THE IMPORTANCE OF EXPOSITORY PREACHING!

"Preach the word!" Paul told Timothy these words many years ago in 2Tim. 4:2. Such a simple command, but one that keeps the preacher of God's word on a clear course for God's glory and God's purpose. For many years now in the United States and abroad, many men in the pulpits have failed to keep this simple command to the preacher. This disobedience behind the pulpit has fed the disobedience of those in front of the pulpit. The poor spiritual condition of many churches in America, has much to do with men that have become "ear scratches"(2Tim. 4:3), rather than guardians of men's souls (Heb. 13:17 "for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account").

Ponder I pose a question to the one behind the pulpit and to the one in front of the pulpit.

Ponder To those who preach, do you fully realize your accountability before God Almighty for the content of your messages? Does your preaching reflect an inner conviction that God's word is absolutely True, absolutely Infallible and absolutely Inerrant? Are you preaching with timidity or with God given unction?

Ponder To the person who hears the message, is the preacher you're listening to watching out for your soul? Is your pastor/minister using God's word to penetrate the deepest parts of your being?

Ponder Only "the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb. 4:12)."

Ponder Only God's word hidden in your heart will keep you from sin (Psalm 119:11 "Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!"

PonderJesus was very specific when He said in Matthew 28:20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you". Paul was also quite decisive in 1Tim. 4:13, when he told Timothy to " give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine". The public reading of God's word, the public exhortation from God's word and the public teaching from God's word was to be the norm in every local assembly!

Ponder It is time for men who claim to be men of God to be just that. If you are God's man, then preach God's word God's way! "Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching (2Tim. 4:2)." Be like Paul who said in Acts 20:20, 21 "how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."

Ponder It also time for those sitting in the pews to make sure they are receiving the living Word of God that is able to change their lives. Just as the preacher of God's Word is accountable, the listener of God's word is accountable. Concerning unsound doctrine, Paul instructed us in 1Tim. 6:3 & 5 "If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness,...From such withdraw yourself." Listener, you also have a God given responsibility to be under sound teaching. Plain and simply, If it's not sound - withdraw yourself! Which is being interpreted, find another church where sound doctrine is being preached and taught!


EXPOSITORY PREACHING

What is expository preaching? As the word "exposit" clearly implies, expository preaching exposes what is in God's word. Certainly Topical and Textual preaching done properly will also expose truths from God's word. Textual and Topical preaching, if done correctly, have their place as a tool of the Lord. At Have Faith Bible Fellowship, Textual and Topical messages are certainly preached form time to time. However, the main diet at HFCF is expository preaching! Why choose a steady diet of expository preaching over the others?

Ponder First of all, it allows the congregation to feed on the whole council of God's Word. The preacher will not develop perpetual hobby horses to ride from the pulpit. Instead, he will emphasize certain truths as often as God's word repeats them.

Ponder Second, the preacher will preach all of God's word! There's no avoiding the next difficult passage or the next verse that will certainly be uncomfortable for some to hear. The pastor knows his preaching course, and so do the people listening. All of God's Word is treated equally in expository preaching! For instance, some preachers may focus only on God's love. Others may hammer only upon God's Holiness. The expository preacher will cover both truths in harmony with all of Scripture. With very few exceptions, most unsound doctrine is the product of not dealing with the whole council of God's word and not dealing with the context of any given passage. At HFCF, we teach that the 3 most important principles of proper Bible interpretation are:

Ponder 1. THE CONTEXT

Ponder 2. THE CONTEXT

Ponder 3. THE CONTEXT

Ponder The skeptics have said, "you Christians can make the Bible say whatever you want it to say!" This accusation reveals what unbelievers have noticed about some Christian teachers. The complaint of the skeptic is aimed at the teacher who is involved in "proof texting" or "isogesis".

Ponder Proof Texting - This interpretation ERROR begins with a premise, an assumption and goes to God's Word to back it up (supposedly). For instance, someone may say, "a Christian can loose his/her salvation" by pointing to a passage such as 1Cor. 6:9 & 10, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God." They might claim that if one fell into one of these categories that salvation is lost. However, that's not what the passage is teaching. By simply reading the rest of the passage we find out that v. 11 reads, "such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." Passages such as Rom. 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit," and Eph. 2:8 & 9, show us that Salvation is not earned nor can it be lost. Still others may try to use Galatians 5:1 "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage," to teach that Christians are free to live and do what ever they want. How sad they some teachers don't discipline themselves to read on to Gal. 5:13, "only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another" and 5:16, "Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." The Bible does not teach one can loose their genuine salvation and the Bible does not teach that Christian liberty means living a life lawlessness.

Ponder Isogesis - Is the interpretation ERROR that reads into God's word something that was never there to begin with. Those that supposedly have found secret codes in the Bible or who come up with interpretations that Clearly contradict Scripture are guilty of isogesis. For instance, some go to the book of Genesis and approach it with an assumption that evolution is correct. With this mind set they struggle to accept 6 literal days of Creation with God resting on the 7th. So they read into the Genesis account that "it's not literal day, but instead each day represents a long period of time." Again, when we apply the three most important Bible study principles, 1. the context, 2. the context and 3. the context, we see that these individuals have read into God's Word what is not there. Note: 6 times in the first chapter of Genesis we read, "and the evening and the morning were." One sunset and sunrise during a period of time still means one thing to us, one actual 24 hour day. The Hebrew word "yome" always means a literal day. In addition to that, the context of Genesis does not allow for days to equal long periods of time. Consider the internal problem with that view, Gen. 1:11 & 12 tells us that God created all plants and flowering trees and bushes on the 3rd day, but it was not until the 5th and 6th day that God created humming birds, other birds and insects that would obviously be needed to pollinate the plants, bushes and trees He created on the 3rd day. The interpretation that says "days" in Genesis means long periods of time in order to account for the evolutionary theory has a huge problem, because they have thousands if not millions of years (in their view) in between the arrival of flowering plants and pollinating insects/animals.

2Cor. 4:1, 2 "Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God."

2Tim. 2:15, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

Acts 17:11, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

Terry Aaron, Pastor



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