Making Bible Application

The application should always relate to what God has done, will do, wants done, or instructs people to do. Preaching is not just a process of encouraging people to be nice to one another and live a happy life. The Bible is all about how God works with and through people to accomplish his purposes on earth. God is still at work with his people and still wants them to follow his instructions. He desires a relationship of love and commitment so that his plans will be fulfilled in their lives. The application of a passage should encourage people not to live like the ungodly or non-religious people in our world, but to accept the theological message that God has revealed in his word. The transformation that people need to embrace requires a humble and contrite heart (Ps. 51:17; Isa. 66:2) that is willing to live by the theological principles revealed in Scripture. Although these principles are deeply theological, the application of them should be framed in a practical way that makes common sense. The goal of a message is not to turn the audience into a group of systematic theologians who can explain everything about God. The goal is to help people grow more Christ-like in the practical ways that relate to others so that they reflect God’s saving grace.”  –Gary V. Smith, Interpreting the Prophetic Books: An Exegetical Handbook, Handbooks for Old Testament Exegesis (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2014),161.

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