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OICA: Application August 12, 2010

Posted by TJ Friend in Application, General Principles, OICA.
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Hello. It has been awhile, but here we go. This is the last step in the OICA process. Application is extremely important, for what good is it for you to learn things if you never do anything about them. Now, saying this is the final step does not mean that you should wait till the end to apply things to your life. At any point during this process, even if you are simply reading a verse, if you feel like God is speaking to you, then you should try to apply whatever it is to your life. The reason this is the last step is because it is at the end of the process when you should reflect on what you have learned, not at the beginning or middle.

Application is broken into 2 categories: What you should do and what you should believe. Both of these are important. We need to do what God desires, because that will lead to better living and will glorify Him. But, we also need to have right beliefs. There are far too many lies in the world and we need to be saturated with the truth so that we are not deceived. Also, what we believe and think about shapes our values and morals and makes us who we are.

How to Live

The Bible is full of the wisdom of God. Our lives would be radically transformed if we simply did what the Bible said for us to do. We can see what God wants us to do in a few different ways. First, there are commands that are direct and specific for us. It is clear that we should love each other and not kill or steal, because these are explicitly stated in scripture. Some things though are not stated this explicitly. Sometimes we need to follow the example of one of the characters in Scripture. For instance, at the end of 2 Samuel 24, David wants to buy a field from Araunah, so that he may build an altar to sacrifice to the Lord. Araunah wants to give the land to the king, and in reality the king could have simply demanded it and he would have had to give it over. But David says, I will not sacrifice something to the Lord which does not cost me anything. This is not a command, but more of a principle which we can apply in different ways. God doesn’t want us to honor Him solely out of our excess, He wants us to obey even if it stretches us. As you are studying a passage, look for these principles to see if you can actually do something with what you are doing. In the example I just gave, God may want you to set aside some money from your budget and just bless others with it.

When we see people doing things in the Bible it does not automatically mean that we should do the same things. In fact a lot of things that the Biblical characters do are not for us today. The exception to this is Jesus. Jesus is the standard of how we should live and behave. We should not seek to live the same life as Jesus (collecting 12 disciples, doing miracles, and eventually dying on a cross). That was his mission, not ours. What we should focus on is his lifestyle. Jesus spent his life pouring into others, he spent a lot of time in prayer, he lived with integrity and did not compromise in the face of persecution and he gave glory to God. We can learn a lot simply by looking at the life of Jesus and seeing how we can live like him.

What to Believe

After you read/study a passage there are a few questions you can ask to get you thinking about what to believe. Obviously, not every question will apply to every passage, but every passage will have an answer to one of these questions if you think about it long enough. 1 Timothy 4:12 says that all scripture is useful for equipping and training in righteousness. Don’t give up on a passage if it seems difficult, just bring it to God and ask Him to reveal what you can learn from it?

1. How does this reveal Jesus?

2. What can I learn about God?

3. What does this tell me about humanity?

4. What can I learn about the interaction between God and man?

Write down whatever you learn and meditate on it until it sinks in.

Reflection

1 Cor 2:16 says that we have the mind of Christ. What does this mean for us? How would our lives be different if we actually believed this?

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