“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began 3 and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior.” (Titus 1:1–4 (ESV)
“He (a pastor or elder) must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” (Titus 1:9 (ESV)
In his letter to Titus, the Apostle Paul immediately emphasized the priority of preaching and teaching in the church. From today’s texts, Paul gave several reasons for this God directed methodology (2 Tim. 4:1-5).
First, preaching the Word of God is for the sake of the faith of God’s elect. Second, preaching is the means by which God’s Gospel is proclaimed. Third, preaching is a sacred trust. Fourth, God commands preaching. Fifth, preaching provides instruction in sound doctrine. Sixth, preaching rebukes false teachers and heresy.
Many Christians might say that preaching is preaching. Styles and methodologies may vary but preaching is essentially the same from church to church. It involves an individual giving a talk; usually a long talk.
One of the most familiar styles of preaching is topical. “Topical messages usually combine a series of Bible verses that loosely connect with a theme,” explains Richard L. Mayhue of The Master’s Seminary.
Another form is textual preaching. This occurs when a text is read but never referred to again in the message. “Textual preaching uses a short text or passage that generally serves as a gateway into whatever subject the preacher chooses to address. Neither the topical or textual method represents a serious effort to interpret, understand, explain, or apply God’s truth in the context of the Scripture(s) used,” Mayhue states.
However, the Bible sets forth a particular kind of preaching. It is a discipline focusing on what the biblical text says, what it means, and how it may be applied. It is called expository preaching. Expository means to expose. The word group includes exposition and expositor.
“At its best expository preaching is the presentation of the truth, derived from and transmitted through a historical, grammatical, Spirit guided study of a passage in its context, which the Holy Spirit applies first to the life of the preacher and then through him to his congregation,” states Haddon W. Robinson, in his book What is Expository Preaching?
Expository preaching is doctrinal preaching. It addresses particular truths from particular biblical passages. The expositor does not share his truths, but God’s truth from God’s Word. Expository preaching is not about the preacher communicating what he thinks. Rather, he is a herald authoritatively presenting the Word of God to people; the converted and the unconverted.
“Given such a conception, a faithful discharge of the teaching office necessitates the preacher being able to say with Paul, ‘We are not as many, which corrupt the Word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ’ (2 Cor. 2:17),” concludes Mayhue.
May the LORD continue to raise up expository preachers.
Soli deo Gloria!