Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Monday, February 27, 2012

What Is An Expositor? Really?

I became an expositor of Scripture in 2003. Peter Ristau and I attended a Shepherd's Conference at John MacArthur's church in March and I came home challenged, changed and chagrined at how little I knew about preaching. 

It seems the longer I have the privilege of being in the pulpit, the less I know about preaching. I am, literally amazed at how any clarity or anything of value rises up on Sunday mornings. It is a startling and sobering  example of God's grace toward His people in the way He feeds and nourishes us on His word (yes, I include myself along with everybody else).

I believe much of what God is doing in our church family is due to exposition, the systematic preaching of the Scriptures, in context, in order, without agenda, untainted by preconceptions or human intent (I'm not always successful at this one, hold me accountable!)...just a presentation of the Bible with most of the effort in preparation being to determine what the original author was saying to his original readers. Once a very basic awareness of that is grappled with, we try to bring it into the 21 century and apply it to our lives today. 

I really look at this whole process this way; I am not the author of the message, I am the bearer of the message. If I have done my job correctly, I am similar to the guy who carries an envelope from the King. I have no status or esteem other than this envelope I bear.  All the authority, all the honor, all the reverence...go to the King and are imprinted in His message. It is an honor and a great responsibility to carry the message. But, it does not make me any different than the ones who hear the message. I need to hear it as well. It applies to me just as much as it applies to anyone else. I am a resident of the kingdom just as my brothers and sisters are. I strive to serve them and the King by carrying that envelope. If I try to alter the message, I make it mine and it has no power, no authority and little meaning to the citizens of the kingdom. 

I frequently see myself as a banner bearer in a victory parade, celebrating the arrival of the King. The banner announces His presence. My job is to hold the banner high and point toward the coming King. The minute I begin to believe all these people have gathered to see me or that I am the center of attention in the parade, I am nothing more than the Court Jester, espousing silliness and making a spectacle of myself. The banner, the object of the people's attention, my participation and their devotion is all focused on the King and His greatness. That's why the people have gathered. It's why there is celebration. The people are His. The victory is His. The blessings are His. Even the banner I carry is His...and so am I.

Here's a short video from Mark Dever's 9 Marks ministry that explains it very clearly:

1-Expositional Preaching from 9Marks on Vimeo.

1 comment:

  1. John- Thank you, Bob, and Scott for all you do in this task of feeding His sheep. May we all here at WBF be faithful to hold up your arms as were Moses's in this battle. May we look to the sky for that great a glorious coming of our Lord and Savior. Come Lord Jesus! Amen