Overcoming Fears of Expository Teaching

Many pastors are afraid to teach verse by verse because there is so much that they don’t understand in Scripture, and they don’t want their congregations to know how much they don’t know! That, of course, is prideful. There is no one on earth who perfectly understands everything in Scripture. Even Peter said that some of the things that Paul wrote were difficult to understand (see 2 Pet. 3:16).

When a pastor who teaches verse by verse arrives at a verse or passage that he doesn’t understand, he should simply tell his flock that he doesn’t understand the next section and skip over it. He can also request that his flock pray that the Holy Spirit will help him understand. His humility will set a good example before his flock, a sermon in itself.

The pastor/elder/overseer of a house church has the extra advantage of teaching a small group in an informal setting, because questions can be asked during his teaching. This also opens up the possibility of the Holy Spirit giving insight to others in the group regarding scriptures that are being studied. The result can be much more effective learning for everyone.

A good place to start when teaching Christ’s commandments is His Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5-7. There, Jesus gave many commandments, and He helped his Jewish followers rightly understand the laws given through Moses. A little later in this book, I will teach through the Sermon on the Mount verse by verse to demonstrate how it can be done.