What Is Expository Preaching?
Pastor David Denny


Expository preaching focuses on a passage of Scripture and trys to explain exactly what that passage means.  

Exposition of Scripture is built on careful exegesis.  Exegesis is the study of the original author's intended message through consideration of the language, grammar, historical setting, genre, context and theology.  Expository preaching brings the fruit of exegesis to the audience.

As an expository preacher, I preach systematically through the various books of the Bible.  Each message looks at a particular portion of Scripture and the next message moves to the next portion.  In this way, whole books are eventually covered in some depth.  My goal is that people will know what the Bible says and obey it for the glory of God.  My secondary goal is that people will learn how to interpret the Bible for themselves through exegesis.

Too much modern preaching is not expositional.  In many cases, preachers select a topic, consider what they want to say about the topic, then select various passages of Scripture to "proof text" their points.  Some problems with this approach are that 1) it depends too much on the preacher's knowledge of the topic, 2) it assumes that the Bible really addresses the topic in any direct way (e.g., self esteem?), and 3) it usually involves a cursory treatment of various passages of Scripture.  At its best, this approach yields some Biblical thoughts about a topic.  In many cases, however, such messages have only an incidental relationship with what the Bible says.  As Pastor Jon Jacobs puts it, "There is a difference between teaching about what the Bible says and teaching the Bible."

Topical preaching can be done in an expository way.  The preacher investigates passages that deal with his topic, exegetes them, then preaches them expositionally.  Even so, if the preacher wants to deal with "the whole counsel of God" he eventually needs to get down to the business of preaching through whole books of the Bible.

(2Tim 3:16-4:2) ¶ All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

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