The Bible: Applying What We Read

At the beginning of every new year, many Christians make a commitment to read through the entire Bible. There are countless daily reading plans to choose from. Or you can simply come up with your own plan. You can commit to reading a certain number of verses or chapters each day. However you want to do it is fine. Personally, I’m reading through both the Old and New Testaments right now. I might read out of the Old Testament for a couple of days, and then spend a few days reading out of the New Testament. There really is no wrong way to read the Bible.

But taking what you’ve read and applying it in your life can be more of a challenge. Again, there’s really no wrong way to apply the word of God to daily living as long as it’s done out of a sincere desire to live a God honoring life. We’ve all had contact with people who try to twist and distort scripture to suit some agenda or to justify something that really is not Biblical. That’s another subject for another time. What I’m talking about is an honest desire to apply scripture to our daily lives and like I said, as long as it’s honest and sincere, and as long our desire is to please God, it’s hard to go about that the wrong way.

True followers of Christ agree that the Bible is our guide for daily living. In 2 Timothy 3:16 and 17 the Bible says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Does that mean we can find life application in every single verse of scripture? Not in every single verse; no. We have to look at the context in which a particular verse or passage was written. Finding life application in scripture usually comes through the combination of prayer, meditation, and of course, Bible study. But there is something I’ve come to notice about individual verses of scripture: Even If a particular verse does not contain some sort of life application, it will almost always point to a verse……or verses, that do.

I’m going to use an example from the book of Genesis. Genesis 5:21 says, “When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah.” Okay, there’s no real life application for us there. To find application, we need to read the entire passage and then see what other parts of the Bible that passage points to. I won’t copy and paste the entire passage from Genesis 5 here, but the key verse is verse 24: Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. There’s a lot there believe it or not! And it points us to passages of scripture that do have a direct impact on us as believers in Jesus Christ.

A keyword search (in this case, Enoch) on Biblegateway led me to passages in the New Testament books of Luke, Hebrews, and Jude. Luke named Enoch in his geneology of Jesus Christ (not to be confused with Cain’s son by the same name). The writer of Hebrews tells us that because of his faith, Enoch was taken from this life and did not experience death.

In his letter to the church, the apostle Jude shared Enoch’s prophetic vision, which is an end time vision that describes events depicted in Revelation 19, where the Bible describes how the armies of Heaven will follow Jesus when He returns. So just from those few passages, we see that Enoch is associated with both the rapture and the end times, and is in the line of Jesus Christ.

For me, the passage from Jude also affirms what Paul wrote to Timothy, that all scripture is God breathed, which was Paul’s way of stating that all scripture was written under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Nowhere else in the Bible is there any mention of Enoch’s prophectic vision. In fact, there’s very little mention of Enoch….period. Unless he had access to some other material that’s unknown to the rest of the world, and I don’t think that’s the case, there’s only one way that Jude could have known about Enoch’s vision: It was revealed to him by God, and I believe that’s exactly what happened. Scripture confirms and validates scripture and the passage from Jude confirms what Paul said about all scripture being God breathed.

I said Enoch’s name was associated with the rapture but the fact is, he was the very first to be raptured out of the world. And why? Because of his faith. The application therefore is simple. Those who are alive when Jesus returns will be taken out of this world at the beginning of the tribulation, just as the Bible promises. If that happens in our lifetime, we too will be taken out of the world because of our faith. God did it for Enoch and He will do it for us. Enoch was the only the first of the faithful to be raptured. Jesus will come for the rest of His followers after a slight delay of a few thousand years. Enoch’s experience validates what Paul wrote about the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4. Like I said, scripture validates scripture.

So from those few passages about Enoch, the truth about the rapture is affirmed. The truth that Jesus Christ will one day return with thousands upon thousands of His holy ones following Him is validated. And consider when Enoch lived. He was the seventh from Adam, so the return of Christ was promised almost from the very beginning! In the epistle of Jude, we see truths revealed that could have only come from God, again, affirming the truth that all scripture is inspired by God.

Now I know it seems like I took the long way around to make my point; like driving to San Antonio and Houston to get from Fort Worth to Dallas. And honestly, I did. But here is my point: Considering how very little the Bible tells us about Enoch and considering how little is written about him, look at the wealth of life application we get from those few passages of scripture! When we sincerely desire to know God through His word, and as long we’re willing to devote the necessary time and effort to the study of His word, God will lead us to the light of truth and show us how to live our faith!

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