I’m a fan of expository speaking. Lest someone misunderstand, I fully agree that there is a time and place for topical sermons. Generally, however, I think the church is far better served by a steady diet of consistent, systematic explanation of the biblical text. There are lots of advantages to the expository approach. For one thing, it helps counteract the tendency of preachers to ride their favorite hobby horses. It forces you to talk about the subjects actually in the text rather than the enthusiasm of the day. Similarly, systematic expository speaking forces you to deal with the difficult and hard subjects you’d rather avoid. For example, it may not be politically correct to talk about adultery and divorce. But, if you’re doing an expository series on the “Sermon on the Mount,” you can’t sweep under the rug what Jesus had to say on the subject – regardless of whether it happens to offend somebody.
Everyone has a message he or she needs to share.
There’s a saying in church circles that everyone has at least one sermon in him. What I mean when I use the expression is that each person, no matter how long he or she has been a Christian, is passionate about at least one thing, one topic. Each person has a message which he or she feels other Christians, or the church as whole needs to hear.
The message might be a very positive one, for example, an aspect of God’s blessing or His grace which this person understands or has experienced more than others. It might be a message of encouragement and hope when others are in despair. It might be a message of comfort in the face of distress and grief. It might be a message to motivate. Or, it might be a message of rebuke to the complacent or those who are drifting away.
How God communicates with us / Christ as the image of God
In another of these essays I used the metaphor of a computer game to illustrate the point that, if God exists, we cannot infer, with certainty, anything about either the beginning of the universe or its end by observing current conditions. Just as the actual origins of a computer game cannot be inferred by a character within the game merely by observing the state of his environment, we cannot know how our universe began by extrapolating the laws of physics backward in time.