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Scripture Reading: Psalm 19:7-11
"Stop Taking that Passage Out of Context"
1. Since we are to “rightly divide” the word of truth, it follows that the Scriptures can be mishandled, misused, twisted and perverted, 2 Tim. 2:15; cf. 2 Pet. 3:16. [Decontextualized passages destroy souls!]
-“I find that people tend to be one-sided in their handling of the Bible. They ‘lean into’ certain texts or truths to the exclusion of others. Some focus only on a portion of a verse. Others use one text to cancel out another.” (John Koessler, Moody Bible Institute).
2. Recently came across an article that caught my attention: “5 Passages Your Pastor Wishes You’d Stop Taking out of Context”, Kyle Rohane (christianitytoday.com).
3. Gospel preachers’ work includes correction, 2 Tim. 2:24-26.
4. Briefly look at some passages from this article, and others, that are also often taken out of context (misapplied).
I. PASSAGES OFTEN TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT.
A. Jeremiah 29:11 (Cottage industry has emerged around this verse).
-To captives in Babylon. God’s plan included 70 years of trial and oppression! Then, return (29:10, 14, 20).
B. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
-Not romantic love (weddings); love in a unified church (1 Cor. 12).
C. Matthew 7:1.
-Often used to deflect Bible teaching. cf. 7:6; Jno. 7:24. Use God’s standard of judging on ourselves, first, Matt. 7:2-5.
D. John 3:16-17: Saved by “faith only.”
1. Faith…obey, Jno. 3:36; 6:27-29 (Heb. 5:8-9); Jas. 2:24.
2. By faith, Abraham obeyed, Heb. 11:8.
3. Jesus came to save, because we are condemned in sin, 3:17.
E. Acts 2:38: “Baptism ‘because of’ salvation.” Matt. 26:28; Rom. 10:9-10; Repent “because of” remission of sins?
F. James 1:27: “Church-supported institutions.” (orphanages, etc.)
1. Context is the individual, Jas. 1:21-26, 27.
2. The church cannot fulfill your individual responsibility, Jas. 1:27.
G. 1 Corinthians 7:15: “Not under bondage allows remarriage.”
1. First, do not sunder marriage, 1 Cor. 7:10-11 (Matt. 19:6). All marriages, Matt. 19:6 (Heb. 13:4).
2. Now, marriage of believer to an unbeliever, 1 Cor. 7:12-14.
a. Do not compromise your faith for the unbeliever, 7:16.
b. You are not now, nor have you ever been, a slave to man, 7:15; cf. 7:23. (“not under bondage” - verb, perfect, passive, indicative, 3rd person singular)
-Perfect tense: “…the perfect tense has to do with completed action. But the perfect tense is a primary tense because it emphasizes the present, or ongoing result of a completed action.“ (Jeff Smelser, http://ntgreek.net/lesson23.htm)
c. Silent concerning remarriage; No remarriage right is given, since it does not fit the exception given by Jesus in Matt. 19:9 (1 Cor. 7:10-11).
1. Rightly dividing (cut straight): We must “analyze correctly” the word of God, 2 Tim. 2:15. Requires diligence, and is necessary to be approved by God.
2. God’s word is pure; we must not defile it though careless, or deliberate misuse, Psa. 12:6-7.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: August 24, 2017