Week 7 Application


This is our last week of our study of “Living By The Book” At the end of the presentation by Doctor Hendricks, you will be given a passage of Scripture to Observe, Interpret and to Apply. If you will recall, we had 4 learning objectives we wanted to incorporate so as to fully appreciate the value of Application. Remember Application is “How does it Work”.

Our learning objectives are:

  • We need to Know
  • We need to Relate
  • We need to Meditate
  • We need to Practice.

Our focus today is the last two points of our Learning Objectives: Meditate and Practice.

  • Meditate
    • Daniel Webster defines this as: To dwell on anything in thought; to contemplate; to study; to turn or revolve any subject in the mind; appropriately but not exclusively used of pious contemplation, or a consideration of the great truths of religion.

In our culture we often think of some far eastern swami or philosopher.


  • The world’s form of meditation tells us to empty ourselves, whereas the Scriptures tell us to fill and feast upon the Word of God.
  • Doctor Hendricks wants us to look at several passages of Scripture when we consider meditating on the Word of God.
    • Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.
  • Notice here we are to meditate on the Word of God both day and night. Notice also that when we meditate on the word of God, it makes our lives prosperous. This is not to condone the Wealth and Prosperity Gospel, but rather to make our lives fruitful. The Israelites were about to go into battle and Joshua was giving them this encouragement. We are engaged in a spiritual battle. Battles against our own sin nature and the temptations the world intends to throw at us.
    • Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, “Eat and drink!” But his heart is not with you.
  • Our thought processes are what we are and how we nourish those thoughts are going to directly reflect our walk, our attitude and the fruit we produce.
    • Psalm 1:1-2 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.
  • Our lives, our behavior, our thoughts need to make an impact on our society. Our behavior needs to be diametrically opposed to the world’s system of conformity.  The more we meditate, the greater will be our impact on those around us. Just a note here. America’s problems will not be solved in DC. America can only be saved if we the chosen of God choose to make a difference in the lives of those around us.
    • Psalm 119:97 O how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.
  • We like to waste time. How often have we neglected to Study and Meditate on the Word only to replace that study with watching or reading the news? I know I am guilty of that. We should be striving to meditate on God’s word whenever there are free waking moments in our lives.
    • Psalm 19:7-11 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward.
  • We need to have our minds programmed by the Scripture. Every Computer programmer will tell you that when you your programming is off, the software working with the hardware will not function properly. In other words, “Garbage in = Garbage out.” In order to have our minds programmed by the Word of God, we need to memorize scripture. Remember what Dr. Hendricks told us at the beginning of this series, we will either be squeezed into the world’s mold or we can memorize scripture and allow the Word of God to mold us into the image of our Lord. Scripture memory provides us with the ammunition we need to go into battle with the enemy.
  • Practice
    • Part of application in Bible Study is to equip us to do battle. In Ephesians 4, Paul tells us that God gave us teachers to equip us to do the work of the ministry. (Ephesians 4:11-12) Here in the American culture, the office of Pastor-Teacher is more often than not considered to that of an employee and the church to be the employer. When brother Allen feeds us from the Word or God, he is equipping us for battle and to carry out the work of the ministry. When sheep are well fed, they reproduce.
    • Biblical Application often provides us with examples to follow.
      • Avoiding Sin. The Bible is full of examples of people who succumbed to the temptations of this world. These examples were recorded so we can avoid both the circumstances and outcome of their transgressions.
      • Promises to claim. God’s word gives us a multitude of promises within its pages. We do have to be careful though in applying those promises. Make sure the context of the promise is for say a nation or the church and not for the soldier of the Lord.
      • Prayers to repeat. Within the pages of scripture there are many prayers offered by many saints who have received their eternal reward. I think specifically of Paul and his deep abiding love for the churches and how often he remembered them in prayer. Prayers for our national leaders. When Paul encouraged prayer for those in authority, (1Timothy 2:1-2), the king at that period in church history was Nero and we all remember how he treated Christians. So when the current administration makes some ruling to curtail freedom of worship, should we not be praying for them rather than complaining about the ruling on Facebook or some other social media?
      • Commands to Obey. When Jesus tells us that if we love him, we will keep his commandments, that is not an option for us. When the Bible tells us as men to Love our Wives in the same way Christ loved the church, these are commands. Anything in the Imperative mood in the scriptures are commands and not options.
      • Conditions to meet.
      • Verses to memorize
      • Errors to mark
      • Challenges to change
  • Your passage to Observe, Interpret and to Apply is: Mathew 28:19-20

Application Week Seven

Week 7 Application

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Posted by on October 26, 2013 in Uncategorized


Application: How Does It Work (Week 6)

Application Week 6

Being an engineering type, I have always been curious about how things work. While Bible Study Application is not the same as Engineering, there are principals that are the same. Consider if you will the Rube Goldberg Machine.


Even though the machine is complicated, if you don’t know how it works, it is fun to look at but of little use. So it is with Bible Study. If you do not apply the Scriptures to your life, all the work of Observation and Interpretation will simply make you an intellectual and not a person who is Living by the Book.

So Howard Hendricks has some learning objectives for us.

  • We have to Know
  • We have to Relate
  • We have to Meditate
  • We have to Practice

When Dr. Hendricks uses the concept we have to know in order to apply, he is saying that if your interpretation is faulty, your application will be faulty. There is only one interpretation but how we apply that to our lives will be diverse. Dr. Hendricks reminds us that is we have completed the process of observation and interpretation, but failed to apply the scriptures, we perform an abortion on the Word of God. The Bible was not written for intellectual discussion, it was written to change our lives and help us to grow in our relationship to God.

Dr. Hendricks wants us to understand that when applying the Word of God, we need to be able to apply it such that it relates to our everyday life. Take for instance the passage 2 Corinthians 5:17. Here Paul explains to us that when Christ when we become a Christian, a change takes place in our lives. There are changes in our Home, in our thought processes, in our social life, in our sex life, in our business and in our community. People can see these changes. We sometimes refer to these applications as fruit in the believer’s life. Jesus gave a very powerful warning to his listeners when he gave His Sermon on the Mount in the Parable of the Sower. If no fruit is produced in a person’s life, that person is not a believer.

The more we examine our Relationship with God, the more changes in our life will become apparent not only to our friends and co-workers, but to our family members. You will find as you grow closer to God in relating and applying the Scriptures, the greater the world will see you as an enemy and the more you will become the object of derision.  Next week we will discuss the second part of Application: (Meditation and Practice)

Application Week 6

Application Week Six

Application Week 6

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Posted by on October 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


Interpretation Week 2

One of the great truths of the Protestant Reformation was the right to private interpretation. If you will recall, one of the things that Martin Luther did was to translate the Bible into German.

luther1(1)Martin Luther was protected by a German prince where William Tyndale was not so blessed. William Tyndale was strangled and burned at the stake for translating scriptures into English so that every man woman and child could have the Bible in their native tongue.


  • Private Interpretation is no substitute for inaccurate interpretation.
  • Private Interpretation never allows us to distort the scriptures or their meaning
    • Content – What we discover during the process of Observation (terms, tenses etc)
    • Context – Before and after
    • Comparison – Comparing Scripture with Scripture will more times than often will explain the passage best. This implies that you will need a Concordance or at the least a Chain Reference Bible.
    • Cultural and Historical – Understanding the backdrop of a passage often reveals the most light
    • Consultation – Study Materials (Study Bible with no Commentary, just cross references and wide margins for notes, a concordance that is exhaustive either Young’s or Strong’s, A good Bible Dictionary, a Bible Handbook and an Atlas.

    We are the most blessed with Bible resources and we neglect to utilize those resources to both our detriment and to the detriment of the next generation. We as believers have a solemn obligation to not only study to show ourselves approved, but to also train up other so that they can pass what we have learned to the next generation. To hoard this knowledge makes us no better than the Vatican that went out of its way to prevent everyday people from knowing the scriptures.

    The use of these study tools are only aides and not a substitute for doing your homework. Relying too much on a Commentary can be your detriment because we have to realize that Commentators are men just like us and they are subject to the same passions as we.

    The order should always be the Bible 1st and secondary sources later.

Interpretation Week 2

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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in Uncategorized


Interpertation Week One

Interpretation Session 1

In this part of Bible Study we are going to build upon the foundation that we previously laid in Observation. Remember in Observation, we ask the question “What do I see?


Now we are going to ask the Question of What does it mean? As any good detective will tell you, you cannot reconstruct the elements of a crime without having all the evidence compiled and laid out in a logical format. So when we come to our puzzle of understanding “What does it mean?”, we have to have all the facts. It is a lot like Clue. Was it Colonel Mustard with the Candle Stick or the Maid with the Gun?


I am reminded of an actual case that is on the books in Abilene Texas. Police were called to the scene of a home where a gunshot was heard. Upon entering the living room, the patrolmen found a man with a single gunshot wound to the head. A single action revolver was lying in the mantel with the hammer cocked.

Let’s open this up now. How many of you believe that this was a murder? How many of you believe this was a suicide?

The case was ruled a suicide. You may ask, “How can this be?” The gun’s hammer was cocked. What we did not see that forensic evidence reveled was that when the man fired the 1st shot, the arm of the man recoiled back. The checkering of the hammer on the revolver caught the wood of the mantle and cocked the revolver. In the mantle were found tool marks that matched the checkering on the revolver. The man had also left a suicide note found later after an extensive search of the property.

I tell you this story for a reason. When we attempt to interpret the scriptures without doing good Observation, the results will lead to an incorrect conclusion.

Bad Observation leads to Bad Interpretation! Whole denominations have been established because of this and the results lead to confusion and the sheep being fed poison instead of sincere milk of the Word.

The more careful time we spend in Observation, the less time we spend in Interpretation and the more accurate our results.

Doctor Hendricks wants us to use these principals when doing Interpretation.

  • Content
  • Context

In Content we want to understand the author’s intent when the Holy Spirit inspired him to write those most precious words handed down to our generation. In short, we want to walk in the shoes of the writer to understand what he is trying to convey to us.

Context is very important in Interpretation. I cannot over-emphasize this enough. Read the Scriptures in context. It is absolutely essential that you read the passages before and after to understand the context of the passage. Failure to do this often leads to an erroneous conclusion.

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Posted by on October 8, 2013 in Uncategorized


Observation Week 2

In observation we are always thinking of ourselves as a Biblical detective. We always ask the question. What do I see?


In order to effectively utilize the tool of Observation, we need to ask the following questions when observing a passage of scripture.

  • Who is the author of the Passage?
  • Whom is the author addressing? (God’s People? A specific church? Unbelievers?)
  • What is the most important term or concept in the passage?
  • What are the main verbs? What are the tenses of those verbs?
  • Are there terms you need to define to better understand the passage?
  • Are there people or places you need to identify?


  • Like Where’s Waldo?
  • What do you know about the people or places mentioned?
  • Can you identify any cause-effect relationship in the author’s writing?
  • In what ways does the passage apply to your own personal life? (If there isn’t an obvious one, is there a more subtle one?)
  • What things from this passage might want you to study later in further detail?

Observing a passage

Psalm 93:1 The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.

It is a good idea to utilize the about mentioned questions when observing a passage of scripture. Not all of them will always apply but we should ask them anyway.

Who is the author of the Passage? We know that a Psalmist wrote this passage but was the Psalmist David? The passage does not tell us specifically. What we do know is that all Scripture is inspired so we can deduce from 2Tim 3:16 so we know for sure that God is the true author.

Whom is the author addressing? Since we know that the time of the writing of this Psalm is before Christ’s 1st advent, we have to conclude that the author is addressing the Hebrew people who have come to worship God. We also know that Psalms were sung by the choir of priests during the worship of God in the Temple so the Psalmist is exhorting the people with God’s royal majesty.

What is the most important term or concept in the passage? The most important term is the subject of the Passage: “LORD” The word is mentioned twice so the LORD is the most important term or concept in the passage.

What are the main verbs? What are the tenses of those verbs? The main verbs in the passage are; “reigns, is, has and will not” The verbs “is and reigns” are in the present tense but  do no infer that they are now in the past tense. The verb “has” is in the past tense and looking at the passage suggested that at some point in the past the LORD did wrap himself in strength and that strength has a lasting effect to this day. When the passage says that the world is firmly established and will not be moved, the tense would indicate that at some point in the past this took place and will have a lasting effect into the future.

Can you identify any cause-effect relationship in the author’s writing? Did you notice that the LORD is the one who girds himself? Normally royalty have servants who dress the king. Why is it only the LORD is the only one who can dress himself?

What other key terms do we see? What comes to mind when we think about the word majesty and strength? Webster defines “Majesty” (Greatness of appearance; dignity; grandeur; dignity of aspect or manner; the quality or state of a person or thing which inspires awe or reverence in the beholder; applied with peculiar propriety to God and his works.) What comes to mind in the term “strength”? Is it physical strength that is attributed to God? Certainly that is part of the meaning. The context says that God himself girds himself with strength. One of the definitions of strength is Power. One thing to keep in mind that how a term is defined will also be contingent upon how that term is used in the context of the sentence. So based upon the context does God gird himself with physical strength or does he gird himself with power?

In this passage does the term “world” indicate the earth or something else? We know that the earth turns on its axis and is slanted in its rotation around the sun. So based upon the context, is the Psalmist speaking about the physical earth or the something more spiritual in nature? One of the definitions of world can mean realm or kingdom. Based upon the context, which definition best describes the world over which God reigns?

What types of emotions (both positive and negative) would this passage of scripture present to the reader?

I think Chris Tomlin best described this verse in the Psalms with his song, “How Great is our God?”

Here is the PDF Manuscript for this week. Observation Week 2


Posted by on September 21, 2013 in Uncategorized


Session 1 Living By the Book: Why Christians do not Study the Bible

Session 1: Why Christians do not study the Bible

The Bible is the bestselling book throughout History and yet the least read. How many of us have gone to church on Sunday to be fed and nourished by our Pastor and then leave our Bibles in the car or on the table and do not pick it back up until the next Sunday morning when we head out to church again? I know I have been guilty of that. How many of us check our faith at the door of our place of employment and then forget who we are truly working for? George Barna did some research and come up with some interesting statistics about people in America and what they think about the Bible 1.


[1] What do Americans really think about the Bible







In today’s lesson we will look at some of the reasons given to Howard Hendricks why people in his group are not studying the Bible.


  • People need something that works to help them with the everyday stressors of life. People are looking for something that works for them.
  • People lack a technique or method to study the Bible. Society today has become so Visually stimulated with movies, Ipads, computers, software programs and the like that we are losing our ability to read and comprehend what we are reading.
  • People feel that only their pastor is qualified or educated enough to study the Bible. They feel that because they do not know Greek or Hebrew, they are not qualified or smart enough to study the Bible. They consider themselves laity and unqualified.
  • People say they just do not have enough time to study the Bible. We always have time to eat, sleep, watch Fox News and go to work, yet we do not have time to study the Bible.
  • People doubt the reliability of the Scriptures.  With the pervasiveness of Humanism in American Universities coupled with the indoctrination of Darwinism as true science, young people raised in the church often leave the faith once they leave home. So is the Bible reliable? Can we trust its pages? Stay tuned and we will see.
  • Bible teachers are finding it difficult to make the subject matter interesting of the people under their care. Ray Russ, one of the elders at Faith Bible Church in Canton Ohio once said. “If there is a mist in the Pulpit, there will be a Fog in the Pew”

Why Christians do not study the Bible.

Session 1 Why Christians do not Study the Bible

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Posted by on September 14, 2013 in Uncategorized


Living by the Book Series

Many years ago when Cindi and I were among the 1st families attending Tidewater Evangelical Free Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia, a dear friend of mine taught a series by Dr. Howard Hendricks called Living by the Book. That forever changed my way of studying the scriptures. Howie has since gone home to his eternal reward but his legacy lives on. Before he passed, He and his son revisited the work pioneered so long ago. So Prof, I humbly make a feeble attempt to pass along to others what the Lord laid on your heart so long ago.


Before we begin “Living by the Book”

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why should Christians be able to study and apply the Scriptures on their own?
  2. Are these valid reasons why members should study the Bible on their own when their Pastor Teacher is a gifted scholar?
  3. Are there Scriptural references commanding believers to be students of the word?
    1. 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
  4. What can happen if we neglect to study the Word of God?
    1. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
    2. b.      Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
    3. c.       Marriage is a lifelong work at developing and keeping strong a relationship with your spouse.  In the household texts of Paul’s letters to the Ephesians and Colossians, we see these commands given to husbands:  Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her. How can we as believers truly strengthen  our relationship with Christ if we do not communicate and listen to him?
    4. d.      Jesus said: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Ask yourself this question: How can I truly express my love for the King if I do not know his commandments?
    5. e.       So Bible study should help us grow in our relationship with Christ. Bible study will teach us to accurately handle the word of God and Bible Study will keep us from Sin and help us to be good Bereans. Acts 17:10-11 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
    6. f.        We need to be well equipped so we can pass on to others what we have learned in our walk with Christ.  2 Timothy 2:2 “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
    7. 5.       Dr. Hendricks has laid out a simple means whereby any believer can study the Scripture with a three tiered approach: (Observation where we ask the question:  “What do I see?”  Interpretation where we ask the question: “What does it mean?”  Application where we ask the question: “How does it work to change my life?”
    8. 6.       Let’s open up the discussion now and let each one of us share what we hope to accomplish from this series?
    9. 7.       There is a work book available through either or I highly recommend you get the workbook.

    Before we begin

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Posted by on September 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

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