I will never forget the spring I truly learned about the profound importance of biblical context. It started with a woman who came to see me for counsel. She was terribly depressed because her children were sick and she truly believed it was her fault. It turns out that she thought she didn’t have enough faith! When I tried to clarify, she impatiently said, “You know ‘By His stripes you are healed.’ 1 Peter 2:24.”
So, we looked at the passage, and yes, that was the exact wording. But 1 Peter is not about health at all, it is all about persevering.
That’s when I realized, more than ever, that to understand God’s word you had to understand the context from which it came!
The only way to understand context is by digging deep into God’s word and truly seeking to understand.
You see, there is terrible pain from misapplying and misunderstanding Scripture—
- A person believes that God does not love them because He has not made them wealthy. He has been falsely taught that his prosperity is tied to his faith and is crushed under the burden of trying desperately to have the right amount of faith. He does not know the Lord’s economy (Luke 6:20-23).
- Marriages have been destroyed because a spouse blames the devil instead of acknowledging that it is his or her own sin that is tearing at the fabric of tenderness. This leads to a lack of repentance, confession, reconciliation and restoration.
- A mother blames herself for her child’s sickness because she thinks her faith is not strong enough to heal him, instead of seeking what the Lord may have for the family through the trial (John 9:1-3).
- The most tragic is the one who believes in a nebulous deity, but refuses to worship the real God. He does not know the joy of a saving faith, but simply has the faith of a demon (James 2:19).
A group bible study can be a great place to start seeking to understand! It is my prayer that each of us are in Bible study with one another; that we would persevere and seek to learn His Word and link arms with other believers and to “do” His Word.
If you are someone who desires to read and study the Word, but are not sure how to begin; or if you are someone who is seeking a group to study God’s Word with; we invite you to consider one of MCC’s bible studies or Community Groups. Check out MCC’s Men’s and Women’s ministry pages to see where you might join in! If you or someone else needs or is interested in Biblical Counseling let us know, you are not meant to walk through life alone.
Please persevere in your study of God’s word; for this is the ministry of God’s Word in us -- it is on-going; we are challenged; we are shaped; we are encouraged as we dive into its depths; and we are simultaneously satisfied and yet crave more of Him.