In our previous post we said that the word exposit simply means "to explain," and that expository preaching seeks to explain the meaning of a Bible passage.
But that needs to be fleshed out a little more.
The Bible tells us that the Word of God was given "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 Tim. 3:16-17). That means that the Bible was meant to be applied practically. It is not simply for the purpose of packing your brain full of useless knowledge. It is given for the purpose of molding and shaping one's life.
That is why the exposition of Scripture must have application as its ultimate aim. It is not enough for a preacher to simply explain what the passage means. It is imperative that he explain what it means for your life!
Unfortunately, a lot of pulpits that tout "expository preaching" are not practical in the least. We will be honest: much of what goes under the banner of expository preaching is nothing more than a boring lecture. And truthfully, this may be why a lot of people prefer topical preaching. Topical sermons can be much more practical than your average expository sermon.
However, at Providence Church we know that a text of Scripture does not simply present facts that are to be known. It contains truth which is to be embraced, lived, and/or believed. Our belief is that a text is not rightly explained until it is applied.
For us, expository preaching typically consists of three parts: explanation, illustration, and application. We begin by telling you what the passage is trying to communicate (explanation). Then we try to solidify it in your mind with a story, analogy, or some other helpful color (illustration). Having thus helped you to comprehend it sufficiently, we then attempt to show how it should affect your life (application).
It is this last step in the process that really makes expository preaching what it is. For the aim of the Scripture--and the preaching of it--is the change of one's heart and life.