Due to my own contexts which are so varied (I regularly engage with Kiwi’s, Pacific Islander’s, South Africans, Koreans, and others), I struggle to specifically apply a passage of Scripture. Our lives are all so different, and the applications will be varied depending on the lives we encounter, and the situations we encounter them in. This does not mean I don’t think carefully about the people with whom I will be engaging when writing my sermon. However, trying to apply my preaching to the different genres of people that make up our congregations – this, I find, is an almost impossible task.
Haddon Robinson suggests that “In application we attempt to take what we believe is the truth of the eternal God, which was given in a particular time and place and situation, and apply it to people in the modern world who live in another time, another place, and a very different situation. That is harder lynne than it appears.” Whereas implications seek to follow the theological consequences of the Scriptures. While application may be viewed as a specific way to deploy a Scriptural wholesale NBA jerseys passage in our contemporary lives, implication is deeper and more profound. Implications deal with a change in worldview which necessitates a changed praxis. There is a level of specificity that separates implication from application. Let me give you an example.
I am currently wrestling with Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Here Paul constructs what must be one of the most thoughtful theological responses (2:5-11) to a practical/real life issue (4:2-3). Here Paul attempts to cultivate a way of thinking, feeling and acting that is Christ-like (Phil 2:5). With Jesus as their Lordly example, and with the lives Mauris of Timothy, Epaphroditus and Paul as other models, Paul exhorts the Philippians to McDonough conduct themselves as citizens of Heaven (1:27; 3:20). The vision is inspiring and breathtaking. The KOHTAAMISPAIKKAMESSUT? implications are manifold. Disunity must be dealt with, as this opposes Christ’s way of thinking (4:2-3), which was to establish unity between humanity and God, and unity among God’s people.
How do you apply a message like this? Should we even attempt to apply a message like this? Shouldn’t the people of God learn to improvise their own movements in the drama of life and salvation? Shouldn’t they take responsibility for their lives and think through the applications of these implications, both individually and within their own relational networks? As preachers we cheap NBA jerseys can point people to the Script, and then pray and encourage and converse as a fellow performer. But can we really “apply” the Scriptures to the lives of others? Is that even our role?
Within the constraints of the meaning of the text we can imagine an infinite array of applications because of the infinite varieties of life. Peoples’ lives are different and we cannot pitch sermons to everyone’s situations in anything more than general terms. However, we can wholesale NBA jerseys begin to carefully delineate the implications of appropriating Scripture into our lives (using specific examples?). It is here where our message will connect with the imagination and dedication of our people. It is here where the conversations of how to apply the truths of Scripture will begin. It is here where God’s people take responsibility and engage in the task of embodied exegesis, the living out of the gospel truths.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with this. Do you?
Sean is the husband of Sue, a student of Laidlaw-Carey Graduate School, a New Testament lecturer at Alpha Crucis, and more significantly, a follower of Jesus the Lord.