The Minister’s Responsibility to the Whole Counsel of God

These are some observations that were made from an article that I read on preaching this week. I believe that both minister and parishioner would greatly benefit by interacting with some of the points that have been made. These points are not Scripture, but they will help us in understanding some of the differences in what we hear on a given LORD’s day morning, and what we should be hearing on days of corporate worship. The article was entitled “Must Expository Preaching Always Be Book Studies? Some Alternatives by Dr. Irvin A. Busenitz (Professor of Old Testament, The Master’s Seminary). The points listed are adaptations from some of the key elements that he pointed out.

  • The preaching of the Scriptures requires the utilization of study tools and sound hermeneutics in order to convey contextual accuracy.
  • By examining the preaching ministry of Jesus Christ, the preacher is able to see that the preaching of Christ was expositional.
  • With regards to topical preaching there are some benefits, but it can be harder to preach topically because of the wide range of material that needs to be covered without misrepresenting the text.
  • The minister of the word of God cannot leave out teaching in place of preaching, nor can he leave out preaching in place of teaching. They are both equally important and should not be divided.
  • The preacher’s responsibility is to convey what the Scriptures have to say instead of  preaching his agenda in place of what the Bible teaches.
  • We must know what a passage teaches in a given context, rather than arrests a meaning from a text out of its proper context.
  • Caution must be taken when preaching to life’s situations. The mistake that is commonly made is the minister will often preach more about the problem than he will about the solution to the problem.
  • There must be an exercising of expository boundaries when it comes to preaching topical sermons. The text of scripture must be unfolded so that the minister’s life and the congregation’s life will be molded to the text as opposed to enfolding, where the preaching bends and shapes the text.
  • There are different categories of preaching. Some are based on content while others are on homiletical presentation. If one errs, I believe it should be on the side of content as opposed to homiletics. Though, the minister should seek to do well in both areas.
  • It may be good to preach a thematic, theological, historical, or biographical sermon when the minister arrives at a particular passage in Scripture. Some verses are pact with theology on the aforementioned elements and need to be systematized and explained to the congregation.
  • Though, thematic preaching is beneficial for the church, the preacher must be careful that he doesn’t allow the congregation to lose focus on the particular book that is being expounded.
  • The danger to consistent thematic preaching is that it can lead to eisegesis (putting meaning into the text), as opposed to exegesis (bringing God’s meaning out of the text), especially by the pressure to come up with something new for certain days i.e. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, and Easter.
  • The minister needs to preach the whole council and not just one particular doctrine that he has taken a liking to.
  • The avoidance of controversial doctrines is to be evaded. The whole counsel of God’s word needs to be explained to the flock that God has entrusted to them. The preacher must not shrink back from the truth of Scripture because he has a particular audience in front of him.
  • Pertaining to Biographical sermons, the preacher must remember that the Bible is not about the lives of the people in the Scripture. The Bible is about how God worked in the lives of the people in order to accomplish His purposes. What tends to happen in many churches, is that the minister will preach the heroic aspects of a Biblical character’s life. This may have its place at times, but we need to remember that Scripture is about how God worked in the lives of His people. Therefore, He should be the focal point of our preaching.

These are just a few thoughts that I gleaned from a great read on expository preaching. I pray this will bless you as it has blessed me and cause you to have an insatiable appetite for Biblical preaching.

Grace and Peace,

Brother Tous

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One thought on “The Minister’s Responsibility to the Whole Counsel of God”

  1. Toussaint, I gained much insight from the noted points above. Dr. Busenitz is correct in affirming that the preacher should not only preach on a specific doctrine that he enjoys most. The whole counsel of God’s word must indeed be explained!

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