Four Bible Verses That Are Continually Used Out of Context

Now we have all seen these black and white Mud Bowl pictures. After we see snapshots of drained farmers wanting on in despair as their entire livelihoods stand up and disappear in clouds of mud, we face the issue of context: The overwhelming majority of individuals as we speak merely have no idea what it was wish to develop up throughout the Nice Melancholy. So, we examine firsthand accounts, pictures and historical past books to try to discover some context for what it was like.

After we open our Bibles, we learn phrases which might be 1000’s of years outdated with twenty-first century eyes. We learn phrases actually written in stone tablets on tablets made from plastic and steel. With such a niche in time comes a context drawback. Mainly, after we open our Bibles, we’re confronted with an issue: We don’t know what that tradition and time in historical past was like, so we regularly take issues the mistaken method.

Listed here are some passages that spotlight methods during which we don’t at all times learn Scriptures within the correct context.

Philippians 4:13 — “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

This can be a verse the place an infinite, all {powerful} God meets very finite, not-so-powerful human beings. Certain, the chances are limitless with God. The non secular items, holy callings and life journeys out there to the Christ follower might be limitless.

The key phrase is just can. Can will not be the identical phrase as ought to or will. Certainly one of my Bible professors from faculty mentioned it finest when discussing taking a literal interpretation too far. As a brand new believer, he tried to check this verse by placing method an excessive amount of weight onto a barbell to bench press as a result of he figured this verse meant he may actually do all issues. He ended up with the bar in opposition to his throat.

There’ll at all times be a Samson, for we observe a God who offers supernatural energy, however simply because God can bestow that sort of energy doesn’t imply it is going to at all times be given. We’d be smart to learn this verse within the context of the entire paragraph, and to study to be content material in “whatever situation,” as properly.

Jeremiah 29:11 – “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

This verse, together with a bunch of others in each the Outdated and New Testomony, can inform us extra about our personal view of God than it does about what God is definitely saying within the Scriptures.

The issue we’ve is with the collective you. In passages like Jeremiah 29 or the armor of God passage in Ephesians 6, we over-individualize the Scripture to such an extent that we equate it with God talking immediately to each particular person Christian. However, in truth, if we have a look at the context, we discover that God is chatting with the entire folks of God, Israel and the Church.

The context doesn’t negate that indisputable fact that God needs us to placed on the armor of God by dwelling virtuous lives of non secular self-discipline or that the God who made us has a plan for us. What the context of passages like Jeremiah 29 or Ephesians 6 implore us to do, because the folks of God, is to be on this collectively. For God works on this world primarily via the Holy Spirit and the Physique of Christ.

What would our small teams, our native church and the entire Christian religion seem like if we had extra of the togetherness that the context of those passages calls for? If we began to reside out the fact discovered right here that God’s plan for our lives will solely be totally realized with and thru the folks of God? That we’re extra brave and extra protected after we placed on the armor of God collectively as a church as an alternative of sending off a bunch of troopers on their very own?

The extra we develop to know the significance of group to discerning God’s plan for our lives, the extra we’ll start to search out our hope and future.

Luke 4:18–19 “He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives.”

When Jesus took up the scroll of Isaiah and skim from it, He was studying it to members of a synagogue in Nazareth, a city that had develop into an outpost of Roman colonialism.

Beneath the thumb of Roman imperialism there was the pax Romana, nevertheless it got here at a value: The lack of freedom. These folks lived in a rustic the place the provincial ruler may order each child boy beneath two years of age slaughtered and nobody stopped it.

This context is usually missed on us who take with no consideration bodily freedom. We’re not slaves, but we reside in a world the place it nonetheless exists. Not realizing the context of this verse, we spiritualize captivity. An outdated pastor of mine, once I talked about that I labored at Worldwide Justice Mission, questioned why I’d spend my time as a Christian working to let loose individuals who weren’t saved. In responding, I discussed this verse (one out of many), and his reply was that Jesus got here to set folks free from solely their non secular captivity—from their sin—and never from any bodily captivity.

The context of this passage merely doesn’t enable that sort of response. The context Jesus spoke these phrases in will get to the entire level of his earthly ministry. He saves us physique and soul, not one or the opposite. He needs to avoid wasting us from our bodily captivity and our non secular captivity. That’s why he healed folks and he forgave their sins.

Whether or not the primary century or the twenty-first, slavery to sin and the necessity for social justice are each realities which might be conquered via the demise and resurrection of Christ. We want not select one or the opposite, and we want not let our privileges blind us to the deep want for justice that Christ is asking us to satisfy.

Matthew 5:18 “Blessed are the poor in spirit” and Luke 6:20 “Blessed are you who are poor.”

The Beatitudes are written down in two Gospels—Matthew and Luke—and whereas mainly the identical, the distinction within the very first line is stark. Matthew’s Jesus says “poor in spirit” whereas Luke’s Jesus says “poor.” One is non secular, the opposite is a bodily and financial want. This argument often descends into which interpretation is true.

Curiously sufficient, what Christians suppose Jesus is absolutely getting at on this passage is proven to be a mirrored image of their affluence: rich Christians spiritualize it whereas Christians in growing international locations see Jesus delivering a hopeful message about tangible financial want.

If we have a look at the context, we see that each are proper. Jesus views us holistically, and we might be finest to view our personal humanity in the identical method. Blessings might be discovered within the alleviation of each bodily and non secular chapter. We’re known as to be poor in spirit and wealthy in Christ. In the identical method, Jesus needs those that are poor discover their wealth in Christ as properly. And on the similar time, those that observe Christ, as they pursue the Kingdom of God, are known as to search out methods to scrub up the financial system of this world and distribute the items of God in such a method that these in poverty discover the Kingdom of their midst.

Context will at all times be a problem, particularly for one thing just like the Christian religion, the place for 1000’s of years folks from a whole bunch of various cultures have learn the identical textual content. Actually, points with context are assured. But, this ought to be an encouraging level. Troubles over context ought to carry us nearer collectively.

If you concentrate on it, context calls for group. In studying the Scriptures collectively and discussing collectively, aided by the range of Christian thought on the Scriptures relationship again to the early Christian academics, we will start to know the Scriptures and develop into higher disciples in methods we by no means may on our personal.