How Do You Read?

?What is written in the Law? How do you
read it?? (Luke 10:26) Jesus asked this question
to the lawyer who asked what he should
do to inherit eternal life. Jesus answered the
question by citing Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus
19:17 and telling him the story of the
good Samaritan.
Whatever the context is, Jesus? questions
are good ones: ?What is written in the Law?
How do you read it?? Knowing what God says will settle many issues. Many of
the divisions and religious issues of our day come from assumptions and traditions
rather than from a study of the will of God. The Word of God is a precious
treasure that will immeasurably bless the lives of those who will take the
time to study it (Ps. 19:7-14).
It takes more, however, than merely reading God?s word to get the most
out of it. How do you read it? Good Bible students will explore the context and
background of the passages they read. The old saying is still true: ?A proof-text
taken out of context will become a pretext.? Many have found a passage that
says what they want to say and used that passage to support their desire rather
than listening to what the passage actually means.
Merely quoting a passage without thought to the author, the intended recipients,
the context, or the intended purpose of the message will lead to error
and misunderstanding.
Peter complained about the ignorant and the unstable twisting the Scriptures
to their own destruction (2 Pet. 3:16-17). His advice was for each Christian
to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord (3:18). Let us not only
read the Scriptures but also pay attention to how we read them.

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Phil Sanders

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