Why We Need Expository Preaching in Missions - Radical

Why We Need Expository Preaching in Missions

Why is expository preaching so important to effective mission work? How does God use expository preaching to advance the gospel? In this video, David Platt and Mark Dever describe the need, purpose, and result of expository preaching in missions. According to Platt and Dever, expository preaching is crucial because it is God’s way of speaking to us. As a result, people around the globe need pastors who intentionally explain and exposit the Word and apply it to their hearts, lives, and situations. Effective expository preaching will result in the fulfillment of Titus 2 – that all Christians, old and young, will understand how to encourage and admonish each other in the Lord. Expository preaching should not only teach what God’s Word says, but also motivate and equip God’s people to act upon God’s commandments in their daily lives.

  1. Need for Expository Preaching
  2. Purpose of Expository Preaching
  3. Result of Expository Preaching

All right, making disciples, going baptizing, teaching people to obey everything Christ has commanded us. Nine Marks of a Healthy Church: When did you write that book?

I don’t know. In the ’90s, somewhere.

The ’90s, somewhere in there.

It’s a series I preached in my church, and then Crossway published it.

Expository Preaching in the Church and Missions

Excellent. Obviously, if you’ve not read it, I would highly encourage it. First mark of the church: expository preaching. What in the world is that, and why would you say that is the first mark of the healthy church?

Yeah, because apart from God speaking to us, we would just be lost in darkness. We’d be on our own way. We can’t find God ourself. We just can’t do it. First of all, we don’t even want to, but He is invisible. He is holy, and we’re not, so He’s separate from us. So God has to speak. He has to reveal himself. Okay, well, if that’s the case, how’s that going to happen? Well, through His Word. He’s given us His Word, and He’s gifted people in the church to teach His Word. So if you’re going to have a healthy church, you begin by letting it be calibrated by God and God’s revelation of Himself, and that’s His Word.

So at the very center, you need expositional preaching. You were talking about Ruth earlier, where you go to the Book of Ruth. You teach people the Book of Ruth. You teach people the truth of the Book of Ruth. You teach them to see how you get that so that they understand it. You do like Ezra and the priest do in Nehemiah 8, where you just explain the law of God to the people. You do that prayerfully, applying it to their hearts and lives, praying for God to do that effectually, by His Spirit. And then He just does wonderful things, like He’s done here at Brook Hills like we’ve seen Him do in so many churches. Praise God.

The Word does the work.

Yeah, and isn’t it amazing? I mean, haven’t you preached a sermon before, and you’ve just said to Heather, “Ah, it didn’t go that well today,” and yet God uses it powerfully?

Oh, was it last week? I think it was. Yes, it was right after I got back from being at T4G. I had not had as much time that week to work on the sermon stuff, preparation, as normal. But I preached the text, I hope faithfully, that Sunday, but I just thought, “Oh, what a downer.” I looked down the front row. Somebody who I know well is kind of falling asleep, and I’m like, “Ah, this is just not going.”

And then two days later, we’re sitting around, and somebody says, “I had a conversation with a guy who said that was the most influential sermon.” And he’s been here a while, and he’s heard me preach.

Praise God.

Yeah, and yes, it’s the Word that does the work.

In Expository Preaching, the Word does the Work

What’s that line I mentioned to you, from Sinclair Ferguson, who, when he had preached a sermon, he didn’t feel it was very good? And somebody was telling him how powerfully God had used it in somebody’s life. He said, “That man heard a better sermon than I preached.”

Yeah, yeah, yes. That’s pretty much the story, consistently, at Brook Hills.

Yeah, brother, I feel that too, man.

We Should Encourage One Another with the Word

Yeah, absolutely. All right, so going baptizing, teaching. Now, let me ask one more question about teaching. Then I want to close with the All Nations part of the Great Commission. But with teaching, that description of teaching in the Great Commission, is there a level at which all Christians should be teaching the Word? Or is this an optional extra, for those who are particularly gifted? So when it comes to teaching, how does that look in every believer’s life? Or does it not play out in every single believer’s life?

I think when you look at the end of a number of Paul’s letters when you look at Titus 2, you see them admonishing one another or encouraging one another. You see the older women teaching the younger women. I think there’s a sense throughout the New Testament that while there is a unique authoritative teaching that’s done by the elders of the church, all Christians encourage each other with a word, with the Psalms, with singing, with prayer, praying, confessing your sins to each other. That one-another ministry is a vital part of how God means us to grow in Christ.

Mark Dever

Mark Dever (PhD, Cambridge University) is a pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., the president of 9Marks, and a Council member of The Gospel Coalition. He is the author of many books, including Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. He and his wife, Connie, have two children.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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