Today I want to share one of the most important tips for studying the Bible: reading and studying the Word in its proper context. We must seek God diligently and rightly. Studying His Word in context helps us to know His truth and walk out it as He meant for us to. Most of all, it helps us to know Jesus as He truly is.
Throughout history, the Church has stood its ground against wrong interpretations, heresies and even suppression of God’s Word. The Protestant Reformation, for example, brought us back to the truth of God’s Word in the face of harmful teachings and practices. The Reformation brought us back to the truths Jesus and the Apostles taught, such as salvation by faith alone and the sufficiency of the Bible. Today we continue to reap the benefits of this.
Why Context Is Important
Today, there is nothing new under the sun. The Church continues to face heresies and wrong biblical interpretations, revealing our need to know the Word in context and stand firm in sound doctrine.
How often have you found those who twist the Bible or the practice of our faith? It is all too common.
For instance, we see so many television preachers out for selfish gain and promoting a false gospel. They proclaim that God wants us health, happy and wealthy, or promote seeking experiences and feelings rather than Christ, His truth and self denial. They twist the Scriptures to affirm the way they live and the things they pursue, adding even more money to their wallets from those who do not know God’s truth.
Sadly, people are sometimes even led astray into a mixture of error and truth that hardly resemble what Christ and the Apostles taught. Others walk away from the faith altogether, disheartened and even disgusted by the hypocrisy that abounds.
A major reason many fall into deception is because they fail to study God’s Word in its proper context or even see the need to do so. They simply assume any teacher they hear is correct and fail to be as the Bereans, seeking to find out if what they are taught lines up with the Word. This very mistake once led me into error, but I give all praise to God because He opened my eyes to the truth.
“Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”Acts 17:10-11 (NKJV)
How to Read the Bible in Context
How do we read the Bible in context? How can we study God’s Word in a way that leads us to a right practice of our faith? How do we get to know Jesus rightly?
A friend of mine, Amy Swanson, has written an excellent article on this topic. Rather than write about something from scratch, I want to point you to her article. Check out her article to be equipped in this area today!