© 2018 Eastport Baptist Church, Jacksonville, FL
1322 Eastport Road
Jacksonville, FL 32218
Dr. Steve Hereford, Pastor-Teacher
Sola Scriptura . Sola Gratia . Sola Fide . Sola Christus . Soli Deo Gloria
At Eastport, we are committed to explaining the Scriptures. The meaning of the Scripture is the Scripture. According to Webster, an “exposition” is a discourse to convey information or explain what is difficult to understand. Applying this idea to preaching requires that an expositor be one who explains Scripture by laying open the text to public view in order to set forth its meaning, explain what is difficult to understand, and make appropriate application (Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, 438; Mayhue, Richard L. Rediscovering Expository Preaching, 10–11). The Westminster Directory (1645) states that “the true idea of [expository] preaching is that the preacher should become a mouthpiece for his text, opening it up and applying it as a word from God to his hearers, … in order that the text may speak … and be heard, making each point from his text in such a manner ‘that [his audience] may discern [the voice of God].’” That means that it is “the Spirit-empowered explanation and proclamation of the text of God’s Word with due regard to the historical, contextual, grammatical, and doctrinal significance of the given passage, with the specific object of invoking a Christ-transforming response. On that first resurrection day, Jesus “expounded to [the two disciples] in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27, emphasis ours). As the Prince of all expositors, He expounded the truth and illustrated His points. With consummate authority, He adopted the customary method of reading and exegeting the Scriptures (John 1:18). Churches have removed themselves from “explaining the original meaning of the Scriptures.” “Story-sermons, pop-psychology lectures, ‘Dear Abby’ style counsel, drama, musical productions, and interpretative dance are replacing true preaching” (Gary Gilley, This Little Church Went to the Market, p.115). John MacArthur said, “If preaching is to play its God-designed role in the church, it must be built upon the Word of God….Much preaching today emphasizes psychology, social commentary, and political rhetoric. Bible exposition takes a back seat to a misguided craving for relevance….Lamentably, there is a discernable trend in contemporary evangelicalism away from biblical preaching and a drift toward an experience-centered, pragmatic, topical approach in the pulpit.”
What is meaningful worship? Is it singing, preaching, praying, giving, or fellowshiping? Jesus defines what meaningful worship is in John 4:24 (NASB) when He said, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Meaningful worship is worshipping the true God in the right way by the prescribed means. He is God. He is Spirit. He must be worshiped. He must be worshipped in spirit (i.e., with your whole heart) and truth (according to the prescribed truth of Scripture) The problem in Leviticus 10 with Nadab and Abihu’s offering is they didn’t worship God in truth, according to His prescribed means in His Word. Leviticus 10:1-3 (NASB) says, “Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. 2 And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. 3 Then Moses said 14 to Aaron, “It is what the Lord spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.’” So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.” When the church gathers for worship what is its biblical mandate? Is it to amuse and entertain? Is it to cater to the cry for fulfillment? Or is it to honor God in spirit and truth? The difference lies largely in the area of focus. Are we zeroed in on ourselves or on our God? Once it is established that God, not ourselves, must be central in our worship we then must examine what we do in worship. Here our practice must be in line with our biblical understanding of God and the church” (Gary Gilley, This Little Church Went to the Market, p.120).
At Eastport, you will experience authentic, genuine love from believers who care about you. This is because the Holy Spirit has poured God’s love into our hearts (Romans 5:5). When believers are controlled by God’s Spirit, they experience the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22-23) and included in that is “love.” So don’t be surprised to get two or three hugs before you leave and meet people who truly are interested in knowing you.