What Is Expository Preaching?


Preaching has fallen on hard times in today’s church. Too many pastors have set aside the Bible and instead preach a message based on the world, movies, entertainment, politics, anxiety, and so on.

But what is the most God-honoring form of preaching? That is the question we should be asking.

God is honored by the type of preaching that seeks to bring out the original meaning of the text. This is called expository preaching.

Expository preaching is preaching that honors the Spirit-inspired intent of the passage. Therefore the sermon is driven by the original meaning of the text which is discovered through historical, grammatical interpretation and exegesis. The original meaning then becomes the main point of the sermon to be explained, illustrated, and applied to the audience. The purpose of an expository sermon is to glorify God, edify the saints, and convict sinners. Essentially, expository preaching is the correctly interpreted theology of the text proclaimed through a passionate man of God to the listener’s mind, will, and affections.

Richard L. Mayhue in Rediscovering Preaching (23-24) gives the four minimal defining elements of an expository sermon:

1. The message finds its sole source in Scripture.
2. The message is extracted from Scripture through careful exegesis.
3. The message preparation correctly interprets Scripture in its normal sense and its context.
4. The message clearly explains the original God-intended meaning of Scripture.
5. The message applies the Scriptural meaning for today.

By God’s grace, this is what every faithful preacher should seek to do. If this happened, where would our communities, countries, and the world be? What would the land be like if the famine of the Word was satisfied?

Certainly the Word of God is powerful enough to change hearts. Let it go forth and glorify God!