Doctrine of Faith Application
1.1. The command: The believer is told by God to learn Bible doctrine so he/she will grow up as a believer. The more the believer hears and learns the more he adds to his spiritual reserve for use when needed (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 31:12; 32:46-47; Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; Psalm 19:7-11; Matthew 4:4; John 17:17; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18; Colossians 1:5-11, 28-29; 2 Timothy 2:15-16).
1.2. The problem: Bible doctrine does not automatically produce that contented happiness and supernatural way of life if it is only academic data or only a library of information in the believerís human spirit and soul. Furthermore, if believers think that Bible doctrine does not work they may try alternatives to the faith application of Bible doctrine such as human viewpoint, emotion, and whatever seems to work (experience).
1.3. Questions to answer: Does the believer know and experience that his Christian way of life, which is based and built upon the Word of God, really is supernatural and productive? Does he involve himself with the Bible doctrines so that he knows they are working? Has the Christian way of life become a pattern of morality with hard work, self discipline, sacrifice, and escape from the lake of fire, without spiritual momentum and joy? Has emotionalism or personal relationships with people become the solution to a stagnant or unstable Christian life instead of the faith application of Bible doctrine?
2. The believer must act by faith (believe it is right and true, then depend upon it) upon what God has said. This must be done in order to consciously participate with God in His plan. The believer must recall the doctrine and trust it so strongly that he does what it says and trusts God to do what He said.
2.1. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 says that Bible doctrine works. It performs its work (ENERGEW, present middle indicative, be at work, operate, be effective) in you who believe (PISTEUW, articular present active participle, for believers, those believers characterized by faith.
3. The Christian life is a life of faith, and faith must always have the appropriate object or it is not Biblical faith.
3.1. The doctrine of faith rest is a basic doctrine that should be learned early in the Christian life. In basic faith rest the believer has faith in Godís promises to him during times of pressure. Basic faith rest produces contentment and inner rest in the believer.
3.2. Living by faith means that the believer uses the faith rest principle toward God and all the Bible doctrines he has learned.
3.3. Faith accepts as fact that which the senses do not experience; is personal confidence and reliance in an object; is the mental attitude of complete trust; takes Bible truths and applies them to life (experience); makes God and Bible doctrine real; is agreement with knowledge (person and words) so that knowledge acts on you; is conscious faith dependence in God to do what He says; honors God because it accepts Him as true; does not defy faith nor doctrine; is dependence on the person that spoke, God, and therefore honors Him above everything; begins at God consciousness, then acts at gospel hearing, then builds on that small amount of occupation with Christ.
3.4. The use or application of the basic techniques demonstrates the faith application principle. The basic techniques are occupation with Christ, knowledge of the Word, faith rest, confession of sin, spirituality, prayer, and ministry. A believer must trust, depend on Christ as Savior and Head of the Church. Without that he has no leader. The believer must learn Bible doctrines and use faith rest toward them and God who gave them. If a believer refuses to believe that simple confession of sin to God allows God to restore fellowship, then that believer will live a life out of fellowship with God. The believer depends upon the Holy Spirit to fulfill His mission in the believer. Prayer becomes a reality instead of wishful thinking when mixed with faith. If faith about Godís plan and spiritual gifts is not active toward God and the Bible, then ministry becomes a frustration and degenerates into religious works.
4. Many Bible passages illustrate the principle that faith must act toward God and Bible doctrine in order to consciously participate with God in His plan. Some examples are: John 6:31-59; Romans 6:11; 14:22-23; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Galatians 2:20; 3:2-5; 5:5; Ephesians 3:17; 1 Peter 1:7-8; 1 John 5:3-4; Hebrews 11 (especially Hebrews 11:6); Lamentations 3:19-26.
5. How does the believer use the doctrine he knows so that it works?
5.1. The principle is: The believer learns with faith so he has a true knowledge, recalls with faith so he has confident certainty in the Bible truth, then by faith puts into practice what he knows to be true. God will do what He said. He depends upon God to make His Word work.
5.2. In order for faith to be effective the Holy Spirit must control the believer and he must be in fellowship with God (spirituality, confession, fellowship), Bible doctrine must be available and learned (equipping of the believer, pastor/teacher, local church), and faith must be directed toward God and the pertinent Bible doctrine (faith application).
5.3. Romans 6 and Galatians 3 and 5 teach and demonstrate this principle.
5.3.1.Romans 6 teaches the principle that you learn so you have knowledge (know), review so you have certainty (reckon), apply so God and His Word controls the life (present).
5.3.2.Galatians 3:2-5 and 5:1-7 teach this same faith application of what you know to be true. God acts through grace not law, through the Holy Spirit not the human sinful nature, and through faith not works.
5.4. As an illustration, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit act for you. Believe this, depend upon it, act upon it by faith.
5.4.1.The Father has taken responsibility for you, so accept that as true and act upon it (John 16:27; Romans 8:17, 28-30; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:3-8; 4:6; 1 John 3:1-2).
5.4.2.The Son has redeemed you (Colossians 1:14), gives you victory (John 16:33), conquered the power of the sin nature (Romans 6:6), is head of the church (Ephesians 1:22), provided spiritual operating accepts for you (John 13-17), and is your leader (Hebrews 12:2). Accept this as true and act upon it.
5.4.3.The Holy Spirit indwells you (1 Corinthians 6:19), will fill and work in you for spiritual production and for the defeat of the sin nature (Galatians 5:16-23), and provides greater power (1 John 4:4). Accept His activity as true and act upon it.
6. Some common areas in life for faith application of Bible doctrine are: 1) Personal relationships with family, friends, acquaintances; 2) Citizenship in a nation; 3) The spiritual conflicts with the world system and its doctrine, the sin nature, and Satan and his demons, 4) Worries, pressures, and suffering that are a part of life; 5) Everyday responsibilities such as job requirements, money, household duties, and schedules; 6) Effective witness to the right people in the right way; 7) Motivation and interest in Bible class even when you are tired or busy or the material does not answer your immediate problem; 8) The uncertain or unknown areas of life that are ahead.
7. Summary principle: Each believer must learn with faith so he may have a true knowledge, he must recall with faith so he may have confident certainty of Bible truth, then each believer must apply by faith what he knows and is certain of (depend upon God to do as He said He would do).