Guest Post – The Picture of Understanding


Please note: The views & opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of LifeWay Christian Resources.

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” The Chinese proverb speaks to the image put in front of us, but what about when no actual image is offered? What if you just have words that cause your mind to paint the picture?

When teaching Hermeneutics a few years ago, we took a sharp look at the culture to help determine the possible meaning behind pictorial wording. The example used was, “Heap burning coals on his head…” from Romans 12, below:

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7 Qualities of Expository Preaching

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In his book 12 Essential Skills for Great Preaching, Wayne McDill lists 7 qualities of expository preaching. These helpful guideposts are great reminders and provide good insights for honing your preaching craft. Below is an excerpt from the book.        

In expository preaching the preacher’s first aim is to discover the text writer’s intended theological meaning in the selected text. We preachers tend to search the Bible for a sermon. We hope for something to leap out at us that will preach. But a program of expository preaching calls for the preacher to aim for a clear understanding of the text writer’s meaning. Only out of that theological message can he properly preach an expository sermon. Expository preaching is that in which the preacher seeks to let the text speak again through the sermon with the same theological message. God intentionally had the original message declared; now he wants it to be preached again. The universal and timeless message clothed in the historical garb of the original writing is the message the preacher is to declare to the contemporary audience. He interprets that same truth from the text to his audience.

The preacher of expository sermons discovers the meaning of the text through a careful exegetical analysis of the text in all its particulars. The expository preacher comes to the text like a detective to a crime scene. He studies it for every clue to the meaning. The clues in the text are the words of the text writer. We know what he intended to say by what he wrote, but the details can easily be overlooked to the casual observer. The expositor will look carefully at every detail for what it indicates about the writer’s message.

Expository preaching calls for careful consideration of the contexts in which the text was originally written. Interpreting a text calls for a serious look at the literary context, the chapters and verses before and after the text, as well as the other writing of the author and the entire canon. Beyond that is the historical context of the original writing, including the local culture, politics, economic conditions, and other such factors. The original setting of the text not only shapes the message but takes part in it.

An expository sermon is organized with due consideration to the structure and genre of the selected passage. Basically the text writer’s treatment of his subject sets the pattern for the preacher’s sermon structure. The type of literature the text represents should affect the preacher’s sermon design as well. We should always tell the story when preaching a narrative text, though we will do more. The purpose of exhortative texts and teaching texts should be reflected in the purpose of the sermon.

The expository preacher will seek to influence the audience through the use of the rhetorical elements common to persuasion. By definition a sermon is a persuasive speech. The preacher’s aim is to persuade the audience with the truth of his message and what they should do about it. We normally persuade by explaining, illustrating, arguing, and applying. These elements provide a balance for supporting material for sermon ideas and allow the preacher to expose the text’s meaning for the contemporary audience.

Expository preaching aims for a response of faith and obedience to the biblical truth on the part of the audience. In this study we will contend that the overarching aim of preaching is to call for a faith response in the hearer. The text writers believed what they wrote and communicated it in order that others might believe and obey. The preacher keeps this faith aim in mind from the first look at the text to the final design of his sermon. The sermon should be God-centered to point the hearer to the trustworthy object of his faith.

About the Author:

Wayne McDill is retired Professor of Preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and has nearly twenty years of experience in teaching students the art of preaching. He earned a Th.D. degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is active in the Academy of Homiletics and Evangelical Theological Society.

Originally posted on the B&H Academic blog here.

Guest Post – 5 Tips for a Better Prayer Life

guest_post_medPlease note: The views & opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of LifeWay Christian Resources.

Who doesn’t long to have a better prayer life? I cannot think of one person who feels their prayer life is on par with where they want it to be. No matter how much they pray they always feel they could be doing it more. While I don’t have an anagram for you, here are some things that have helped me grow in my prayer life.

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Guest Post – Who We Are…What We Can Be


Please note: The views & opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of LifeWay Christian Resources.

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’ (1 Pet. 1:14-16).

Have you ever been to an animal shelter to look for a pet? There are many cute and cuddly dogs and cats, who are well-trained and would make excellent pets found there. There are others, however, for whatever reason, that bark and may try to bite you, who exhibit anti-social behavior. Most people usually pass them by, but there can be potential in them, if you look past what they are and think of what they can become. Cleaning them up and training them not to be a menace to themselves and humans, some can go through a transformation that offers company and enjoyment for years to come.

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Guest Post: Quick Tip – In-Depth Topical Searching with Sets


Be sure and read our previous posts in this series: Quick Tip – How to Find Sets in Your Library & Quick Tip – How to Create Your Own Set.

Sets are a wonderful way to manage books with many volumes. There are multiple tools in WORDsearch to help you find the topics that you are interested in studying, but there can be a limitation if you have set names that are too high level to permit finding everything you might be interested in.

Let’s suppose you want to start a new study on the book of Romans. One of the first things you are likely to want to do is to find out how many volumes you own that will provide resources for your study.

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Guest Post – myWSB and the Mobile Pastor


When people think of a pastor they have a mixed bag of imagery. Some see him as a kind older man hugging people in the hospital and others envision a gentleman locked away in his study praying for the people and digging into the Word of God. While both of those certainly are the case, most of us are walking a different path. As a preaching elder I am in need of study. It is a heavy load to stand in front of God’s people every week and help to explain the Word of God and then show them how they might apply that to their lives. At the same time I am always moving. Sometimes I am in the office, other times I am rushing off to the hospital and still at many times through the week I sit in a coffee shop listening and sharing with people that are counted among our church. For this mobile lifestyle WORDsearch is my friend.

With WORDsearch Bible I have a fantastic set of tools I use to dive deeper into the Bible. With the new cloud site I have many of those tools and nearly all of my books wherever I am.

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