The primacy of expositional preaching

Mark Dever:

Expositional—a sermon which takes the point of the text as the point of the sermon . . . an exposition of Scripture simply seeks to uncover, explain, and apply the divinely intended meaning of the text.”

mark-dever-preaching-726482“. . . expositional preachers are modern day prophets, serving merely as conduits through which the Word of God may flow into the people of God in order to do the work of God in them.”

“Pastoral authority is directly related to Authorial intent. The preacher only has authority from God to speak as His ambassador as long as he remains faithful to convey the Divine Author’s intentions. This means that the further the preacher strays from preaching the intention of the text, the further his divine blessing and God-given authority are eroded in the pulpit.”

“Does a commitment to expositional preaching mean that I should never preach other kinds of sermons? No. Topical and biographical sermons still have value. It is sometimes helpful to address a certain topic by culling and presenting Biblical information. And it is sometimes instructive to study the life of a Biblical character and draw practical implications for today. The point is that, as a consistent diet, expositional preaching is most healthy for both the preacher and the congregation.”

“There are more ways to preach expositionally than plodding through one phrase or sentence at a time. The length of the text is immaterial to the question of whether or not the sermon is an exposition. As long as the point of the passage is used as the point of the message, a sermon qualifies as expositional—length notwithstanding.”

“The point of any Biblical text is to accomplish God’s purposes in the hearts and minds of God’s people. So if the sermon amounts to no more than a wordy commentary devoid of application, it has missed the bull’s eye at which true exposition always takes aim.”

“. . . we may legitimately preach a single expositional sermon on the whole Bible, a whole testament, a whole book, a whole narrative or parable, one paragraph, one phrase, or a single word—as long as we are preaching the intended point of the selected meaning unit.”

(HT: Adrian Warnock)

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

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