Expository preaching is the communication of a biblical concept, derived from a literary study of a passage in its context, which the Holy Spirit first applies to the preacher, then through him to the hearers.
An expository message is one that expounds a passage of Scripture, organizes it around a central theme and main points, and then decisively applies its message to the listeners.
The following are evident in expository messages:
the message must be based upon a passage from the Bible;
a reasonable understanding of the author’s original intent must be communicated;
the understanding of the passage must be related to the immediate and general context;
the eternal, timeless truths in the passage must be conveyed;
the main points and sub-points of the message must be drawn from the text being preached;
the message says what the text says; the text must shape the message (mood, emphasis, etc.);
the message must translate what the text means.
An expository message has an application, and that application will not violate the purpose, meaning, or function of the text in its original setting. Without application, messages become solely exposition and not expository in character.
Expository preaching teaches God’s word in the setting or context chosen by the Holy Spirit.
Through expository preaching and so meeting individual needs, one has to be sure that people are responding to God’s word and not the personal opinions of the preacher.
Expository preaching can serve as an important protection against the improper interpretation of Scripture. It reduces the likelihood of drawing spiritual lessons while ignoring the actual meaning of the passage.
In preparing expository messages, the theme of a passage should be so evident that if removed, the meaning of the passage would be affected.
A theme will always answer the question: What is this passage about?
All references to God the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit provide the clues in identifying themes.
Observation is one of your best friends in preparing messages.
Prayer is never optional, it is mandatory. Prayer ensures contact with the Author of the text.
Let the text determine your application, not your intent to send a personal message to someone.
Preach every message as if it were the last you would ever be preaching.