Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Application: Principles that Guide

The Big Idea: How we can apply the Bible by looking for principles in a passage.

Principles That Guide

Biblical principles are foundational truths that guide our faith and our beliefs, directing how we act. Essentially, they lead us to be more like Jesus.

Why we need Biblical Principles

  • They ground us in what is true and right
  • They guide how we think
  • They guide how we act
  • They guide our decision making
  • They guide how we treat others

How to find the Biblical Principle in a passage

1. Identify the theme of the passage (the book, the chapter, the paragraph, or all three)

2. What is it about? What is the subject? What is happening?

3. What do you think the author/speaker is trying to show or tell his audience? What is the intent? Why is this included in the Bible?

4. Is it told or shown in the narrative (story telling)? Is there a cause and effect? Are there contrasts in what should and should not be done?

5. Is there a natural list of qualities (like the fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5:22-23) and/or actions? Of what to do and what not to do? Of how we should behave?

6. How might the passage relate to the culture of its time? How might it be applicable today?

7. Generalize what is being said. What is the main point? Write the principle in one sentence. State it clearly. We should find and grasp the main point in order to go deep!

8. What is the take-away from the identified principle(s) of your passage? How can you use this knowledge for your life?

  • How does this help you train your brain to think what is good and right and true?
  • What is the right thing for you to do? Is there a way to adjust how you act?
  • Does this passage shed light on how you treat people and interact with them?
  • Is there a decision that could use insight from this principle?
  • How might this passage help you to act in a more Christ-like manner?

The book of Galatians presents guidelines for godly living. In Galatians 6:16 the word used can mean a measuring rod, or guideline for what is right. This same word, “canon,” was used of the books the Apostles and early church leaders chose to be included in the Bible. They followed a principle or guide, and this Word of God guides us.

What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God. Galatians 6:15b-16 NLT


This post is forty-sixth in a series as a Practical Starter Guide for Inductive Bible Study.

Up next: Find the Application: Principle Followed – Practice with Psalm 23
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1. How would you explain the word “principle” in our secular academic world, and in the context of the Bible?

2. What would you say are some general principles of the Bible? What are some principles that guide your walk with God? Can you think of Bible passages that support it?

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