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Scripture Reading: Psalm 19:7-11

"Stop Taking that Passage Out of Context"



1.  Since we are to “rightly divide” the word of truth, it follows that the Scriptures can be mishandled, misused, twisted and perverted, 2 Tim. 2:15; cf. 2 Pet. 3:16. [Decontextualized passages destroy souls!]

  -“I find that people tend to be one-sided in their handling of the Bible. They ‘lean into’ certain texts or truths to the exclusion of others. Some focus only on a portion of a verse. Others use one text to cancel out another.” (John Koessler, Moody Bible Institute).

2.  Recently came across an article that caught my attention: “5 Passages Your Pastor Wishes You’d Stop Taking out of Context”, Kyle Rohane (

3.  Gospel preachers’ work includes correction, 2 Tim. 2:24-26.

4.  Briefly look at some passages from this article, and others, that are also often taken out of context (misapplied).



  A.  Jeremiah 29:11 (Cottage industry has emerged around this verse).

    -To captives in Babylon. God’s plan included 70 years of trial and oppression! Then, return (29:10, 14, 20).

  B.  1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

    -Not romantic love (weddings); love in a unified church (1 Cor. 12).

  C.  Matthew 7:1.

    -Often used to deflect Bible teaching. cf. 7:6; Jno. 7:24. Use God’s standard of judging on ourselves, first, Matt. 7:2-5.

  D.  John 3:16-17: Saved by “faith only.”

    1.   Faith…obey, Jno. 3:36; 6:27-29 (Heb. 5:8-9); Jas. 2:24.

    2.   By faith, Abraham obeyed, Heb. 11:8.

    3.   Jesus came to save, because we are condemned in sin, 3:17.

  E.  Acts 2:38: “Baptism ‘because of’ salvation.” Matt. 26:28; Rom. 10:9-10; Repent “because of” remission of sins?

  F.  James 1:27: “Church-supported institutions.” (orphanages, etc.)

    1.   Context is the individual, Jas. 1:21-26, 27.

    2.   The church cannot fulfill your individual responsibility, Jas. 1:27.

  G.  1 Corinthians 7:15: “Not under bondage allows remarriage.”

    1.   First, do not sunder marriage, 1 Cor. 7:10-11 (Matt. 19:6). All marriages, Matt. 19:6 (Heb. 13:4).

    2.   Now, marriage of believer to an unbeliever, 1 Cor. 7:12-14.

      a.  Do not compromise your faith for the unbeliever, 7:16.

      b.  You are not now, nor have you ever been, a slave to man, 7:15; cf. 7:23. (“not under bondage” - verb, perfect, passive, indicative, 3rd person singular)

        -Perfect tense: “…the perfect tense has to do with completed action. But the perfect tense is a primary tense because it emphasizes the present, or ongoing result of a completed action.“ (Jeff Smelser,

      c.  Silent concerning remarriage; No remarriage right is given, since it does not fit the exception given by Jesus in Matt. 19:9 (1 Cor. 7:10-11).



1.  Rightly dividing (cut straight): We must “analyze correctly” the word of God, 2 Tim. 2:15. Requires diligence, and is necessary to be approved by God.

2.  God’s word is pure; we must not defile it though careless, or deliberate misuse, Psa. 12:6-7.



By: Joe R. Price

Posted: August 24, 2017