In recent years the topic of expository preaching has been the topic of the hour for many seminaries and local churches. Many pastors struggle with defining what expository preaching is all about. Here in this article we want to look into how evangelicals define the term and try in turn to give our own definition that will serve the purpose of clarifying the term.

In order to read about the history of expository preaching throughout history and in recent years. James F. Stitzinger wrote an article in the Master’s Journal by the title, “THE HISTORY OF EXPOSITORY PREACHING.” In this article he goes in depth explaining the history of expository preaching.

Evangelicals Defining the Term “Expository Preaching”


Haddon W. Robinson in his book Biblical Preaching defines the phrase as, “The communication of a biblical concept, derived from and transmitted through a historical, grammatical, and literary study of a passage in its context, which the Holy Spirit first applies to the personality and experience of the preacher, then through the preacher, applies to the hearers.”

Ramseh Richard in his book Preparing Expository Sermons defines the term, “Expository preaching is the contemporization of the central proposition of a biblical text that is derived from proper methods of interpretation and declared through effective means of communication to inform minds, instruct hearts, and influence behavior toward godliness.”


John Piper defines the term as, “Expository means that preaching aims to exposit, or explain and apply, the meaning of the Bible. The reason for this is that the Bible is God’s word, inspired, infallible, profitable—all 66 books of it.”

Mark Dever defines the term as, “a sermon which takes the point of the text as the point of the sermon.”

Chuck Swindoll in his blog Insight for living defines expository preaching as “the proclamation of holy Scripture delivered for the purpose of enabling others to understand what God has written why that is important, and how it relates to one’s personal life.”

People Online

Gary D. Lee from defines expository preaching as that preaching that “is the Spirit-empowered explanation and proclamation of the text of God’s Word, with due regard to the historical, contextual, grammatical and doctrinal significance of the given passage, with the specific object of invoking a Christ-transforming response.”

Some Helpful Observations

1. Expository preaching assumes the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-21).

2. Expository preaching make the Bible the center of the preaching i.e. that text chosen define what the preach is preaching.

3. Expository preaching involve both God the Holy Spirit and man the preacher.

4. Expository preaching require diligent study from the preacher in grammar, context within the Bible both broad and immediate, literary genre, historical context of the passage.

5. Expository preaching require diligent in developing the outline of the passage, the body of the sermon and both introduction and conclusion.

6. Expository preaching require creativity thinking through applicable applications that transform and challenge the hearers.

7. Expository preaching needs hard work in working through the delivery of the sermon.