My Faith Says…Using Scripture in and out of context

By | October 30, 2013
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I Corinthians 1:27 NKJV

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;

I was talking to a friend a few days ago, and we were discussing the tossing about of pieces of scripture as statements or misusing of God’s word in and out of context. It got me  thinking about whether we conform to the whole of the Word or just in part. I have been considering for some time now how much we, as Christians, subscribe to a form of understanding, and not a clarity of understanding, in God’s word. It’s a disservice to ourselves, to God’s word, and to the kingdom work we hope to do.

My Faith Says

I don’t think we set out with the intention to misconstrue the gospel truth. I believe that living in this world causes our minds to work at a worlds pace and inevitably we live and teach the word in a worldly way – until God gives us a new revelation. Then we have to go back and apply this new understanding to our lives, and that means letting go of what we thought we knew.

Here’s the application of the concepts we are discussing. The scripture from I Corinthians 1:27 NKJV says this:

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;

This scripture is often used to say to someone else that God is going to use something foolish to confound you because you are soo-ooo-ooo wise. You see how I put the emphasis on the word ‘so’? That is NOT God’s emphasis. That is our emphasis when we use it out of context.

In fact, Paul is talking to the church at Corinth when he writes to them, and he is saying that God will use simple and foolish things of this world to confuse or put shame to the wise. He is saying, in this verse, that God has chosen the weak things of the world to confuse, or place shame, put to shame, the things that are mighty. But we have lost context by removing it from the rest of the text, and by not receiving full understanding.

In our understanding, we choose who and what is wise (whomever is giving us grief or problems)

and who and what is simple or foolish (that would be us in this scripture context)

But if we take ourselves out of the revelation of scripture, we would gain a whole new understanding

man behind the leak

God has chosen – in other words, you and I don’t get to choose whether we have an ascribed role in this instance, nor which role is ours.
He decides what the foolish things are of this world – In our understanding, we have not been given the revelation right here as to what the foolish things are of this world. That must be indicated somewhere else in the text or somewhere else in the word. We must study to find out what those things are.
Put to shame – What happens when God puts something or someone to shame? Here is another instance when we don’t know the answer unless we have studied to show ourselves approved. Is this a thing of finality, reproof or correction?
the wise – Who are the wise? – Refer back to the description of the foolish. Again, We.Don’t. Know. God has not given us this information. We have to go back to the full scripture to understand, and sometimes even further than that.
God has chosen – this scripture reiterates that God has chosen – how many times can we be told that God choses who fits these definitions to show us that it is not up to us who is weak, foolish, wise or mighty?
what are the weak things of this world that God has chosen – What are the weak things of this world? God has identified them in His word for us to know, without a doubt. If we don’t know them, its because his word is foreign to us.
Put to shame – Again, who determines how something or somebody is put to shame? Is it you or me? No, because the Word tells us that vengeance is not ours. We don’t have the wherewithal to measure it out with grace and mercy. Nor do we know how to put something or someone to shame, grant forgiveness, and leave it at the throne.
What are the things that are mighty in this world – Again, we know what is mighty in this world, the materials, the possessions, the power, the money, which circumstances – but there is more. To identify what is strong and mighty in this world, we need to study.

From this pale comparison of how the word differs from our human understanding and interpretation, it is so apparent that we really do have to take the word at……it’s word.

Yeah, I know. bleh! This is just another way in which it’s important to read for yourself, keep the word in context, and pray for understanding. It happens so quickly and easily, you know, when the word of God gets twisted to meet the needs of people. Living holy and consecrated is definitely a calling in and of itself.

Here’s a challenge: pick a favorite scripture, or one you hear a lot. Pray and ask God to reveal new meaning in that scripture. Sit down and read the whole context (meaning the book of the bible that scripture comes from, and paying close attention to the chapter and verse specifically) and see what is revealed.

I’d love to hear how it goes! What do you think about how our situations, past understandings, and the teaching of biblical and religious themes affects how we read and receive the word of God; and how we use it?

Don’t forget to comment and share!


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