As we have seen in observation and interpretation leading up to the application of what the Bible explains to us about God’s desires for His children and His rules. It is not as simple as reading a book on the Civil War or a Harlequin romance. Too often the study of the Bible ends with these two steps.
Often the study of the Bible becomes like a logjam at interpretation. We live in a world drowning in a sea of information where we do not have to be deprived of knowledge, somewhere somebody has searched out the desired information. No longer do we search for the proverbial needle in a haystack. It is not so much not having information available on how can we apply the information to our life.
Each time we study Scripture need to ask these nine questions:
Is there an example for me to follow?
Is there a sin to avoid?
Is there a promise to claim?
Is there a prayer to repeat?
Is there a command to obey?
Is there a condition to meet?
Is there a verse to memorize?
Is there an error to correct?
Is there a challenge to face?
The process of applying Scripture comprises four guiding principles. We first need to know the text and ourselves; relate God’s Word to our own experiences; pay attention to the Scriptures, even memorizing them so they will continue to work on our hearts and minds and practice truth as our primary goal of bible study.
KNOW THE TEXT AND OURSELVES
As we discover the context in which the original Scripture was written and how it applied to the intended audience we search for its meaning both in biblical times and the present. Are there universal, fundamental truths present in the passage (try stating that truth in a simple sentence or two in your own words so others can come to understand it better)? Does the scriptural truth contain issues with today’s culture or our life issues? Are there implications that might apply to your life and the world around you? What changes does it need; are there values the scripture reinforces and does it matter? To apply Scripture, we must first know it.
To appreciate Bible we must listen to it, read it, meditate on it, memorize God’s Word, take part in Bible study groups and hear Bible-focused sermons. It is hard to apply something we do not recognize and understand.
The process of applying Scripture means connecting biblical principals to live’s issues.
First, it is helpful to find the issues we face in our lives. Then we need to connect biblical principals and seek wisdom through prayer for direction how to connect the biblical principles to our own issues.
Applying Scripture is a never-ending challenge we face as Christians.
Growth in our understanding of biblical principles is essential to have the knowledge to respond to life’s challenges and temptations.
Growth in the study and application serves as the key to spiritual growth, changing our lives and the lives of others.
APPLICATION OF SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION
Whether directly or indirectly, by analogy or, by extension, all parts of the Bible apply to our lives.
How a part of Scripture applies to our life is often not obvious, but by seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance God will open our eyes to the means of applying His Word, He will use it to rewrite our lives to draw us closer to His Son.
Knowledge of the Scriptures is not limited to members of the clergy or seminary professor.
When we read scripture we invest our time in reading and studying the Bible is the work of theology (from the Greek words theos, meaning “God,” and logia, meaning “utterance, speech, reasoning) is seeking to understand and speak about God, and all in life as God defines it.
Studying Scripture is an enormous blessing as we learn about God. Learning what God has said regarding everything in life that matters. What is a person? Why are people violent? What is our relationship with the animal kingdom? What happens when we die? How can we find peace and prosperity in life? Why does money become a source of tension? Where can we find justice?