The word "expository" means to expose, set forth or explain. Expository preaching is preaching that explains the scriptures, typically in a verse-by-verse manner. The objective is for people to understand the message scripture intends to be delivered, and how it is applied. Expository preaching explains what the Bible is sayings and the principles it is teaching.
On the other hand the most common form of preaching is topical. In topical preaching specific topics are addressed, explained, and Biblical principles are applied to the topic. The focus is on addressing the topic and what the preacher wants to teach, not on fully understanding scripture.
Other approaches to preaching include springboard preaching in which the preacher selects a passage from scripture, then expands on his thoughts about that passage. The main points of the text are typically never brought out. A fourth approach is devotional preaching. This approach also begins with scripture, but instead of exposing what the text says, the preacher focuses on his feelings about what the text says.
A fifth, very common style of preaching is called "running commentary." Using this approach the preacher stays faithful to the text, but never goes deep enough to actually teach what the text is about. Typically difficult portions of the text arew skipped or treated lightly.
What are the advatages of expository preaching? The Ligonier Ministries web site lists six:
(1) Expository preaching introduces the congregation to the entire Bible.
(2) Expository preaching ensures that infrequently traveled areas of the Bible are covered.
(3) Expository preaching prevents preachers from unwittingly shaping the way their hearers read their Bibles.
(4) Expository preaching is the only preaching method that exposes a congregation to the full range of Scripture’s interests and concerns.
(5) Expository preaching provides variety to sustain a congregation’s interest from week to week.
(6) Expository preaching, better than any method I know, aids preachers in thinking and preparing ahead.
Expository preaching puts the focus on God's word, instead of the preacher. Scripture determines the content of the sermon; people are exposed and learn from all of God's Word; and the result is that they grow in their knowledge of scripture and in Christ-likeness. Expository preaching is what you'll get at Cannon Beach Bible Church.
More on Expository Preaching (The GTY website)