To give you some context of the following verse: Paul is talking about people in the “last days,” it’s just he described them in such detail I didn’t think it necessary to add that section of the passage here, if you want you can look it up in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 — This is what God gave me today in His word:
always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7)
This a very important little verse, as it talks about those who read the Bible, but don’t apply what it says. Their the people who are constantly reading Scripture, but don’t take it in and apply it. This is extremely dangerous, as it starves our Spiritual selves. Think of reading the Bible and not applying it, as putting a heaping plate of food in front of yourself, and then just staring at it: the food doesn’t do you any good, you aren’t nourished by it anymore than if you were without any food (not reading the Bible at all) at all! To quote James:
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22)
So, in fact, more than torturing your-Spiritual-self, reading the Word and not actually applying it also deceiving yourself. i.e. Because I’m reading the Bible I automatically become holy, righteous, and am just in general better than the guy over there. While the reality of the situation is that your Spiritual self is in the final throughs of death by starvation!
Now that we’ve discovered application of the Bible to be the clear necessity that it is… What exactly is a correct application of the Bible? Well pretty clearly it’d be difficult to come up with one, singular, application of the entire Bible: possibly, because of the sheer number of books in the Bible, in may not even be possible. But Paul does give us some general guide-lines for us to use with all Scripture:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16)
A correct application, therefore, would contain teaching ourselves something that we didn’t already know (preferably), a reproof to ourselves or someone else (preferably ourselves, as doing it to someone else tends to clout our self-opinion), a correction for ourselves: something that we can do differently in our lives, and should in general help to train us in righteousness.
To wrap up: reading the Bible, though it has the value of putting Spiritual food in front of us, is useless unless we apply it (eat the food). Not only that, but a correct application is one that has teaching, a reproof, a correction, and helps to train ourselves in righteousness.
You are Loved!