The purpose of the next several articles is not to give any detail about how to preach expositionally. But how I arrived at trying to understand how I was to start in the process. I am still growing by leaning in this procedure.
Having read Kaiser’s book on this kind of preaching, and having heard MacArthur’s video tapes, I knew I could never do this without help. So I began to learn who I could trust to give me the information I needed to complete this project. MacArthur gave us a list of technical books we would need. Haddon W. Robinson also was helpful.
I had really never heard of these "technical" books. Was it cheating, or bamboozling, or misappropriating to learn what the KJV said from some technical book. I remember I couldn’t even pronounce the word "technical." What would Dr. Roy Johnson say, if he knew I was going to buy some of these technical books. The former pastor of our church said, "I only need the Bible to preach from." That really made me feel bad, you know, that he was smarter than I was. I am sure it’s a shock to a lot of members, that I could not get the KJV. Sorry, folks.
I thought the whole purpose of going to Seminary was to learn how to do this preaching!!!!!
It’s like you have committed a crime if you were to really study the Bible to learn why Matthew wrote the Gospel of Matthew. Preachers like to come up on to the platform and get behind the podium and say, "This morning on the way to church the Holy Spirit gave me a sermon." That is really Holy Spirit powerful preaching they say. But as for me those days were over September 1983.
But first I had to learn how to preach in this new way.
"The distinguishing mark of expository preaching, also called Bible exposition, is the biblical interpretation communicated through the sermon." The expositor must teach his audience the meaning of the text intended by its author and understood by its original recipients.
My first work as an expositor (teacher) I decided to start with the Gospel of Matthew. The idea that I had was to start with Matthew and continue thru to Revelation. However, my plans were changed. Matthew on Sunday Morning Romans on Sunday Night, and I Corinthians on Wednesday Night.
Again reading Kaiser’s book. "Is the meaning of a text to be defined solely in terms of the verbal meaning of that text as those words were used by the Scriptural author? Or should the meaning of a text be partly understood in terms of ‘what it now means to me." the reader and interpreter?"
I had often heard people say, "Charles, I have my own idea of what the Bible means?" "I think Matthew 5 thru 10 means this." I have been amazed over the years how many interpretations have come out of one verse. Haven’t you? "Where is what I think Paul meant when he said..." I would say, " how do you know," "I just think Paul meant this, that’s all I know."
Allen Nunnenkamp asked me one Wednesday Night, "Charles, why are there so many different opinions about what the Bible says?" Why are there so many different points of view about the Bible?
I came to understanding "there is only one meaning for every verse in Scripture." Does this mean that Paul had only one thought, or meaning in mind when he wrote Romans?
Is it possible for us today, to understand what Paul meant when he wrote Romans? And the answer is, we should be able to. How? That is the question.
The term used for this was "exegesis" which is designed to determine meaning.. You are to examine the details of the passage set before you.. Why was Matthew writing this book? Why did Paul write Romans?
Therefore, to get equipped for this work, I began to buy some books to help me comprehend the task before me. When I came to the platform and stood behind the pulpit and opened the KJV Bible, and read Matthew chapter one, or Romans chapter one, I desired to be ready to clearly preach what God had in mind when he had Matthew and Paul to write the books.
Thus, the journey began in this new "expository preaching." And it’s still a journey. I am still learning and growing in this ministry of teaching the Word of God.
Posted by Charles E. Whisnant
Truth read by Charity Whisnant
Next Article will talk about books needed for preaching