The Good News

Discussion of the Best News in the World, the Gospel of Jesus, and related topics

Bible Verses out of Context

Patrick Mabilog got it right here.  Read is latest from Christianity Today.

Of all the literary pieces that have existed all across time, there is none that has received as much attack and ridicule as the Bible. And in every time that the Bible has been abused, it was taken out of context.

Many atheists, liberalists and even Christians have claimed that there are parts of the Bible that are obsolete, redundant or flawed. However, that is far from the truth because it is complete and perfect in every way. The only reason why people find flaws is because it is taken out of context.

The saddest part of this all is that it’s not just non-Christians that use the Bible out of context, but many believers have also become guilty of taking some scriptures in the Bible out of the original context. Here are just a few of the many popular scriptures that are taken with the wrong context.

Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Many Christians have used this scripture to picture God as a magical genie in a lamp who will grant all our wishes, even if He knows it isn’t good for us. When saying this, Paul was talking in the context of contentment and finding all that he needed despite hardships and persecution.

Paul wasn’t telling the Philippians to seek riches and treasure, but to seek fruit and spiritual maturity in the midst of lack knowing that God would never let persecuted and suffering Christians down.

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

A lot of Christians read this and say “Well, I can become whatever I want to, I guess, right?” While most of the time God gives us all power and authority to pursue passions and purpose, He often leads and guides us into His will first.

Philippians 4:13 is not a license to do whatever we want to, but an assurance that as we pursue God’s will, He will give us all ability to carry out to completion what He has called us to do.

John 8:7 “And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.'”

If you’ve ever been rebuked by your pastor for carrying out a sin, and you’ve quoted this verse back to Him, then chances are you’ve used this scripture out of context. As loving and compassionate as Jesus is, He is not one to ignore the seriousness of sin, and He doesn’t expect us to ignore it either.

Sure, God is gracious and forgiving, but he is also a God who disciplines and corrects in love, always helping you find a way out of sin and not just out of trouble for getting into sin. In fact, let’s not forget that after the judgmental and hateful Pharisees left, Jesus told the woman to “go and sin no more.”

James 2:17 “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

We all know that works cannot save us, and only faith in God’s unlimited grace will give us a ticket to heaven, so why is James saying that we need both faith and works? Well, he isn’t.

James is not implying that faith must be accompanied by works so that we will receive the love and favor of God. What he is saying is that if you really do have faith in God, good works will naturally flow out of you. If it doesn’t, then chances are that your faith is just lip service.

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