I don’t get to preach very often, but I very much believe in the importance of expository preaching. I have spent my entire “ministry life” serving under two pastors who, to this day, continue to preach through the Scriptures verse-by-verse. In my various ministry roles I’ve also had the opportunity to encourage men to pursue the task of biblical preaching. That’s why I appreciated this post by Irish Calvinist about using the Bible, but failing at exposition.
Expository preaching is simply taking the biblical text and explaining the authorial intent while providing faithful and loving teaching and admonishment. We may say a lot of other things about the amount of text to be chosen, the tone of the preacher, and other things, but suffice it to say, in its simplest form, expository preaching is heralding what God has said in the text and heralding it in such a way that people understand and apply it to their lives to the glory of God.
Sadly what too often happens is a guy will walk up to the pulpit, open up the Bible and read a passage and then launch into a systematic theology or a counseling lesson. Now we give most of these guys a free pass because they are essentially reformed and their theology is right. We end up with good life application because their theology is biblical. However, they have not preached the text. I do not understand the passage better than when he walked up to the pulpit. I remember sitting in an auditorium and hearing a man make true biblical application, it was God exalting and man humbling; however, it was not in the text that he read. The text was a launching point to talk about what he wanted to talk about. I came away wondering how this text related to the rest of the book, what it taught me about God, my sin and how I needed to change. He did not preach expositionally.