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Application Required

     The title of this article might jump to our minds, especially if we are in the market for a job. Gone are the days in which one could simply walk into a place of work, have a brief conversation, and procure employment.    Now- adays one must set up an appointment with a Human Resources specialist, prepare a resume’, gather references, then fill out the application. Upon arrival to the meeting with the HR person, questions which should have already been answered by the arduous preparation of documents that you have provided, will be asked to see if you are a “good fit” for the desired position. Afterward, you will endure a “probationary period” before being fully accepted.  

      Another “application” with which we are familiar, is that which deals with medications and such.   Some of us become “acutely aware” of the need to “apply” the required medications, ointments, poultices etc. to relieve itchy, painful effects of disease or injury.   One can have all the “medicine” in the world, and if not “applied”, they do nothing to relieve the discomfort or heal the condition. Medicine left in the bottle or tube is useless. The same could be said of a crutch or a cane. Until “applied” properly, it cannot support the weight, or provide the balance, for which it was intended. “Application required”.

     Yet another way in which we might think of the subject at hand, is in the automobile we drive, or the way in which we are conveyed from place to place as we conduct the business of life.   Many a young man has desired to own a car with “muscle” or power. They may want such to impress others by owning one as a “status symbol” or for some other reason. However, unless that vehicle is put into use, its “power” cannot be fully realized.   Potential power is not in effect until the “application” of that which releases the power.  A motor has no power until it is “engaged”. Crank the vehicle, put it in gear, engage the power, and go.    “Application required”.

      Let’s now examine this concept in light of God’s Word, and how we are to “apply” it. We are clearly told in 2Peter 1:3-4 that God has provided all we need to have life, and so we can live godly.   According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But what happens when this is improperly applied, or not applied at all? “Application required”.

        We earlier mentioned “medicines”. The same concept is in place to those who are charged with providing medications and healthcare. If one refuses to go to the doctor, or refuse the help offered, can he/she “blame the doctor when health is not restored? This too has a spiritual application. In Mark 2:17, Jesus told the scribes and Pharisees: “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”   The scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and many Jews refused Jesus and His teaching.   “Application required”.

     In John 11:25-26 as Jesus spoke to Martha, following the death of her brother Lazarus, He instructed her as to the source of the resurrection after He had told her Lazarus was going to rise again. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? This “life” is only found in Christ. This is also what Jesus was telling Nicodemus in John 3:5 when He told him how man would enter into the kingdom of God, which is the church. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  “Application required”.

    The brethren in Rome were told in Romans 1:16 that the gospel is God’s power to save “whosoever believeth”. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.Sadly, some have erred in their understanding of this passage.  Some teach one may “believe” their way to Salvation. That is not what this scripture teaches at all. This is readily apparent from the Words of Christ Himself in Mark 16:16. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.  Therefore, the teaching of the gospel must be “applied”, and one must not only believe, but also must be baptized.   “Application required”.

     In fact, one must participate in every single step in the gospel plan of Salvation to receive the promise of eternal life. Perhaps you don’t know what these are. They are: 1) Hear – Romans 10:17;   2) Believe that Jesus is the Son of God – John 8:24; 3) Repent of sins – Luke 13:3;  Confess that Jesus is God’s Son – Romans 10:9-10; Be Baptized into Christ – Acts 22:16; And remain faithful until death – 2Peter 2:20-21. And, if one is a Christian and hasn’t remained faithful, God provided for this as well.   In Acts 8:22, Simon the former sorcerer, who was an “erring Christian was told what to do to “restore himself” to a proper relationship to God.

     These are God’s Laws for the healing of the soul, the “spiritual medicine” that every soul needs.   If you desire to be saved: “Application required”.

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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