God Vindicates His Word

Expository Preaching

November 20, 2023 Travis M

God likes to do things that He alone can receive credit and praise for what is done. For example, 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 indicates that He often works in and through people whom the world would view as “weak” and “foolish.” He does this intentionally so that “no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Co. 1:29, ESV). It seems to be His “standard operating procedure,” permeating all His dealings with mankind, from the calling of a tiny, stubborn nation to be His own to the exaltation of a shepherd boy to be champion and king. Even the way in which He sent the Savior of the world — rejected and crucified before finally being exalted — reflects God’s commitment to act in ways that man would not expect and could never claim as their own ideas.

This pattern of God’s work also applies to how he uses His Word. He is actively and intentionally working to glorify Himself through the vindication of His Word. For example, we noted in a previous article that God “announced some of His works in advance so that His power and sovereignty could be seen.” The prophecies were not given merely to demonstrate God’s knowledge of the future. Rather, they were given to declare His control of it. Listen to the defiant tone of Isaiah 46:9-11:

“…I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose’… I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.”

This prophecy is issued as a challenge to all who resist His will, as though He is saying, “Just try to thwart my plan!” It feels very much like the “derision” with which He laughs at the kings and rulers of the nations who strive to “cast away” the LORD and His Anointed (Ps. 2:2-6). Such passages reveal God’s delight in “flexing” His might to fulfill His plans precisely as He has declared them. He will vindicate His Word by powerfully bringing it to pass.

In a similar manner, God delights to use His Word to humble man’s arrogant perception of himself and confound his so-called “wisdom.” Mankind has always tended to believe that we have everything figured out and do not really need God; we can get along just fine without Him. Indeed, it is common for men of great intellect and higher education to scoff at the simplicity of certain truths revealed in the Bible, or to scorn the sheepherders and fishermen whom God used to pen much of the Scriptures. But this does not mean that God’s Word needs to be defended or that its declarations need to be “polished up” to make them more acceptable to modern minds. On the contrary, God takes delight in demonstrating the foolishness of man’s most learned ideas in comparison to the wisdom of His eternal truths (1 Co. 1:18-31; Is. 44:24-28). He vindicates the truth of His Word, blessing those who believe and obey it while leaving the “wise” to follow their corrupt ideas down the path to chaos and destruction (Ro. 1:21-31).

Finally, God glorifies Himself by using the fulfillment of His Word to stimulate faith in His people. When Christ told His disciples that one of them would betray Him, He indicated His purpose was to strengthen their trust in Him (Jn. 13:19). Later in that same conversation, when He informed them of some difficult things they would experience, it was not so they could try to escape those difficulties. It was so they would remember it had all been foreseen by Him and would not “fall away” from following Him (Jn. 16:1-4). This role, confirming and stimulating the faith of God’s people, is a key purpose of prophecy throughout the Scriptures. It was a prophecy that stirred up Daniel to fervently pray at the end of the time of Exile (Da. 9:2-3). Christ used prophecy in this way, reassuring His disciples that the horror of His crucifixion had always been a central part of God’s plan from the beginning (Lk. 24:25-27, 44-47). We could make an extensive list of biblical passages that demonstrate this use of prophecy.

However, this role of strengthening the faith of God’s people must not be restricted to passages of a prophetic nature. God’s Word is also vindicated when He fulfills other promises or principles that we would not generally consider prophecy, per se. For example, each time a believer remains in God’s peace that “passes all understanding,” even amid great trouble, God’s Word is vindicated, and believers are strengthened. When a child of God leans on Christ’s grace to patiently bear a burden that worldly counselors encourage him to escape, and he finds that His “grace is sufficient,” God’s Word is vindicated. So it is that God vindicates the reliability of His plans and His promises, strengthening faith in those who trust what He has said in His Word.   

With all these things in mind, MissioSERVE is committed to training pastors in the work of expository preaching because it embraces this pattern of how God works through His Word. Expository preaching confides in the supernatural nature of the Bible, not only in that God gave it to us, but also in that He is active and intentional in confirming the reliability of what He has said. While the world constantly strives to improve and update its “messaging,” expository preaching calls us to communicate the precise message of God’s Word, unchanged across the millennia, trusting that God will use it to powerfully testify of His greatness and transform the hearts of His people.

Read other articles in this series: Expository Preaching
Preaching Conveys God’s Intent
Preaching Conveys God’s Intent
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God's Word is Uniquely Designed
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Feb 19, 2024 3 min · Travis M We have alluded to the inspiration of the Scriptures several times already in this series of articles, and we have considered a few ramifications of this truth. Yet, an important aspect of inspiration… Read More
Expository Preaching Regards God's Word as Sufficient
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Jan 22, 2024 4 min · Travis M Every pastor worth his salt has felt, at some point in his ministry, the tremendous need for his congregation to hear and know the truths of God that will transform their thinking and rescue them from… Read More
God’s Word is Essential to What He Does
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Oct 23, 2023 3 min · Travis M At MissioSERVE, we are committed to equipping pastors and church leaders worldwide to do the work of expository preaching. We do this because expository preaching recognizes the unbreakable link between… Read More


Travis M
Travis has served with MissioSERVE for more than 15 years. His passion for training church leaders in the Word of God has only grown stronger across decades of ministry as a pastor, church planter, and foreign-field missionary.