Arminian Today

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Ten Reasons To Do Expository Teaching

I remember hearing John MacArthur say that he wrote down over fifty reasons to be committed to expository preaching.  I possibly could write down that many myself but will stick with just ten.  Expository teaching is dear to my heart.  I believe it to be the best way to teach people the Scriptures.  But I am jumping ahead of myself so let me state my ten reasons.  These are not given in any order.

1.  Expository Teaching Exalts Christ As Head of His Church (Colossians 1:18).

Expository teaching is Christ-focused.  The Bible teacher is aware that his responsibility before God is to exalt Christ through the text.  Spurgeon said that he takes his text and then makes a bee-line to the cross.  The Bible was given to us by God to reveal His Son (John 20:31).  The entire purpose of the Bible is to show the coming of the Messiah and His eternal reign.  Our focus then in teaching must be to show Christ in the Scriptures (Luke 24:27).

2.  Expository Teaching Avoids Seeking To Please the Flesh.

Too often series preaching (that is topical in nature) is focused on pleasing the flesh and giving people what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3-4).  I know of some churches that ask the church to give them suggestions on what they would like to hear preach.  I also know of churches that go out into the world and ask sinners what they would like to hear preached (to draw them to church).  However, I don’t hear much these days about hearing from God in His Word.  Expository teaching is focused on the Word of God.  Certainly one can develop a series from the text but the focus is on Christ and the Word and not the flesh.  If anything, the faithful Bible teacher wants to kill the flesh by the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12; 1 John 2:15-17).  Expository teaching keeps the focus on the Word and not on the opinions of the flesh.

3.  Expository Teaching Teaches People How To Correctly Study the Bible.

People don’t know how to study the Bible correctly so they don’t.  In many churches, people don’t even read the Bible during the week but allow the Bible teacher to do that for them.  All of us, as disciples of Jesus, must be in the Word (John 8:31-32).  The Word keeps us from error (1 Timothy 4:16).  The Word protects us against the lies of Satan (Ephesians 6:17; James 1:21).  How few though know how to study the Bible.  Expository teaching shows the people of God how to study the Word of God by going verse-by-verse through the Scriptures comparing Scripture with Scripture.

4.  Expository Teaching Creates A Biblical-Worldview.

Topical teaching can provide Christian opinions about the world but expository teaching shows the people of God the biblical view by going deep into the Word.  When we preach verse-by-verse through the Bible, we are showing people the full council of God.  We are revealing God’s thoughts, God’s ways, God’s actions toward sin, toward humility, toward repentance.  People learn about how God feels above the points of the preacher.

5.  Expository Teaching Exalts the Bible as the Final Authority.

If we truly believe in the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible, this should be displayed in our teaching.  Verse-by-verse teaching is committed to the full authority of the Bible.  Every word counts.  Nothing is to be missed or skipped.  If God gave us His Word (2 Timothy 3:16) then every part of it is vital.  We must not avoid tough passages simply because we are lazy but we must go deep into God’s Word to allow it to have its full authority over the Church.

6.  Expository Teaching Doesn’t Avoid Difficult Texts.

I once heard a topical church going through the book of Romans.  They were skimming the book but claimed to be going verse-by-verse through it (they were done with the book in just about 6 weeks whereas it would probably take several years to go through the book).  They came to Romans 9-11 and avoided the text by just skimming through it.  The teacher didn’t teach the text at all nor did he deal with the Arminian-Calvinist debate over the text.  Being a seeker church, the people would not have known the theology behind the views on Romans 9-11 but the teacher didn’t even deal with any of the issues Romans 9-11 raises.  The faithful Bible teacher should be willing to tackle tough texts not for the sake of controversy but because verse-by-verse teaching demands it so.

7.  Expository Teaching Exposes People To Biblical Theology.

Unlike systematic theology, expository teaching shows how the Bible fits its theology together perfectly.  When we teach verse-by-verse, we are able to show how the doctrines of Scripture come together but instead of jumping around to prove our points, we take our text and allow the text to prove our point.

8.  Expository Teaching Heeds the Voice of God Above All Others.

I know of churches that have preaching calendars where the Bible teacher plans various sermon series’ around the holidays, vacations, etc.  I know of other churches that have preaching committees where people give input to the Bible teacher about what they would like to hear, what people are saying, where they feel he is lacking, etc.  Still yet, I know of many Bible teachers who search the Internet for the latest fads, latest cool sermon series, the latest sketch from “skit guys” or clips from popular shows.  All the while, the Word of God takes a backseat to all these voices.  Not so with expository teaching.  By making the Bible the focus in our teaching, we are listening to God and making His inerrant and infallible voice the one that we want to hear from (John 8:47).  Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice (John 10:27) and His voice is loud and clear when we lift up His Word.

9.  Expository Teaching Avoids Chasing the Latest Evangelical Fads.

Whether it be Purpose Driven Church, The Prayer of Jabez, Your Best Life Now, etc., the evangelical church seems to never lack fads.  Driven by pragmatism, the seeker church looks to the culture to help them plan what to preach and teach.  The evangelicals, longing for the pragmatic success of the seeker churches, looks to the seeker superstars to help them plan their teaching.  Yet the faithful expository teacher is looking to one place alone to help them: God’s Word.  Verse-by-verse teaching avoids the trap of fads that rob God of His glory and make the focus on the flesh.

10.  Expository Teaching Lifts Up the Means-Grace By Which Sinners Are Saved.

Romans 10:14-17 tells us that people must hear the gospel to be saved.  Jesus said that we must go and make disciples of all nations by teaching His Word (Matthew 28:19).  The means to regeneration is the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23).  Isaiah 55:11 promises that the Word of God will accomplish what God sent His Word out to accomplish.  People get saved by exposure to the Word.  The Word reveals our sinful hearts (Romans 7:7) and the Word shows our need for a Savior (Romans 3:19).  The Word reveals that Savior to us.  Faithful verse-by-verse teaching allows the means of regeneration to go forth and for the Word to bring true salvation to the lost.  I have heard countless testimonies of people who thought they were saved but when they begin to sit under a faithful Bible teacher going verse-by-verse through the Word, they begin to see their need for salvation and that they were not truly saved but only familiar with the things of God.  The Word produces true salvation (Matthew 7:24-27).

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

08/03/2014 at 1:54 PM

One Response

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  1. 3, 5, and 7 seem valid.

    stephenwinters

    08/05/2014 at 9:23 AM


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