Applying the Bible to modern life is a phrase we can often say without knowing what we really mean. So what do we mean when we say “apply God’s word?”
When I say the phrase “apply God’s word” I mean “live God’s word” or “do God’s word.” There’s a difference between knowing and understanding the Bible compared to actually applying biblical principles to modern topics and questions. You can know the doctrines and live a very secular lifestyle.
So when I say “apply God’s word” I mean the actions and patterns of your life are reflecting godly truths and Christ’s likeness in your modern day and age. It means you are actually doing what the Bible says in your LIFE. The Bible explains the difference between being a hearer and a doer of God’s word; “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing (James 1:22-25).
It takes a lifetime to actually learn to apply the word of God to your modern life. There are many different things that you can do or not do that will affect your ability to actually apply God’s word. If you are not filled with the Spirit, if you never pray, if you don’t read the word, if you don’t have faith, and if you do not exercise your will, then you will not actually apply God’s word to your life.
When talking about applying the Bible, I believe it also means we take biblical principles and apply them to modern life, to everyday life, and to our own life. There are millions of things the Bible does not directly talk about. With every new generation there are unique problems and concerns that face humans. Since the Bible is an ancient text, does this mean it is irrelevant ?- No.
The Bible doesn’t directly mention the internet, dating, college, science, evolution, atheism, modern problems in marriage, parenting a disabled child, raising children in the digital age, abortion, capitalism, liberalism, gun control, modern laws about same sex marriage, vaccinations, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhism, the modern work place, nuclear bombs, America . . . and the list could go on forever. But just because the Bible doesn’t name things like this doesn’t mean there is not truth in the Bible that should directly affect how we respond to these modern issues and questions.
So applying the word of God not only means doing what the Bible says. Applying the Bible also means taking timeless truth and applying it to modern questions and topics. The Bible is living and active (Hebrews 4:12-13). The truths of Scripture never change, but their application is never ending. With every new wave of unique problems and circumstances humans go through, the Bible will always be the supreme authority because the Bible holds the ultimate truth about humans. Modern man may be living through different circumstances and issues than humans did 100 years ago, but man will always be man. Humans are born sinful, we thus produce sinful actions, and therefore every human is in need of being born again through the grace and gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Applying the Word of God to Modern Life means you apply biblical wisdom and the Spirit’s leading to everything you go through and to every question you have. And it means you do everything for God’s glory.