Early in my full-time ministry I ran into the dilemma that every preacher, at one time or another will face. What should I preach? Years have passed since I struggled with that problem, due mainly to the wisdom that a friend shared with me about preaching. It totally took that pressure off of me. He said expository preaching through books of the Bible allows God to meet the needs of His people without you having to decide what those needs are. While I still preached topically from time to time after that, the main method I have used for over 30 years of ministry is expository preaching and teaching. I can’t count the times people have come up to me and said concerning an expository lesson, “How did you know that I needed to hear that”? Or “That is exactly where I am at in my life.” There was no way I could have discerned that need of their heart, but God could and did.
Someone once said, “A scripture out of context is simply a pretext”. While I don’t think it is wrong to put together scriptures that support a conclusion or an opinion, I do realize that it is the weakest form of argument.
Video’s like the one above show a dependence upon more that the spoken, explained and applied Word of God. It is a shallow, emotion based approach to teaching and preaching. It is a part of our Christian culture that picks and chooses a verse here and there to teach a preconceived idea or argument. The “Health and Wealth” gospel is another example of this abuse of scripture, of using scripture as a pretext out of context.
Paul told Timothy to, “…devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching”. I Tim. 4:13. Nehemiah 8:8 says the exact same thing about how Ezra and other men of God preached:” And they read from the book, the Law of God, translating to give the sense, so that they understood the reading” So expository preaching entails: 1) reading Scripture; 2) explaining Scripture; 3) applying Scripture from and within in context.
Our tribe at one time was known for its knowledge of the Scripture. We can’t say that today. I think I know why.