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Expository Preaching

I need some help. I am a preacher, an assistant pastor of a church.  I was wondering if you knew of anywhere I could find some courses for expository preaching?  My main focus is to be able to preach God's word in its fullness and not in my opinion.  If you could help me find anything on this I would appreciate it.

When I was in Bible College, I was taught to classify sermons into three kinds: topical, textual, and expository. The topical sermon is built on a theme and both major and minor points are manmade. The textual sermon is usually built from a verse or small passage and, although the major points are taken from the text, the minor points are manmade. The expository message is taken from a larger passage and both the major and the minor points are taken from the text.

Since that time, I have read and heard on numerous occasions of the importance of preaching expository messages because they are much more scriptural than the other two kinds. There are many books on this subject, though I do not have one to recommend at this time. A topical message is especially suspect because all of its points are manmade.   However, after over forty years of hearing sermons and over thirty years of preaching them, I have come to a different conclusion. It is true that topical messages are often an excuse for lack of study and surface preaching. Yet, I have heard expository messages that so skim the surface that they might as well be topical. We get cute, alliterated outlines with inane illustrations making vapid declarations. The enemy is not the topical message and the solution is not the expository message. The key is to make all messages, whether topical, textual, or expository, truly biblical.   Sermons are biblical when their focus, purpose, and content are solidly based on the teaching and preaching of the Bible text. Turning exclusively to expository messages is trying to trick yourself into preaching biblical messages. Perhaps it works in many cases. But it tends to cut out important approaches to biblical truth. The Bible often deals with topics from various texts. Perhaps many have used topical messages to avoid Bible study and preaching in any depth, but topical messages can be very biblical if they expound what the Bible says about a given topic.   My opinion, for what little it is worth, is that messages need to be biblical, not necessarily expository. In this sense, all true preaching is expository, but it does not have to be an expository message. Its arrangement can also be textual or topical. Perhaps it would be best to put each message to the following test:

  1. Did your preparation of the message begin and develop from your prayerful study of the Bible?
  2. Is the theme of the message based on a clear understanding of and the clear teaching of scripture?
  3. Does the message continually refer back to the Bible as the basis for what is being said?
  4. Does the message illuminate scripture for the hearers? Are they being drawn into a better understanding of its meaning and the way it should be applied to their lives?
  5. Are the hearers being taken back to the Bible for the answers raised by the message?

Biblical preaching requires the preacher to study and understand the Bible for himself. It requires the preacher to drain the sap, partake of it for himself, apply its principles to his life, and give it to others. The word of God is the tree, the sap is the truth of God animated by the Spirit of God, the bucket is the congregation, but the preacher is nothing more than the pipe hammered into the tree that brings the sap out into the bucket. If he is not in the word; if he does not allow the word to flow through him; if he is not passing the sap on; then he is not preaching Bible messages.