W. Austin Gardner
God Speaks Through Scripture
Yet in order for God to speak through us, we must first be convinced that God has already spoken to us in his Word (Heb. 1:1–4).
Convinced of this, we make a commitment to preach Scripture because we know when we preach Scripture, people hear from God.
How so? The Spirit of God takes the preached Word of God and pierces the human heart with conviction so that an unmistakable hearing from God takes place in the life of the listener.
For the Spirit’s witness to accompany our preaching, the revealed Word of God must be faithfully proclaimed.
The prime reason for wedding the Holy Spirit to a ministry of exposition is that the same Holy Spirit who inspired the biblical text will minister through that same text when it is rightly divided and passionately proclaimed to our contemporary audience.
The doctrine of inspiration demands exposition because God the Holy Spirit inscripturated his truth in words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs.
Therefore, a Spirit-led approach to preaching is naturally linked with the expository understanding of preaching because exposition at its core is testifying to what has been deposited already by the Holy Spirit in the Bible.
The strength of expository preaching, as opposed to other forms of preaching such as topical preaching, is that expository preaching respects not only the author’s original intention but also the Holy Spirit’s placement and sequencing of the text.
Whereas topical preaching may freely pull verses out of context in order to establish the preacher’s point (albeit a valid one), the careful expositor explains the text in its context and follows the sequence and the progression of the Spirit-deposited inspiration.
How we handle the Spirit’s inspiration is directly related to our view of the Bible. The higher our view of Scripture, the more careful we are to maintain authorial intent and to unpack the Spirit’s work in its biblical context and framework.
Greg Heisler, Spirit-Led Preaching: The Holy Spirit’s Role in Sermon Preparation and Delivery (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2007), 22–23.