Here is a fascinating brief video with Richard Coekin, Tim Keller and John Piper interacting together about expository preaching. I was particularly struck by Richard Coekin’s observation that we should not use the term “application” when we are bringing the text relevantly into the lives of the people. Rather, he prefers the term “the necessary implications”.
This helpfully drives us to be following the direction of the text when we bring the truth home to our listeners. There is no room for any concept of the message and the living of the message being disjointed. The message rather causes us to live in a certain way. It is the preachers job to make that connection into the lives of the people.
It also makes us to think about using the Scripture in a specific way. The passage you are expounding is specifically teaching certain things. We can therefore, reasonably conclude there must be some specific “necessary implications” which take that passage into the lives of the people.
As Richard Coekin states when coming to make application, if I could use that term, ‘the congregation’ should respond to what you say by observing that “that’s’ obvious, I can see it in front of me. It is what it says on the page”.
Let us be careful to expose and bring out the necessary implications very carefully so that the hearers know that we are being careful to make sure God’s Word is heard and lived and not our word heard and lived.