I am often told my preaching is different, but in a good way. My first response is always, "my preaching is different because it is not my message." I have called to preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:2) and nothing more and nothing less.
The effects or the conviction or the response has absolutely no bearing on my part. The response is created and generated by the Holy Spirit. I am basically giving a timeless message and what God so desires from the limited and elementary words that come from my mouth is His privilege and His only.
God has stated plainly in the Bible what He wants us to know. All I do is put together a message that gets the listeners from one verse to the next. In all honesty, I deserve no credit nor do I desire any. The mind that breathed these infallible words (2 Timothy 3:16) into existence is the One that deserves the credit. I pray that somehow and some way through my preaching that is exactly what happens. I pray God's name may be increased and mine decreased.
Let me give you the basics of how I preach. I preach in a manner that is called expository preaching. The definition of expository preaching is handling the text in such a way that it’s real and essential meaning as it existed in the mind of the writer and as it exists in the light of the overall context of Scripture is made plain and applied to the present day needs of the hearers.
The word exposit simply means to expose, to expound, to uncover, to explain. It is letting the text talk. It is letting the text be the sermon. It is not the preacher’s responsibility to give opinions, or indirect suggestions, or any extra of any kind of principles. His primary responsibility is to give the text a voice.
There is only one meaning per verse in this Bible. It is the meaning God intended. If that is not preached the Holy Spirit will be restricted due to the fact the meaning of Scripture was not pronounced. The Spirit will not work about from the Word of God.
This is a Scriptural concept. Everything I do is based on God's Word. I would not be in Allentown Florida and I would not be mentioning expository preaching either. I preach expositionally because it is biblical. Deut. 1:5 Across the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to expound this law. Nehemiah 7:1 Ezra explained the law to the people while the people remained in their place. Luke 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
When Jesus preached on the Sermon on the Mount He explained in detail each issue He was preaching on. Peter, preaching at the Day of Pentecost, he read his text which was Joel 2:28-32 and then he explained the text. Peter did not give his opinion. He preached what the text meant. He preached the resurrection and what it meant and what it could do for you.
Hershel York, preaching professor at SBTS said this. “Expository preaching is not for everyone, because it is the most demanding and challenging way to preach. On the other hand, this kind of preaching is what God uses to change lives because a person cannot preach expository messages unless he is saturated with the Word of God. And the more our sermons are dependent on the inspired text, the more inherent power they will have."
I preach expositionally, because it lets God speak rather than me. Isn’t that what we want? When we are preaching the Word of God it takes away the word of man. A man can stand up in the pulpit and be flattering. He can even charge your emotions, be clever, and be interesting. He can make you laugh, he can make you cry, and he can pull a rabbit out of a hat. But none of that matters. What matters is, is the preacher faithful to the text? Because that is what matters to Christ!
Another reason I preach expositionally is it promotes biblical literacy. I would rather my congregation to know the Word of God; I’d rather them be biblical literate than any other thing in this world. The Bible is the power that drives us as a church, as believers, as a family of Allentown and by no other means will we accomplish Christ's goals for His church of Allentown, FL.
Folks don’t get me wrong here. I don’t stand up here and arrogantly say I have it going on. That I am some kind of master expositor. I say what I have said about expository preaching because it’s God’s way and I can’t do it if it’s not His way. I don’t have the smarts, I don’t have the character, and I don’t have the personality. I am incapable of doing this on my own.
And this goes for any pastor. If he is not relying on the Holy Spirit for the whole nine yards: preparation, delivery, reaching your hearts, reaching his own heart. It will all be for nothing.
John Piper says this, “How utterly dependent we are on the Holy Spirit in the work of preaching! All genuine preaching is rooted in a feeling of desperation. You wake up on Sunday morning and you can smell the smoke of hell on one side and feel the crisp breezes of heaven on the other. You go to your study and look down at your pitiful manuscript, and you kneel down and cry, 'O God this is so weak! Who do I think I am? What audacity to think that in three hours my words will be the odor of death and the fragrance of life to life (2 Cor. 2:16). My God, who is sufficient for these things?"
The answer to that is no one. No man's words are sufficient, but Christ's are. That is why I am dedicated to His words and His words only. Jesus changes lives, not me, the Bible changes lives, not me. I am just a man but I am a man God chose to preach His Word so that is exactly what I will do.
Calvary Baptist Church of Allentown Fl.