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The Excellence of Exposition

Article by Jeremiah Riner

When I was younger I was an avid professional wrestling fan or as we call it in the South, "rasslin." My brother and I would inevitably try the moves on each other and often used whatever venue we may be in at the time as our 'wrestling ring.' We've put on some of the greatest matches the world has never seen on our parent's bed, a friend's trampoline, and even in our swimming least until mom or dad found out and put an abrupt stop to it.

Like all fans we had our favorites and one guy in particular always caught our eye because of his cool ring gear and athletic moves. His name was Bret Hart and one of his nicknames was "The Excellence of Execution" because of his ability to execute the moves so well without making it look so phony and cartoonish. Yes, kids, wrestling in choreographed. Sorry to burst your bubble. In other news, the Easter Bunny is fake and Santa Clause doesn't slide down chimneys and ride in a sleigh at Christmas. Now back to reality. I bring up Bret Hart's nickname because it reminds me as pastors, we should also desire to be excellent in a specific area and that area is expositional preaching.

Expositional preaching stands as a pillar in spiritual development of Christians, offering a profound avenue for believers to deepen their understanding of Scripture and foster Christ-centered growth. Unlike topical or thematic sermons that may draw from various passages to address a specific subject, expositional preaching goes into the depths of a single passage or book of the Bible, pinpointing its meaning, context, and application. Here’s why it’s invaluable for Christian growth and the health of local churches:

1. Biblical Fidelity

Expositional preaching prioritizes fidelity to the Word of God. By closely examining the biblical text in its original context, expositional preachers seek to faithfully convey the intended message of Scripture without adding or subtracting from its meaning. This commitment to the authority, sufficiency, and inerrancy of Scripture lays a solid foundation for spiritual growth.

2. Comprehensive Understanding

Through expositional preaching, believers are guided through the entirety of Scripture, hearing and seeing the full counsel of God on display. Instead of cherry-picking verses or passages that align with personal preferences or cultural trends, expositional preaching ensures that every aspect of God’s Word is explored and understood. This leads to a comprehensive grasp of biblical truths and avoids the shallow, superficial TED Talks that seem to be filling so many pulpits today.

3. Spiritual Transformation

Another important aspect of expositional preaching is that it facilitates spiritual transformation by illuminating the character of God, the nature of man, and the redemptive work of Christ. As believers engage deeply with Scripture, they are convicted, challenged, and encouraged to conform more closely to the image of Christ. Expositional sermons provide fertile ground for the Holy Spirit to work in hearts, producing lasting change and God-honoring growth.

4. Eternal Relevance

While expositional preaching delves into historic texts, its application is not confined to the past. Skilled expositional preachers bridge the gap between ancient truth and modern day relevance. This helps believers understand how biblical principles apply to their lives yesterday, today, and forever. This relevance ensures that the transformative power of the Gospel and all of Scripture is not merely theoretical but tangibly experienced in everyday life.

5. Unity in the Body

Finally, expositional preaching builds unity within the body of Christ by grounding believers in the same biblical truths. As ministers lead their flocks through the Scriptures, they develop a shared understanding of God’s purposes and priorities, teaching harmony, mutual edification, and a collective spiritual growth.

In essence, expositional preaching serves as a vital conduit for Christian growth, offering a rich and healthy diet of biblical truth that sustains and strengthens believers throughout every season of their lives. As churches prioritize expositional preaching and pastors faithfully execute their role in providing that to their congregations, this lays a solid foundation for discipleship, equipping believers for maturity in faith, a love for the Gospel, and obedience to God’s Word.

One final note, it's well known that Charles Spurgeon is often referred to as the "Prince of Preachers." Quite the nickname for one of the great expositors of all time! However, if anyone would like to get the trend started in referencing me as "The Excellence of Exposition" I wouldn't shy away from it. However, unlike my man Bret Hart, I won't be walking that Sunday aisle to the pulpit wearing fancy tights, shiny boots, and cool sunglasses...sorry to disappoint.

Jeremiah Riner is the pastor of Calvary Bible Church in Duffield, VA. He and his beautiful wife, Morgan and the parents of 2 young children and reside in Mount Carmel, TN. Jeremiah is also the host of the Deeply Rooted Podcast and a high school Social Studies teacher.

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