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I am so very glad that I completed Lecture 9 of Expository Preaching. It truly enlightened me concerning God’s Word. There is more to preaching than reading the text, and running with just the story or event in the scripture. It is one thing to tell the details, and it is another thing to discuss the time, the season, the people, the culture, etc. I may have said that earlier, but I want to reiterate here. Illustrations are meant to illustrate—not to give an example of scriptural understanding. I know somebody who says a joke before they preach the text. This individual likes to make his congregation laugh before he delivers the Word. The congregation laughs, and then he discusses the scripture. The seriousness of such preaching seems to have one major flaw. The scripture has been read, and then a joke or illustration is told. The congregation may forget the scripture passage when a joke is told.
The deliverer of the Word of God must set the time and pace of the scriptural passage. It is not about becoming popular, and it is not meant to make the flock laugh. The speaker wants to “break the ice,” but that is not the purpose of a sermon. To “lighten the atmosphere” is not the speaker’s responsibility. I am not saying that the congregation should not have joy. What I am saying is there is a time and a season for all things. Preaching the Word of God is a serious matter. It should not be taken lightly. I am fearful of those speakers who seek popularity and fame by standing as a “spiritual comedian.” There is nothing funny in the Bible. God’s children should laugh, but not continually. There is a time for seriousness, and a time of joy.
Preaching is an important part of feeding God’s sheep. There is no time to “read” into the scripture something that is not there. It is imperative that we stick to the Word as seen in the author’s intention. The only way to do this is by seeking the mind of the author. We cannot think that thirty minutes a day will give us the Mind and Intention of the Author of God’s Word. Preparing a message for a congregation should not take a backseat to studying. When we have been chosen of God, then we will spend time with God and His Word. If we say that we do not have that much time in the Word, then we need to remove some things from our plate. Nothing is more important than reading and doing true studying of God’s Word. Even if you are not a preacher, you must study in thoroughly. Your spiritual life depends upon it.