I am thrilled today to introduce my husband’s first-ever post here on Anchored! We have so many great discussions about life and ministry, and I often say, “You should write about that!” Well, he finally did. Without further ado…here’s Andrew.
The Focus of Expository Preaching
In an effort to keep this short, I am narrowing down several amazing lectures by Dr. Lawson and Dr. MacArthur into one point of many that could be made about expository preaching. (Expository preaching is, in short, the verse-by-verse reading, explanation, and application of Scripture.)
During this one-week class, I was reminded again of the soul-gripping power of expository preaching; not because of the persuasiveness of the preacher, but because of the power of God at work through His written Word. Expository preaching leads us directly to the source of the help we so desperately need: the life changing truth found only in Scripture.
2 Corinthians 2 hits at the heart of the expositor. What did the Corinthians expect from Paul when he came to them? They were used to the orators of that age who were able to skillfully move crowds with the rhetoric of the day, bringing them to tears and laughter, and entertaining them with words. Corinth was heavily impacted by Athens, the hub of philosophy and rhetoric. The Corinthians expected Paul to persuade them using skillful words and moving orations.
What did Paul do? We find out in the first verse of 2 Cor. 2 when he says, “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.” What?! Paul, come on! You’re going to lose your audience! They’ll become disinterested, dissatisfied.
In verse two Paul explains what he preached. “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” The answer is Christ. The Bible is about Christ, and salvation is in no other except Him. What should the focus of preaching be? Should it be “plausible words of wisdom” (v 4) and cultural relevancy, or simply the “power of God” (v 5)? Only the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16). Therefore, our focus in preaching should always be the exposition of Scripture.
God does not need our “help” to make His Word appealing to our audience. (In fact, if we think we can make the Bible more attractive, we have far too low a view of it.) Expository preaching creates boundaries around the preacher, helping him to remember that he is nothing more than a herald of God’s message.