LOOKING at CONTEXT, 08.07.19
What is “CONTEXT,” and what is so important about it?
Quoting from “https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&channel=mac_bm&source=hp&ei=pWIhXd7nGcXi8AP88biIAg&q=context+definition&oq=CONTEXT&gs_l=psy-ab.1.1.0l10.2199.3805..6730…1.0..0.88.520.8……0….1..gws-wiz…..10..35i39j0i131.ls9IM4A16pA”, context is defined as:
“the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.
“the decision was taken within the context of planned cuts in spending”
circumstances, conditions, surroundings, factors, state of affairs; More
the parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning.”
Without considering the setting, circumstance, event, ideas being discussed, or framework within which they are being considered, an erroneous understanding, determination, and/or conclusion may result. Unfortunately, this is an all too common experience with quoted passages from Scripture.
Let’s look at an example from John 3
15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were
20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
The importance of putting Scripture into its proper context could not be more acutely illustrated than by John 3:15.
John 3:15 is probably the most well-known individual passage in all of Scripture. One can find it quoted even in non-believing circles and situations. And of course it is taken entirely out of context.
When used in isolation”God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son . . .” implies that salvation is given out unconditionally, universally, and without any other restrictions or requirements; just believing in God will suffice.
Upon continuing with the verses which follow, it becomes obvious that salvation and eternal life is not granted to everyone who just “believes in Him” (v.16); and although, “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (v.17), and “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (v.18), evidently to not believe automatically brings oneself into condemnation, disqualifying them from eternal life, and negating such implications and assumptions that are allowed to proliferate from taking verse 15 in isolation. The unbeliever is condemned by default, not by anything he/she has done, but by virtue of what he/she has not done. Think of is as the “default position” just as on a computer; i.e., the decision to not believe results in automatic rejection/condemnation.
Taking it a step further, we see from the next set of passages that: (a) the Light of Jesus/Yeshua reveals all darkness; (b) since “men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil” (v.19); © by virtue of God’s LIGHT, Truth is revealed, darkness and evil are exposed, and condemnation results. “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (v.20). “But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (v.21). Once revealed, it becomes clear whether there is true/sincere belief IN the Son of God, and not mere lip service.
No verse should be taken out of context; but there are those verses that render themselves more vulnerable to misuse, misinterpretation, and distorted understandings than others. We need to use discernment, and ask for Godly wisdom when quoting God’s Word. While it is possible to quote a passage by itself, it should not be done without having studied the passages on either side of it, so that the quote is still in its proper context. With appropriate provision of references, the reader assumes the responsibility of making such reference, in order to determine the full and appropriate meaning, and to see if the passage has been used in its proper context.
© 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
THERE WILL BE NO STUDY GUIDE OR PRAYER GUIDE POSTING WITH TODAY’S STUDY TOPIC.
Get in Touch
Please contact me with any questions you may have
Copyright (c) 2017 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.