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Keeping Context

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Introduction
I want to read this short paragraph to you this evening and i want you to see if it makes sense
A seashore is a better place than the street because you need lots of room. At first it is better to run than to walk. You may have to try several times. It takes some skill, but it is easy to learn. Even young children can enjoy it. Birds seldom get too close. If there are no snags it can be very peaceful. But if it breaks loose, you won't get another chance.
Without any context to frame the sentences, this paragraph doesn't make any sense. Now let me read it again, but this time let me provide some context—a one-word frame or interpretive key. The one word is kite. Now see if it makes sense:
A seashore is a better place than the street because you need lots of room. At first it is better to run than to walk. You may have to try several times. It takes some skill, but it is easy to learn. Even young children can enjoy it. Birds seldom get too close. If there are no snags it can be very peaceful. But if it breaks loose, you won't get another chance.
The context helps the paragraph make sense. In the same way, when it comes to the Bible and our understanding of it, once you have the context or the framework, all of the details start to fall into place.
Maybe you’ve heard it said that text taken out of context makes it a pretext and usually a false one at that. 
This is true.  That’s how cults are started.  When we take text out of their context we are stripping the meaning of the verses and give them a different, and usually a wrong meaning.  
Far too many people try and find one Bible verse and come up with a doctrine but that’s not the way to read the Bible.  When we want to take out or interpret Scripture properly, we need to read the entire paragraph, the entire chapter, and sometimes the entire book.  To take one verse and use it to build a belief system is highly fraught with error.  The result is that Bible verses are taken out of context and misapplied.
Tonight i want to go through some passages of scripture that are commonly taken out of context as well as some popular verses that have be misinterpeted , some you may be familiar with the correct interpretation, others maybe not, and you may find yourself among those who have used theses verses incorrectly, though innocently, in the wrong context at times.
So what’s our first verse...
Matthew 7:1 KJV 1900
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
This i the big one, this is what all the liberals want to pull out, we are not to judge. If this was the only verse in the new testament, then maybe they would have a point but the fact is, that it isn’t there are lots more verses and indeed there are more verses after verse 1. lets read
Matthew 7:1–5 KJV 1900
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Jesus is not telling the listeners to not judge but to judge others after you have repented of your own faults and sins. 
It’s like a hypocrite whose having an adulterous affair judging someone who just told a lie.  The hypocrite is right that telling a lie is sin but how can he or she judge someone else while they are committing adultery!?  It would be ridiculous. 
Notice that Jesus is saying that the person should first judge themselves to make sure that they’re not committing the same or a worse sin.  Only when they take the speck out of their own eye do they have any right to correct a brother or sister.  Clearly Jesus is saying “take it out” of your own eye first and get your own house in order.  
The word “judge” in its context is more like condemn and we are not to condemn others but if a person in the church is openly sinning, then that person must be put out of the church so you must make a judgment on this.
Judging sin in the church is a command when the sin hurts the church
Next passage of scripture
Matthew 18:20 KJV 1900
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
This verse is taken out of context and ripped out of a paragraph.  This is about what to do when a brother or sister in your church sins against you. This paragraph begins
Matthew 18:15–19 KJV 1900
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
Notice that this is about church discipline and that if two or three of the witnesses (v 16) agree on the matter, then Jesus is also in agreement with them.  This verse has been misquoted to mean that you don’t need church but if there are “two or three…gathered in [Jesus’] name, there [He] is.”  The reason that is wrong is if you are born again, Jesus is already with you and you don’t need two or three others to join you in order for Him to be with you.  
Next passage of scripture
Jeremiah 29:11 KJV 1900
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Jeremiah 29:11 is a great example of a verse that was spoken to a particular people, at a particular time, but is now often taken out of context and applied to individual readers.
We quote this scripture to people with terminal diseases, to people who have lost loved ones, and generally to anyone who is suffering. And what does this do? It drives people away from the God when their cancer doesn’t go away, or when they can’t get over their grief through the church alone.
Setting up unrealistic expectations is one of the worst things that can be done to a new Christian, and this verse is the most misused culprit in the creation of those expectations. Let’s look at what it really means.
First, we need to know who is being spoken to. Jeremiah is writing to the Israelites, promising a specific end to their Babylonian exile. He says in the previous verse
Jeremiah 29:10 KJV 1900
10 For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
His aforementioned plans are, specifically, for the exiled Israelites.
It is also important to keep in mind that, looking at the context of the Bible as a whole, when God says that He wishes to prosper us, that generally means in a spiritual sense—this is the ultimate form of prosperity.
While this verse, again, doesn’t guarantee our personal, material prosperity, we can see the character of God in it.  He cares for us, and has the big picture in mind. No matter the situation, He can bring us back to His presence.
This verse is an example of God’s character rather than a general promise to all Christians, and we should quote it as such.
Next passage of scripture
2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV 1900
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Again, this is not a universal promise to all believers in all times. This verse starts in the middle of a sentence-that should give you a clue that it is being taken out of context. This promise is given specifically to God’s covenant people Israel, and it shouldn’t be universally applied to the church, or especially to any nation. 
Truthfully, we are blessed much more so in our time, because of Jesus and His sacrifice to atone for our sins-no matter which country we live in, or how much worldly prosperity we have or don't have.
Next passage of scripture
Proverbs 22:6 KJV 1900
6 Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old, he will not depart from it.
At first glance this sounds like a wonderful promise to parents—exactly what every God-fearing parent would love to have as a promise from the Creator of marriage and family. Naturally, Christian parents possess an unquenchable hope that their children will remain with the faith in which they are reared. Or, if their child departs for a while, the parents cling to the belief that the child will return.
But is Proverbs 22:6 a guarantee from God to parents that their children will stay in the Church? Unfortunately, it isn’t., because we know many good Christian parents who have children that are lost to the world, and they where children that they did there best to guide in the Lord. Are we to look at this verse and then blame the parents for where their children end up? To do so really does anyway with the free will of the Child.
However there is another explanation for this verse,
A. Cohen writes this “Train up. From the verb is derived the Hebrew word for ‘education’ (chinmuch). in the way he should go. lit. ‘according to his way.’ The intention is not ‘the way of uprightness and good living,’ but ‘for the way in which he is to spend his life.’ Whatever occupation he is later to follow it is necessary to prepare him for it in his early years, because then are habits formed which influence his conduct in manhood”
Some Bible scholars, and indeed I hold to this also, have suggested that training a child in “the way he should go” implies that each child has been given by God a unique set of gifts, talents, traits, abilities and personality that we as parents must be sensitive to guide them in following individually.  
Any parent with more than one child understands that no two children are alike in temperament or skills, so it would only make sense to guide and encourage our children to flourish in their God-given abilities.
Next passage of scripture
Proverbs 29:18 KJV 1900
18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
This one is used a lot to state if your Church have no vision of where its going it will die, or struggle.
In fact, vision statements are fantastic and can be helpful.  However, this passage is not a divine reminder for pastors to build a better brand.  
This verse is often used to remind leaders that if they don’t have a compelling vision, and dream big, their people will be lost.
The key word in this passage, “vision,” is actually the word revelation and it points to the Word of God or the revelation of God.
The word perish means to be turned lose or free from restraint
So in other words, a more accurate interpretation could be: Where there is no revealed Word of God the lose control, but happy is he who obeys God’s Word.
This passage does not apply to the building project or your vision for future attendance, rather, it is a fitting reminder that God’s Word gives us life.
Conclusion
I hope of little study we have seen the importance of studying the Bible and keeping things in context.
The 5 w’s are good solid principals for studying out your Bible. What
Who Wrote It
What genre is it - Law/history/poetry/prophecy/gospel/epistle
When was it written
Where was the writer and where was he writing too
Why was it written
These simple tools will help us, in staying true to the word of God, in making sure we stick to the context so that we don’t make the verse a pretext(a reason given in justification of a course of action that is not the real reason.)
Let’s Pray
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