Study # 5
September 17, 1997
Harlingen, Texas

Thesis: How do we apply the teaching of James to ourselves? Introduction: It has been said that the area of most wide-spread heresy is not in the areas of observation and interpretation, but in the area of application. In order for the Word of God to have its divinely intended impact upon us, we must understand the importance of all three elements of study: observation (the most fundamental and most easily abused requirement); interpretation (the result of observation and the application of the universal principles of understanding--developed within the discipline of hermeneutics and not to be confused with translation); and application (without which Truth is denied its intended result and is turned into an end when God intended it to be a means to an end, thus resulting in death instead of life), which is the outworking in life of confidence in the interpretation. Enormous problems have been developed by the multiple heresies of application. For example, a significant breach in the church has been introduced by the claim that the statement "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8) means in application that we can expect Him to act in the same ways all through the flow of human history. When we look at the reference in its context, it is not Jesus' actions that is the point, but our actions based upon His unchanging character. And besides, what about Annanias and Sapphira? Therefore, the question before us is: how do we apply James' message to ourselves?