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Understanding the Bible – CRACKED
Sermon: Context
Bible Verses: 2 Timothy 2:15

Jeremiah 11:7-8
From the time I brought your ancestors up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, “Obey me.” But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant…

2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

Author’s intent
Knit together
Early meaning and manuscripts

Context – What are the other words and verses around what I’m reading? What is the historical, social, and geographical context? What was the book speaking about? Basically put, don’t “take it out of context” because anything pulled out of its framework will seem strange. Ask, where was this written and why?

Revealed – God’s word must be revealed to us. The Holy Spirit helps us interpret and understand the Bible (1 Cor 2:14).
Author’s Intent – The Bible was written by men, who were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). This means both man and God played an important role in writing the Scriptures. Sometimes, you cannot understand the true meaning, unless you know something about the author.

Credibility – Any document should be given some credit, and not judged harshly before it is interpreted correctly. If we assume the Bible has some credibility, instead of attacking we can apply common sense to what we’ve read.

Knit Together – Each book of the Bible, each story in every book, and each paragraph of every story is part of something larger than themselves. Examined alone they may seem strange (Why would God want Abraham to kill his son?). Read to understand there are metanarratives (grand overarching themes), types, and shadows (allusion and foretelling).

Early Meaning and Manuscripts – We have to get back to the earliest meanings and manuscripts (as close as we can to the original). There may be errors in the copies of our Bible. We need to figure out what was originally written. Additionally, the meaning of words changes over time so we must understand the original meaning of phrases and words (for instance, a slave from Old Testament times was sometimes very different than what Americans view when they think of a slave).

Dialect – The Bible is literature, and it must be read as such. There are many different genres of literature present in the Scriptures, and we should identify the intended style. Writers had different rules when the Bible was penned (i.e. exact quotes weren’t commonly necessary then).

Always read the context.

“Enjoy the day no matter what comes your way. You have to decide ahead of time. That’s what it says in Colossians 3. ‘Set your minds on higher things and keep it set.’ The higher things are positive things.”

Sounds Nice, but what does the bible say?

Colossians 3:2

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. ”

Okay, but what is the context?

Colossians 3:1-8

3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.

Rachel Hollis
The Bible says, let that which is in the darkness be brought into the light. When things are allowed to sit in the darkness, when we’re afraid to speak them aloud, we give them power. The darkness lets those fears fester and grow until they become stronger over time. If you never allow your fears out, then how in the world can you disseminate them?
– Girl, Wash Your Face

Sounds Nice, but what does the bible say, in context?

Ephesians 5:8-14

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Types of Context
– Text
– Cultural
– Social
– Historical
– Geographical

2 Kings 6:29

Daniel 5:1

Important note on historical context: Archeological and historical proof is never fully complete, so I should not make dogmatic assertions based purely on archeological evidence. It’s always interpretation on the best available evidence (as is a lot of information).
The main goal of “context” is to get a full picture of where the author is coming from, so we can understand his intent, the writing, and how original readers would have heard it.

2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:8-18
I can know what the Bible actually teaches when I stop reading one verse at a time and study the context.

Speaker: Jeff Piepho

Jeff is the founding Pastor of Revolution Church, and host of Truth Revolution. Not afraid to laugh at himself, his sermons contain plenty of examples of how he needs to apply what we are all learning.