Preaching - Lesson 18

Application (Part 1/2)

In this lesson on application in preaching, you will learn the importance of incorporating application in your sermons, as well as principles and methods for effective application. The lesson emphasizes the biblical basis for application and its role in effective communication. It then moves on to discuss key principles such as knowing your audience, being specific and concrete, and relating to the biblical text. Additionally, the lesson explores various methods of application, including inductive and deductive approaches, storytelling, testimonies, and invitations and challenges. By understanding and applying these principles and methods, you will be better equipped to create impactful, relevant sermons that resonate with your audience.

Bryan Chapell
Lesson 18
Watching Now
Application (Part 1/2)

I. Importance of Application in Preaching

A. Biblical Basis for Application

B. Role of Application in Effective Communication

II. Principles for Effective Application

A. Know Your Audience

1. Demographics and Context

2. Needs and Challenges

B. Be Specific and Concrete

1. Illustrations and Examples

2. Address Different Life Situations

C. Relate to the Biblical Text

1. Exegesis and Interpretation

2. Relevance and Connection

III. Methods of Application in Preaching

A. Inductive and Deductive Approaches

B. Storytelling and Testimonies

C. Invitations and Challenges

  • Gain insights into effective preaching principles, covering history, essential components, styles, and techniques, and learn how to prepare and deliver impactful sermons.
  • Gain valuable insights on sermon construction, learn techniques for effective preaching, and understand the importance of continuous improvement for delivering impactful messages.
  • Through this lesson, you gain valuable insights into the process of text selection and interpretation for preaching, as well as learning practical techniques for delivering engaging and relevant sermons.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into the process of creating a sermon, from text selection to delivery, emphasizing textual analysis and message relevance.
  • Through this lesson, you gain the skills to craft clear, engaging, and memorable sermons by mastering the principles of effective outlining and arrangement in preaching.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to craft effective propositions and main points, enhancing your preaching clarity and impact.
  • By exploring homiletical outlines, you'll learn to effectively develop and structure sermons, understand various outline types, and apply engaging presentation techniques for impactful preaching.
  • In this lesson, you gain insights into crafting engaging introductions for sermons, exploring their importance, characteristics, types, and the process of creating a compelling introduction that effectively connects to the message.
  • Through this lesson, you learn the importance of exposition in preaching, how to develop an expository sermon, and the role of the preacher for effective communication.
  • This lesson teaches you to create captivating sermon introductions using anecdotes, questions, and facts, guiding you through research, structuring, and presentation to maximize audience engagement and improve your overall sermon impact.
  • In order to understand the basic subdivisions of your sermon in expository development, it is important to it is helpful to see what the specific members of your sermon's body looks like in standard development.

  • By completing this lesson, you learn to effectively prepare and deliver sermons while focusing on personal growth, continuous improvement, and dependence on God.
  • Learn to effectively classify and develop sermons into topical, textual, and expository types, enhancing your preaching skills and audience connection.
  • In this lesson, you learn the significance of explanation in preaching and strategies to craft and deliver effective explanatory sermons while evaluating their effectiveness for continuous improvement.
  • By incorporating illustrations into your preaching, you engage listeners, clarify complex ideas, and enhance memory retention while learning effective guidelines to utilize various types of illustrations.
  • Explore this lesson to learn how to effectively use illustrations in sermons by isolating events or experiences, refining principles, and connecting with your audience through human interest accounts.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to effectively use illustrations in preaching to engage listeners, clarify concepts, and draw from various sources, while maintaining relevance, variety, and ethical considerations.
  • Gain insight into the importance of application in preaching, as well as principles and methods for effective application, to create impactful and relevant sermons that resonate with your audience.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to effectively apply biblical teachings to modern life, considering various approaches, overcoming challenges, and utilizing practical tips for context-sensitive and culturally aware application.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insights into crafting effective transitions in preaching and utilizing the dialogical method for increased audience engagement and message clarity.
  • Gain insight into various sermon presentation methods, their advantages and disadvantages, and learn to choose the right method and improve your preaching skills.
  • Through this lesson, you enhance your preaching skills by mastering vocal techniques and purposeful gestures, ensuring a connection with the audience while continually improving your delivery.
  • Learn the significance of dress and style in preaching and how to balance authenticity, appropriateness, and clarity to effectively communicate your message to your audience.
  • You learn to effectively repurpose old sermons, gaining insight into updating them for relevance, enhancing delivery, and managing time efficiently.
  • By studying this lesson, you gain insight into the crucial connection between the Word and Spirit in preaching and learn to balance them for effective and authentic sermons.
  • Through this lesson, you learn how to apply a Christ-centered, redemptive-historical approach to preaching, addressing common criticisms and enhancing your sermons.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to compose powerful redemptive messages that highlight Christ's work and connect biblical themes to modern audiences.
  • Through this lesson, you gain an understanding of redemptive principles in preaching, learning to identify them in Scripture and effectively apply them to your sermons while navigating potential challenges.
  • By exploring the importance of genre in biblical interpretation and applying redemptive interpretation to various biblical genres, you will gain knowledge and insight into the historical and literary context, redemptive themes and patterns, and contemporary application of different types of genres in the Bible.


Dr. Bryan Chapell explores the unifying principle of grace that binds all Scripture together. He outlines and demonstrates the principles and practice of sermon-crafting and delivery to illuminate the message of grace in each passage, and to submit it to God's Spirit for the transformation of lives through preaching.

Dr. Chapell is making these recorded lectures available for you to access at no charge on BiblicalTraining.org. However, there is no personal interaction with Dr. Chapell in this format. The assignments and activities described are for classes that he teaches in person. We left the descriptions in for your benefit, but we do not offer personal or group interaction to participate in these activities. You can, however, sign up for his new preaching classes at BryanChapell.com/courses.

Dr. Chapell is helped in this course by Zachary W. Eswine, Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program (BSW, Ball State University; MDiv, Covenant Theological Seminary; PhD, Regent University). Dr. Eswine served as senior pastor of Grace Church of the Western Reserve in Hudson, Ohio, for six years before joining Covenant Seminary's faculty in 2001. He has served as a campus minister with the Navigators, as a church youth director, and as a chaplain-evangelist in retirement facilities. Since arriving at the Seminary, Dr. Eswine has also served as interim pastor for Tates Creek Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Kentucky, as advisory pastor for the Chinese Gospel Church of St. Louis, and as interim pastor for Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in St. Louis. He has taught New Testament in Ukraine and served as a short-term missionary in the Caribbean. Dr. Eswine is a gifted preacher and has authored the book Kindled Fire: How the Methods of C. H. Spurgeon Can Help Your Preaching and numerous articles on homiletics. In addition, as an accomplished musician and songwriter, he has recorded three collections of original songs.

Philosophy and Goals of the Course

1. "Prep and Del" is an introduction to the basics of sermon construction and delivery. This is not primarily a course on the theology of preaching, but rather is a practical introduction to the tools, structures, and concepts that help preachers learn to put a sermon together. 

2. Because this course is introductory, certain standards of sermon construction are taught that I hope you will consider "foundational" rather than universal. There is not only one "right way" to preach. However, mastering the methods of this course will help you develop the tools needed for many kinds of future sermons. Students from many backgrounds and preaching traditions have found these tools helpful even as they prepare for other styles in the future. Other methods and styles will be taught and encouraged in future semesters.

3. In Dr. Chapell's seminary class, you would be asked to present some short oral assignments to the class in order to: a) begin integrating the information presented in lectures; b) begin honing your preaching skills; c) and, remove some of the intimidation of your first preaching experience next semester.

(At this time, we do not provide personal interaction to evaluate your progress. We included the suggested assignments and activities to give you direction as you apply the principles you are learning to your own sermon preparation and delivery.)

Recommended Books

Christ-Centered Preaching (text only) 2nd(Second) edition by B. Chapell

Christ-Centered Preaching (text only) 2nd(Second) edition by B. Chapell

Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon [Hardcover]Bryan Chapell (Author)

Christ-Centered Preaching (text only) 2nd(Second) edition by B. Chapell
Christ-Centered Sermons: Models of Redemptive Preaching

Christ-Centered Sermons: Models of Redemptive Preaching

Highly regarded preacher and teacher Bryan Chapell shows readers how he has prepared expository sermons according to the principles he developed in his bestselling...

Christ-Centered Sermons: Models of Redemptive Preaching

Dr. Bryan Chapell
Application (Part 1/2)
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] This recording is provided courtesy of Covenant Theological Seminary. Think about potential review questions for for that exam. What distinguishes this is lecture 15 at the beginning. What distinguishes illustration from mere allusion? The difference is that an allusion refers to a story. What does an illustration do? It recreates the story or retells the story. So an illusion refers to it. An illustration actually tells it. The key difference just for your notes, because it often comes on the exam too. The key difference between an illusion and an illustration is lived body detail. So an illustration has the detail. You know, what do I see sense here? Smell, re-experience, lived. If I were in the situation, reliving it, live the body detail, what would I hear? See? So an illusion, you see, doesn't have those things. It just refers to the story. But the retelling of the story involves live body detail. What do listeners automatically assume a preacher is illustrating? What does the ear automatically assume you're illustrating? The last thing you said prior to it. That's right. The ear automatically assumes you're illustrating the last thing you said prior to the illustration. This is kind of the other end of the illustration. Now, what is an interpreting or grouping statement and how is it used? First of all, as to say, where does it appear? Where's the interpreting statement at the end of the illustration? Right. And remember, what it does is it reaches up and gets pertinent details and relates them to the principle that's being illustrated. So it reaches back into the illustration and relates the details of the illustration to the details as to the principle being related. So it's it's the interpretation of the illustration that comes. At its end. It's doing something else we'll see today.

[00:02:03] The interpreting statement is also the automatic introduction. To what? The application. But for now, it's just enough to say. It is relating the details of the illustration to the principle of the main point. What are some important cautions to be aware of when illustrating? Well, I'm not going to list them. There are various things we talked about being precise, being accurate, not thinking more highly than you are to think for various reasons. But I think it's good to be familiar with at least some of the cautions for illustrations. And you have a list both in your readings and in what I gave you. Now, not a question, but I would like for you to add to your list there. Where do the terms for expositional rain originate? Where do the terms for expositional rain originate? Now, this is assuming a couple of things. You know what expositional rain is? Among other things. And you're assuming that it's going to happen in illustration and now we're going to see today in application as well. But where you get those key terms that rain down into the illustration and into the application, where do they come from? They are the key terms of the sub point statement. They're the key terms of the sub points. So that's the expositional rein The terms that come down in the illustration application are the key terms of the sub points. What if you don't have sub points? Then it's the key term from the magnet clause of the main point. Okay, One more wrinkle. You still with me? If these are bullets or they are answers to analytical questions, where are the key terms? They're in the statements. If the sub points are interrogative, where are the key terms? They're in the answers to the interrogative, to the to the questions.

[00:04:03] So we're saying whatever we say is the point of the sub point. That's what hold the key terms. So in analytical questions, responses and bullets. The sub points are actually statements, Right. So then the key terms are in the statements. But if you have interrogative, multiple questions. Then the key terms are in the answers to the questions. That's really where the focus is in is writing is in the answer to the interrogative. And in that case, the key term is in the answer, which is saying what? Not only are the interrogative is parallel in wording, which also is parallel in wording. The answers are parallel in wording to otherwise you can't find the key terms. Okay, so the answers are parallel in wording too, so that you can find the key terms. Okay. Let's pray and we'll move forward today. Heavenly Father, the word that you have given us is true. And not only is it true, it has been opened to your people. And we pray, Father, that not only would it be open to us, but the mysteries of life that are there, which your spirit reveals, would be. Ours to give that you would use us as instruments of your glory, that we, the earth and vessels. And time and again we remind ourselves that our brokenness, our sin, our inability, though it would seem to remove from us the task of caring your holy word, is yet being committed to our care. Because when we speak, Father, when we are committed to your truth and speak it faithfully, you work beyond us, your spirit, yet engaging the hearts of others and taking to them that which you want them to know from all eternity and for all eternity. Grant This day, as we move to this step that the preachers of old have said is the chief aim of preaching even its application to the lives of people that you would instruct us.

[00:06:04] Well, that not only the information that we desire, but the transformation that we desire for your people would be. Well within our hands. For your purposes, grant us insight. We pray. In Jesus name, Amen. Yesterday, I was speaking with a pastor. A long time friend. A long time pastor. And he was in a position he said, you know, when when I gathered with friends probably ten years ago in the city that I'm minister, we are we as pastors talked a whole lot about the things that we would do to reach a community that was largely unreached at that time, at least from Presbyterian and reformed circles. And he said, we came up with all kinds of strategies of what we would do for this region. And we've had a lot of success. I mean, if you just look at the size of churches now, they are typically quite large churches. They've multiplied. They've got lots of people. But he said, you know, at this stage, ten years later. While our churches are big and we have lots of people and our strategies have worked well, I am wondering what difference we're making. If we weren't here, would our people be living any differently? Now, that's a rather remarkable segue there in our churches there worshiping. We've had some good strategies here in human terms that have resulted in people coming. But as I look at the people who are here, if we weren't here, would they really be living any differently? The question he's answering is a tough one for pastors, and it is what is the effect of the word that I am preaching? Am I seeing lives not only informed but transformed? Is there any difference as a consequence of the scriptures? It's a it's a question for evangelicals that is particularly difficult in this day, in your in your readings.

[00:07:58] Just in the introduction, the addition of the book that you have here, it mentions some statistics I'll just add to them. This is what's in the second edition and not all of you have seen it. Listen, just to some of these, approximately one third of American adults say they are born again believers. Now, you know, there's lots of variation on what that means, but it's a figure that hasn't changed in almost three decades. Roughly a third say they are born again. However, there seems to be little difference in the behavior of those who are born again from the time that they say they're born again. And after that point. In fact, surveys say that each of three major categories use of illegal drugs, driving while intoxicated, and marital infidelity behavior actually deteriorates after people said they have been born again. The incidents of drug use and illicit sex roughly doubles after people say they have been born again in that interesting drug use. And illicit sex roughly doubles after people say they have been born again. The incidence of drunken driving actually triples after people say they have been born again. Recent surveys. You know, this is now probably about three years old. Recent surveys indicate the incidence of divorce is actually higher among those who indicate that they are born again believers. Then the rest of the population. And a recent Zogby poll, this is only within the last year indicated that Internet pornography sites are visited by 18% of born again believers. A figures that differs only by 2% from the general population. Those are scary figures. Now we could debate everyone. Was the survey done properly? What are the you know, some of you know, focus on the family particularly debated the divorce statistics and there was a lot of news about that.

[00:09:56] But would anybody really contend that even if the incidence of divorce is not greater among evangelicals than in the general population, that it is common among evangelicals as well as in the in the general population? If that is so, how can we say that we who are committed to the Word of God and seeing it take root in the lives of people are being effective? And what are we being called to do? It seems clear that while we have been communicating information for generations that something is not communicating, that there is not contact being made between what people know to do and what they are doing. And at least for preachers in all eras, that easy disconnect is application. It is actually easy to preach information and not think about how it applies. I will tell you, when we had the Kinect conference here this year and we had over 200 pastors and I simply in my camp, in my time with them said what you recognize is actually preached to while outlines like we're working on jump off the page. That's not the hard work anymore. It's hard work now to diminish that as you're learning, it's still hard work, but after you've preached a while, getting the outlines for the sermon is not the hard work. You know what the hard work is? Making it real to people. What difference is this going to make in your life now that you know it? What difference will it make? That is always the sweat and the blood of preaching. So we want to talk today about not only the importance of application, but begin to get into how to do it and next time how we get past some of the very real hurdles to doing application well.

[00:11:32] And they are real. So today, why it's important how to do it initially and next time how to overcome some of the hurdles as we think about why we are doing application. Among the reasons we do it is the recognition without application, meaning is hidden. Without application. Meaning is hidden. Now, what that is actually saying is application is essential for full exposition. To say, Here's the tense of the verb. To even say, here's what ancient Israel was like at that time. Here's what it meant to be a shepherd in the Oriental fields can be all good exposition. But if the information does not come into our lives, then even though you can know that information, you still don't know the meaning of the text. For us, it's that for those of you in hermeneutics already, it's that. It's that very important difference between meaning and significance. I can know the meaning of something like Pray without Ceasing and you should keep on doing it. And still not know the significance of it. If I don't know what that means for me, how am I supposed to do it when I don't feel like doing it, when I'm too busy to do it, when I don't think to do it? What's the significance of the instruction if you have not related it to my life? You haven't really explained the meaning of the text in terms of significance. If application is not apparent, that helps us think about what application is. What is application? It is the consequence. We may even add the words. It is the personal consequence. Of the truth the Scripture presents. It answers the question, obviously. So what? Application converts lectures to sermons. Information to exhortation. Intellectual acquisition. Two life transformation. Application is without any question.

[00:13:39] I think almost any preacher would tell you application is the most difficult feature of preaching. Application requires the preacher to take a stand, and therefore it demands courage. It is far easier to dispense information than to seek transformation. Now, do we need to do it if it's so hard and so difficult and seems to be ignored so often? Just some quick ideas for you. Those of you who were trained in the Westminster Standard's third catechism. Question What do the Scriptures principally teach? The Scriptures principally teach what managed to believe concerning God and what duty God requires of man. Now explanation is what managed to believe concerning God. What is application, what duty God requires of men. Now, it's interesting that the West device were we're not willing to push those apart. They said, what do the Scriptures principally teach? What man is to believe? Yes. And what duty God requires as a consequence. It's not either or. It's the two together. Now, what's curious is that is a very modern concept that the Westminster divines came up with. Some of you are now reading John Frayne The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, the idea of Praxis theology, in which he makes the point that if one does not know how to apply the truth, it is not really true to you. William Ames. The Puritan theology is the science of living to God. Isn't that interesting? William Ames, a Puritan in what was called the medulla, is the marrow of modern theology. I think about that. Not the bone structure, but actually makes it live. He said theology is not just the science of knowing God. That's what you almost think it would be, right? Theology Study of God. But he said, actually, it's not just the study of the information about God.

[00:15:37] A Puritan even would say it is the science of living to God. So we think of people who are informed in Scripture, committed to our standards, committed to doing what Scripture says. And they think when they think about preaching, it is not just communicating the informational truths. It is saying, what difference does this make in your life and preaching? If it's saying, What does the Bible say? Remember the expositor ethic. Let me tell you what this text says. If what I believe is what this text principally teaches is what manage to believe concerning God and what duty God requires of man, then I can't adequately explain it to you if I haven't put both hands in front of you. So if you said back in our notes here, application concentrates on the first blank there what duty is required of man. Application answers. So what? And there you have only to think of Dr. RAEBURN again, right at the back of the sanctuary with his arms crossed. Yes. Wonderful sermon, Pastor. So what application answer? So what application important add here may be behavioral. Or attitudinal. It may be behavioral or attitudinal. We often think, particularly early in preaching that application is primarily about things to do. Don't do this. Do that. Read this book, Pray More. Now, all those are appropriate applications. But remember what the Scripture says out of where are the issues of life? Out of the heart are the issues of life. I often find that when people start preaching, when young people get frustrated, and particularly young men get angry in the pulpit, it's because they see people not doing what they have said to do. Makes sense. I told you to do this and you're not doing it. Now what we have to do is some self analysis at time.

[00:17:44] If anybody knows to do what the Scriptures say, it is the preacher. And yet does the preacher send? Of course we know what to do and we don't do it. So what's really at fault here is that our information base is too low. Not usually. What is wrong? It's what's going in our hearts. It's the weakness. As I listened to starting preachers, and it's just part of the way that we grow. I don't mean to be demeaning here. It's just part of the way when I listen to people who start preaching, they usually emphasize the behaviors. When I listen to pastors who've been preaching 20 and 25 years, they almost always emphasize the heart. They don't ignore behaviors, but they know the real issue is the heart. And until I deal with that, the behaviors won't really result. So application has to take both into account behaviors and attitudes. And as that's the case, we recognize that there are various specific types of application possibilities. I have four here. Of course, there can be many more. What are some specific application possibilities? It might be a command to obey. That's an application. I give you this command to obey on the authority of Scripture. But application could also be an attitude to be changed. Could also be an attitude to be changed. It could be a safe concept to be reinforced. Does Moses ever say? Remember? Just remember the God who brought you thus far. Here. I raised this Ebenezer thus far has the Lord helped us remember? Every time you pass the stone, remember what God has done. It's a form of application to reinforce. Reinforce a faith concept. Obviously, it can also be a sin to be corrected. Identification of a sin to be corrected.

[00:19:46] And we can multiply many times, but those are probably pretty basic categories as you think of obey, repent. The positive side, the negative side of obedience. But it could also be a faith concept to be reinforced or simply an attitude to be changed. You must love people enough to forgive them even when they have wronged you. I'm really working at the attitude. Because application seeks heart and life transformation rather than mere mind expansion brought us. And the reason we use them, of course, is because he's the father of expository preaching. Calls application. What do remember the main thing to be done in expository preaching. And again even to this day it surprises me that brought us would say that I expect him to say this father expository preaching explanation is the main thing to be done. But he kept driving and said, No, what you're really about is transforming people, not just informing them. So he said application is the main thing to be done. Just a couple of other people to add. SPURGEON Just just a note for you here. Simply set it this way where the application begins, the sermon begins, SPURGEON said. Where the application begins, The sermon begins now. He obviously didn't mean on paper, You know, the application might not come till the end of the sermon. But he is saying, and until you've really thought about what difference this makes in people's lives, you really don't have a true sermon yet. So what we typically think of as the greatest of the reformed preachers, he also recognizes the importance of application. So if you go to Roman numeral two, why must application be included? Not new concepts for you, but reiteration application explains the reason for the exposition. Why do I tell you all those things? You know, it's like the doctor Here, take these pills.

[00:21:52] Why don't. Just take these pills? Well, who's going to take the pills? Why are we getting all this information from the explanation? The goal is the application application is explaining the reason that we have done all this information. Now it's saying again, just look at your diagram here. If I've done the main point statement, sub point, sub point, and then by the time I'm doing application I don't refer to. Either or both of these. What do people think? Why did we do all that? I mean, if you were going to break down the text this way and it has no significance for me. Why did we bother to. Why did you spend the time? So it's saying that if we break the text down into sub points like this, we know we are going to be applying them because we said take these pills. But if we don't say why, it has no significance for the here just to see this graphically and you've seen this before. It's to recognize this is what we are doing. In the sermon. We are trying to get application ultimately for leverage excuse me, ultimately for the application. So the argument that we have developed and the explanation, even the tone that we use in the message, the illustrations, the grammar discussions, the context referred to is all being used as weight on the fulcrum of exposition to move application. What difference will this make in your life now? The reason I'm kind of making a point of this is if you think about the typical academic sermon, what do these bubbles look like? Teams developed before but can very easily happen. Explanation three fourths of the point. Illustration one fourth of the point Application. Go down, do likewise.

[00:23:46] If you really are saying this is what I was driving at, this is the main thing. Everything I was building was to give the leverage for this final construction of the transformation that would result. Then you say, I can't do that in one sentence. There's more to it than that. If you begin to see conceptually what's going on beyond that, Item B application focuses the exposition. Exegesis and exposition are bottomless pits of infinite commentary possibilities without a purpose clearly in mind. Now, this has happened already, hasn't it? You started working on your on your sermon project. Some of you've already gone to the commentaries, and even though you've only got a paragraph of the text, some of you said you don't really expect me to cover all of that in the message. I mean, there's so much. Well, that's a really good understanding. There is so much. How do you determine what you're going to narrow to what what you're going to talk about? Application becomes the purpose driven sermon, right? It's what's driving the sermon. Not because you haven't researched it, but once I see what the significance is for the people that I have executed, as well as executing the text, I begin to recognize how to how to marshal my forces, what to group and what to separate, what will be my best leverage, what can I leave to another time? So knowing what the application will be for the sermon helps me focus the exposition which I will use. Here's a little rubric that is under item. The application is the end of sermon research. You don't want to do what you are to do or believe until you determine what the text means. So application is the end of sermon research.

[00:25:36] You don't want to come up with the application until you've researched the text, but it is the beginning of sermon writing. Application is the end of sermon research, but it is the beginning of sermon writing. It's converting the exegetical material to the homily article message. So now that I've executed a term, what SERE thought, what would the applications be? And now I have to begin to say, if I'm trying to move people, what is the most salient information to bring? What do I need to concentrate on? What can I kind of diminish in importance? Because I recognize it's not so central to the application? How am I even going to word these things? Given the people to whom I am speaking, what their background is, what their knowledge is, what I'm driving it? How am I going to word these things if I don't know the application? So having application clearly in mind helps me structure and word the humble litical message. It should not make me structuring word the exegetical message here. The difference application is the end of the research, but I should know what the significance is before I begin writing the message in millennial terms. So here's the left field rule. I told you about it before, but here it is. The How do you know when you're in left field? Which means just kind of you miss the bus, you're out of the loop here, whatever the terminology is. Right. You know, you're in left field. When at the end of explanation and illustration, you say to yourself, Hmm. I wonder how I'm going to apply this. You just said you missed the bus. How did you even write this? And this? If you didn't know what the application was going to be.

[00:27:26] It's this again, the analogy that's on your paper application is the target. It's the main thing to be done. So if I was firing all my arrows of explanation, illustration and I didn't have a target, how do I know what I was shooting at? So the application becomes the target of the message. Now, that's not just me. You all know some other humble article writers by now, Jay Adams, when he refers to the way in which we form messages, he doesn't use the term application. He uses the telos principle. Your Greek. What's telos mean? What's the end or the goal? And so he's saying before you and develop the explanation, the illustration, you must have the goal in mind. And the goal is also always transformation. So he talks about the telos principle. Swanson uses the AIM terminology. What is the sermon taking aim at in order to form its various structures? You already know about Broad. As he says. It's the main thing to be done for me. You recognize that? What I talked about is the FCF. What is the burden of the message? Now, really, that's happening up here prior to any of the main points, right? I'm saying what's the burden of the message? So everything that you're forming, even the individual main points, are pointing back to the burden. But it's also saying the application of every main point is pointing to the FCF. One of the ways that you can really ensure that you have harmonic unity. How many things is a sermon about one thing? One of the ways that you make sure you have harmonic unity is you look at the applications of main points and you ask yourself, how do those applications deal? With the original FCF is every application dealing with this.

[00:29:23] When you typically shotgun, you hear sermons that are just kind of people going everywhere. You know, love your neighbor, read your Bible more, tithe, go to the child care center and help people. And and and remember the starving people in Africa. Where is this thing going? It's all over the place because what the person was typically doing is they gave explanation, illustration, and then they used somewhere a homily. This professor told them they're supposed to application. So they knew they had to come up with something. But they weren't going back and saying, What did I say was the basic aim of this whole text? What was its burden? Why did the Holy Spirit put this in the Bible? What was the the wrong thing, the damaged aspect of our existence that the Holy Spirit was dealing with? So now when I'm doing application, am I still on point? The main thing is to keep the main thing. The main thing. Am I still on the main thing? The burden of the message. And when I'm doing application, I often will come to the course. You know what? I really drifted. I'm tangentially thinking now. I progressed through the text and I said, Oh, this reminds me of some things, but you really weren't dealing with the Holy Spirit's purpose for the text, which is the FCA. So application begins to focus the exposition. See, it does something else, application clarifies. He even gives meaning to exposition. Now, that's probably harder to relate it till you see what's happening. If you could see exploration, illustration and application as the dominoes of understanding. All right. I'm going to explain something. But then they want to demonstrate it and then people really know it when they see its significance in their lives.

[00:31:13] You understand that, that what application is doing is it's only saying to someone. You know, in your head, you know, in your heart. But now you do it. Now I know. Now I really understand because I can apply it. We'll see later on that these dominoes can fall in different order. Okay. This is a very standard, what's called deductive order principle, particular application. Sometimes we'll go the other way in later semesters, we'll we'll go up the ladder. The point is not the order is that they all have to fall for exposition. The unfolding of the text. Open the door so people can go in and limit. All three have to fall so that you truly have exposition. Also Forest theory. So let me just give you some texts that I hope will affirm some of what we've been saying. The first under Item D application of truth is required in Scripture would be First Thessalonians two, first Thessalonians two versus seven through 12. We've looked at this earlier in the semester, but let me read it to you again. Paul writes, We were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God, but our lives as well. You know how we lived among you for your sake. We dealt with you as a father, with his children. Encouraging, comforting. And urging you to live lives worthy of the gospel. But did Paul say we taught you the truth? We lived it among you. We tried to comfort you. But ultimately, we were encouraging you to live lives worthy of the gospel. We want to see transformation. When we see something changed in you to live according to what we've said. Second, Timothy 316 and 17. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable.

[00:33:14] Well, what is it profitable for? Doctrine. Yes. True. Doctrine reproof. Correction. An instruction in righteousness that the man of God might be thoroughly furnished unto all good works. What are the scriptures principally teaching what is doctrinally true, but also what you're living that's wrong, that needs reproof. The negative side, what you're doing wrong. Correction. What you should do right. An instruction in righteousness that you would be thoroughly furnished for all that God is calling you to do and teaching you what is necessary to live the truth of God. Titus two one. In earlier in the semester, I teach you about the Presbyterian Amen verse. Remember what Paul says. I urge you to teach what is in accord with sound doctrine, he writes to Titus. But just to read further in that passage, what does it mean? To teach was an accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be. Temperate. Worthy of respect. Self-controlled sound in faith. In love and endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live. Not to be slanderous. Not to be addicted to wine. But to teach what is good. What are you hearing? What is an accord with sound doctrine? Very explicit instruction for how people are to live. It is, after all, the pattern of all the epistles. What do you get? You get a salutation greeting at the beginning, the Pauline Epistles. Then what do you get? Doctoral instruction. Then what do you get after the doctoral instruction? The practical applications. Then you get Goodbye. But. But there's a pattern. And you might say, Well, Paul, you know, we're. I'm only going to preach in the instructional part. Send me the doctoral part of the message. Do I have to do application then? And if you really press me to the wall, I would say no.

[00:35:19] I mean, technically, you could do doctoral instruction and you could wait till next week. Or would it be three weeks or would it be four weeks to finally get to those application portions? Paul was expecting it to be done in a reading, write the Epistles to be read in the church. So what he was expecting was one would hear the doctrine and one to hear the applications in a reading. So we might not be fulfilling the aim of the Apostle if while preaching on the doctrinal sections, we might not for weeks and weeks get to the actual application portions. It would seem to fulfill his ethic. We would be making sure that application and doctrine are staying wed. If you think of how these things begin actually to occur, how important is it's unlikely that they can occur in a sense, as I said. So I want us to begin to think about the components of application. How is it made up? It's important what goes into it. Four basic questions. Okay? There are always going to be four basic questions of application when you hear them. You recognize why you can't do this in one sentence. The four developmental questions of application are a what? What to do. And likely to put not only what to do, but a parentheses that gives it further definition. This is called instructional specificity. Application has specific instructions. Now, again, that could be attitudinal or behavioral, but I'm saying what does God now require of you as a consequence of the truth of this text? So the what question is dealing with instructional specificity? The. The where question now only what should I do? But where should I do it? This is situational specificity. I'm not just saying what instructions are here for you.

[00:37:17] But where in life do they apply? Situations. Give me the situations in which they apply situational specificity. Again, we are identifying where in real life the principles apply. You see why that's part of carrying significance. If I tell you what to do, but you don't see where in your life it makes any difference, then I might as well not have told you what to do. So it's not only what to do, but what are the situations in your life where this will make a difference? See is the why question. And that's the motivation. Instructional specificity, situational specificity, and now proper motivation. Why should I do that? Why are lots of people doing the Christian disciplines? I'll read my Bible more of go to church. I'll pray more. Why are many, many people in the Christian world doing the Christian disciplines? Who are they buying off? They're buying off guard. I'll do this so God won't hurt me. I'll pray more so he won't get mad at me. Now they are doing the right thing. But now what's the motivation? It's the wrong motivation. I've actually turned God into the ogre in the sky. I've actually turned God into Satan. I've made them exchange places. I'm doing a right thing for the wrong reason, which means it's wrong. Hear that the right thing for the wrong reason is wrong. So I want to make sure that the motivation is correct as well. And item D, I want to deal with the how question The how question, which is enablement not only what to do and where to do it, but why and how. Why is proper motivation? And the question is enablement. All right. You've told me I had to do something. But I don't know how I'm going to do that.

[00:39:21] I struggle with this all my life. I failed yesterday. I just assume I'm going to fail tomorrow. You've told me to change, but how am I going to do that? So not only telling people what to do and where to do it and why to do it, but how it's part of application. I want you to see it this way. Of the things that we've talked about. The what question is instructional specificity, The where question situational specificity. In this semester, what we're going to say is this Those two questions have to be answered in every main point. Okay, The what in the where we are going to say has to be in the application of every main point. The why and the how. The bottom two. We will say must be answered somewhere in the sermon. We will not require them in every main point. But we'll say before we're done or before our listeners walk out the door, we want to make sure that their motivation is correct and that we've enabled them to do what we called them to do. Now, I'll just grant you that there's some artificiality in that. Okay. I'll just grant you that right up front. The reason I want to make sure that the what to do and the why to do are clearly stated is so that when we are constructing our explanation, illustration, we got a target. We know that we're going to be telling people to do something to exhort them as a consequence of the explanation and illustration. But I well recognize that to now say why and how in every main point may actually destroy the strategy, if not in your sermon of the Apostle. At times the Apostle is saying, do this, do this, do this.

[00:41:06] And then he's saying, and here's why. And at times it is far more powerful to save the why and how to later portions of the sermon. And to drive with the heart the instruction that you've already given to the hands. All right. So we're not going to forget the how and the why. We're going to say before the sermons done how in the why need to be in there. But they may be saved for particular points, but every point will have the what and the where. Now. I want you to see some of it and we'll I'm sorry. I was a little ahead of myself there. Let me just talk about what we're trying to accomplish when we talk about why we were doing all of these things. What, where, why and how it is because we're thinking about what enables people to apply scriptural truths. But if you said what actually enables people to do what the Bible says, A is adequate argument. If we say, well, what's going to equip people to do what the Bible says it is, it is adequate argument. They actually see the reasons. Where is that going to be? If you were thinking exploration, illustration application. Where is the adequate argument for doing what you say going to be? It's explanation. It's explanation. The next part is having people properly motivated. That is not only what they think, but what they feel about this text. Know again, motivation. If you're looking at the major components, where is it going to be? Illustration. Remember that little rubric? The supreme purpose of illustration is not to clarify. It is to motivate. No. Does it mean there's no purpose of clarifying? But the supreme purpose of illustration is to motivate. Well, if that's the case, then you know what the next one is going to be.

[00:42:56] After adequate argument, the proper motivation there is c enabling people to do what the Scripture says is realistic application, realistic application. That is telling people what to do and where they will do it properly. Having realistic application is knowing what to do, where to do it, why didn't do it, and how to do it. So it's realistic application that has all of those components. If you look at just the little chart at the bottom of the page, it's just a little transfer of what we were saying before. Exposition is still the fulcrum. Application is still the thing to be moved. But look what now as we think of it slightly differently. What we're using for the lever for the leverage argument, dealing with the intellect will, which is the motivation, but also praxis, bring it into my life and in the practice of doing it, then I'll understand. And that's the enablement feature that is application. Now let's look at page four, which is going to be more complex, and then we'll see how it works out in an actual message. When you see it visually first and then we'll actually look at it in the text. If we said how is application structured? So we're kind of charting the way it works out in a traditional main point. You already heard me say, We don't always do this, but this is kind of traditionally how it works. We have a main point statement that gets us into the explanation, and we know already that explanation typically is going to be divided into sub points with key terms. Those explanation concepts in terms then rain down into the illustration. But those same key terms are going to now rain down into the application. So the sub points key terms and forgive me, there's probably too many raindrops here in this particular illustration.

[00:44:53] You know, you probably only have two or three of them, but you're going to have key terms coming down into the application. And the key terms are going to be what forms the instructional specificity. Just look up here on the board again here for a moment. Some point with key terms. I'm saying here's what this text means. Parallel language with key word changes. Because I use these key word changes. I have said when I was explaining this is what this text means. Then when I'm doing application and I don't use those terms, I've moved away from my authority base. So the use of those key terms is not only a rhetorical communication tool. Repetitively hearing key terms. Again, it's also my authority device. What I told you that text means, and the way I framed it is precisely what I'm telling you the Bible says you should do. And the reason you see that and feel the weight of it is it's the way in which I develop the explanation so that the old rubric of preachers is you apply what you explained. Here that you apply what you explained. But now what you know in addition is you apply it how you explained it. That is, you use its terms. So the terms of explanation are what you are applying as well. So back to the overhead here. It means the explanations he terms and concepts are reigning into the application, particularly the key terms. That are forming the instructions. But now, look, something else is going on. I'm also dealing with situational specificity. I'm saying not only what should you do? I'm beginning to think where in your life does this make a difference? I'm thinking of situations. That becomes a concrete. That's what that little block there is.

[00:46:50] I say. Where concretely in your life does this make a difference? And identify a concrete and say so when you're in this situation, do what we just said. Identify a concrete situation. Now, lots of people theologically will begin to struggle. And here's the struggle. They will say, Now, wait a second. The Bible is meant for all kinds of people in all kinds of situations, and you just limited it once you put a concrete there. Didn't you just limit the work of the Holy Spirit and persons who are very concerned about what's called a soulless spiritist perspective? The spirit alone is the one who should be applying the word. Now basically feel they have won their case. Wait. I always thought that if you began to do application, you. You limit the work of the Holy Spirit. And by you saying here concretely is where it makes a difference in your life. You just confirmed my fear. You just finished in the application of the spirit. It is a legitimate concern. And so here's what we do. Having identified the one concrete. We don't leave it there. We then unroll it. We say, now that you see the principle and how it applies in a concrete situation. Consider the other situations in life that are typical among you in which this principle would also be applied. In other words, I put the concrete down to make people see. Now, you know, in real life this has meaning, but I don't fence it in by having spoken of the concrete. And I'll say, But consider another situation. And another and another. The first concrete is the one most fully developed. But we break the fence down around it by saying, But consider this and this and this.

[00:48:40] So I might be saying God demands integrity of you, even if it's difficult. Now, some of you are in business situations where even your boss is requiring you to do what is not honest. I can remember in a situation where my employer said, Now listen, we're kind of bringing you in at a starting wage and we recognize that. So when you fill out your expense accounts, it's not always wrong to add a little bit. I mean, don't go overboard here, but, you know, it's okay to add a little bit just to help your salary out a little bit. That was my own boss telling me to write down what wasn't true. But it does not matter what your business situation requires. God requires you to operate with integrity, even if it makes life difficult for you. But not all of you are in business situations. Some of your students in school. What did I just do? I just broke down the fence, so it just doesn't apply to the business situation. Some of you are in schooling situations and there is all kinds of pressure upon you to do well for the college that you want to get into. Some of you even here, you want to do well because you think people in churches are going to look at your grade card to think how well you did in order to hire you for a job. By the way, they never do. They look at you. Hardly ever do. They look at your transcript. They to know who you are. And they want to hear from your heart what you know. But you can be under intense pressure to cheat in almost any academic situation. Now, I probably just did more explanation of that than I would have in the normal situation, dealing with the business situation.

[00:50:08] I might deal with a schooling situation and then I might open the horizon up and I might say, and and there are other situations. Those of you here are facing that are requiring your integrity. And even, as I mentioned, the issue of integrity, you know what they are. Jimmy really break down the fence that now I'm saying the Holy Spirit has to work in your heart to determine what this will mean. So I give a concrete, and the reason for the concrete is to specify where this has significance in real life. But I don't limit it there. I try to say and here and here as well. For what it's worth, I just giving my my little thought here on the solo spiritus argument. Rare occasions, but occasionally rare occasions. I'll go to a conference and people who have some exposure to Kreisler preaching are concerned about the chapter on application. And almost always the concern is they will say, Isn't this working? Isn't this limiting the work of the Holy Spirit? Now say so. What you're saying is this You think that my instructing people to do application is wrong? They say that's right. So you think I should stop? That's right. And they say, Oh, I should stop on the basis of what the scripture teaches. That's right. Didn't you just do application? Do you hear it? If any time you say on the basis of a biblical principle, you should stop doing something you just did application even when you said you shouldn't do application, that was application. I know a fairly well-known writer. Some of you know him who objected to the use of illustration. And so in a book on preaching, he wrote and I preached a wonderful funeral sermon one time, and I didn't use a single illustration.

[00:51:47] And the father of the woman of the girl who was killed came up afterwards and said that sermon had so much to learn, even though I didn't use illustration. What did he just do? He just used an illustration to say it didn't then help the illustrations. Now you will feel all the weight of that and even theologically debate in other places what's what's right and wrong about application. But here's my thought. I want you to feel deeply what you want when you sit down at a sermon. If the pastor simply says. God is sovereign. Then I would think most of you would think, you know what? I knew that before I sat down. It's not why I'm here, Pastor. The reason I'm here is I'm hoping you will show me the implications of that truth for my life and my family and my loved ones and loss. I was hoping that you would tell me where it makes a difference. And that's what application is trying to do. It is the personal consequence of the. It is not always behaviors. And sometimes people kind of tee off on application because all they're saying is you're just giving people behaviors. But that's not what I've said, is it? You're just saying what's the significance for the heart as well as for behaviors? In fact, the heart is more important than the behaviors, though not to be segregated from them. So all these are to be done. Let's look at how it how it actually unfolds in an actual message. If you've got your your sermons at the back of your syllabi, let's let's look at them and we'll again go to Main point two and see how this unfolds. My intention again, is just to have you look first at the main point and the sub points main point too, because God will judge sin, we must proclaim his word to defend the truth for some point after the interrogative.

[00:53:52] When must we defend the truth? When others abandon sound doctrine? Second transition. When must we also defend the truth? When others flock to false teachers? Third sub point is when others will not even listen and remember in the illustration. You can see it in the boldface. Here we found with a martin Luther account those key phrases, those key terms reappearing. Luther knew that others might abandon sound doctrine. Others had flocked to false teachers. He knew, even in speaking that others would not even listen. Yet he had to speak the truth. All right, now here's the interpreting statement. At the end of the illustration. You and I are called to a similar task in this day and age, where truth is relative and tolerance and courage. Candidly, I wish you'd done a little more to summarize the key terms preceding, but let's see where it goes from there. Application. Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, who is a very young pastor in the city of Ephesus. Yet these words apply directly to us. Every day we face we are faced with challenges and we must make a decision as to whether or not to defend the truth. In the business world, there is pressure from every side to abandon doctrinally sound ethics as the old fashioned way of doing things. Now, if we were going to have our picture up here, what do we just do? We had exposition of rain come down. What terms did you hear? Just come down. Okay. A band doctor back then. And sound doctrine has changed a little bit, Right. But it's still the key terms abandoned sound doctrine. So we had some key terms out of the sub point come down. They went through the illustration. Now they're being used here.

[00:55:37] So, you know, if you could have a little raindrop there, that's the raindrop. It's coming down. But now look at the situational specificity. Where does he say that that truth principle applies? What's the first concrete? It's the business world. So I've said this truth applies in the business world. Now, it's going to be it's going to be detail a bit, because the first concrete typically gets a little more detail to it. So he said you're tempted to abandon doctrine, sound ethics as the old fashioned way of doing thing. Whatever it takes is the slogan of the day, whether dealing with money. The hiring and firing employees or company records. Believers in the workplace often find themselves in situations where unethical behavior is not only overlooked, but expected. In these situations, we must not succumb to our natural inclinations to follow the crowd and flock to those false teachers who claim such things are justifiable and will gain approval. Now we have another drop of exposition rain coming down, but it's still dealing with the same situation. So he's use the terms of his explanation to now deal with the business world twice. So both terms have come down to deal with the business world. Now, where does it go from there? There are many things in this world more important in the favor of men from the student who was encouraged by his peers to cheat on the big exam, to the corporate executive who is offered a handsome bonus if she will look the other way with regards to the illegal business deal. Now, a number of important things just happened. The fence got broken down a couple of ways. One of them is we turn from the business world. To what? School. But now another kind of stereotype got broken down, didn't it? Stereotype last generation.

[00:57:20] Who are the people in the business world? What gender are they? Men. Now look what happened. So, you know, I want you to think beyond your traditional categories. What about the business executive? She. Who's been tempted in the same way. And by the way, it's not just saying students or business world, it's saying there's a whole spectrum of people from students to those in the business. So we've picked up other categories just by the means of expression. How many heads would turn and mouths hang open if in these situations that person were to say, I can't do so because it would violate the Word of God, may you and I be motivated to say with Martin Luther, my conscience as captain for the Word of God with this is our motivation. We will be able to stand for truth even when others do not listen. Now, there's a little more on the next page, but recognize we've picked up the final raindrop. Of exposition. And it's being pointed now not only to the exposition but to the unrolled, to the students, to the women in the business world and everybody in between in the way it was expressed. The way I often think of what we're trying to do is this when we are dealing with the first concrete. Have you seen those flashlights where you take the beam and you kind of twist the top of the flashlight to focus the beam? What I think of in application is we are doing this. I am taking the light of the word. And the way in which I say this is what it means. This is has significance. After I've explained the light of the word is I focus the beam on a concrete situation.

[00:58:53] So I do enough, enough twisting specificity, I do enough focus. They said. Now you can see its significance in real life by looking at that concrete. But having focused the beam, I don't just keep pointing in that situation. I go and those of you who are students and those of you who are young moms who are wrestling with kids, and I focus it and then I point to a few more places so people see it doesn't just shine light there. It's got other places as well. Because truly, I am concerned about the solar sphere. It's this argument. I just don't buy it that the best way to apply the work of the Spirit is not to mention where it applies is to give examples and then say and still you must deal with it in the way the spirit is speaking it. But I want to make sure you see how this beam works in real life, even as you consider now how it should apply to your life. Now, there will be times, of course, I can be very specific about the concrete because I'll know what people in the congregation are struggling with. Do I mention them by name? No. Do I mention their situations? I may very well mention their situations. Now, again, not so much that I'm identifying people, but will you ever deal with a whole church that is in an unemployment crisis? Sure you will. And I'm I have to say, those of us who are really struggling with where bread is going to come from tomorrow need to hear this word of God. And I am speaking to everybody in their situation. If you were to look on page five, what you have is just some. Some additional charting.

[01:00:25] But my goal is finding that little hint that's at the bottom. But as we're kind of ending the discussion for today, before we get to some of the hurdles, I want you to think of what's called the double edged sword illustrations, just that little hint that's down under the flashlight illustration that I just gave you. On page five, it says, Hint a double edged sword illustration may serve as the concrete. Some of you have pastors who are very experienced, and I want you to hear with ears particularly tuned for something over the next few Sundays. It is this. Watch how often very experienced preachers do not necessarily illustrate the explanation. They illustrate the application. Here's what they're doing. They know the importance of having a concrete to the explanation. And so what they do is they use their illustration to the the concrete of the application. That the first concrete is not just some abstract. Let me explain the doctrinal truth to you. The illustration itself is of people applying or dealing with that truth. So the illustration itself. Is the concrete of the application, which saves you, as it were, some time in application to now say where else might this apply? But I think you'll find, particularly in this generation of preachers and this generation of hearers, that the ability to say, let me tell you about somebody in your life that, you know, real life that you can identify with is applying this truth. Then it makes it very powerful and it's a double edged sword illustration. It is both illustrating the explanation, but it is also the concrete for the application. That's what gives it the edge. It's serving both purposes. It's dealing with the explanation and the application. But what it's actually doing is it's illustrating the application to give concrete form to the explanation.

[01:02:30] Now, next time we're going to talk about is this talk conceptually and even with some particularities, what application involves. But there's no question it is the breaking point of the sermon. When people say the preacher just stopped preaching and he went to Madeline, which they mean, I don't think he has the authority to say that. I don't think he has a right to say that. Well, that may be his opinion, but I don't think it's what the Bible says. If you say when do people typically turn off in a sermon? It is not in the illustration. It's not even in the explanation. It is in the application. So we need to face that hurdle and say, how do we as preachers deal with that reality? And we'll do that next time.