Last week, I wrote about the two directions we can take with our application. This week, I’d like to propose another way of thinking about application: the 3 spheres. Over the next few weeks, I’ll explain each of these 3 spheres in greater detail. Then I’ll pull it all together into a single model that will give you practical steps to follow when seeking to apply any passage of Scripture.
The 3 spheres for application are Head, Hands, and Heart. These spheres represent 3 different aspects of your life where you can obey the Lord and be conformed to the image of Jesus.
The Head represents everything you think and believe. This sphere involves thinking God’s thoughts after him and believing his truth. It involves identifying lies you believe so you can replace them with the truth.
>>You rebel against God when you believe what is not true (Rom 1:25).
>>When you know the truth of God’s Knowable Word, it will set you free from your slavery to deception (John 8:31-32).
>>”Faith” is what you demonstrate when you lay aside your deception and hold on to what is true, even if it’s not immediately visible (Heb 11:1).
The Hands represent everything you do. This sphere involves imitating the Lord and his ambassadors, learning new skills so you can be more effective at building God’s Kingdom, and laying aside your old patterns of selfish behavior.
- You haven’t really repented of sin until your life changes (Luke 3:7-8, 10-14).
- Change involves believing the truth (this overlaps with the “Head” sphere), quitting your old behavior, and developing new habits of obedience (Eph 4:20-24, with specific examples in Eph 4:25-32).
- Any “faith” that cares only about the doctrinal statement is not true faith. Your doctrine matters (“Head” application, again), but only if you put it into practice (James 2:14-17).
The Heart represents who you are. This sphere involves becoming a new person who desires the Lord above all and shows godly wisdom and selfless character.
>>Changing your behavior without changing your heart is an abomination (Isaiah 29:13-14).
>>Knowing the right thing to do (“Head” application) and doing it (“Hands” application), without being born again to new hopes and desires in Christ won’t count for anything (Gal 6:15-16).
>>A Christ-like heart with love for God and men is much more valuable than good religion and proper behavior (Mark 12:32-34).
All 3 spheres matter. Much of the trick of application is figuring out how to land in all three areas without imbalance.
Which of the three spheres do you find easiest or most difficult? Why?