Friday, February 23, 2007
Humility & Expository Preaching
Having sat under the preaching of Kent Hughes for years and having appreciated from a distance the preaching of John Piper, I’ve come to realize that I really need the systematic preaching of whole books of the Bible. It’s not that I’m against topical preaching. I’m just desperate for good expository preaching.
Here are a few reasons I need expository preaching each Sunday:
1) I need the whole counsel of God
There is nothing like going through a book of the Bible to force a pastor to deal with and teach the whole counsel of God. God knows what his people need and he has provided it in his word. It’s far too easy with topical preaching to focus too much on one issue, or to avoid other issues. When working through a book of the Bible, pastors are forced to address issues they wouldn’t normally choose to preach on, however, we need every word.
2) I need the logic of the word of God
There is nothing so powerful as the logic of the Bible. The power of the gospel is not in the mere statement of fact, but in its foundation and purpose. It is simply not helpful to say, “Fear not little flock” unless you also say, “For it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” A topical sermon may be able to give the logic of small passages at a time, but it necessarily misses the logic of the passage or book as a whole.
Some observations on expository preaching:
1) Expository preaching takes humility
It seems to me that it takes great humility on the part of the pastor to preach through a book of the Bible. It’s so tempting for a pastor to pick topics each week that he believes the congregation needs to hear. It takes humility to trust the sufficiency of God’s word to nourish and heal God’s people.
2) Expository preaching teaches humility
When a congregation sees that her pastor submits to the word of God, they will learn from his example. When he grounds all of his exhortations in the word of God, he will begin creating confidence in the word of God. His congregation will see that the word of God is a rock to be relied on, rather than a obstacle to be avoided.
Above: Took this shot of Lake Michigan during our Taylor family reunion this past summer.