At First Baptist Church, it is our habit to preach expositional messages from the Bible. “Expositional preaching” demands that the teaching and application in a sermon is grounded in the meaning of a passage of Scripture. Expositional preaching exposes the Word of God to men. The skillful expositor of Scripture takes the Bible, makes plain its meaning, and applies it appropriately.
Expositional preaching is important because the Word of God is our authority (1 Cor 3:11; 2 Tim 3:16). We do not want to hear man’s opinions, but God’s truth. The truth of God is found in the Bible, and so we humble ourselves under its authority. And as our authority, the Bible’s message is always relevant to us. Christian preachers have a solemn responsibility not to preach their own opinions, but the Word of God. They have no right to claim to minister for God unless they speak what he says.
The Bible teaches that the Word of God is the means through which the Holy Spirit brings men to faith in Christ. Jesus told Paul that through his apostolic preaching men will turn to God (Acts 26:16-18). Paul reminds the Galatians that they received the Holy Spirit through “hearing with faith” (Gal 3:2; compare Acts 10:44). Peter says we were born again through the preaching of the gospel (1 Pet 1:23-25; compare Psa 19:7; Rom 10:17). Holy Spirit uses the Word of God when it is exposed openly and clearly to work in men and women faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Word of God also points to itself as the instrument through which the Holy Spirit sanctifies believers in their faith. Paul’s preaching ministry to the Philippians resulted in their progress and joy in the faith (Phil 1:25). Jesus clearly points to the Word as the instrument of sanctification (John 17:17; compare 1 Tim 4:16). The Word of God comforts saints (1 Cor 14:3), increases them in the knowledge of Christ (2 Cor 2:14), deepens their love for Christ (Luke 24:32), and unifies them together in their local church (Eph 4:12-16). The Bible is the soil in which Christians bud, grow, and bear fruit.
Therefore our commitment to expositional preaching is really because of our humble submission to God’s Word in the Bible. The Word of God is our authority, the God-appointed means for bringing men and women to faith in Christ, and a vital way that we grow as Christians. It is God’s truth. We are not only committed to preaching, but to a certain kind of preaching, that which is expositional. It is our hope as a church to explain, proclaim, and apply the Word of God faithfully as it comes to us in the Bible.