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Applying the Bible

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WHAT IS YOUR GOAL OF BIBLE STUDY?

Living by the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible Chapter 39: The Critical Step of Application

Application is the most neglected yet the most needed stage in the process

BI100 Learn to Study the Bible Necessity of Application

Without application, your Bible study is not complete

Basic Bible Interpretation: A Practical Guide to Discovering Biblical Truth Bible Interpretation Is Essential for Applying the Bible Properly

The goal of Bible study is not simply to determine what it says and what it means, but rather to apply it to one’s life. If we fail to apply the Scriptures, we cut short the entire process and have not finished what God wants us to do.

the ultimate goal of all Bible study is application, not interpretation

Understanding Your Bible in 15 Minutes a Day Chapter 32: What Do I Do When I Don’t Understand What I’m Reading?

God intended that his Word not only convey important information but also accomplish individual transformation.

How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth Chapter 1: Introduction: The Need to Interpret

the single most serious problem people have with the Bible is not with a lack of understanding but with the fact that they understand many things too well! For example, with such a text as “Do everything without grumbling or arguing” (Phil 2:14), the problem is not understanding it but obeying it—putting it into practice.

Basic Bible Interpretation: A Practical Guide to Discovering Biblical Truth Bible Interpretation Is Essential for Applying the Bible Properly

The goal of Bible study is not simply to determine what it says and what it means, but rather to apply it to one’s life. If we fail to apply the Scriptures, we cut short the entire process and have not finished what God wants us to do.

2 Timothy 3:16–17 NIV
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

KEY TERMS

APPLICATION is putting into practice something that is learned or understood

Application is a bridge between the biblical meaning and present-day life situations.

The Devotional Method of Bible Study involves taking a passage of the Bible, large or small, and prayerfully meditating on it until the Holy Spirit shows you a way to apply its truth to your own life in a way that is personal, practical, possible, and provable

Application asks, “How does this work?” or “How does

DANGERS OF APPLICATION

Christians tend to make one of two errors in applying the Bible. Either they give too little attention to application or they give too much attention to it

1) Everything Always Applies

On the other hand, there are those who think of the Bible only in terms of its eternal relevance. Because it is the word of God, they tend to think of it only as a collection of propositions to be believed and imperatives to be obeyed

BI100 Learn to Study the Bible Proper Application of Biblical Particulars

So it’s important to consider the scope of a passage before you move to apply it, not simply to assume that it’s been that way in the past, and it’s in the Bible, so it’s that way forever.

Genesis 6:14 ESV
Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.
Genesis 6:14

2) Nothing Ever Applies

Bible study without application can be dangerous because knowledge puffs up

Because the Bible is God’s message, it has eternal relevance; it speaks to all humankind, in every age and in every culture.

James 1:22 NIV
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

3) Some Things Are Misapplied

Basic Bible Interpretation: A Practical Guide to Discovering Biblical Truth Bible Interpretation Is Essential for Applying the Bible Properly

If we do not interpret properly, we may end up applying the Bible wrongly. How you interpret many passages has a direct effect on your conduct and the conduct of other people as well

Be careful of arbitrarily principalizing, especially of ambiguous texts; use only clear passages

Proverbs 22:6 ESV
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

TIPS ON APPLICATION

BI100 Learn to Study the Bible Consider the Scope and Limitations

One of the things that you have to watch in thinking about application is, actually determining the scope of a passage—whether it actually applies to the situation you’re thinking about in life that it connects to.

1) Apply it to the original audience

We must be careful not to generalize for today everything that happened in Bible times

BI100 Learn to Study the Bible Example: Old Testament Sacrificial Law

We always have to ask the question, “Does the passage that we have in mind have any limitation in terms of how we should think about what it addresses and the way it applies?”

Exodus 20:11 ESV
For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Exodus 16:23 ESV
he said to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’ ”

2) Apply it to the universal audience

Understanding Your Bible in 15 Minutes a Day Chapter 32: What Do I Do When I Don’t Understand What I’m Reading?

Although the authors of Scripture were writing for specific people in specific situations, God also intended what they wrote to be for all people of all times and places.

Romans 15:4 ESV
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Romans

Test of Doctrine: (1) Was it illustrated in the OT?

3) Apply it to the specific audience

Some basic questions to ask every text (this is taken from How to Interpret the Bible for Yourself by Mayhue, p. 64).

1. Are there examples to follow?

2. Are there commands to obey?

3. Are there errors to avoid?

4. Are there sins to forsake?

5. Are there promises to claim?

6. Are there new thoughts about God to analyze?

7. Are there principles by which to live?

PRACTICING APPLICATION

1) How do you apply ?

This applies to an original audience

1) How do you apply ?

This applies to an original audience

2) How do you apply ?

This applies to a universal audience

3) How do you apply ?

This applies to an original and a universal audience

4) How do you apply ?

This applies to an original audience and may apply to a universal audience

5) How do you apply ?

This applies to an original audience and a universal audience

6) How do you apply ?

This applies to a universal audience but may just apply to an original audience

CONCLUSION

Enjoy God’s Word...

To read the Bible thoughtlessly or carelessly or academically or professionally is not to read the Bible as God’s Word. As one reads it as a love letter is read, then one reads it as the Word of God’

Obey God’s Word...

BI100 Learn to Study the Bible Necessity of Application

The goal of opening the Scripture and reading it and studying it is not merely to collect information for your head. The goal of interacting with the Bible and doing Bible study and engaging in Bible study is to let God go to work in forming you as a person, in changing the way you think, in transforming who you are, in developing and helping you grow spiritually

BI100 Learn to Study the Bible Necessity of Application

The goal of opening the Scripture and reading it and studying it is not merely to collect information for your head. The goal of interacting with the Bible and doing Bible study and engaging in Bible study is to let God go to work in forming you as a person, in changing the way you think, in transforming who you are, in developing and helping you grow spiritually

Matthew 7:24–27 ESV
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

Live God’s Word...

“The end of all learning is to know God, and out of that knowledge to love and imitate Him.”

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