The Dire Need for Expository Preaching Pt. 3

23. November 2013 04:05 by Edward L. Smith in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

The Dire Need for Expository Preaching Pt. 3


Warning Preach Expositional!

I can’t continue with challenging the state of preaching without offering a remedy.


So here are the how to’s of Expositional Preaching.

First off; Preaching an expository message involves far more than standing in the pulpit and reviewing the high points, details, and components unearthed through research. Neither a word study nor a running commentary on a passage is, in itself, an expository sermon. An expository sermon does more than simply explain the grammatical structure of a passage and the meanings of its words…. The task of the expository preacher is to take the mass of raw data from the text and bridge the gap between exegesis and exposition. ~ John MacArthur


Let’s now talk from exegesis to exposition.

Exegesis is never an end in itself. Its purposes are never fully realized until it begins to take into account the problems of transferring what has been learned from the text over to the waiting Church. To put it more bluntly, exegesis must come to terms with the audience as well as with what the author meant by the words he used.

Walter C. Kaiser


Tom Pennington, pastor of Country Side Bible Church, offers these seven very practical and helpful steps in doing your exegetical work.

1.       Identify the Theme

2.      Analyze the Syntax

3.      Survey the Historical Context

4.      Analyze the Key Words

5.      Establish the Theological Context

6.      Consult the Commentaries

7.      Meditate on the Passage


Expository preaching begins with exegesis and ends with exposition; both are crucial.

One author illustrates the relationship between exegesis and exposition this way: “The exegete is like a diver bringing up pearls from the ocean bed; an expositor is like the jeweler who arrays them in orderly fashion and in proper relation to each other.”

(Rediscovering Expository Preaching, p.17)


Without exegesis a sermon is merely a speech; without exposition the message will be only a technical collection of grammatical and historical details. ~ Tom Pennington


Now here are some six simple steps to moving from your exegetical work to exposition. This is A Summary of the Process is taken from Tom Pennington’s (Preaching with Purpose)

1.       Writing the proposition

2.      Structuring the message

3.      Building the body

4.      Creating logical flow

5.      Writing Intros and Conclusions

6.      Formatting your notes


The task of the expository preacher is to take the mass of raw data from the text and bridge the gap between exegesis and exposition. ~ John MacArthur


One of the things that I have learned is that the work of an expositor is it’s a very hard job. This is probably why not many men are expositors. One of the biggest rebuttals I often get is that this process is a man made, modern day system, and it’s not Biblical. This is simply a false accusation. In the Old Testament for example we have Ezra in Nehemiah 8 giving exposition. Jesus gave several expositional sermons. His most famous sermon “The Sermon the Mount” is a exposition of the Law of God. Then in Luke 4 He gives an exposition on Isaiah 61 and in Luke 24 Jesus also gave a historical Old Testament exposition. Also in the book of Acts On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up and expounded Joel 2:28-32, Psalm 16:8-11, and Psalm 110:1 as they related to the day’s events and the recent crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. (


Please note that not all expositional preaching is going to look the same but at its core it is the same. A prime example is the Prince of Preachers himself, Charles H. Spurgeon. Many don’t regard him as an expositor but he indeed was. In my personal opinion he defined expository preaching in England. What this goes to show us is that depending on how God gifts men their styles may different. There are three basics categories that summarize expository preaching in how it can be done.


1. Topical Expositional Preaching

2. Textual/Thematic Expositional Preaching

3. Systematic/Sequential Expository Preaching


Preaching is essentially a personal encounter, in which the preacher's will is making a claim through the truth upon the will of the hearer. If there is no summons, there is no sermon.

                                                                                                           ~ John A. Broadus


“Be natural; forget yourself; be so absorbed in what you are doing and in the realization of the presence of God, and in the glory and the greatness of the Truth that you are preaching . . . that you forget yourself completely . . . . Self is the greatest enemy of the preacher, more so than the case of any other man in society. And the only way to deal with self is to be so taken up with, and so enraptured by, the glory of what you are doing, that you forget yourself altogether.”

~ Martin Lloyd-Jones


Lastly find yourself submitting underneath an expository ministry. Read every book you can on expository preaching. Then listen and read expository sermons. For me I remind myself that every sermon is to be God-Honoring, Christ-Centered, and Gospel Saturated. This keeps me expositional in my preaching and in my teaching.


May it also keep you preaching Coram Deo Soli Deo Gloria.


1 Peter 4:11

Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God…so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The Dire Need for Expository Preaching Pt 2

22. November 2013 01:49 by Edward L. Smith in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Today part 2 of 3 of “The Dire Need for Expository Preaching”

Jeremiah 29:31-32

31 “Send to all the exiles, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite, “Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, although I did not send him, and he has made you trust in a lie,” 32 therefore thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am about to punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his descendants; he will not have anyone living among this people, and he will not see the good that I am about to do to My people,” declares the Lord, “because he has preached rebellion against the Lord.”’”


The charge of preaching the gospel is a momentous calling, one that must be taken seriously. Preachers of this 21st century are primarily preachers who preach topically from this text to that text, to this book to that book, on this subject to that subject on a weekly basis. This system of preaching leads to malnourishment in the Body of Christ.  We wonder why there is such a breakdown in our community and society; that breakdown stems from the breakdown in the pulpit’s of America.


All of my Christian experience has been in my local inner-city community so my call to a reformation in the pulpit starts there and then spreads abroad. It is high Time 4 Reformation in the way urban inner-city preaching is done. Most urban and inner-city communities are black so with great encouragement I say, it has not always been this way in the black Church. I found great encouragement when I read the book “The Faithful Preacher” by Thabiti Anyabwile. This book covered three African-American pastors; Lemuel Haynes, Bishop Daniel Alexander Payne, and Dr. Francis Grimké. These gentlemen in my opinion were expositors of their time.


“Lemuel Haynes reminds us to view the pastoral ministry from the vantage point of eternity

And the accounting that pastors will give to the Lord of the Church. Daniel Alexander Payne

Instructs us on how preparation and education, both in intellect and character, affect the minister

And the people in his charge. And Francis Grimké challenges us too remember that the Church

And the pastor, as they confront the world and its problems,

Are first and foremost to preach the gospel and to live the gospel.

                                                                                                                               ~ Thabiti Anyabwile


I am sounding the horn that there must be a resurgence in Expositional Preaching. While there are some very notable Black/African-American expositors such as Thabiti Anyabwile, Anthony J. Carter, Ken Jones, Michael Leach, and Eric Redmond. Louis Love, H.B. Charles Jr., E. K. Bailey, George Waddles, Bryan Carter, and Maurice Watson. This is a very notable but short list but my issues are not with these “larger” name preachers. Each of these men has large to semi-large congregations and the comforts to be expositors. But my call is to the more influential preachers. Who are they? They are the preacher/pastors who serve God’s people that make up smaller congregations of 20 – 100 people on a weekly basis. These several thousand spiritual leaders must return to weekly expositional preaching. Sadly many of them just don’t know how this is done. So with the space I have left I want to issue a warning and then on tomorrow morning, Saturday November 23, 2013, the “how-to”, if you will, on how to do expositional preaching.



Warning! Non-expositional preaching leads to a ministry such as Shemaiah the Nehelamite. God was going to judge Shemaiah and his descendents because he preached false messages that actually lead God’s people in rebellion against God. This is where non-expositional leads. God takes preaching seriously, i.e. Jeremiah 14: 13 – 16


Jeremiah 14:13-16

13 But, “Ah, Lord God!” I said, “Look, the prophets are telling them, ‘You will not see the sword nor will you have famine, but I will give you lasting peace in this place.’” 14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds. 15 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who are prophesying in My name, although it was not I who sent them—yet they keep saying, ‘There will be no sword or famine in this land’—by sword and famine those prophets shall meet their end! 16 The people also to whom they are prophesying will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and there will be no one to bury them—neither them, nor their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters—for I will pour out their own wickedness on them.


Warning Preach Expositional!

Jeremiah 28:15

Then Jeremiah the prophet said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen now, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie.”


Sadly this is the state of many preachers and for those who are called I call you to preach expositional! Heed these Scriptural warnings.

The Dire Need for Expository Preaching

20. November 2013 01:39 by Edward L. Smith in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

The Dire Need for Expository Preaching Pt. 1

Amos 8:11
"Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord God, "When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the Lord.

1 Timothy 4:13

Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.

2 Timothy 4:1-4
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus…preach the word…For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires.

What does it mean to "preach"? & What constitutes a "good" sermon? There is a extremely serious and drastically urgent crisis in America & its high Time 4 Reformation!

Every since the days of Noah in the book of Genesis there has been preaching, preaching comes in many ways, shapes, forms, & fashion based upon the individual that God has called to preach His Word. But there is a cancer inside the Church of God that no-one is addressing, especially in the inner city black community of faith. It is high time for preachers to return to Expositional Preaching. Any preaching that is not done Expositional is no preaching at all. The sad thing is many people don't know what Expositional Preaching is.

There is only one form of preaching that is acceptable unto God and that is expository preaching and if expositional preaching is the only true form of preaching then What exactly is Expositional Preaching?

First off expository preaching is Biblical preaching; meaning that the preacher starts with a text, explains the text, applies proper biblical illustration and application from the text, then finishes when the text finishes.

Secondly expository preaching puts fourth before God's people what God has said, what God's Word mean, & what God's Word now requires from the hearer.

Expository preaching has been explained this way through history:

John Calvin: Expository Preaching is the public exposition of Scripture by the man sent from God in which God Himself is present, in judgment and in grace.


J. I. Paker: The true idea of preaching is that the preacher should become a mouth piece for the text. Opening it up and applying it as a word from God to its hearers, talking only in order that the text itself may speak and be heard.



Martyn Lloyd-Jones Accuracy, faithfulness to the Biblical text ─ must be the hallmark of Biblical preaching. That is why it must be expository preaching.


MLJ is simply known as the Doctor, the Doctor also adds:

I believe, as I have been indicating, that in preaching the message should always arise out of the Scriptures directly and not out of the formulations of men, even the best men....I would emphasize again that while doing all this you must always be expository! Always expository! If you follow the method I have been advocating you will be expository, because as these [Scripture] texts have hit you, you will have paused and looked at them, and have examined them, and then have worked out your skeletons [outlines]. In other words your [outlines] are the headings of an exposition.


Lastly here MLJ says, “Expository preaching is that method of proclaiming the Scriptures that takes as a minimum one paragraph of Biblical text (in prose narrative or its equivalent in other literary genre) and derives from that test both the shape (i.e. the main points and subpoints of the sermon) and the content (i.e. the substance, ideas, and principles) of the message itself. Each of the items in this definition are worthy of some further argumentation.”

So in conclusion expository preaching is simply letting the text speak for itself!


The reason I believe that its Time 4 Reformation in today’s preaching is because the current trend of topical “preaching” is demonstrative and is miles apart from what the Church has experienced throughout Her history. Preaching today goes similar to this structure; the preacher starts with a text, mentions some things about God, and focuses the majority of his time on getting the topical point of his sermon across. Then the he comes back to his text and from there draws to a conclusion with a mentioning of Jesus with a big hoopla grand finale. Sorry, but that ain’t preaching.


One of the saddest things I’ve personally experienced is that this generic style of topical preaching makes congregations ignorant of God’s Word and who God is. The average pastor in our church culture today is one week in the gospels, the next week in a epistle, the next week ripping a text out of context from the Old Testament, and then again back somewhere in the New Testament the next week. We are so num to this approach that many who read this will see nothing wrong with that approach. So let’s imagine a teacher in our public schools took this approach in teaching math, English, or history. Would you stand for it? Would you accept this form of explanation and teaching in the secular realm? For example the first week of school in math they teach addition the next week division, then the next week fractions and finally they teach subtraction. Does that make any sense at all? No it doesn't but more importantly would you stand for it? No you wouldn’t. You would demand a proper system of educational teachings to teach your children, likewise you should demand a proper system of teaching that clearly and concisely teaches you about who God is and what God’s Word teaches.


I plead with all preachers obey Paul’s command to Timothy, preach the word! There may be times when there is a subject of focus that dominates the sermon but that should not be the weekly diet the Church lives on. On Friday November 21, 2014 I’ll post part 2 on this subject and show you the how to’s of a expository sermon that you will see the great benefit in this powerful approach to preaching.


“I do not approve of the method whereby you take a subject...and then think and work it out for yourself, and then look for texts which will be convenient pegs on which to hang these thoughts of yours on the subject. That is what I am opposing. The matter should always be derived from the Scriptures, it should always be expository. And if you are true to the teaching of the Scriptures you will find that you will cover all the different aspects of truth, and do so in a very much better way than by trying to work these things out for yourself in a more or less philosophical manner.” – MLJ

Jesus: The Author & the Finisher of Our Faith

7. November 2013 18:17 by Edward L. Smith in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Today is Friday November 8, 2013 and I want to share a thought with you as I prepare to preach this coming Sunday November 10, 2013. My sermon text will be “Looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith” Hebrews 12:2. The sermon title is taken directly from the text “Jesus: the Author and Perfecter of Our Faith”. As I was studying and preparing I came across one of my Hebrews 12:1 witnesses that I often look to for wisdom and thought that these thoughts we be a benefit and blessing to you. Please take a minute and read an insert from a sermon called “Looking Unto Jesus" by J. C. Ryle that he preached a few moons ago.



Looking Unto Jesus ~ J. C. Ryle

In the phrase "looking unto Jesus," it is useful and interesting to remember that the Greek word which, in our English Bible, we render "looking," is only found here in the New Testament. Literally translated it means "looking off,"—looking away from other objects to one, only one, and looking on that one with a steady, fixed, intent gaze.


And the object we are to look at, you will observe, is a PERSON,—not a doctrine, not an abstract theological dogma, but a living Person; and that Person is Jesus the Son of God. How much matter for thought lies there! Creeds and confessions are the necessary invention of a comparatively modern age. The first and simplest type of an apostolic early Christian was a man who trusted, and loved, a living Divine Person. Of head knowledge, and accurate definitions, perhaps he had but little store. Very likely he would have passed a poor examination in a latter day theological school. But one thing he did know: he knew, believed, loved, and could have died for, a living Saviour, a real personal Friend in heaven, even Jesus, the crucified and risen Son of God. Well would it be for the Churches of the nineteenth century, if we had more of this simple Christianity among us, and could realize more the Person of Christ.


But, after all, the grand question which rises out of the text is this: What is it that we are to look at in Jesus? If we are to live habitually fixing the eyes of our mind on Christ, what are the special points to which we are to have regard? If "looking unto Jesus" is the real secret of a healthy, vigorous Christianity, what does the phrase mean?


I answer these questions without hesitation. I dismiss as insufficient and unsatisfactory the idea that the Lord Jesus is only set before us here as an "example, and nothing more." I hold with that great divine, John Owen, who was once Dean of my own college at Oxford, that "He is proposed to us as one in whom we are to place our faith, trust, and confidence, with all our expectation of success in our Christian course." I consider there are four points of view in which we are intended to "look to Jesus," and I shall try, briefly, to put these four before you in order.


If you desire to know his four points I included the link to which you can read the entire sermon in its entirety.


Unlike Ryle I don’t have 4 points but three and here they are.

1.       Jesus the Object of our Faith

2.      Jesus the Author of our Faith

3.      Jesus the Perfecter of our Faith


As you can tell there is only one goal of this sermon and that is pointing people to Jesus. The Apostle Paul is very influential to me and my ministry, looking at the simple subject title and simple subject points I pray that I can be like my mentor and preach with power.


Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:1 & 2, I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.


Pray the Puritan Prayer for preachers on my behalf. Here is a sample:

My Master God,
I am expected to preach today,
but go weak and needy to my task;

Yet I long that people will be edified with divine truth,
that an honest testimony will be given for you.

Give me assistance in preaching and prayer,
with heart uplifted for grace and passion.

Present to my view things pertinent to my subject,
will fullness of matter and clarity of thought,
proper expressions, fluency, fervency,
a deep emotion to accompany the words I speak,
and grace to apply them to people’s consciences…

Give your power to the truth preached,
and awaken the attention of my slothful audience.

May your people be refreshed, melted, convicted, comforted,
and help me to use the strongest arguments
drawn from Christ’s incarnation and sufferings,
that people might be made holy.

I myself need your support, comfort, strength, holiness,
that I might be a pure channel of your grace,
and be able to do something for you.

Give me then refreshment among your people,
and help me not to treat excellent matter in a defective way,
or bear a broken testimony to so worthy a redeemer,
or be harsh in treating Christ’s death, its design and end,
from lack of warmth and fervency.

And keep me in tune with you as I do this work.

In the Name of the Only Begotten Son of God

Who are the Author and Finisher of our Faith.


About Edward L. Smith

My ministry philosophy would consist of these essentials—a High View of God, the absolute authority of Scripture, Expository Preaching, Sound Doctrine, Personal Holiness, and a Biblical view of spiritual authority. All ministries must be God-Honoring, Christ-Centered, & Gospel Saturated. (1 Corinthians 10:31)


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