What is Expository Preaching?

Expository Preaching is a verse-by-verse explanation of Scripture. 

But expository preaching is not just a dry academic running commentary on the passage preached.  The goal of expository preaching is not just to explain grammar, define words and parse verbs, rather it is to open up the passage in such a way that the hearers are able to understand the passage just as the original readers of the text would have, and rightly apply it in their lives.  The purpose of expository preaching, simply put, is to change lives by helping the hearers to understand the text and the implications of the passage for their own lives.

Although the normal form of expository preaching is sequential verse by verse teaching through books of the Bible, at times it can take the form of a topical sermon.  A topical expository sermon is different from commonly preached topical sermons in one important way.  A topical expository sermon starts with a question, and then the Scripture is searched for the answer, which may come in the form of a scriptural survey of the topic or an exposition of a single passage that teaches about the topic. An expository sermon never begins with an opinion that is then supported by quoting selected (and often out of context) verses.

Whether it is a topical sermon or sequential exposition, an expository sermon always seeks to communicate the authorial intent of the Bible, so that through the ministry of the Holy Spirit believers will be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).

The proper elements in an expository sermon may be summed up as follows:

       1.  Preaching is expository in purpose.  It explains the text.
       2.  Preaching is logical in flow.  It persuades the mind.
       3.  Preaching is doctrinal in content.  It obligates the will.
       4.  Preaching is pastoral in concern.  It feeds the soul.
       5.  Preaching is imaginative in pattern.  It excites the emotion.
       6.  Preaching is relevant in application.  It touches the life."
John MacArthur