The Priority of Biblical Preaching: An Expository Study of Acts 2:42-47 -- By: Steven J. Lawson

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 158:630 (Apr 2001)
Article: The Priority of Biblical Preaching: An Expository Study of Acts 2:42-47
Author: Steven J. Lawson

The Priority of Biblical Preaching:
An Expository Study of Acts 2:42-47

Steven J. Lawson

[This is article one in a four-part series, “A Passionate Call for Expository Preaching.”

Steven J. Lawson is Senior Pastor, Dauphin Way Baptist Church, Mobile, Alabama.]

As the Church advances into the twenty-first century, the stress to produce booming ministries has never been greater. Influenced by corporate mergers, towering skyscrapers, and expanding economies, bigger is perceived as better, and nowhere is this “Wall Street” mentality more evident than in the church. Sad to say, pressure to produce bottomline results has led many ministries to sacrifice the centrality of biblical preaching on the altar of man-centered pragmatism.

A new way of “doing” church is emerging. In this radical paradigm shift, exposition is being replaced with entertainment, preaching with performances, doctrine with drama, and theology with theatrics. The pulpit, once the focal point of the church, is now being overshadowed by a variety of church-growth techniques, ev-erything from trendy worship styles to glitzy presentations to vaudeville-like pageantries. In seeking to capture the upperhand in church growth, a new wave of pastors is reinventing church and repackaging the gospel into a product to be sold to “consumers.”

Whatever reportedly works in one church is being franchised out to various “markets” abroad. As when gold was discovered in the foothills of California, so ministers are beating a path to the doorsteps of exploding churches and super-hyped conferences where the latest “strike” has been reported. Unfortunately the newly panned gold often turns out to be “fool’s gold.” Not all that glitters is actually gold.1

God’s Work, God’s Way

Admittedly pastors can learn from growing churches and successful ministries. Yet God’s work must be done God’s way if it is to know God’s blessing. He provides the power and He alone receives the glory only as His divinely prescribed plan for ministry is followed. When man-centered schemes are followed, often imitating the world’s schemes, the flesh provides the energy and man receives the glory.

Throughout church history, preachers who have left a lasting impact on the church have known that, in the words of Michael Horton, “the regular proclamation of Christ through the close exposition of Scripture [is] more relevant in creating a worshipping and serving community than political causes, moral crusades, and entertaining services.”You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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