Expository Sermon Outlines: Preaching in the Old Testament


When one surveys the Scriptures for insight into the “ministry of the Word,” and is focused on preaching in the Old Testament the analysis can be etymological, biographical or even chronological.

Preaching in the Old Testament: Etymology

preaching in the Old TestamentEtymologically, several key terms are important:

• qohelet – Preacher (Ecc. 1:1,2,12; 7:27; 12:8,9,10)
• basar – To tell good news (Ps. 40:9; Is. 61:1)
• qara – To call or proclaim (Is. 61:1-2; 2 Kings 23:16; Jon. 3:2)
• qeria – Preaching
• nabi – Prophet, one who delivers an oracle from God. Occurs 309 times in OT. (Num. 11:25-29; Deut. 13:1, 18:20; Jer. 23:16)
• roeh – Seer, vision; used 11 times, emphasizes means by which revelation was received (1 Sam. 9:9)
• hozeh – seer, synonym for prophet (Amos 7:12)

Historically, the earliest reference to preaching is of “Enoch, the seventh from Adam, [who] prophesied” (Jude 14) and of Noah, who is called “a preacher of righteousness”
(2 Peter 2:5).

Peter Adam, when writing about preaching in the Old Testament, in Speaking God’s Word summarizes the OT testimony by dividing it into three major segments:


preaching in the Old Testamenta. Moses speaks for God.

b. Moses writes down the words of God.

c. Moses reads the words of God.

d. Moses the preacher: important features of his sermons:

First, they are an exposition of the law given on Mount Sinai. Secondly, Moses applies his text to his congregation. Thirdly, Moses exhorts the people to obedience (Deut. 1, 5, 29). “We now have the main ingredients of the ministry of the Word – the servant who hears God’s words, the writing down and reading out aloud of God’s words, and the preaching of God’s words by means of exposition, application, and exhortation” (p.40).

Preaching in the Old Testament: AFTER MOSES

The ministry of the Word established in Moses was continued in successive generations; Elijah (1 Kings 17:2,8,16,24); Jeremiah (Jer. 1:4,9); Ezekiel (Ezk. 2:9¬3:1); Amos (Am. 3:7); Proverbs (Pr. 1:8-9); Ezra (Ezr. 7:10,11); (Neh. 8:1-4,7¬8,13,18); “It is worth emphasizing the common elements that we are discovering in the Old Testament ministry of the Word. These include the acceptance of the written or spoken Word as coming from God, the role of ‘Scripture’, the place of public reading and explanation, encouragement to the right response, and the effect of the ministry on the people” (p. 41).

Preaching in the Old Testament: A FUTURE MINISTRY

a. The return from exile, the new exodus; Isaiah 40:3 (see Mk. 1:3; Lk. 3:6; Jn. 1:23)

b. This ministry is not only to Israel, but also to the Gentiles (Is. 49:6)

c. The Servant’s ministry of the Word is the daily gift of God. (Is. 50:4; 55:10-11)

As one examines preaching in the Old testament in search of a “pattern” or “model” for the ministry of the Word, two texts in particular stand out: Ecclesiastes 12:9-14 and Nehemiah 8:1-12.

preaching in the Old TestamentThe preacher of Ecclesiastes reminds us that “good preaching” is the ability to deliver the “words of truth correctly” (Eccl. 12:10). Good exposition involves developing the skill of expounding the Bible using contemporary language and thought to give a clear and powerful proclamation. The elements of both teaching and preaching are made relevant through explanation and application.

In Nehemiah we read, “and they read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly; and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading” (Neh. 8:8, RSV). Here the exposition of the Word involved three elements: presentation of the Word (they read it); explanation of the Word (they interpreted it); and exhortation based on the Word (they applied it).

-Bryan Chapell, “Components of Expository Preaching,” Preaching 10, no. 6 (May-June 1995): 4. See also David C. Deuel, “An Old Testament Pattern in Expository Preaching,” The Master’s Seminary Journal 2, no. 2 (Fall 1991): 136.

Taking these two texts as models, our own expositional/homiletical analysis of them could prove fruitful. Note the following outlines as representative of how one might approach these texts with a view to expounding them in the preaching/teaching context.

Preaching in the Old Testament: “THE PREACHER ON PREACHING”

Ecclesiastes 12:9-14


1. We preach didactically. 12:9

2. We preach logically. 12:9

3. We preach thoughtfully. 12:10

4. We preach truthfully. 12:10


1. It provides principles to guide us. 12:11

2. It provides priorities to guard us. 12:12


1. It reminds us of why we are here. 12:13

2. It reminds us of what God will do. 12:14

Preaching in the Old Testament: “PREACHING AND THE WORD OF GOD”

Nehemiah 8:1-12


1. We should gather to hear God’s servant.

2. We should gather to hear the Holy Scriptures.


1. We must read the Word of God. 8:2-3, 8

2. We must listen to the Word of God. 8:3

3. We must honor the Word of God. 8:5

4. We must explain the Word of God. 8:8


1. We should bless the Lord with our voice.

2. We should bow before the Lord with our face.


1. Preaching should bring conviction. 8:9

2. Preaching should bring celebration. 8:10-12


Helpful Links:

  • SPEAKERS | Carolina Farm Stewardship Association – Her other publications include Wondrous Depth: Old Testament Preaching (Westminster John Knox, 2005); Who Are You, My Daughter? Reading Ruth through Image and Text (Westminster John Knox, 2003), an annotated translation …
  • Resources for Preaching Isaiah 53 | capsministry.com – This entry was posted in biblical theology, hermeneutics, practical helps, preaching, resources and tagged expository preaching, Isaiah, Old Testament, preaching, resources. Bookmark the permalink. ← Ezra 7:10 – Overview …
  • Preaching from the Old Testament | High Plains Parson – Like this: Like Loading… Categories: Bible, The Ministry | Tags: Christ, Old Testament, preaching | 2 Comments. Post navigation. ← Older post · Newer post →. 2 thoughts on “Preaching from the Old Testament”. September 14 …
  • 7 Ways of Preaching Christ from the Old Testament | Already Not Yet – Like this: Like Loading… This entry was posted in Fulfilment in Christ, Jesus Christ, Old Testament, Preaching, Salvation History, Trevin Wax and tagged theology. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Old Testament Preaching | The First Premise – Already in the Old Testament the prevailing note is one of gratitude and joy over what God does for His people. Moses and Miriam sound this note after the passage through the Red Sea, that type of our salvation. And Moses …
  • Sidney Greidanus Interviewed On Old Testament Preaching And … – A fifteen minute video interview with Sidney Greidanus sponsored by the publishers of his latest book, Preaching Christ From Daniel. Greidanus’ efforts to focus on Jesus and not allow moralising to take the hearers away from …

Expository Preaching: The Passions of Expository Preachers

expository preachers

This article will be related to the Passions of Expository Preachers. Within the heart of every minister are motivational passions (the things that drive us). Books have been produced by the scads on the essential qualities of effective ministers. This is indeed true of of those who preach or teach the Word of God on a regular basis. And yet while it is true of us there are, in my opinion, three foundational passions that drive the work we do. Possess these and you will love the work. If, however, you don’t have them then you will likely struggle daily to even engage the ministry  of preaching.

The Passions of Expository Preachers: The Call

Expository PreachersAs one reads through the Scripture it is easy to detect an encouraging truth … God calls those he plans to use. Room does not suffice in the article to list all the examples, but most of us would readily agree with this. Noah was called, Abraham was called, Joesph was called, each of the prophets were called, and even the disciples were called. It is this called that stirs the passions of expository preachers.

All successful ministers that I know personally or from what I have read of them, to a man, will attribute his success in ministry to the call God placed on his heart to serve. Many left lucrative careers in business in order to pursue what they believed God had asked them to do. Many will say that the call is so deep within them that they would preach God’s Word even if there was no compensation for doing so. Many, perhaps even most, expository preachers are committed to God because they believe He committed to the through a special calling.

The Passions of Expository Preachers: The Word

expository preachersThe work of expository preachers is driven by a burning desire to accurately represent what God has said. No personal agendas exist, or should exist, for those who believe they have been called of God to proclaim the life-altering, soul-saving truth of the Bible. In a day and age when “relevant” preaching is discussed by so many, true expositors understand that the message of the Word of God is eternally relevant and timeless. One does not make the Word “relevant,” … it already is.

One of the elements of my definition of preaching is “a properly interpreted passage of Scripture.” Dedicated expository preachers insist on honoring the Word of God by studying it so intensely, in a quest for accuracy of interpretation, that they will not preach a passage until they believe they have captured the truths of the passage. They do not look for what they “like” or even what inspires them, they look for God’s truth and nothing  more. The passion for truth motivates all they do. They know that it is truth from God’s perspective that truly changes lives.

The Passions of Expository Preachers: The Work

The work for expository preachers can mean long hours and sometimes little rest. The pastorate (or other ministerial vocations) oftentimes demand so much. Congregants die at the most inopportune times and the pastor must be with family. Church and community functions, fellowship obligations, staff meetings, crisis management, evangelistic efforts, family responsibilities, counseling, and so many other obligations demand the attention of the preacher. Yet, and even in spite of these realities, the dedicated expository preacher never uses the excuse of “no time” to compromise his commitment to being an accurate expositor. He may make some compromises in his life, but never as it relates to his preparation to preach God Word.

Expository preachers love the work of exposition. They commit to it even it if means burn the proverbial “midnight oil.” We each should ask ourselves if we love the work to this degree. I believe God has earned this level of commitment from us.

Expository Preachers: A Final Thought

Within all humanity lie passions for something, perhaps many things. But for those who have engaged the work of preaching, in order to truly enjoy the ministry, their must have been a calling from God Himself. There must be a passion to honor the truths of the Word and never compromise them for the purpose of a personal agenda. There must be a dedication to the necessary work to convey the message of God accurately.

Tony Guthrie, Ph.D.


Some Helpful Links:

  • “Textual, Expository, Redemptive-Historical, Applicatory” Preaching? – So the question we now have to answer is, “If all expository preachers differ in their style, structure and approach to preaching can we say that there is one specific way of preaching that we ought to be aiming for?” The answer …
  • Expository Preaching | Cornerstone Baptist Church – Because expository preaching bases its conclusions on the meaning of a text, expository preachers therefore “exposit” or explain the meaning of the text to their audience before they try to explain the implications of a passage …
  • Practical Tips for Expository Preachers | Crossway – Practical Tips for Expository Preachers. There are a variety of methods for sermon preparation and delivery. There is no one way to do it. Everyone is unique and different. Alistair Begg shares five tips that he learned from an …
  • Topical Or Expository Preaching – Which Is Better? – Taber’s Truths – That vacuum was filled by the modern day expository preachers. However today, we now have a vacuum appearing concerning people understanding the big picture in the scriptures and the basics of our Christian faith.
  • Advice for Expository Preachers | unashamed – Andrew Sherwood’s notes – from Mark Dever’s talk at the God Exposed Conference: Advice for Expositional Preaching: 1) Normally, preach consecutively through parts of the Bible. 2) Good expositional preaching is canonical …
  • Expository Preachers Never Have This Problem | Expository Thoughts – In a normal week, Reverend Schroeder would spend most of Tuesday afternoon locked in his office with the phones on hold as he searched for his next sermon’s topic. He looked at current events, thought about the needs of …
  • EFCA Forum on Expository Preaching | Strands of Thought – “The goal of the Forum on Expository Preaching is to encourage and equip expository preachers in the EFCA who are God-centered, Christ-focused and Spirit-empowered, who are biblically faithful, theologically informed and …


Expository Preaching Defined

Defining Expository Preaching

In the video clip below three noted preachers and trainers of preachers discuss the importance and practice of delivering expository messages from God’s Word. Video features three Council members of The Gospel Coalition: Mike Bullmore, senior pastor, CrossWay Community Church in Bristol, Wisconsin; Bryan Chapell, president, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis; and David Helm, pastor, Holy Trinity Church, Chicago. See the full discussion here:

See full discussion at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4Js5rkbpJI

Defining Expository Preaching: Tony Guthrie’s Definition

Expository Preaching is: “The oral proclamation of a properly interpreted passage of Scripture, in the power of the Holy Spirit, by a God-called messenger, to an assembled body, for the glory of God and the accomplishment of His purposes.”




Welcome to Expository Preaching

Expository Preaching Welcomes You!


Are you looking for a GOOD website for Expository Preaching? Not just one that features some famous preacher or his opinions? Well, welcome to a site where you can actually learn the approach or enhance the skills you already have. On this site you will find articles on expository preaching BUT also video training and so much more. This site is practical and user-friendly … and best of all it is FREE teaching that is right from the seminary classroom. We hope this website is a blessing to you.

 Expository Preaching – The Host and Teacher

expository preachingTony Guthrie is a Professor of Preaching at Luther Rice University and Seminary. He holds a Ph.D. i n Homiletics from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is author of Crossing the Homiletical Bridge, a textbook on expository preaching. He has put on this site most of his video lectures and a few other bonus explanations of the homiletical bridge (an approach to the expository preaching method). Everything on the site is free. It would be appreciated if you would purchase the e-version of the book (click here) to offset the costs involved in making a free resource like this available.


 Expository Preaching – Thank You

expository preachingAgain, thank you for visiting this site dedicated to the discipline of biblical preaching. Please enjoy the free resources and please share it will all you believe will benefit. We believe that our approach is the most biblical for preaching the Word of God.

We expect to be updating the site on a regular basis so please check back frequently. Please pray for Dr. Guthrie as he continues to teach and share his knowledge with those that attend his classes or visit this site.
Be blessed as you continue your service for the glory of God.



expository preaching

Here is a list of artcles that may be beneficial!

  • Expository Preaching | For Christ and Culture – Dr. Barry Creamer explains what expository preaching is and why it is important for the church today:
  • Preaching with Authority: Three Characteristics of Expository … – Authentic expository preaching is marked by three distinct characteristics: authority, reverence, and centrality. Expository preaching is authoritative because it stands upon the very authority of the Bible as the word of God.
  • Expository preaching | Bensonian – Albert Mohler has observed that “the therapeutic concerns of the culture,” and “the flimsy pretensions of postmodernity” influence preaching. Topical and narrative preaching prevail in evangelical churches. Mohler advocates …
  • What is Expository Preaching? | The Savannah Project – It’s not enough these days to say that we are committed to biblical preaching. Few self-respecting evangelical pastors would say, “At our church we don’t preach the Word.” And yet, in many worship services, the Word of God is …
  • Expository Preaching—The Antidote to Anemic Worship – Furthermore, music is one of God’s most precious gifts to his people, and it is a language by which we may worship God in spirit and in truth. The hymns of the faith convey rich confessional and theological content, and many …
  • The Olford Expository Preaching Bundle – Our Lowest Price Ever – OlfordBundle For the better part of the 20th century, Dr. Stephen F. Olford (1918-2004) had a remarkable impact on the church and evangelism worldwide. Dr. Olford was a role model to many prominent preachers such as …
  • Expository Preaching | Cornerstone Baptist Church – Cornerstone Baptist Church is committed to expository preaching. But what is expository preaching? Most simply, expository preaching is a form of preaching that bases its positions on the inspired meaning of the biblical text.
  • CALL TO DISCERNMENT: Why Expository Preaching Matters – If preaching is central to Christian worship, what kind of preaching are we talking about? The sheer weightlessness of much contemporary preaching is a severe indictment of our superficial Christianity. When the pulpit …
  • Expository Preaching | Strands of Thought – Since D. A. Carson’s messages on “The Primacy of Expository Preaching” were one of the promptings that led to the birth of the EFCA Forum on Expository Preaching, I thought it would be helpful to hear again his definition of …
  • Expository Preaching – First Insights – Empower Network – What does the text say? How does the text say it? What did the text mean to the original hearers? *What does the text mean to the church today? *What does the text mean to me? *What does the text mean to the congregation …