Context is important

Context is important. If you heard the words, “dead dog,” all that would tell you is that a dog is dead. There is no other information. Yet, the more information added to that statement would bring out what happened to the dog.

Interpreting the Bible is a matter of understanding the context of a passage under consideration, and  the context of the chapter and of the book. Disregarding the context is one of the reasons why people can make costly mistakes in understanding God’s word.

One of the prevalent contexts of the Bible is the necessity each one of us has in submitting to God. From the Old to the New Testaments, men and women have risen in favor or fallen from it because they either submit to God or will not.

Jesus taught this clearly in the gospel of Luke. In Luke chapter nine, Jesus said a person must place God in first place and lower self to become his disciple (Luke 9:23-24). Many will be lost because they think religion is more about “feelings” than it is about submitting to Christ (John 14:15).

Jesus went on with this subject in Luke chapter 12. He told his listeners they should not fear man. Man can only kill the body and after that they are powerless (Luke 12:4). Then, Jesus said, “But I will warn you whom you should fear: Fear the one who, after the killing, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” (Luke 12:5 NET). People will either submit to man or God. In view of Jesus’ words, it makes better sense to submit to God.

The same context of submission is found all through the book of Luke, the other gospels and the New Testament. See how many you can find. The context of the Bible is important and should have our attention more than the teachings of men.

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John Henson

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, John Henson has been a husband for 40 years and a preacher for about half that. He currently serves as the preacher for the Dibrell Church of Christ in McMinnville, Tennessee..

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2 thoughts on “Context is important

  1. Good words! And fortuitous! It has taken me three weeks to write my most recent contribution (which is on context, no less). May they both be used for glory! 🙂

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