A few weeks ago I promised that anyone could learn how to apply the Bible to life. Since then, I’ve given a several categories to help flex your application muscles. Today I’d like to pull it all together.
We can apply the Bible in 2 directions and to 3 spheres. Think of these things as a matrix, with the spheres (head, heart, hands) down the left side and the directions (inward, outward) across the top. Here’s a worksheet to help you visualize it.
When you sit down to study the Bible, and you feel stuck in application, use this worksheet to help. Just write a few ideas in each box, and see if you can fill all six.
Here are some tips to help you do so:
- Don’t fall into the trap of too much self-centered living. Push your application outward, and consider how you can be more effective at influencing others to know Christ.
- Don’t fall into the trap of overly theological application (too much focus on your head). God cares about what you think and believe, but he also cares about your character and obedience.
- Don’t fall into the trap of overly ethical application (too much focus on your hands). God cares about what you do, but he also cares about your thinking and character.
- Don’t fall into the trap of overly pietistic application (too much focus on your heart). God cares about who you are, but it should flow out to your thinking and obedience as well.
Finally, here are some positive suggestions:
- Remember Jesus Christ,risen from the dead (2 Tim 2:8). Your application will fall to pieces if it’s about you and your strength to produce change. Only the resurrection power of Jesus, put within you by his Holy Spirit, can make any difference in your life.
- Get specific. Your application will flutter about in the wind of life if you don’t nail down details. Don’t settle for broad principles; make concrete action steps.
I’ll expand on these last two tips in the next few weeks.