A Healthy Church Member is an Expositional Listener – Part Two
Deacons, this is the second part of our discussion concerning being an Expositional Listener. Here I recap some of the benefits of being an Expositional Listener
First, we discussed how being an expositional listener “cultivates a hunger for God’s Word” (pg 20). As one reads Psalm 119:97-104 one sees that to the Psalmist the Word of God was like sweet honey in his mouth. He loved it. It made him wise, more so even than his teachers and the aged. It restrained him from evil.
The reason the Word of God was of such high value to the Psalmist was because he meditated on it ‘all the day’ and while he meditated on God’s Word, God Himself taught him.
As an expositional listener you must spend time in God’s Word. You cannot read it with a cursory glance. You must engage it as did the Psalmist. In so doing, you will not be able to help but be taught by God, because, as an expositional listener, you are looking for His teaching. As a result, you will find yourself loving His Word like the sweetness of honey in your mouth.
Second, we discussed how being an expositional listener “protects the gospel and our lives from corruption.” (pg 21) Paul tells us that some in the church look for preachers to preach messages in line with the desires of the listeners. An expositional listener does not choose this course.
By the very definition of the term, an expositional listener does not read into the text his own meaning. Rather, he searches for the meaning of the text put there by God. This type of listener, one who is focused on knowing God’s desires and not fulfilling his own desires, will not tolerate a preacher or seek one who would lead himself or the church away from the truth toward myths. An expositional listener will encourage and praise those preachers who preach expositional sermons, who seek to find and declare the message of the text so that the body can benefit.
Next time we will look at two more benefits to being an expositional listener.
God bless, Mark
Anyabwile, Thabiti M. What is a Healthy Church Member?. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2008.