Matthew R. Perry

God Has Called Us To Be Expositional Listeners

In church on May 1, 2009 at 8:29 pm

You’ve heard of expositional preaching, which is taking the main point of a passage of Scripture and making it the main point of a sermon.

But did you know there is such a thing as “expositional listening”? Thabiti Anyabwile, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman in the first chapter of his book, What is a Healthy Member? says, “Just as the pastor’s preaching agenda should be determined by the meaning of Scripture, so too should the Christian’s listening agenda be driven by the meaning of Scripture” (19).

Have you ever thought about this being one of your roles in worship? Why is this so crucial for us to tune in to the Word? Anyabwile continues:

1. This benefits us by cultivating a hunger for God’s Word (Psalm 119:103-104).

2. This helps us focus on God’s will and to follow Him (John 10:27).

3. This protects the gospel and our lives from corruption (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

4. This encourages faithful pastors (Hebrews 13:17, 1 Timothy 5:17).

5. This benefits the gathered congregation as they strive toward unity.

How do we cultivate this habit?

1. Meditate on the sermon passage during your quiet time the week before.

2. Invest in a good set of commentaries.

3. Talk and pray with friends about the sermon after church.

4. Listen to and act on the sermon throughout the week.

5. Develop the habit of addressing any questions about the text itself.

6. Cultivate humility.

Romans 10:17 says that “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Won’t you develop this very helpful habit as you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18)?

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