This website aims to encourage expository preaching by helping preachers prepare expository, redemption-focused sermons. It presents a simple but effective method of moving from a biblical text to a sermon and then to provide examples of using this method.
I do not assume that my readers have access to books on preaching, Bible commentaries, or Bible software. While I will often refer to books, I will also try to point my readers to materials that are available online.
This site does not provide ready-made sermons. Preaching a sermon prepared by someone else will ordinarily be far less effective than preaching a sermon you yourself have crafted after prayerful hours of studying and living with a biblical text.
What is an expository, redemption-focused sermon?
Since this site is about preparing expository, redemption-focused sermons, I want to try to clarify what I mean by “expository” and “redemption-focused.”
A redemption-focused sermon is a sermon that focuses on God’s redemption, which culminates in Jesus Christ. In his book, Preaching Christ from the Old Testament, Sidney Greidanus summarizes what preaching Christ meant for the believers in New Testament times: “The New Testament church preached the birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus of Nazareth as the fulfillment of God’s old covenant promises, his presence today in the Spirit, and his imminent return. In short, ‘preaching Christ’ meant preaching Christ incarnate in the context of the full sweep of redemptive history.”
Greidanus goes on to give a definition of “preaching Christ”: “We can define “preaching Christ” as preaching sermons which authentically integrate the message of the text with the climax of God’s revelation in the person, work, and/or teaching of Jesus Christ as revealed in the New Testament.”
Bryan Chapell, in his book, Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon, states that the term “Christ-centered” is “a synecdoche—standing not only for reference to Christ’s incarnation or death on the cross but for the entire matrix of God’s redemptive work, which finds its culminating expression in Christ’s person and work.”
As Greidanus says, we can preach Christ from the Old Testament as well as the New “because the Old Testament itself witnesses to Christ incarnate.” According to Luke, on the road to Emmaus, “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, [Jesus] interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). Later in the same chapter, Jesus says to his disciples, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44). Thus, because the Old Testament witnesses to Christ, it is possible to preach redemption-focused sermons from the Old Testament as well as the New.
Sermons can be redemption-focused without being expository. A topical sermon begins with a topic such as the incarnation or justification by faith and explains and applies that teaching, making reference to a number of biblical passages.
An expository sermon, by contrast, explains and applies a biblical passage or text (or occasionally more than one).
Bryan Chapell defines an expository sermon as follows: “An expository sermon may be defined as a message whose structure and thought are derived from a biblical text, that covers the scope of the text, and that explains the features and context of the text in order to disclose the enduring principles for faithful thinking, living, and worship intended by the Spirit, who inspired the text.”
Sidney Greidanus quotes Merrill Unger, who says that expository preaching involves “handling the text ‘in such a way that its real and essential meaning as it existed in the mind of the particular Biblical writer and as it exists in the light of the over-all context of Scripture is made plain and applied to the present-day needs of the hearers.’”
Greidanus argues that expository preaching is necessary. It is necessary first, because it enables the preacher to preach with divine authority. He quotes Donald Miller, who wrote, “Preaching which severs itself … from the Bible can have little or no valid authority over men’s minds or hearts, for it is an irreverent assumption of authority which no living man may rightly claim.… The only right we have to preach is to preach Christ as he makes himself known through the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament.”
Greidanus notes that expository preaching has advantages both for the preacher and for the congregation. It helps to keep the preacher from inventing his own message, and enables him to preach with confidence, knowing that he is preaching God’s message rather than his own.
The congregation is benefited because they hear the inspired Scriptures explained. This gives them confidence that they are hearing God’s message and enables them to use Scripture as a criterion to evaluate what the preacher says. 
Hopefully this provides sufficient justification for the focus of this website on preparing expository, redemption-focused sermons.
- Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016. ↑
- Greidanus, Sidney. Preaching Christ from the Old Testament: A Contemporary Hermeneutical Method. Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999. 4. ↑
- Ibid., 10. ↑
- Chapell, Bryan. Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon, Second Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 2005. 15. (A synecdoche is “a figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole.”) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/synecdoche ↑
- Greidanus, 55. ↑
- Chapell, 31. ↑
- Greidanus, 11, quoting Unger, Merrill. Principles of Expository Preaching, 33. ↑
- Ibid., 13, quoting Miller, Donald G. Fire in Thy Mouth, 112. ↑
- Ibid., 15-16. ↑