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Expository preaching advocated to help church regain its voice

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Tom Ascol, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Fla., advocated a time of honest March 12 at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“Despite our accomplishments, statistics and resources of which we [evangelicals] boast, we have had very little impact upon our culture,” Ascol said. “The church has lost its voice.”
Ascol presented statistics revealing there is no discernable difference between the morality of evangelicals and those who make no profession of religion. “We have sold a nation cheap grace for so long that grace no longer matters in a person’s life,” he told a chapel audience at the Kansas City, Mo., seminary.
According to 2 Timothy 3 and 4, Ascol said, the solution is preaching. “Preaching is God’s ordained means for accomplishing God’s ordained purposes throughout the world. Whatever else may be done, this always must be done.”
The Apostle Paul’s instructions to Timothy could only mean expository preaching, Ascol said. “The absence of true expository preaching,” he said, “betrays a lack of conviction in the Bible’s authority and sufficiency, no matter how loudly a man may profess his allegiance to the Word.”
According to the text, Ascol said Timothy faced desperate times in Ephesus, both outside and inside the church, including a resistance to truth. Today, Ascol said, is also such a “grievous season.” Paul’s solution, Ascol said, was not a new plan or some new strategy, but rather, to order one’s life and ministry by the Word of God.
“Paul was committed to the authority of the Word of God and he placed his confidence in it,” Ascol said.
Because it is the task of the preacher to show what is in the Bible, Ascol encouraged Midwestern students to study and discipline themselves to become effective, faithful expositors. “Pastors must make it their primary duty and churches must insist upon it.”
To be an expositor, Ascol said, means becoming a theologian. “Sound doctrine belongs to the church. We must measure all thoughts and conclusions by the standards of the Bible.”
If the church is again to have an influence on our culture, Ascot asserted, “Then we need men who can say, ‘Thus saith the Lord.’”

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  • John Gaskin