Michael Duduit writes about preaching that is not an exegetical report or Bible study, but which takes the results of sound exegesis and builds a presentation that enables people to understand the application of a biblical text to their lives.
Application in preaching takes the life principle found in the biblical text and builds a bridge from the ancient context to the contemporary situation. My argument is not that we must have application in our sermons; that is a given. What I am arguing for is that we recognize that application is the purpose and basis for the preaching of God’s Word. A biblically-informed understanding of expository preaching is that it is the anointed application of a biblical text to the lives of the listeners.
We must not think of preaching as an analysis of a biblical text with some application attached; we should understand the expository sermon is the application of a biblical principle derived from a biblical text. We do not do biblical preaching to make people better Bible students; we do biblical exposition in order to help our listeners understand how God intends them to apply biblical truth to their lives.
That doesn’t mean preaching “10 Steps to a Happy Life” sermons that are only loosely connected to the biblical text. It means looking at our task as preachers from a different perspective – not as professors in the classroom, imparting abstract truths, but as shepherds and fellow strugglers unpacking a text to understand what God would have us do with this truth. Those sermons will certainly impact practical life issues, but they will also be deeply theological if we are true to the text. They will deal with the nature of God, the meaning of grace, the work of the Spirit and so much more.
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