When God called me into fulltime Christian ministry, He called me to the academy. I was trained and ordained to a ministry of teaching, and the majority of my adult life has been devoted to preparing young men for the Christian ministry and to trying to bridge the gap between seminary and Sunday school through various means under the aegis of Ligonier Ministries.
Then, in 1997, God did something I never anticipated: He placed me in the position of preaching weekly as a leader of a congregation of His people — Saint Andrew’s in Sanford, Florida. Over the past twelve years, as I have opened the Word of God on a weekly basis for these dear saints, I have come to love the task of the local minister. Though my role as a teacher continues, I am eternally grateful to God that He saw fit to place me in this new ministry, the ministry of a preacher.
Very early in my tenure at Saint Andrew’s, I determined that I should adopt the ancient Christian practice of lectio continua, the “continuous expositions,” in my preaching. This method of preaching verse by verse through books of the Bible (rather than choosing a new topic each week) has been attested throughout church history as the one approach that ensures believers hear the full counsel of God. Therefore, I began preaching lengthy series of messages at Saint Andrew’s, eventually working my way through several biblical books in a practice that continues to the present day.
Previously, I had taught through books of the Bible in various settings, including Sunday school classes, Bible studies, and audio and video teaching series for Ligonier. But then I found myself appealing not merely to the minds of my hearers but to both their minds and their hearts. I knew that I was responsible as a preacher to clearly explain God’s Word to them and to show them how they ought to live in light of it. I continue seeking to fulfill both tasks as I ascend the Saint Andrew’s pulpit each week.
The St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentaries are a written record of my preaching labors amidst my beloved congregation. The dear saints who sat under my preaching encouraged me to give my sermons a broader hearing. To that end, the expositional commentaries of Romans (Crossway Books_, 2009_) and John (Reformation Trust Publishing, 2009) were adapted from sermon series I preached at Saint Andrew's.
These books will not give you the fullest possible insight into each and every verse. Though I sought to at least touch on each verse, I focused on the key themes and ideas that comprised the “big picture” of each passage I covered. Therefore, I urge you use these books as an overview and introduction to the biblical books, but if you desire to enhance your knowledge of Scripture, you should turn to one or more of the many excellent exegetical commentaries. See my recommendations in the back of each book.
I pray that you will be as blessed in reading this material as I was in preaching it.
Crossway Books and Reformation Trust Publishing are planning future releases to continue this series.