Churches need pastors committed to expository preaching. An expository sermon submits its shape, emphasis, and argument to the Biblical text being preached. The point of the passage is the point of the sermon. A commitment to expository preaching exposes our convictions about the Bible.
A Conviction that the Bible is God’s Word
One night, while putting my six-year-old son to bed, he asked: what’s the most important thing in the world? Without hesitating, I said, “Food.” Putting his head on the pillow, he replied, “I think it’s the Bible… because the Bible tells us about God.” What a precious truth. I kissed his cheek, thanking him for reminding me of something I often forget. “Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Mat 4:4).
The Bible is more important than food because it is God’s self-revelation. We learn his will and ways through his word, so engaging the Bible is central to worship, especially our worship in preaching. What we believe about the Bible determines how we use it. Since it is God’s word – inerrant, infallible, sufficient, and clear – then explaining and applying the Bible must be the meat of our preaching.
A Conviction about what we need
Timothy pastored in a hard place. He faced opposition, suffering, self-doubt, and a congregation itching for someone else. Most days probably felt like Monday. I imagine he was thankful to have a friend like Paul urging him to keep his devotion to the scriptures. “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, and you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 3:14-15). Timothy cannot fulfill his ministry apart from God’s word. The sacred scriptures “are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” and make believers “complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:15, 17). God’s word sustains Timothy and builds the church. His church needed its pastor to “Preach the word” (2 Tim 4:2).
Churches need every ounce of scripture. The anchors of God’s promises in the Pentateuch, the melody of prayer in the Psalms, the sharp, plug-your-nose-as-it-goes-down medicine of the Prophets, the unveiling of Jesus in the Gospels, the deep theology and tangible application of the epistles, and the striking apocalyptic imagery of Revelation work together to grow us up into Christ.
Expository preaching is a choice to let the Bible govern our preaching. Churches grow healthier as pastors put their Bible on the pulpit, open it, and proclaim it. Brother pastors, as good stewards, let us open God’s word weekly and feed his people.