Teaching the Bible involves application – the response to what is being proclaimed.

But application that halts on the benefit to the hearer undoes the centrality of the work of Jesus. Application must find its ultimate motivation in response to the glorious God who has saved us.

Jared Wilson offers this as one of three points about faithful application of the Scriptures.

…faithful application is not about self-improvement or self-actualization. Don’t tell your people that if they do steps 1-4 this week, they’ll have a successful life or a healthy marriage or a fat bank account or any other soft legalism quasi prosperity gospel. Tell them the gospel has set them free from working for God’s approval but to working for God’s glory.

If we obeyed for credit, we deem Christ’s sacrifice insufficient. But we don’t even get to take credit. The gospel empowers our works, so he gets the glory. As Paul writes, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.” They’re not even your ideas!

Let your light shine before men this way: that those who would see your good works would glorify not you but your Father in heaven.


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