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Application

Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

James 1:22

Watch Week One Day Five

Once we have observed and interpreted the text, we can then apply the text to our lives. If we only observed and interpreted the Scriptures but never applied them, the benefits of Scripture would have no impact in our lives (Precept Ministries International, 2000).

James 1:22–25 says: “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

Along with hearing the Word, we are to be doers of the Word so we are not deceived and so that the Word may bless us. By “doing” the word of God, we become more like Jesus, which is our ultimate goal as His followers.

The application of Scripture opens the door for God to work in our lives.

2 Timothy 3:16–17 gives us a great example of how the Scriptures are applicable to our lives: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Let’s delve deeper into this list: teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness (Precept Ministries International, 2000).

The teachings of God’s Word consist of its wisdom about all areas of life. The Bible’s teachings are always true, as Jesus prayed in John 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” Therefore, we must embrace and live by the teachings of God’s Word because it is true. And, as we’ve been exploring in the last few days, we must first understand (through observation and interpretation) the teachings of God’s Word in order to apply them to our lives.

The Scriptures are also good for reproof. “Reproof” means a correction or steering us in the right direction. If we have thoughts or behaviors that contradict God’s Word, the Bible sheds light on these areas of our lives and its reproof moves us to change. Once these areas have been exposed, we can take the first step toward change by accepting the fact that we have been out of step with God’s Word in thought or deed.

Next, the Scriptures help with correction. After allowing the Scriptures to reprove us and point out that we are not in line with God’s Word, we can now correct our ways. This can be a difficult step, since it requires us to take action, be disciplined, and act obediently. Thankfully, God’s Word gives us all we need to accomplish correction in our lives. Last, God’s Word is good for training in righteousness. The Bible teaches how to live as we seek to follow Christ and be more like Him. The Scriptures give us all we need to be complete and “equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17). In the Bible, we have all the wisdom we need to handle every situation in life. Part of this process is actually writing out applications for how scripture will be incorporated into our everyday life. An application is not just a general principle such as “Pray for my friends,” or “Love others.” Rather, it’s always specific and memorable (and sometimes creative!) Most people aren’t going to be moved to change by a general idea, but by something that intentionally gives direction. So, instead of, ‘Be Kind,” try something like, “Text two friends every day at noon and tell them what I love about them.” Application isn’t just a directive, it’s a way of making biblical truth come to life!

As we attempt to apply the Scriptures to our lives, let us remember to seek out the teaching of each passage, to examine our hearts and lives for anything contradictory to God’s Word, and to ask the Lord what He is trying to teach us through each passage.

resources

Along with the techniques above, several outside resources can be helpful when it comes to interpreting Scripture: Bible dictionaries, concordances, cross-references, and commentaries (Litke, 2008).

A Bible dictionary helps with unfamiliar language or ideas and provides background information on the place, person, event, history, geography, and culture related to the text.

A concordance is an alphabetical listing of important words or topics found in the Bible, showing verses where these words/topics are addressed throughout Scripture. Most Bibles have a concordance in the back.

Cross-references are typically found in the margins of a Bible. They point to other Scripture references with similar or related ideas.

Bible commentaries can be extremely helpful because they give an author’s explanation or interpretation for each verse of the entire Bible. Bible scholars who have spent years studying the Scriptures write these commentaries.There are two types of commentaries: extremely detailed works that focus on a specific book of the Bible, and more broad commentaries that focus on the Old or New Testament as a whole (Litke, 2008).

In the end, the goal of this study is to help you become a self-feeder, not dependent on outside resources as your primary means of studying the Bible. We hope to venture together to understand the Word of God and walk away from this study able to “rightly divide the Word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15) Don’t let these outside resources overwhelm you. Rather, use them as a supplemental tool once you have completed the process of observing, interpreting, and applying the text. As we observe, interpret, and apply the book of Philippians, let us pray that we will become more like Christ and that He will transform us for His glory and kingdom.

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How do you hope to apply the Scriptures to your life?

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Comments (2)

I’m looking for that reproof and correction in certain areas of my life but I also desire to see myself through the lens of my Creator.

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