Application answers the question, “What does it mean to me personally? What truths can I put into practice? What changes should I make to my life?”
Paul states in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” Paul provides the activities involved in application: Teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness.
- Teaching is what the Word of God has to say on any topic or subject and is always true. Once you discover what the Word of God teaches, you are obligated before God to accept that truth and to live by it, dropping any false beliefs or teachings you may have previously held.
- Reproof is finding out where you have thought or behaved wrongly or have not been doing what God says is right according to His Word. It’s your personal acknowledgment that you were wrong in thought or behavior and now accept and agree with God’s truth, setting you free from sin and unbelief.
- Correction is the step wherein the knowledge gained from teaching and reproof are placed into action resulting in changed behavior. It’s converting knowledge into obedience.
- Training in righteousness can be thought of in terms of God’s Word as a handbook for living, for how we conduct ourselves. It’s continually returning to the source and consistently putting into practice the reproofs and corrections of His Word to build our character in Him.
In seeking to apply Scripture to your life, ask the following questions in light of your observation and interpretation:
- What does the passage teach?
- As I’ve studied this passage, do any errors in my belief or problems with my behavior come to mind?
- Remembering that God is my Father and I am His child, what instruction is my Father trying to pass to me, His child?
Finally, in the process of applying Scripture, take note to beware of the following:
- Applying cultural standards rather than biblical standards
- Attempting to strengthen a legitimate truth by using Scripture incorrectly
- Applying Scripture out of prejudice from past training or teaching.
Return to Interpretation • Continue to Conclusion