Why doesn’t expositional preaching require a verse-by-verse approach?
Some people associate expositional preaching exclusively with an approach that plods through books of the Bible one verse at a time. While this is certainly one way to preach expositionally, it is by no means the only way.
So why doesn’t expositional preaching require a verse-by-verse approach? Because expositional preaching is preaching that takes the main point of a passage of Scripture, makes it the main point of the sermon, and applies it to life today. A sermon can communicate the point of a paragraph or chapter or book—or even the whole Bible!—just as well as it can communicate the point of a single verse.
If someone asked you to summarize the point of a two hour movie in two minutes, couldn’t you?
In fact, there are great reasons to preach different lengths of Scripture, rather than always moving through the Bible at the same pace, especially if that pace is one verse at a time. Expounding only a verse of Scripture can be like looking at a forest one leaf at a time. You might see glorious detail, but you’re in danger of failing to see the big picture. Sometimes, it’s good to look at a whole tree, or even climb a hill to see the glorious panorama for miles around.
When a preacher deliberately varies the lengths of text which he preaches, he gives his congregation the opportunity to see both the details and the sweeping panorama of God’s redemptive work.