Line-by-Line, Verse-by-Verse

Here’s one reason why all pastors and preachers should preach through the Bible exegetically, or line-by-line:

When Paul is writing to the elders of the church in Ephesus, he says, “I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). In other words, Paul did not hide or fail to reveal anything concerning “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24) during his preaching and writing ministry. Because of this, he is innocent of the blood of all those whom he taught.

And in our own churchly ministries, we should strive to accomplish the same thing. We should labor to ensure that we are innocent of the blood of all those whom are under our care, teaching them the whole counsel of God. And one practical way to teach the whole counsel of God is to preach and teach through the Bible exegetically. In so doing, we can spare our people the pain of not knowing all that God has revealed concerning the gospel of His Son. This kind of preaching will “force” us to teach all of the words that God has revealed to us, line-by-line, section-by-section, chapter-by-chapter, book-by-book, and testament-by-testament.

Plus, preaching exegetically allows us to explain the meaning of the whole Bible to our people. This helps us avoid preaching only the five or six topics which we are most interested in, and helps us to think through how every passage of Scripture is connected to the central thread of the gospel of God’s grace in Jesus Christ.

Topical preaching is not bad and it can be useful in addressing specific topics that come up in the life of a church. But exegetical preaching should be our main body of work as we seek to declare the whole counsel of God to the people whom God has placed under our care.

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