As we often say when studying the Bible, Context is King. Understanding a Scripture in the context of the supporting verses is vital to true and correct interpretation. Here is an example…..
Perhaps you’ve heard that no one can do anything apart from Jesus. You may have been told this saying refers to our complete reliance upon God. Or, you may have read this phrase during leadership or evangelism training, urging your frequent communication with Jesus.
Context matters. When we learn to read the Bible in context—not just as a collection of memorable phrases—we’ll find that some familiar verses take on richer and deeper meanings.
As we study God’s Word we have to be careful not to avoid the third step of the process. The first two take painstaking time and effort to make sure we understand the Bible correctly. However, it is the third step that will transform our lives, making us more Christ-like. Here is an article I read regarding this last, most important step of study. Enjoy!
When we say that an activity is “uncomfortable,” sometimes we’re just being nice. We often sugar coat reality when we throw out the terms “messy,” “unpleasant,” “awkward,” or “disagreeable.”
Some jobs, projects, and habits are painful. They might be good for us, even necessary for our lives, but they hurt. And it is healthy for us to confront that truth.
The Hard Work of Application
Studying the Bible is painful work. Here I’m not referring to the discipline needed to study the Scriptures. I’m not even talking about the intellectual labor and focus that such study demands. No, the hardest work of Bible study comes in application.
All of the steps of Bible study are important, and none are a cinch. Application may be the hardest step, however, since it is the most personal. In application, we are forced to change. And rare is the person who likes to change.
When deciding what to believe about the Bible, who should we listen to?
That’s a rather basic question, and I suppose there are many possible answers. We could listen to our friends—maybe a roommate or a co-worker. Then there are family members, maybe our parents or siblings. Surely they would have an opinion. Or we could look to our leaders, a pastor or professor who seems to be an “expert.” And there’s always Google if we really want to know what to think!
But in the midst of all the options there is one person that, ironically, Christians (and non-Christians) overlook. Jesus.