Principles for Bible Application 2

Here are some more principles:

4. We have to ask what the passage required of the original hearers and why. What was the motivation for them to fulfil the requirement. Is the requirement the same for us as it was for them or not? Is the motivation the same as it was for them, or not?

5. Develop applications sensitively according to whether your people have it in their hearts to obey or not. For example supposing you are preaching a passage about God's people being disobedient and being warned by God, but your people are wholeheartedly trying to be obedient and don't currently fall under the same warnings, you can't bring the original application of the passage to its first hearers in the same way. Instead you have to say “at the moment God is protecting us from falling into the ungodliness they fell into. Praise Him for keeping us. Let’s take note of the warning, let’s take note of what they did and why they should have been different  and be on guard, but not discouraged or berated. Instead let’s be encouraged.”

6. Consider what are the areas of your hearers current life experience that the requirements of the passage speak most closely to. In our previous principles we were asking “what does the Bible say that we need to hear?” Now we are flipping the question over to ask “what are we experiencing that this passage legitimately speaks to?” John Stott talks about double listening – having the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other, so that the Bible speaks to what is really going on for people. I would say have the Bible in one hand and a close knowledge of you audience’s needs in the other so that you connect the two as closely as possible

Final part on Monday