Bible Study Basics: How to Apply The Bible To Your Life

Step 8: Application: Identify Timeless Principles

There Is A Wrong And Right Way To Apply The Bible To Your Life

It is time to see what parts of Mark 1:1-8 we can apply to our lives.  Here’s our text.

1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, 3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’” 4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

right and wrong way to apply the Bible to our lives

The Wrong Way To Apply The Text

Here is the wrong way to apply this passage. Read it and ask “What does this mean to me?” Pick ideas you like from the text and think about them. How would those ideas fit in your life? Using this method, here are some ways you might apply this passage to your life:

  • Jesus wants me to be His messenger.
  • Jesus wants me to be a preacher of the Gospel.
  • Jesus wants me to prepare the people at my job to believe in Him.
  • I should become a street preacher.
  • I need to tell people to get baptized.
  • I need to get baptized.
  • I should wear clothes or jewelry or sandals that show I’m a follower of Jesus.
  • I should eat locusts and honey.

Some of these sound pretty cool, don’t they? Yeah, if you haven’t been baptized you should get baptized!  But wait, there’s a problem! None of these are applications of what this passage teaches. These may be good things to do (except eating locusts) but Mark 1:1-8 doesn’t teach us to do those things.

Let’s review what we already learned. Here’s a summary statement of what Mark 1:1-8 teaches:

The good news of Jesus begins with John the Baptist fulfilling a role predicted in the Old Testament of a prophetic messenger preparing the way for Jesus, the Messiah, by effectively preaching the forgiveness of sins.

With this in mind, let’s look back over the passage. We can identify at least four timeless principles this passage teaches us that we can apply to our lives.

4 Timeless Principles From Mark 1:1-11 We Can Apply To Our Lives

  1. God has a plan and is working things according to that plan.
  2. Different people have different roles in God’s plan.
  3. God says sin is wrong and requires confession to be forgiven.
  4. Our task is to point people to Jesus.

Do you see that this passage teaches these four principles? Tomorrow we will take this one step further and personalize these principles.

If you don’t see the difference between the wrong and right way to apply the text, please leave a question or comment below.