President of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary advocates for expository preaching

Evangelical ministers generally agree that preaching is God’s appointed means to proclaim the gospel and instruct the church. Yet, within evangelicalism, precisely how one is to preach the Bible remains a contested topic—and one with huge ramifications.

Though I sometimes wrestle with what text to preach, I never wrestle with how to preach it. I determined long ago for every sermon to be an expository one. For me, biblical preaching is expository preaching, and expository preaching is biblical preaching. Let me explain why.

Why Biblical Exposition?

First, expository preaching best fulfills the biblical commands regarding preaching. Prescriptively, passages like 2 Timothy 4:1-5 and 1 Timothy 4:13–16 call for a Word-centered ministry. These injunctions are straightforward. There is no question as to whose Word or which Word; we are to preach the Word. In fact, if Timothy and Titus got anything out of their Pauline correspondence, it was that they were to preach the Word with authority and faithfulness.

Descriptively, throughout the Bible, and especially in the book of Acts, we repeatedly see a model set forth for preaching. For example, Peter and Paul explain the Old Testament and bring it to bear. This is no coincidence. Implicit within the call to preach is the call to preach the Scripture, and expositional preaching best fulfills this biblical command.

Secondly, expository preaching affirms a high view of Scripture. It is one thing for theological liberals—who disavow the inerrancy of Scripture—to not preach the Word, but it is altogether another thing for evangelical preachers to neglect the Bible. To do so is illogical, and it undermines one’s claim to believe in the inspiration, inerrancy, …

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