As I was helping my wife in the kitchen in cutting ‘small’ onions (I do not do it often, let me be frank!), this morning a big theology lesson came to my mind: reading the Bible in context is very important. The word ‘onions’ can be the kitchen item for some, or the English fast-bowler called Graham Onions (for cricket-mad people like me). The context determines the meaning. So when we read the Bible read the Bible in context. If you pull a verse out of context, you can easily change its meaning! For example 2 Cor. 5:21 which talks about believers being the “righteousness of God” cannot support the cultic, taking-people-to-hell hyper-grace teaching for the very next very which is unfortunately in the next chapter says this: “Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain” (2 Cor. 6:1). Yes, the Grace of God does not absolve ourselves of the responsibility we have to work together with him – empowered by the Spirit – so that we will live holy. Non-cooperation with the Grace of God – this passage teaches – can cause make it a case of ‘grace of God (received) in vain’.
(Duke Jeyaraj, an evangelist-Bible Teacher-writer, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission).