How Biblical Application Really Works
Faithful biblical application involves finding our lives in Jesus and his church.
The goal of learning any biblical truth is, through faith in Christ, to walk in line with the gospel and render the obedience of faith (Romans 1:5; 16:26; Galatians 2:14). No obedience apart from faith is true obedience; "For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin" (Rom. 14:23). Thus, we are declared righteous by faith alone (justification), and we grow in likeness to Christ by faith alone (sanctification). What every person needs from Scripture is the gospel.
We cannot claim any of the promises of God apart from Christ and his gospel because there are no promises of God apart from Christ and his gospel. Paul tells us, "all the promises of God find their 'Yes' in him" (2 Corinthians 1:20). Conducting one's life in line with the gospel is not merely a matter of pulling isolated truths out of the Bible to apply to our lives; rather, it is determining to apply our lives to the biblical gospel story. When someone abstracts a biblical truth from the Bible, ...