I remember hearing a lecture given by Kent Hughes entitled, “Fundamental Beliefs You Must Hold in order to Preach the Bible Expositionally.” In that lecture, he gave three points.
1. The Bible is Wholly Inerrant
2. The Bible is Massively Potent
3. The Bible is Totally Sufficient
When you believe that the Bible is entirely without error; and when you believe that the Bible is massively powerful to change lives; and when you believe that the Bible is sufficient to instruct us in the ways we should live, then (as Kent Hughes argues) you will be compelled to preach it expositionally (as opposed to preaching on topics). This is because you believe that the Bible exposed will have the longest, most powerful effect in your ministry.
These are my beliefs. This is why the pattern of my ministry is simply opening the Bible, reading it, explaining it, applying it to the lives of my congregation. When finished with one verse, I simply proceed with the next verse, doing the same thing all over again. Next Sunday, I pick up where I left off. I believe that this is the most effective way of building the church.
It is interesting to note that each of these beliefs are found in 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
“All Scripture is inspired by God” – It is inerrant.
“and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness” – It is powerful.
“so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” – It is sufficient.