We can master the entire Bible and, even be totally transformed by the Word; but, if nothing comes from it, it is meaningless and nearly worthless. This is one of the main points of the book of James. Our faith must have a response to it. Yes we may be saved, but what good is it if we do nothing with it.
With the knowledge we have learned, it becomes our responsibility! And then we are to ask, "how then do I live?" What can I do now, today, or this week to implement the instructions given to me with my relationship to Christ, to others, and to myself?
True application comes only from the result of a life transformed. You may do good works without Christ, but they are out of a sense of obligation and guilt, and not out of a response to our sin nature that has been covered by grace creating a willing and loving heart to model the character of our Lord!
- The fruits of the Spirit are the result of a life transformed by Christ.
How we are un-transformed: "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Gal. 5:19-21)
How we are transformed: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other." (Gal 5:22-26)
- God uses His Word to transform us, it is what we do, and what He does. He sends us His Spirit, we respond.
REMEMBER: Application comes out of a Changed life and leads to a life transformed! Rom 12:1-3
SOMETHING TO CONSIDER:
- Satan would like nothing better than for you not to do the above!!! Do not procrastinate. Press on!!! Do not assume that because you understand something that you have applied it!!! Do not get frustrated. You cannot expect instant results.
- Studying the Word without putting any application to it is like buying a nice new car, taking it home and keeping it in your garage. Then all you do is sit in it and pretend you are driving, listening to the radio, but never actually turning it on and going anywhere with it.
- When we read Gods Word and do nothing with it, we become the biggest fools in the universe!
- This area of putting feet to Gods Word is the most neglected aspect of our Christian life! But it is at this part where our lives change and God uses us to change others.
"Discussion:" THINGS TO VIEW, ASK, AND APPLY:
Take your passage, (choose a short book like II or III John or Jude or
) and go through it together or in small groups with these steps.
1. Jesus urged us to build our lives on His Word. (See Matthew 7:24-27)
- What must I do to make Gods Word real in me?
- When will what I learned end up in my day planner?
- The Word of God is to lead us to model the character of Christ, to be formed in the
image of God.
Mediate over the passage you are studying, that is reflect on it, ponder it, and think of it so that you are seriously going over the passage over and over in your mind. Then the memorization will become easier since the verse(s) have rooted in you!
- Pray to ask God how to implement His truth to you.
- Tell Others. Remember Matthew 28. The best way to remember what you learn is to teach others.
- Accountability. Let someone else you know and trust hold you to your promises especially as it relates to the study of Gods Word.
Beware!! The more knowledge we have, the more accountability and responsibility we have to God. This is why Moses was not allowed into the Promised Land, when he seemingly disobeyed God by hitting a rock with his staff. It may not seem much of an offense to us, but before God, Moses knew better then anyone else. Fortunately for us today, we have grace!
Have a student read the following passages (it is always better focused to go deep by turning out the lights and light a candle):
"But it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to youguard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us." (II Tim. 1:10-14)
- You can stand in an ice-cream shop all day long and stare at all of the flavors. But no enjoyment or satisfaction will come until you bite into a scoop for yourself!
- Remember the Word of Gods purpose is to transform us into the image of God, to model His character!
- Discipleship is following Christ and not just beliefs, ideas, or causes. Too many people are devoted to a doctrine or a cause in the name of Christ, but not Christ Himself! That is how we got the Inquisition and Crusades.
"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy lifenot because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time." (I Tim. 1:6-9)