Expository Listening By George Stroh October 11, 2011
"Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls."(James 1:21)
There have been hundreds of books written about expository preaching and that is a good thing. Sound, exegetical, systematic, expository preaching is vital for the spiritual growth of the Church and ought to be the goal and primary duty of every Pastor. As the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, his beloved son in the Lord; "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction."(2 Timothy 4:1-2)
But equally as important as "expository preaching" is "expository listening". In his Forward to Pastor Ken Ramey's excellent book entitled "Expository Listening", Pastor Lance Quinn writes;"If the public proclamation of the Bible is the primary means of change in a believer's life (and it is: 1 Cor. 1:18; 1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 3:16-17), then it's vital that we get ourselves ready to listen to sermons from God's holy Word."
So how can we be "expository listeners"? James tells us that we "must be quick to hear". In other words, always ready, prepared to hear and respond to the word of God. Secondly, we must be "putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness." It is very hard to cleary hear God's holy truth while still wallowing in sin and listening to the unholy lies of the enemy. A prerequisite of expository listening is repentance from all sin that deceives us and dulls our spritual hearing. Finally, "in all humility, receive the word implanted." God's word will take root and grow in us as we humble ourselves, submit to Him and prayerfully receive the truth of His perfect word. Truth so powerful that it "is able to save your souls."
Expository listening always produces a change in a believers' life. As James wrote, we are blessed in what we do when we are not only hearers, but doers of God's word. Do you want to be blessed in what you do? Humbly receive His word implanted and then fully trust and obey Him. Maranatha!