Context

 

Yesterday I wrote about Psalm 14 and pointed out how we often use the first half of verse 1 out of context, especially on April 1st.

The more I pay attention to knowing the proper context, the more I find we often miss it, and say things that are simply not accurate. We have our favorite “go to” verses for certain issues or situations and we have been using them so long we just assume we know the meaning and intent behind them. Yet, when I take the time to find the verse and read it in its proper context, I often find the meaning is not exactly the way I, or others, are using it – sometimes it is radically different.

I believe this is why we have so much trouble finding truth today – and not just when it comes to understanding the Bible correctly. I read or watch videos with people quoting others, only to find if you go to the original quote, the words have been cherry-picked to say something completely different then what the original context clearly shows.

The media does this all the time, and now, thanks to social media, we can all join in the game. The problem is the truth quickly gets lost. I find it frustrating that everything I read and see I must approach with a level of disbelief knowing that context is often and readily abused; therefore, completely warping truth, making it no longer truth at all.

In Paul’s letter to the Galatians we see the same thing with regards to the Gospel. Paul says if you warp the pure Gospel message even just a little, then it is no longer the Gospel at all (Galatians 1).

Today’s Good News is that the Bible can be understood properly when we take the time to read it for ourselves in context. The Bible also assumes we are doing life in community, and I find that when I am in a community of believers who really want to know the truth and are willing to read it for ourselves and allow God’s Spirit to teach us (1 John), we get much much closer to the truth and the proper context of what is being revealed to us.

If you want to know the truth regarding how God sees you, and the Good News message of the Bible, then be proactive. Read it for yourself. Read it with others who desire to know the truth. Ask God to reveal His Father’s heart to you. You may be surprised at what you learn, when you learn it in its proper context. You will find it really is Good News!

 

 

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