Each Biblical passage has only one correct interpretation; but it may have many applications. The applications
may affect your heart and strengthen your love for God, or they affect your mind and improve your ability to discern
and perceive, or they can affect your actions and strengthen your moral and ethical convictions. Looking for how the
passage may apply to your life is the key to successful Bible study. Consider some of the following questions:
Is there any new appreciation for the character of God that you need to respect and obey better?
In addition to the purpose of training for holiness, God’s commands, promises, and judgments reveal
His character and nature. Love is often defined by social and cultural values, which mute one’s perception of God’s
esteeming love. God’s character, nature, and esteeming love are beyond the human scale; can you grasp it? Does the
biblical verse reveal any information about God’s nature that would affect your heart and love for Him?
Are there any personal moral issues to consider?
Today’s social and cultural values are relative; any moral value is fine as long as no one is hurt
by it. The same applies to what we chose to watch, listen, and imagine. Does this make it right? God's moral standards
are absolute; does the biblical passage reveal any information on God’s moral standards?
Are there any personal ethics to learn?
There are many examples that show what to do as well as what not to do. Society also shows many
examples of success and failure; what we achieve seems more important than how we achieve. Is this true? What principles
should one live by? Does the biblical passage reveal any biblical principles that would help clarify your responses to
Are there any priorities that need to be reconsidered?
Society and culture determine a large part of our values and priorities. How do you rank your
various goals and how will you achieve them? Do you need to reconsider what your priorities are based on? Does the
biblical passage reveal any biblical priorities that would realign yours?
There are other questions that can be asked as you explore how the biblical passage will apply to your life. That
is the essence of the process of application: wrestle with the Text and examine the interpretation, be open to change
both in your understanding of the Bible and your life, and have the courage and humility to change.
If you’re not having a blessed life, it is likely that you fall in the following categories:
1. Not reading the Bible.
2. Reading the Bible with poor observation skills and misinterpreting the Word.
3. Believing interpretation is the application of the Bible. Knowledge is not the
same as wisdom.
4. Selective application of the Word; you apply it only to areas in your life that you feel
5. Denial of a personal sin; you see the application as being more appropriate for others
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer
of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at
himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the
perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this
man will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22-25)
James, in his letter to the greater church, is exhorting believers to active obedience instead of
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