How to Apply Biblical Principles

Psalms 119:17-24

The idea of applying biblical principles is often misunderstood. It’s not simply a process of hear, believe, apply—as if one were putting on a new doctrine like a borrowed overcoat. Two steps are missing between believe and apply: explore and discover. To explore a biblical principle means studying Scripture to understand what the surrounding context is, what the principle means for us, and what it reveals about God. Furthermore, we must consider how this lone principle relates to the rest of the Bible. Digging into the Word softens hearts and minds so that the new doctrine can be planted deeply.

As we plow further into Scripture to explore, the new concept rises off the page and becomes real to us. We discover how the principle works and the proper way to apply it to our lives. As we do so, the rich truth becomes our own. It isn’t simply tacked onto our actions as an external influence; rather, we take the truth into our hearts and minds, enabling it to impact us from the inside out.

Making God’s principles an integral part of our lives is a delightful experience. Instead of feeling a passing fancy for a new concept, people who make an idea their own rejoice in it. And they dig back into the Word to learn more of the Lord’s statutes.

A believer who has little to say about God’s work in his life is probably not applying Scripture. Simply hearing and believing doesn’t make a concept yours. A principle is yours when you explore the truth, discover its place in your life, and apply the concept so that God can make it work.

Bible in One Year: Acts 18-20