Step 9: Theological Implications and Application

In this section you are moving from what the text meant to what it means for us today. You are moving from the biblical context to the contemporary context. Here you want to look for application by recontextualizing.

First, outline some general principles arising from the biblical passage. What are some general principles or core values which flow out the biblical text which are not culture bound but timeless and therefore can be applied to our contemporary context? Here it is helpful to determine the points of contact and dissimilarity between the biblical and modern contexts. Try to identify what is culturally relative and what is theologically binding.

Then you want to recontextualize by considering the question of application in the modern context. What is the contemporary significance of the passage in your context? Here it is helpful to define your own context. What is the context in which you and your faith community live? How would you apply the message of the text in your context? Consider both personal application and corporate/communal application. What is God saying to you through the passage? What is God asking you to do or be? Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through the biblical text.

A final word: be careful of making the application too general or vague. Be specific. Give specific examples of application and a plan for how to implement them. Remember James 1:22–25.

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