For several years following God’s call, and my surrender to His will in preaching, I struggled with how I would preach. I grew up in an environment where notes were frowned upon for a preacher. “Any preacher who uses notes can’t be led by the Spirit” was and in some cases still is the argument against notes. I use notes most of the time and have no problem taking some heat for it. But, there is another thing that I struggled with and with that same environment is the idea of sermon preparation and the message itself.
For some time I struggled to find a message for the following Sunday morning. Direction of the Holy Spirit was a necessity, and it still is, but there was something that had to change. I could spend all week long praying, seeking a text which I believed to be Spirit inspired, and then prepare the thought of the text, or even insert my own idea. You wind up preaching a lot of “Topical” sermons that way. For me topical sermons are built from an idea, then you find a text to fit the idea, and that requires a lot of human flesh – at least on my part.
Well, finally to the point of this posting; here is WHY I PREACH EXPOSITIONALLY:
First of all to preach expositionally you need to start with a book of the Bible. The Bible, then sets the path and plan for which the messages will take. Since I am not a Hebrew nor a Greek student, I am dependent upon Strong’s Concordance in many cases; upon others who are more knowledgeable, and scholarly than myself; prayer, and the rest of Scripture. Scripture must ultimately be interpreted by Scripture.
Secondly, preaching through a Book of the Bible, you never wonder what you will be preaching on the next time, and you are most likely to be better prepared. You have more time to pray on that particular topic, spend more time in study and preparation, and you always know you are preaching the Word of God to the people.
Thirdly, when I preach expositionally it is much more difficult to get off onto pet subjects, than when you preach topically. There is nothing wrong with “Pet subjects”, but sometimes we may bore our people to tears with the continued rhetoric.
Fourthly, preaching expositional sermons keeps you in study. I have found times when the Lord has pointed something out that may be a pet subject, that needs to be dealt with, and He will give me time to do it.
Fifth, expositional preaching will be a verse by verse, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, or chapter by chapter explanation of the Scriptures and how we may apply their teachings to our lives. We are more assured by this that God is speaking through His Word.
There are times where we may need to preach a narrative sermon, a topical sermon or however God may lead, but I believe, and I know it to be extremely so for myself, that the best form of preaching is through the exposition of God’s Word, Book by Book, chapter by chapter by chapter, paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence, and verse by verse and maybe sometimes even, Word by Word.
There are more reasons than these. These are ones which I have found helpful. There are others who have given reasons, and some of them as I have listed. If God has called you to preach His Word, then do it with all your heart. When you become a pastor that is the time to begin expositional preaching of the Word. That is what our people need. They do not always like it, nor appreciate it, but in the long run it is for their benefit, and yours.