Trouble with Personal Application

This originally appeared as an email delivered on
Saturday, February 10th, 2024.

Personal application can be defined as the proper use of the Bible in one’s own life.

If you minister the word of God to people, it is normal to see people fail to personally apply what the Bible says.

Why is this so common? Because personal application requires more than one step. There are multiple places of possible failure.

First, application requires understanding what the Bible says. Most people fall off the train right here before it even starts moving.

Second, it requires identifying personal sins, spiritual deformities, and general weaknesses that need the application of the Bible to solve. People always think they look better in the mirror than they objectively do. How much more when looking into a spiritual mirror?

Third, it requires consistent application to stick. Personal application of the Bible is only apparent if someone can get up and walk around and live with it on, otherwise it immediately falls off after the first movement in the wrong direction. Think of that one kid who does not spend the time to tie his shoe correctly, and it falls off all the time. Application takes time and care, but it will last longer.

This means to find someone personally applying the Bible to their lives is a sign of spiritual growth and maturity. It is a sign of someone who understands the Bible, sees their own need to change by it, and consistently uses it in their lives.

Personal application of the Bible is akin to the armor of God in Ephesians 6. Though the picture of wearing armor is useful for even children to grasp, it is easier drawn than done.

The good news is that it can be done, which is why God instructed us to do it so often.

If you see someone struggling with personal application, do not judge or despise. Rather be willing to help them latch their armor, show them how it fits, and how it should be used. (In case you missed it, the armor is sound doctrine.)

This is God’s intention for church ministry: an armory of God that works to help each other personally apply the Bible in truth, love, and grace.

Unashamedly at work,

Justin “armorer” Johnson

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This was originally published in the weekly Grace Ambassadors email sent free to subscribers.