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Monday, June 23, 2014

No Cherry Picking

If you have been around believers much you have heard and you probably have shared favorite passages out of the Bible.  A lot of those favorite verses are quoted or printed on cards you may have purchased at a Christian book store.  Some if not most of them sound really good, but take on a significantly different meaning when read in their context.
Do you have favorite passages in the Bible, I do, sometimes I have taken them out of context...  Thoughts at DTTB.
There are several in Jeremiah that we quote often that set against the background of Judah’s commitment to disobedience should cause us to reflect on the impact of the passage.

Hebrews 4 is another passage that has at least two of people’s favorite verses.  Hebrews 4:12 – 13 and Hebrews 4:15 – 16.  Those passages are in a lot of Scripture Memory projects.  They are great passages.  But they have a context.

All of the passages we memorize and quote are part of a bigger whole.  They move the argument or theme of the letter in which they are found forward.  We miss a lot by not looking at those connections.

For instances in Hebrews 4 the author is laying out our response to the reality that there is a rest in which believers are supposed to enter.  He outlines how we are to enter that rest in the first part of the chapter, and then then 12 – 13 and 14 – 16 supports his argument and suggests a reasonable response respectively.

The question we should be asking is how does the information in these passages support and move his argument forward.

If we are to apply the Scripture correctly, if we are to understand it well, we must be aware of the context of our favorite passages and we have ask how they relate to the message of their context.  If we don’t, well sure, we will still have favorite verses, but there is a real probability that we will not understand what that favorite verse is actually saying.

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