Expository Preaching Videos - Preach the Word!

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C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
In light of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and a desire to see further revival among Christians today, two topics I am highlighting at A Puritan's Mind for the whole year is a focus on Pastoral Theology and Expository Preaching. I've already posted a short series on Pastoral Theology. It is here on the board, and here at APM.

At this point, I'm going to go through a series on expository preaching. My intention, hopefully, and prayerfully, is to spark preachers to really preach the Word, and think through just what that means. I've read and reread the best works on the subject, and I'm going to pull sections, quotes and such from them and expound on them a bit, while highlighting key Scriptures that direct and exhort preachers to preach in a specific manner. As John Brinsley said, with boldness, faithfulness, and plainly. And, in good homiletics, as William Perkins, John Strickland and Peter van Mastricht said, preachers should read the text, explain the text, pull a doctrine from the text, make some arguments about that doctrine, and then apply the doctrine to the lives of the people.

Here is the first, which is an exhortation to preach the word; i.e. that expository preaching is the only way to truly preach, and the best method of preaching.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Expository preaching is the best method of preaching. Preaching may be textual, topical, hortatory, doctrinal, practical, alarming, consolatory, on a long passage or on a short text of Scripture, and yet it is ALWAYS expository.

Peter van Mastricht wrote an excellent work called...."The Best Method of Preaching." Mastricht says that the best way to preach is the easiest and least cumbersome to his hearers. Interestingly, he makes a plea for “more is better” in preparation because the minister can more easily cut away further study from the sermon than add to it once they are in the mode of homiletics. Preparation is important because the minister ties his meditations of the text on universal ideas that he can always go back to at another time for further study. Hearers can follow more easily a shaped sermon than random ideas. Such preparation orders his thoughts with the goal of the practice of piety for the hearer before the face of God. But, such preaching, in its best method, is expository.

 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
I'm always somewhat amazed at preachers who think the word of God needs help. They often shower their introductions with 2, 3, 4, 5, illustrations, anecdotes, family memories, etc., as if their illustrations, anecdotes, and family memories, can "help" the word. As if to think that all those hearers in the pews have come especially to hear something about them, and to be entertained by their family memories, trips to the grocery store, holiday mishaps, and the like. If the word of God is rightly explained, the use of those long, cumbersome, 5 minute illustrations and such will quickly die by the wayside. Such things detract from the preached word. They waste time.

Instead, preachers should practically acknowledge that the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, (Heb. 4:12). God promises to be in the midst of his preached word. Preach the WORD!

 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
"Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine." (1 Tim. 5:17). Pastors are commissioned to preached the word of God ALONE.

 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
I'm always somewhat amazed at preachers who think the word of God needs help. They often shower their introductions with 2, 3, 4, 5, illustrations, anecdotes, family memories, etc., as if their illustrations, anecdotes, and family memories, can "help" the word.
My homiletics professor told us that a sermon should have one illustration per point plus one for the introduction and one for the conclusion. I found this to be exhausting, spending more time coming up with illustrations than I did studying the passage, and so I decided to follow a more biblical approach.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
My homiletics professor told us that a sermon should have one illustration per point plus one for the introduction and one for the conclusion. I found this to be exhausting, spending more time coming up with illustrations than I did studying the passage, and so I decided to follow a more biblical approach.
That's the way to go. Being a good expositor of the word makes illuatrations generally useless to the sermon and extraneous to the hearer.

The Puritans were masters of "proverbs". Like, preach to screw truth into men's minds. Or, preach like a dying man to dying men.

Quick, simple, wrapping up a whole section of preaching in a short quip.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
I can't express enough the need to understand what is and what isn't a sermon.
A sermon is not a theological lecture.
A sermon is not a language study.
A sermon is not a musing.
A sermon is not sharing.
As sermon IS....
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
The qualities of an effective sermon are set in the context of having a definite aim, or in other words, precision. Every sermon should have a distinct object in view.
Vinet says that a sermon must be reducible to one unified point. And he says that if the sermon cannot be reduced to that one point, you have yet to do your job.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
How long your "should" your sermon be? This is an important question to answer.
How long was Micah's sermon? How long was the sermon of Hebrews? How long was Paul's sermon when Eutychus fell out of the window? How long was Christ's sermon to his disciples?
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Preachers must be sure to always preach sound, savory, wholesome doctrine.
They must always avoid all unsound, rotten, or unsavory doctrine.
They must especially preach Christ.

 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Purely intellectual speeches, are not sermons. There are times and places in which such discourses may be given.
But theological lectures, intellectual lectures are not sermons. Sharing is not preaching. Sharing is what you do over the phone with a friend and has no place in the interpreter’s message or heralding of God’s will.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Preachers are to be heralds of God's word. Not story tellers. Can you imagine Jonah walking into Nineveh to say, "Let me tell you about my dog...or let me tell you what happened on my vacation?" Preachers are to preach the word. Biblical texts, then, are necessary.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Preachers should understand the language of the text. Not the language as in just translating the text, but understand, overall the "language" of scripture.
 
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