None of us will simply fall into a faithful ministry of preaching. It just doesn’t happen. Left to ourselves, we will all wander from and distract from the truth. As pastors. preachers, and missionaries, we must commit to labor in such a way that God is pleased. Below is a list of 12 personal theological affirmations I have made throughout my ministry about the wonderful responsibility of preaching the Word of God. While affirming these is not all we must believe to handle the preaching task faithfully, they represent a good start.
PERSONAL AFFIRMATIONS ON EXPOSITORY PREACHING
- I must do more than quote a Scripture and then depart from it; in depth study and exposition of the text is absolutely necessary.
- The best way to teach biblical knowledge from the pulpit is through expository preaching.
- Both kerygma (preaching) and didache (teaching) are essential in gospel proclamation; Scripture and especially the New Testament does not maintain a clear distinction between the two.
- Preaching and teaching God’s Word is the primary responsibility of the pastor.
- When biblical instruction through preaching is neglected, the pastor’s and his people’s morals become unclear and/or readily decline.
- Throughout history God has used the joint elements of preaching and teaching to reform the church.
- The content of Scripture must not be sacrificed for eloquent sermon structure and delivery, though one complements the other.
- Since Bible study is waning, the laity must be trained how to study the Bible on their own as they imitate expository methods used by the preacher.
- Expository preaching equips and inspires people to work and witness.
- Effective expository preaching demands a high view of Scripture (verbal plenary inspiration).
- Expository preaching encourages people to bring their Bibles to church; it encourages them to read passages to be preached beforehand and to study them afterwards as well.
- Through expository preaching, the preacher can deal with important problems in a systematic fashion; sharp and uncomfortable truths are more readily accepted when addressed from the Bible in the natural course of study.
Will you make these commitments with me? What others would you add to this list?