IMPLICATIONS – The Depth and Nuances of Scripture
In physical terms, the word “ply” refers to things or products formed by layering, wrapping, folding, or stranding multiple similar elements together like 5-ply plywood or 3-ply rope, wire, or cable. In intellectual terms, when referring to ideas, to imply suggests that a statement carries something more than is explicitly mentioned which may be inferred from it by deconstructing it. An implication hints that something not expressly stated is involved or expected - that inferences may be derived from the evidence or premises contained in the statement. Implying indicates that unspecified notions are necessarily included and opens the possibility that they may be separated [delaminated, unraveled] and identified [figured out]. A picture or photo implies that there is a story behind or surrounding it and carries clues as to what that story is. This is illustrated in a study in Eph.4 called SNAPSHOTS - chap.1, and in a study of the serpent’s temptation of Eve and Cain entitled Bible Studies - Temptation, [http://pop.eradman.com/]
Implications in the Bible are all over the place. They carry the expectation that we will be able to seek out the understanding and wisdom that is implied and that as God’s people, we ought to pursue it in the normal course of pursuing Him. [see discussion on Mt.5 at SELF-AWARENESS http://pop.eradman.com/] Such insight is adjusted to our culture and circumstances as well as to the nature of mankind, the dynamics of human relationships, and the way things work. Serious Pursuit of God in this way isn’t satisfied with merely reading and understanding the passage. It is the intentional and deliberate work to discover and act upon the inferences of God’s word. The very fact of the admonition itself (eg. “become kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another…”) implies a course of action is to be sought and taken – that a task is set for you. Taking personal responsibility in seeking to understand what that task involves and the wisdom needed to accomplish it is a mark of maturity. It calls for serious self-examination under the lens of God’s word. There are also more general admonitions like “stop being conformed to this age” and “Be holy for I am holy” that imply successful completion of a number of these tasks. The great temptation for a preacher or teacher is to cover the material without actually taking up the task himself. This leaves him without the humility and insights gained through such pursuit to help those who do engage in it.
I’ve dealt with the direct teaching of the Bible and its historic setting as an overall framework or grid in many of my other articles. Here the discussion is about the details or steps and wisdom associated with one’s personal walk with Christ and the principles that are involved. This has been the focus of the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts, now the Institute in Basic Life Principles http://iblp.org/iblp/, for many years. This is not to say that I think everything they teach is the only way to look at things or that all the examples and scriptural applications are appropriate. But by-and-large their approach and materials are terrific.