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9 Marks of a Health Church: #1, Expositional Preaching

God's Word is the word we need to hear today. We live in a strange day, when even Christians who claim to be born again and churches that claim to be evangelical ignore God's Word. -Mark Dever, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (p. 54)
Four years ago I blogged through Mark Dever's book. I've decided to revisit those posts. The first mark of a healthy church is expositional preaching.

Why expositional preaching rather than topical? An expositional sermon is focused upon the Word, whereas - as you might have guessed - a topical sermon is centered upon the topic itself.  A topical sermon might be replete with Scripture, but there is an inherent danger of misunderstanding and misapplying Scripture if a verse or a passage is taken out of its context merely to support the preacher's sermon.  I have found that topical preaching encourages me to place myself in the passage, to make the Word of God about me and my problems. My friend Persis has written about why this practice …