably lead to conflict. Do not try to correct or improve on the Word of God.

 

Q. How to get to the next level as a preacher?

 

Read Stephen Nichols biography of J. Gresham Machen. The basis of Christianity is doctrine. Dig deeply into orthodox Christian doctrine. There is no dichotomy between doctrine and practice.

 

Q. Reformed theology taking hold among African-American churches?

 

Very encouraged that this is occurring. Returning to the Bible, biblical teaching, and biblical theology. Theology does not prohibit passion and experience in worship. The truth of God is an emotional thing. The rest of the church could learn from this.

 

Q. Charismatic/Pentecostal backlash in areas of the country which are not biblical?

 

The charismatic movement is too dependent on direct leading of the spirit. A tendency to neglect the content of the Scriptures. The Spirit works in the Word and through the Word. The Holy Spirit and his work is foundational to reformed theology. We hear the voice of the Holy Spirit in the Word.

 

The Institute for Expository Preaching whole series

 


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