• Making The Application
• Part Three
• Discerning and Meditating upon God’s word helps us to apply what we have learned.
• Now we need a plan.
• Romans 10:17: faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
• Galatians 5:6: all that matters is faith working through love.
• Thus we know we come to faith through hearing, accepting the Word of God.
• But how do we go from hearing and accepting the Word of God in the Gospel to living the faith in love?
• That is what we need to figure out.
• Applying The Message
• The process by which we go from hearing and acceptance to living the message is the application process.
• Seeking to apply the message to life is crucial.
• Christianity as just a set of interesting or even good ideas, or a nice philosophy, is woefully insufficient;
• A merely academic faith is dead (James 2:14-26)
• The impetus has always been placed on living the message:
• Following Jesus (1 John 2:6),
• Doing His commandments (1 John 2:3-5),
• Displaying the fruit of the Spirit(Galatians 5:22-24),
• Doing and not just hearing (James 1:22-25)
• Yet application is often fraught with difficulty.
• The vast majority of variance in Christian faith and practice is in terms of application!
• The Bible was written to people thousands of years ago to people in different cultures.
• What do we directly absorb, what do we learn by example, and what should we avoid?
• These are serious questions we should consider.
• We have considered Discernment and Meditation.
• Let us consider the next step in applying these things to our life.
• Discernment and Meditation are necessary,
• But there is also value in planning.
• God is faithful, and gives us a way of escape from every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13), yet how well do we think in the heat of the moment?
• There's a reason the old adage says that if you fail to plan you plan to fail!
• “Leave yourself an out” is taught to people who drive for a living.
• We are not ignorant of the Devil's schemes
(2 Corinthians 2:11);
• We must be ready to stand firm against him (Ephesians 6:10-18).
• Thus there is value in considering how we would apply God's standards of righteousness toward sin in various circumstances!
• In this light the frequent critique of "situation ethics" among Christians is misguided.
• Unfortunately many well-meaning Christians condemn situation ethics when they are really condemning some permutation of relativism:
• The idea that there really are not any moral absolutes,
• And right and wrong are to be determined by the individual based on what s/he feels is most expedient and best in a given circumstance;
• Scripture makes it clear that God has established the standard of righteousness and describes sin and we humans
too often fail at it (Proverbs 3:3-7, Jeremiah 10:23).
• In reality all ethics are situational: our ethic is to inform how
we will act in a given circumstance
• That is, if we find ourselves in situation x, what is the
righteous way to respond?
• This we should always be playing in our mind.
• Jesus in fact forces us to consider some situation ethics!
• Matthew 9:20-22: Jesus' healing authority transcends purity concerns.
• Mark 2:23-28: is it wrong to take care of bodily needs even if that goes against the letter of the law, especially if done in sincerity and not rebellion?
• Luke 10:25-37: what is more important, maintaining one's personal cleanliness/holiness or proving to be a neighbor to someone in need?
• Luke 13:10-17: is Jesus' healing on the Sabbath day work or is it exemplifying rest by providing liberation from debilitating illness?
• In all these matters one could make an argument based on God's revelation,
• Yet in each circumstance the greater good can be
discerned over the lesser good.
• That is part of what it demands to be a Christian:
• Discerning not just what is authorized, but what is most profitable and best in every circumstance (1 Corinthians 10:23)!
• Therefore we do well to consider both individually and collectively how to apply the Gospel in various circumstances in life,
• And thus plan how we should act when we find ourselves in various circumstances.
• Such will make it easier to do the best thing in each circumstance!
• To apply God's word demands that we discern, meditate, and plan.
• We must discern our times, situation, circumstance and God's message.
• We must meditate upon what God has said and how we can apply it to our circumstance.
• We must plan our courses of action in our life circumstances!
• Then we can go and do what God has said as we have discerned it, meditated on it, and planned to do it!
• Ultimately, there's no substitute for action (James 2:14-26; 1 John 3:17-18),
• But our action must be based on integrity and
righteousness in its preparation!
• Let us discern, meditate upon, and plan for how we will apply God's will to our lives, and then go and follow the Lord Jesus!
By Carey Scott
Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /