Inductive Bible Study (Part 5 of 5): Application

Now that we’ve observed, interpreted, examined, and correlated our passage it is time to find a way of putting into practice what we’ve learned.

The here and now

Take a look at the situation you’re in and that of those around you. How canthe principles you’ve learned from your study apply to them? Remember, much of what was written in scripture was written to a specific people for a specific time and place. Which is why it was necessary for us to draw out the principle that was being taught. Now you have to examine your circumstances and see how what you’ve gathered can be applied to it.

Action steps

Now that you have a handle on your situation create some practical action steps from the principles you’ve learned. Many teachers and pastors do this part and only this part of the study. Sure they can come up with some great advice but it is either not grounded in scripture or it is advice that is meant for a bygone era. They’ve failed to contextualize the message for their present audience.

In theory

When you begin the process of creating the applicational aspect of your teaching you will generally begin with a theory of application. What this means is you will come up with a more generalized sense of what to do and what not to do. This is very helpful for you and others to have an idea of what to do in a variety of situations.

In practice

Often times you will need to address a specific situation that your audience needs to take action on. This of course really reduces to three types of action steps:

  1.  Stop doing . . .
  2. Start doing . . .
  3. Keep doing . . .

Sometimes the people you are teaching are involved in a destructive behavior. Maybe many of them think it’s wrong but they’re just following the lead of the loudest voice. If you address the situation it may give the ones who know it’s wrong the courage to stop. On the other hand sometimes there is something your audience should be doing but isn’t. In a situation like this you would want to make them aware of this fact and inspire them to begin in this new direction. At other times your audience may be growing weary of doing what’s right. This is when you need to exhort them to carry on and never quit.

Realm of application

There are many areas to which you could apply your teaching. This includes (but is not limited to) your personal life, your public life, locally, nationally, how you treat a fellow believer, and how you treat unbelievers. Remember one of the end goals of Bible study is not more head knowledge but a knowledge of what God’s will is and how we are to follow it in obedience. That’s all for the Inductive Bible series, let me know what you think in the comments section below. If there is a topic you would like to see covered feel free to contact me through the contact form in the sidebar.

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