J. I. Packer, “The Preacher as Theologian,” in Honouring the Written Word of God , 314–15:
What difference should it make to our thinking, our resolves, our emotional attitudes, our motivation, and our view of our own spiritual state at this moment? More fully: if this principle is truth that God teaches and guarantees, then the following questions arise:
1. What particular judgements, and ways of thinking, does it require of us, and what habits of mind and particular opinions does it forbid us to entertain, and charge us to change if they are part of our life at present? (This is application to the mind.)
2. What particular actions, and what types of virtuous behaviour, does it require of us, and what vicious acts and habits does it forbid, and tell us to renounce herewith? (This is application to the will.)
3. What does it teach us to love, desire, hope for, insist on, and rejoice in, and what does it direct us to hate, abhor, fear, shrink from, and be sad at? (This is application to those emotionally freighted dispositional attitudes that Puritans called “affections.”)
4. What encouragements are there here to embrace righteousness, or a particular aspect of righteousness, and persevere in it, and what discouragements are there here to dissuade us from lapsing into sinful habits and actions? (This is application at the level of motivation.)
5. How do we measure up to the requirements of this truth at this moment? And what are we going to do about our present shortcomings here, as self-scrutiny reveals them? And what conformity to the truth’s requirements do we find in ourselves, for which we ought to thank God? And how do we propose to maintain and increase that conformity? (This is application for self-knowledge and self-assessment, as a step towards [s]alutary adjustments to our life.).