What is Expository Preaching?

Expository preaching is the faithful teaching and proclamation of God’s Word, the Bible.

It is expository in content, as the preacher aided by the Holy Spirit seeks to clearly teach and explain the God intended original meaning of Scripture in its context.

It is preaching in its form of delivery, as the preacher passionately proclaims the timeless truth derived from the original meaning of the text and faithfully exhorts the listeners to respond to the Word of God.

The Biblical Basis for Expository Preaching

The biblical basis for expository preaching could be summarised under the three following headings: the nature of Scripture, the example of Scripture, and the command of Scripture.

1. The Nature of Scripture

The nature of Scripture being the very Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16) demands that it is to be taught, explained and preached so that believers might be sanctified by the Word (John 17:17) and that sinners would be convicted by the Word and repent (Acts 2:37-28; Hebrews 4:12-13). The inerrancy of Scripture demands expository preaching, since as the Word of God is true in its smallest detail, it therefore deserves from the preacher prayerful and detailed study in order to be confident that he has correctly understood the Word of God so that he can live in light of it and faithfully preach it to others.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, ESV)

2. The Example of Scripture

In the Scriptures we find examples of expository preaching. The book of Deuteronomy is the record of Moses expounding the Law of God to Israel (Deuteronomy 1:5), teaching them the meaning of the Law and commanding them to act accordingly (Deuteronomy 6:1-2). Ezra studied the Law of Yahweh (Ezra 7:10) and then taught the people publicly the clear meaning of God’s Law so that they could understand it (Nehemiah 8:8). One of the examples in the New Testament is Peter when he preached on Pentecost (Acts 2:16-40).

“They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.” (Nehemiah 8:8, ESV)

3. The Command of Scripture

The final and perhaps most compelling reason for expository preaching is the clear commands of Scripture that demand expository preaching, specifically the commands given by Paul to Timothy to preach the Word by reading, exhorting and teaching the Scriptures (1 Timothy 4:13, 2 Timothy 4:1-2).

“Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.” (1 Timothy 4:13, ESV)

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:1-2, ESV)