“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
At Grace & Truth Community Church we adhere to the classic Protestant Reformed doctrine that Scripture Alone is The Church’s and the Christian’s highest authority. With that as our one of our core beliefs about The Bible, then it makes sense that we should practice a form of preaching that highlights God’s primary revelation of Himself to us.
According to the Oxford dictionary the word “expository” means “intended to explain or to describe something.” I first experienced expository preaching in seminary; it was like no other preaching I’d ever heard. The thing that strikes me (to this day) is the sheer simplicity of it.; meaning that expository preaching at its most basic is organic and easy to understand. A theologian of the 20th century was asked “what is the sum of all of your doctrinal beliefs;” and he responded by saying, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Expository preaching is to be that simple, in its delivery and in its directing of the listener. Expository preaching seeks to explain the main point of the portion of the Scripture chosen.
In contrast to expository preaching, the most often used “style” of preaching is topical preaching. The topical approach is where the sermon is built with a “topic” in mind, and then the preacher sets out to build a sermon based on what they want to say. As a result, verses are chosen from all over Scripture and added to the sermon; disconnected and out of context; the verses are made to fit the topic chosen by the preacher. Whereas with expository preaching, the Biblical Text drives the entire point of the sermon.
In short, expository preaching seeks to expose what The Bible has to say. Therefore, the philosophy behind expository preaching is the belief that what people need the most is to hear the very Words of God spoken and explained to them. Not advice on how to stop bad habits, nor six steps to a happier marriage (though expository preaching may address those very subjects in context within The Bible). As a matter of first importance, what saints and sinners alike need most is to hear, understand and be transformed by God’s Word.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17
Pastor Kevin Vance