Sunday, December 7, 2008

Inductive Method of Bible Study - Part 3

In application, you are answering the question, "What does this text mean for me?" In this step, you find the principle of the text and then consider how you can apply this principle in your life.

In order to find the principle, you can try to answer the following questions:
1. Is there an example to follow here?
2. Is there a sin to avoid here?
3. Is there a promise for me here?
4. Is there an example of prayer here?
5. Is there an instruction here?
6. Are there conditions to follow here?
7. Is there a doctrine to believe here?

Considering the principles, it is important to notice that:
1. Some teachings are local, some are universal.
2. Some teachings are temporary, some are eternal.
So, some instructions in the Bible in the Bible were given only to one person or the group of people. Nobody except Noah was called to build an ark. Nobody today is called to leave the homeland and family and go to Palestine like Abraham. In these cases, the obvious principle is not applicable today. However, it is possible to find more hidden principle considering these texts. For example, both Noah and Abraham followed God's calling, believed God, and obeyed Him.

In the Bible, there are prescriptions and descriptions. Prescriptive texts contain some instructions. Descriptive texts describe how some people acted. It is easier to find principles in prescriptions. With descriptions it is harder. If somebody acted in a certain way, this does not mean that this is an example to follow. Before making this decision, you need to compare this description with prescriptions that person was supposed to follow and thus make an evaluation of that person's actions. If there is no prescription that can be applied, no conclusion can be made.

After you have found the principle, you can consider how you can apply this principle:
1. Toward God
2. Toward yourself
3. Toward others

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