Expository Preaching: Scripture and the Church 1

Preaching is a high and holy task that God’s people have been called and commanded to engage in, equipping people for life under and by the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Expository preaching is central to the life and health of the local church. Expository preaching aims to make the teaching of biblical texts clear and point people to the Lord Jesus from the biblical text being preached.

Presently, there are all sorts of preaching models; from preaching “felt needs” to topical preaching, and more. In the Reformation there was a recovery of the pulpit as central to the life of the local Church. Before this, the Catholic Church had made the Mass central to the life of the local Church. By moving the pulpit to the central place in the sanctuary of the local Church the message was clear, the Word would be primary to the Reformers.

All throughout the world in the present day, there are all sorts of messages about every kind of topic that can distract Christians from biblical truth. From cultural accommodation to entertainment-based approaches to ministry, there has never been a greater need in the history of the Church than ours now, to focus our ministries on the Word of God as preachers and teachers of the Word. With growing challenges across the board, such as the prosperity gospel and biblical illiteracy, preachers have one primary function: to preach the whole counsel of God.

In John 17:14-17, Jesus prays for the Church to be sanctified in the truth. Jesus did not pray for a program to be implemented, but for His peoples’ focus to be on what is most precious: the Word of God. Today there  is a huge need to understand this fact, particularly for the reasons already mentioned in this brief editorial. But it’s not just issues cropping up out there in the Evangelical Church that are concerning and distracting.

We may think that we can escape the significant issues of our day; but we should understand that, just as Jesus faced down those who sought to take people away from the Lord, so must we too as preachers to the Lord’s flock. The Lord’s sheep need protection and guidance on matters related to false teaching. That requires a spine and a backbone, along with biblical wisdom to speak to issues that are affecting the people of God. The need of the hour is not for timid men, but for bold men. They must be men who will bravely—with a tear in their eye and with the grace of God—proclaim unashamedly the glory of the grace of God, from the Word of God, to the people of God.

Whether you are a Pastor preaching each week, a Bible study leader teaching weekly, a blog writer, book author, podcaster, or you engage in any teaching function inside or outside the local Church, as Christians we are to preach the whole counsel of God. Paul’s charge to the elder at Miletus (in Acts 20) is instructive for Christians today who are tempted to accommodate on issues related to gender, sexuality, and a whole host of topics and compromises. As Christians, we are not to compromise but to stand firm. We have been entrusted with the treasure of the grace of God, through Christ alone. We have also been entrusted as stewards with the Word of God, to declare it in love to everyone, that they might know and grow in the Lord Jesus.

In this issue of Theology for Life Magazine, you will learn about expository preaching. We make no apologies for declaring that this is the most faithful way of preaching, and commend this model to our readers. It’s because we believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, authoritative, sufficient, and clear Word of God that we commend this approach to preaching to you, because it alone addresses the significant issues of the day—including biblical illiteracy and false teaching.

Whether you are a Pastor, biblical counselor, blogger, podcaster, or a layperson wanting to grow in your understanding and knowledge of the Scriptures, this issue is for you. Throughout this issue, you will learn how the pulpit relates to the counseling office, how to preach the Word faithfully, and much more.

In a day when the gospel is being confused and even denied, and when questions arise from in the Church about whether we need preaching anymore at all, this issue is for you, Pastor/ministry leader/Bible college or seminary student. My prayer as you read this issue is that you will be strengthened to stand in (and by) the Word of God; that you would be strengthened in your convictions about Scripture; and strengthened in the task and work of preaching and teaching the whole counsel of the Word of God to His Bride.

In Christ Alone,

Dave Jenkins

Executive Editor, Theology for Life Magazine

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