Expository is our word this week.
I picked this word because it seems to be the rave that most people talk about anymore when it comes to preaching. I've been told that there are really only three types of preaching styles in use. You can preach biographical - preaching about Moses and his life, or specifically about certain Bible characters. You can preach topical. This would mean that you might preach on Sin, or alcohol, or maybe marriage. Pick anyone of your favorite subject areas. Finally, you can preach Expositional. Preaching from the text and attempting to expound on that same text. Now you may find other ways to preach; for instance some have said that there is a Evangelistic way, or a Gospel way. For my general purposes, I just outlined the three, and will only expound on the one, or should I say Exposit the one.
Now of course I want it to be known that you can have variations of the the three types of preaching. You can preach a topical message and at the same time expose the text for its meaning. You can also teach about moses (Biographical), at the same time you may preach in an expositional fashion.
So what is my desire today? It is to help you understand expository/expostional as a word. What it means to you, and where and under what circumstances you will find the word.
First lets look at the straight forward dictionary definition lifted right off the pages of Dictionary.com.
of the nature of exposition; serving to expound, set forth, or explain: an expository essay; expository writing.
1. A setting forth of meaning or intent.
2. a. A statement or rhetorical discourse intended to give information about or an explanation of difficult material. b. The art or technique of composing such discourses. c. The first part of a composition in sonata form that introduces the themes. d. The opening section of a fugue.
3. Music a. The first part of a composition in sonata form that introduces the themes. b. The opening section of a fugue.
4. The part of a play that provides the background information needed to understand the characters and the action.
5. An act or example of exposing.
6. A public exhibition or show, as of artistic or industrial developments.
As for any biblical text concerning the word expository, expositional, or exposition, you won't find anyone of them. They are non-existent in the Bible. Again, the reason I'm including this word as a Monday word of the week is that it is kinda of the hot button word of our time.
However, when it comes to Expository preaching, and why we should preach this way, I decided to use the best source that I can think of. Look at what John MacArthur tells us about why we should preach Expositional from an article titled "Expository Preaching in a Postmodern World"
Well first, because it is a biblical mandate. It doesn’t fluctuate with culture, with expectations, with times or seasons. Expository preaching is the best way to preach the Bible. If every word of God is pure, if every word of God is true, then every word needs to be dealt with. And expository preaching is only way you actually come to grips with every word in the Scriptures.
Secondly, expository preaching familiarizes people with the Scripture itself instead of simply giving them a speech, as true and as reflective of biblical teaching as that speech may be. With expository preaching, people become familiar with the Scripture. They can go back to the passages that have been addressed, and they can be reminded by the text itself of what it means. So you give people the Word of God in a way that has long-term impact, because it makes them familiar with Scripture.
Thirdly, it makes the authority unequivocal, and that authority is the Scripture. That’s very clear no matter how powerful or gifted the preacher might be. In consistent, expository preaching, the people always know what the authority is. It’s not about homiletics. It’s not about personal viewpoints and insights. It’s about relentlessly affirming the true authority of Scripture, which is the most critical thing that anybody can ever learn. It isn’t about, “Wasn’t that a great sermon?” It isn’t about, “Wasn’t that a great outline? Wasn’t that clever?” It’s always about, “What did the Word of God say?” And that makes it truly authoritative, because the Word is from God. No other preaching paradigm does this.
Now how can we argue with John on this. If you want to hear some great Expositional Preaching go to Grace To You a ministry of John MacArthur. You have a large selection of sermons to hear and you can do it when you have time. Check it out.
I do hope you understand this word much better than you have in the past. I am a strong advocate of this type preaching. It gives our congregations something to hold on to. It gives us "meat". Once the text is exposed for them to truly understand, they will go back too it time after time after time. Like someone looking for dinner, it will always be there for them.
May God bless you and your family with a man of God that will truthfully and faithful expose the text so that you will understand it and find the real meaning of it. Please remember there is only one meaning to any specific piece of text in the Bible, and that is God's meaning.