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Application of Bible


Bible, Application of

There is a story of a frontier settlement in the West whose people were engaged in the lumbering business. The town wanted a church, so they built one and called a minister. The preacher was well received until one day he happened to see some of his parishioners clawing onto the bank some logs that had been floating down the river from another village upstream. Each log was marked with the owner’s stamp on one end. To his great distress the pastor saw his members pulling in the logs and sawing off the end where the telltale stamp appeared.

The next Sunday he prepared a forceful sermon on the text “Thou shalt not steal.” At the close of the service, his people lined up and congratulated him: “Wonderful message, mighty fine preaching.” However, as the preacher watched the river that week he saw his parishioners continuing to steal logs. This bothered him a great deal. So he went home and worked on a sermon for the following week. The topic was “Thou shalt not cut off the end of thy neighbor’s logs.” When he got through, the church membership ran him out of town.

The hardest person to put under the correction of God’s Word is yourself. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Translation of Bible

The story is told of four ministers discussing the pros and cons of various Bible translations and paraphrases. Eventually each stated which version, in his opinion, is the best. The first minister said he used the King James because the Old English style is beautiful and produces the most reverent picture of the Holy Scriptures. The second said he preferred the New American Standard Bible because he felt it comes nearer to the original Greek and Hebrew texts. The third minister said his favorite was the paraphrased Living Bible because his congregation was young, and it related to them in a practical way.

        All three men waited while the fourth minister sat silently. Finally he said, “I guess when it comes to translations and paraphrased editions of the Bible, I like my Dad’s translation best. He put the Word of God into practice every day. It was the most convincing translation I’ve ever seen.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Context in Bible

There is a story of two lawyers on opposing sides of a case. During the trial, one thought he would make a great impression on the jury by quoting from the Bible. So he said, concerning his opponent’s client, “We have it on the highest authority that ‘All that a man has will he give for his skin.’”

        The other lawyer knew the Bible better. He said, “I am very much impressed by the fact that my distinguished colleague here regards as the highest authority the one who said, ‘All that a man has will he give for his skin.’ You will find that this saying comes from the Book of Job and the one who utters it is the devil. And that is who he regards as the highest authority!” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



It is not what men eat but what they digest that makes them strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; not what we preach but what we practice that makes us Christians. 

Francis Bacon.

During the time of slavery, a slave was preaching with great power. His master heard of it, and sent for him, and said: "I understand you are preaching?"   "Yes," said the slave. "Well, now," said the master, "I will give you all the time you need, and I want you to prepare a sermon on the Ten Commandments, and to bear down especially on stealing, because there is a great deal of stealing on the plantation." The slave's countenance fell at once. He said he wouldn't like to do that; there wasn't the warmth in that subject there was in others.  

I have noticed that people are satisfied when you preach about the sins of the patriarchs, but they don't like it when you touch upon the sins of today. 

Moody's Anecdotes, p. 91.

An English preacher of the last generation used to say that he cared very little what he said the first half hour, but he cared a very great deal what he said the last fifteen minutes. I remember reading many years ago an address published to students by Henry Ward Beecher, in which he gave a very striking account of a sermon by Jonathan Edwards. Beecher says that in the elaborated doctrinal part of Jonathan Edwards' sermon the great preacher was only getting his guns into position, but that in his applications he opened fire on the enemy. There are too many of us, I am afraid, who take so much time getting our guns into position that we have to finish without firing a shot. We say that we leave the truth to do its own work. We trust to the hearts and consciences of our hearers to apply it. Depend upon it, gentlemen, this is a great and fatal mistake. 

Dr. Dale, quoted in Preaching, G. Campbell Morgan, p. 89.

"If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the Devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ." 

Martin Luther.

Unused truth becomes as useless as an unused muscle. 

A.W. Tozer, That Incredible Christian.

Booker's Law: An ounce of application is worth a pound of abstraction. 

The Official Rules, p. 16.

While D.L. Moody was attending a convention in Indianapolis on mass evangelism, he asked his song leader Ira Sankey to meet him at 6 o'clock one evening at a certain street corner. When Sankey arrived, Mr. Moody asked him to stand on a box and sing. Once a crowd had gathered, Moody spoke briefly and then invited the people to follow him to the nearby convention hall. Soon the auditorium was filled with spiritually hungry people, and the great evangelist preached the gospel to them. Then the convention delegates began to arrive. Moody stopped preaching and said, "Now we must close, as the brethren of the convention wish to come and discuss the topic, 'How to reach the masses.'" Moody graphically illustrated the difference between talking about doing something and going out and doing it.

Source Unknown.

A gray-haired old lady, long a member of her community and church, shook hands with the minister after the service one Sunday morning. "That was a wonderful sermon," she told him, "-- just wonderful. Everything you said applies to someone I know." 

Bits & Pieces, November, 1989, p. 19.


Context in Bible

On a Christmas card the following verse was cited: “They exchanged gifts and made merry…(Rev. 11:10).” The context of the verse, which describes anything but what it appeared to mean on the Christmas greeting, is rejoicing over the death of God’s two witnesses at the hand of the beast.