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Context and How it Fits Into Our Reading of the Word.


A text without a context is a pretext…a lie.

A very good example of context being vital to our understanding is Ephesians chapter 2. Look at it.

It begins with “2 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;” When a sentence begins with the word ‘And’ it indicated that there is more of the sentence preceding it, so you need to backtrack a bit. Look at Ephesians 1 for the beginning of the sentence. A Christian who is looking at context usually looks at the line before and the line after it to get the context…So the last line of Eph 1 reads “23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Ok. Now we’re getting somewhere. Right into confusion because vs 23 of Eph 1 is not a complete sentence. We need all of the sentence and that is…

” 15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,

16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”

Notice? There is only one ‘period’ in the entire thing from vs 15 to vs 23 meaning that all that is one sentence.

But! That one sentence begins with a “Wherefore…” Which means ‘For that cause or reason’ again indicating there is more preceding this thought (Eph 1:15-23)

Again we need the sentence before it to clarify what we are reading.

Vs 13-14 is the sentence before….and it starts with the words “13 In whom ye also trusted”

In whom we also trusted…Who was that? Back up some more. Back up until we have the complete thought.

7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. Well now we know that we trusted in Jesus Christ but…The sentence starts with “In whom? Who is “in whom?”

The thought still is not complete…back up!! LOL

“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

THERE is the beginning of the thought that leads to “2 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;”

But the thought still is not finished! Read on, Grasshopper!

“2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

“4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Look now! Vs 4 of Eph 2 begins with the word. “But” Which says there is more to the thought!

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved:wink:

6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Period. The end of the sentence all right but…now vs 8 begins with the same proposition ‘For’ (For means with the object or purpose of) which means it continues the thought we are chasing. And another ‘for’ following that…The thought continues….

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Looking good hey?

LOL Vs 11 also begins the same way! Another preposition…

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Well that should do it…Right? Nah! The thought continues…No really! We’re looking at one sentence at a time here.

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Remember? A sentence ends with a period (.). Do you see how few sentences there actually are in these two chapters?! But that should do it… Oops!

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Wow..That’s the end of chapter 2. End of the thought?

Oh no! Chapter 3 continues it.

“3 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.”

Oh this is getting tedious. All I wanted was a verse to prove my erroneous point! And it goes on! I could stop here because there is no preposition beginning the next sentence but what is he saying here? He’s still talking about the same thing…Hmmm I quit. LOL

Ok All I wanted was a verse about being quickened from death and to keep it in context, I had to take two and almost a half of a third chapters. Being a word weaver though, I can tell you that it’s vital to keep true to the context of a verse if you want to share accurately, and in a Godly manner. Any sentence that begins with a preposition cannot stand by itself. It needs the sentence or sentences before for proper understanding. And that's only for the intellectual side..You still need to be taught by the Holy Spirit.

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