a puritan's blog

O God, stamp eternity on my eyeballs…

Topical fluff vs. Expository Faithfulness

I recently heard a quote from Perry Noble from NewSpring church about how foolish people are when they make requests that they want to go deeper in the Word of GOD. The short video clip can be found here and here.  Please listen before you continue reading.

So, in essence what is being communicated is that the topical norm (the weekly preaching) will be fluffy and will cater to your present ability, your willingness right now to obey.  Did you hear that?  I heard that Perry Noble’s highest form of obedience is tithing.  Hmmm, sounds like he doesn’t completely know what tithing is or, maybe, what obedience is.  I also heard that he is able to confuse the heck out of people by bringing ‘deeper’ messages or teaching.  However, Perry Noble is not the issue nor do I want to throw bricks through his tender, shallow glass house.  The issue is topical preaching, which is the national norm for the evangelical, mainline protestant, seeker-friendly church.  So, can I briefly lay-out for you, dear reader, the thrust and importance of the opposite – Expository preaching

BLUF(Bottom Line Up Front) — Expository Preaching is the only way to preach; rather, this is the only way pastors should preach.  Let’s ask a few questions:

What is preaching?

It is a mystery; it is foolishness and it is the power of GOD:  “For after that in the wisdom of GOD the world by wisdom knew not GOD, it pleased GOD by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).  Ephesians further builds the mystery of preaching by this, “…that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel…” (6:19). In Romans 1, Paul says the gospel is the power of GOD to salvation for everyone who believes.  The above three characteristics of true preaching is not negotiable.

What is preaching not?

It is not the wisdom of man nor of the learning of man – it is the gift of GOD.  2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 speaks of a great delusion that has come upon men that they have believed a lie.  This is not some future event it is currently the vogue, the norm and the church at large. 

What are true preachers up against?

Powers and principalities who serve lies are our greatest foe.  These powers use men to lie to the world.

What is our preservation against such foes?

The love of the truth is our preservation against such foes

Who is our preservation against these foes?

Jesus the Christ, who is the embodiment of truth, the substance of truth is our preservation against such foes.  We must be lovers of Jesus.  Those that are dead to the body of flesh and alive to the Holy Spirit are fit to preach; Nay, not just preach but be branded Christians, Martyrs and Victors over all things, even death and this life.

The issue is not depth.  The issue is regeneration.  The truth, whether you love it or not, is that there are many deceived, many hell-bound who are doing much, much, much work in the name of GOD! 

What are the types of preaching?

Anecdotal.  Testimonial.  Topical.  Expository. 

In topical preaching, the one preaching has been impressed with a certain topic and then uses scripture to support his topic.  However, the scriptures are our only impetus for preaching.  They contain all we need to know for life and happiness.  It is our source.  What happens when preachers are topically driven in their weekly messages is that they become the source of truth.  It looks like this:

 

In Expository preaching, the one preaching has been impressed or pricked by his daily reading or selected passage and exposits or explains what GOD is speaking in it.  This is very effective.  Out of one passage you get a fuller view of GOD and His full counsel to us.  The scripture builds your sermon and provides the topic(s) in it.  Compared to Topical, which is narrowly focused on one topic, Expository preaching is wide and vast, and hits many topics as the fuller counsel of GOD is explained from the scripture passage in context.  It looks like this:

 

What are the Risks of Topical Preaching?

Confusion.  Much of the congregation will not grow beyond the preacher’s shallowness.  Mis-led authority.  Fear-based.

What are the Benefits of Expository Preaching?

God is the authority.  It enables confidence.  Scripture is highly regarded.  GOD is more exalted and glorified.  The congregation is built up and empowered.  It is not here-say but what GOD says (notice the trick-play with words). 

Expostional Preaching is particularly relevant for these postmodern days.

Do you say it is irrelevant.  See this

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