by: Matt Alexander
Lately the Lord keeps bringing the phrase "in truth" to my mind. He has not revealed one specific reason though I may believe there are many reasons to be revealed in time. One primary reason, I believe, is his plea for us to live what I like to call "expositional lives."
In 3 John 1:4 John writes the Word of God telling us "I have no greater joy than this, to know that my children are walking in the truth." God takes the greatest joy in knowing that those who call themselves followers of Jesus Christ are walking daily in the truth.
Jesus said in John 14:6 "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." Jesus is the truth. As the Word of God in flesh, (John 1), Jesus is the embodient of God's written and revealed Word.
We are blessed to have many helpful forms of scripture today. There are various translations of the Bible, some reputable and some not so reputable, but many of them are available and trustworthy for your choosing. They are translated into our modern language and way of speech to help us grasp the Word of God not just so that we know it but so that we obey it. There are numerous study Bibles and other helpful tools to be a secondary guide with the Holy Spirit to enlighten you as you read and study. There are great Bible teachers who can be accessed via the internet, books, and podcasts. (Again, be careful who you choose - email me if you have concern). Point being, our world has more accessible tools than ever before to read and study scripture. We have no excuse!
As a preacher, I am a strong proponent of expository preaching - that which preaches through contextual units of scripture with modern application for today's church. I believe God's Word is living and active and can say far more to the modern soul than the most well equipped orator ever could.
If a preacher is truly doing his job he needs to get out of the way and let the text speak.
Many shy away from this task because it takes great labor Monday-Saturday to have the mind and soul prepeared for Sunday. Yet, in my opinion there is no substitute for expository preaching. Why? Because God desires for us to walk in the truth. It is his greatest joy. Truth comes from the Word of God taught and inspired by the work of the Holy Spirit. Expository preaching is the most faithful method to see this accomplished.
As I look at the church in the world today, I see many ministries and ministers striving to keep up with the latest trends all in the name of being "contextual." While being contextual is important, it is secondary to the Word of God being preached in it's very own context and letting the Spirit speak to the inner depths of the heart. Churches today do not need more flashy slogans, bright lights, or coffee bars to attract people. (Scripture says the Spirit draws man in the first place)
Churches today need to return to to the Word of God through heartfelt prayer and allegiance to the Word of God. We need preachers committed to stand tall behind the pulpit not his own shoes but on the Word of God. We need people in the pew committing to be in the Word daily and striving to know it and obey it as they lives their lives in the context of where God has placed them. We need small groups designed and equipped around the Word of God to reach the lost and disciple the saved. We need to be a people who understand that nothing brings more joy to the heart of God than to know his children are walking in the truth. None other than the full authority of the Word of God.
When we do this we take what we learn from expositional study of God's Word and we apply it to every area of life so that it totally transforms who we are. We let the Word dwell within so that it can flow throughout.
Won't you commit with me to know, grow, and go forth in the Word of God and bring joy to the heart of God. This has to be an intentional and disciplined decision on your part. I would love to help you get and maintain accountability to such a plan if desired. Let's take great joy in helping each other walk in the truth because this brings joy to the heart of our Father.
This is my plea for expository living.