James 1:22-25

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

3) Four application diagnostic questions.

  • Who?
    • Who will listen to this lesson?
    • What does the central theme of the text look like to them?
  • What?
    • What is the central theme of my text?
    • What response was expected from the people who were in the story of the text?
    • What may hinder my members from the response the text is calling for?
    • In some texts, the response is clearly stated; in other texts, it is implied.
  • How?
    • Answering the how question provides a concrete response.
      • Are there steps to take?
      • What should they do first?
      • How does the text help them know and worship God?
    • Aim for specific action from your members.
      • Fuzzy thinking is deadly to application.
      • The Bible refers to us as sheep.
        • Sheep need very specific and practical guidance and direction.
        • We must never assume they will understand the application on their own.
      • Any application must be God-centered and Christ-focused.
        • The main purpose God has for us is to know Him, love Him and obey Him.
        • Sin is the problem and Christ is the answer.
        • The solution to any problem is a person, and His name is Jesus.
      • Universal principles of application – what is true anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances.
        • Is there an example for me to follow?
        • Is there a sin to avoid?
        • Is there a promise to proclaim?
        • Is there a prayer to pray?
        • Is there a command to obey?
        • Is there a condition to meet?
        • Is there a verse to memorize?
        • Is there an error to avoid?
        • Is there a challenge to face?
        • Is there a principle to apply?
        • Is there a habit to change, start or stop?
        • Is there an attitude to correct?
      • Hans Finzel in Unlocking the Scriptures put the Universal Principles into four broad relationship categories.

With God
1) A truth to understand
2) A command to obey
3) A prayer to express
4) A challenge to heed
5) A promise to claim
6) A fellowship to enjoy

         With Yourself
1) A thought or word to examine
2) An action to take
3) An example to follow
4) An error to avoid
5) An attitude to change or guard against
6) A priority to change
7) A goal to strive for
8) A personal value or standard to hold up
9) A sin to forsake

  With Others
1) A witness to share
2) An encouragement to extend
3) A service to do
4) A forgiveness to ask
5) A fellowship to nurture
6) An exhortation to give
7) A burden to bear
8) A kindness to express
9) A hospitality to extend
10) An attitude to change or guard against
11) A sin to forsake

          With Satan
1) A person to resist
2) A device to recognize
3) A temptation to resist
4) A sin to avoid and confess
5) A piece of spiritual armor to wear

      • Caution: Don’t forget to point out that your members will need God’s grace and power to accomplish anything in the spiritual realm.
        • Our walk with the Lord cannot be reduced to a “to do” list.
        • We are in a relationship with the Lord, and a relationship based solely on a “to do” list is a superficial relationship.
  • Why?
    • Why should my members respond to the truth in the text this way?
    • Motivation is the missing element in many Bible lessons.
    • Biblical motivations include:
      •  Obedience
        I John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
      • Love
        John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments
      • Positive Impact on the Lives of Others
        I Corinthians 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
      • Rewards
        Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.


  1. Application is about showing our members how to glorify and serve God by applying the biblical truth in the text we are using that week.
  2. Our lessons have to be more than just scripturally grounded and theologically correct; we must also apply the lesson to our member’s lives.


Sermon Application: How Does It Work? – Sermons & Articles (preaching.com)

Sermon Application | Preaching Today

Hans Finzel in Unlocking the Scriptures Published by David C Cook