Expository Preaching

Today, we’re exploring the topic of expository preaching. My goal is to use as little “churchy” or theological words as possible in an effort to get the point across as clearly as I can.

In a nutshell, expository preaching is a focus on letting scripture drive the nature of the topic. In other words, I can easily come up with a topic to preach on, but the danger would be letting my preconceived notions about that topic motivate which passage(s) I choose for support and which ones I leave out. So, as an expositor, I am going to scripture and letting IT lead my topic.

Now, one might say, “But, doesn’t this just put the preacher in a prison of his ideas? Can he not even think for himself?” Well, no it doesn’t put him in a prison, it actually frees him to think on his own WITHOUT having to succumb to preconceived ideas on the topic. In my years of teaching the youth at First Baptist in Racine, I often would ask the kids to remind me of our “magic C word.” They would then recall the word, “context.” Proper context is a necessity within the framework of every verse, every passage, and every book of the Bible we read!

It’s important to remember that the Bible as we know it WASN’T the Bible as we know it at one time. The individual sections we call “books of the Bible” were once historical records, poetic pieces of literature, prophetic messages to the nation of Israel, letters to individuals, letters to churches, and records of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. All these individual parts come together to make up what we know today as the Bible.

So, when we study the Bible and preach from the Bible in order to apply the principles to our lives, we have an obligation to do that in the most accurate and well-suited way possible. And the best way to do this is to first consider the historical background of when it was written, plus the people/person written to and the reason for writing. Then, we can look at it section by section and see how what was written can apply to us today.

Does this mean we can never preach on a particular important topic? Not at all. In fact, my first sermon will be on the topic of redemption using principles from the life of Joseph. I even have a series of sermons in the making that deal with the lives of some of the disciples. But, at Grace Church, we are going to put an emphasis on expositing, or lifting from the passage exactly what it is saying in order to appropriately apply what is being said. This will involve preaching from entire books of the Bible. And by doing this, not only will you be able to take home nuggets of truth each time the Word is opened, but over time, you will be learning deeper meanings behind passages and a holistic approach to key theological themes.

Hopefully, that gives some insight into what to expect from the preaching at Grace Church. Thanks for reading!

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