Thursday, June 29, 2017

EMA Day 2: Justin Mote - The Preacher & Connecting - Application

Application often squeezed out / neglected

Tag on applications that don’t really arise from the text

Always read Bible, pray, give, use gifts, evangelism etc.

Eph 4-6 belong with Eph 1-3 and not identical to Rm 12ff – doctrine leads to application; application must arise from doctrine

Think about the people and how the text relates to them

Application often bland

Could people say what the aim sentence of the sermon was? What change was intended?

What do we mean by application?

God’s unstoppable plan – Rm 8:28f – God is conforming us to X so that J might be the first born among many brothers

How should this sermon make people more like J?

Not merely about doing – thinking too – think like J not just behave like J

Thinking rightly about self, God, world, unbelievers etc.

Recover confidence in the sufficiency of Scripture – everything we need for life and godliness, to make us like J – 2 Pt 1:3; 2 Tim 3:16f – the Scriptures will do this work

The Bible is not just for information but transformation

The Bible is full of application – OT law lots of application, prophets, correction, warning, rebuke, wisdom literature, almost all of Prov is application, J’s own preaching, Pl, doctrine then application

Application runs through the Bible like words through rock

Application is a work of the Spirit of God – Jn 16 – 1 Thess 1, power and the HS and full conviction, with the joy of the HS, 1 Thess 4, God gives his HS

Pray for God to do this work and change people!

Application is also the work of the preacher – 1 Thess – Pl applied the gospel, he preached application, what to believe and how to behave – 3:4; 4:2, instructions for sanctification

The listener must apply the Scriptures – Heb 5 – people ought to train themselves in godliness, in living out God’s word, help people to think through what this means for them, their family, our church etc.

This is of course a spiritual battle in study, in pulpit, in hearers – Satan does not want people to be more like Jesus!


Wise and foolish builders – hears and puts these words into practice – same information

A real and dangerous battle

The storm of the return of Jesus is coming

(Don’t be too overly directive unless the text clearly warrants it)

(1) We must apply from the big idea of the text


(a) Primary application – expositional

(b) Secondary application – systematic

1 Thess 2 – Pl’s motives, praise of men not praise of God; the manner of his ministry: gentle like a mother and exhorting like a father; reminder

Secondary application: minister like this – from Pl to us

Not only what is the text about but what is the text for? Why was this written?

1 Thess 2 not a manual for Xian ministry

What impact did Pl intend?

Of course secondary systematic applications are legitimate but they are not primary

1 Thess 2 is a reminder that Pl is an authentic word minister, genuine, not a sham. They can trust Pl and his gospel. We should believe Pl’s gospel. Pl wants to encourage and reassure them in the face of mud slinging by others. Much mud is of course slung at Pl today. People play off J against Pl.

God has not chosen to give us an encyclopaedia or dictionary or text book of theology / Xian life

Respect the way God has revealed himself. Let application flow from the big idea. What is this text meant for?

Help people to read and apply the Bible for themselves by flagging secondary application

(2) Context is crucial

(a) Where are we in the whole bible? Biblical theology – the story line of redemption history

Our context between Pentecost and the return of X

Preaching on OT legislation? How to apply in our context?

e.g. OT animal sacrifice – shadows and fulfilment

Israel – Jesus – the church – an unbelieving people?

(b) where are we in this Bible book?

Why did Pl write Romans? Rm 15:14

How do the bits fit in to the whole?

(c) context immediately before and after?

Practical tips on application

The importance of editorial comments

End of Ex 2 – God heard and was concerned – this is what the writer wants us to know – though God seemed to say and do nothing, he heard and remembered and was concerned

Lk 18v1 – Luke tells you the application! Do not give up. Keep praying

Lk 18v9 – Do not be self-righteous and treat others with contempt

How does the immediate context help with application?

Let the little children come to me – Luke 18 – Pharisee & Tax Collector, blind beggar, rich ruler, disciples – people you would think are in are out and vice versa – spiritual apartheid? Gospel for all

Think about your hearers! Be deliberate.

What assumptions are you making?

Are they believers? New believers or mature? Young or old? Etc.

Application that will get under their skin

Illustrate how the text might apply without being legalistic

Think of individuals

Are there applications for all people everywhere?

The kingdom of God is near; repent and believe

There are lots of different ways to explain the same reality

What do they need to repent of / believe on the basis of this passage?

How will this passage help them to take up their cross daily and follow Jesus?

What would the evidence be if I don’t believe this? What would people miss out on if they didn’t get this passage?

How does this text apply to me? How has it changed me?

What would the devil want me to do or think with this text?

Prepare early and leave lots of time to wonder about application. What does God want to do with me and with the congregation from this text?

Eph 5 – marriage in the context of Ephesians – unity in the local church – 3:10 – the unity of a marriage proclaims the wisdom of God

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