One of the most important parts of a Christian’s journey is learning how to practically apply God’s Word to everyday life. We are told to read our bibles, memorize scripture, live like Jesus, and more. But many of us question, “how do I actually apply the scriptures to my life?” If you have ever said this, the S.O.A.P. method can help you.
Believe it or not, when we read and enforce scripture in our lives, our hearts and minds are renewed and transformed by His Words. As we deposit the Word within us, transformation can take place within us from the inside out. In fact, by reading and implementing the scriptures, we are doing exactly what Romans 12:2 says:
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”Romans 12:2
True Godly transformation takes place when you read the scriptures and apply it to your life every chance you get. However, in order to live the Word, you must first know the Word. Before you can apply biblical principles and truths to your life, you must first learn what the bible says biblical principles are.
Biblical principles are standards that God has given us to live by in order to have an abundant life here on earth. We find these biblical principles in the scriptures. As Christians, the scriptures help teach us how to live.
When you read the scriptures new lessons, truths, and principles may stand out or catch your eye. As you study the verses, you will begin to learn what God has to say about Himself, His people, and you. This is what studying the scriptures is all about – learning and understanding what God has spoken. When it comes to studying and applying the Word of God to my life, I like to use the S.O.A.P. Method to dive deeper into passages of scripture to see what God has to say to me.
What is the S.O.A.P. method of Bible study?
The S.O.A.P. method is a simple-to-follow method for observing the scriptures and applying biblical principles to our daily lives. The acronym S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. It is an easy to use 4-step method that uses your bible, a sheet of paper, and a pencil. I suggest sitting with the S.O.A.P. method for at least 30 minutes during your quiet time each day.
This bible study method is great for use during daily devotion. The simple process guides you through reading a passage of scripture, observing the verses, asking thought-provoking questions, and prayer. Using this method helps me to go beyond the surface-level reading of the scriptures while focusing on what God has to say to me through His Word.
When to Use This Method
The S.O.A.P. method is perfect for use in your daily devotion or bible study time. I personally use the S.O.A.P. method when studying new topics in the bible – but you can choose any passage of scripture or topic you would like. This scripture, observation, application, prayer method can be used alone or with a friend. I’ve also seen the S.O.A.P. Method used during small group bible study.
Who is this for?
The S.O.A.P. method is great for all Christians at any stage in their walk with God! I always suggest this method to beginners who want to learn how to read the Word, ask deeper questions about the text, or would like to practice how to apply scripture to their lives. With guidance, this method can also be used by children and teens who are being introduced to reading their bible for the first time.
How to Use the S.O.A.P. Method
Now that you know what it is, here is how to follow the 4-step S.O.A.P. method. First, gather your bible, journal, and all other bible study materials. Next, follow these steps:
- S – Scripture. Choose any scripture or passage of scripture. Read the verse or verses in your bible. Write and highlight meaningful words, phrases, or scriptures that stand out or resonate with you.
- O – Observation. Take a few moments to observe the passage of scripture you’ve read and ask further questions about the text. This step will help you to get a more in-depth view of what you’ve just read. Here are a few examples of questions I like to ask myself when using the S.O.A.P. method:
- What is the overall message of the passage?
- Were there any commands or instructions?
- Are there any warnings in the text?
- What truth can you learn?
- What do you feel God is showing you through His Word? Did you learn anything new?
- A – Application. Reflect on how you can apply these scriptures to your daily life. After reading this passage of scripture:
- How does this verse apply to your life today?
- How can you implement what you’ve read?
- What habits, attitudes, or changes do you need to make?
- What lessons can you take away from the reading?
- P – Prayer. Say a prayer in reference to the passage. What do you want to tell God as a result of what you’ve read? Try to incorperate the scriptures you’ve read as you pray. In prayer, thank God for enw revelation and ask Him for wisdom to help you apply these truths to your life.
Applying the scriptures to our lives is as simple as knowing the Word and doing what it says. The S.O.A.P. method helps us to understand that God loves us and has given us all instructions to live an abundant life through Christ through His Word. Remember, the bible tells us to be hearers AND doers of His word. As we learn and apply scripture in our daily lives, we are becoming “doers” of God’s Word.
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”James 1:22
Do you want to try the S.O.A.P. Method for yourself? Click here to get the Quiet Time With Jesus S.O.A.P. printable for your personal collection!