A popular sermon series by many pastors is entitled "All In".
This series comes from the Great Commandment verses in the Bible taken completely out of context and is intended to motivate believers to be "all in" for God, to move them from being "a spectator to a participator" in the church.
If believers are not careful, they will be misled by this series, trying to be "all in" for God, when God is not asking them to be "all in" for him.
An often quoted verse is 2 Timothy 2:15, which says:
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Let’s take a look at this verse in context.
The author is Paul.
The recipient is Timothy.
Timothy was the Pastor/Teacher of the church in Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3).
Paul wrote an earlier letter to Timothy while Timothy was in Ephesus (1 Timothy).
In this letter, Paul explained why he wanted Timothy to remain in Ephesus: “...to command certain men not to teach false doctrines
In Romans 7:7-25, we are introduced to a person who wanted to please God by how he lived, by what he thought, and by what he desired, yet he was frustrated because of his continued failure to live a life pleasing toGod no matter how hard he tried (Romans 7:14-20).
The standard for this person’s behavior was the Ten Commandments, the law (Romans 7:7).
This man delighted in the Ten Commandments (Romans 7:22).
He knew the law was holy, righteous, and good (Romans 7:12).
He understood from Psalm 1 and Psalm 119 that to live according to the Ten Commandments would bring, life, freedom, and peace.
1 Corinthians 15:22 says,
“For as in Adam all die, so
in Christ all will be made alive.”
Nobody wants to die.
Yet everybody dies.
But the good news is that “in
Christ” all will be made alive!
What does this mean?
What is Paul, the writer of 1
Corinthians, writing about when he says, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ
all will be made alive”?
Let’s take a look at the
Some in Corinth were
believers in Christ, his death, and resurrection, but not believers in the
resurrection of those who belonged to Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:12).
2 Corinthians 5:17 says,
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
This verse teaches us that if anyone is “in Christ”, he is a new creation, and the old is gone and the new has come.
Let’s break this verse down in its context by answering some questions.
What does it mean to be “in Christ”?
What is the new creation?
What is the old that has gone?
What is the new that is here?
The context of this verse begins in 2 Corinthians 3.
The writer of 2 Corinthians is Paul.
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving[Greek word for forgiving, Charis, meaning to have grace upon each other]each other, just as in Christ God forgave[Greek word for forgave, Charis, meaning God has graced us with love, compassion, forgiveness, and kindness]you."
Don't grieve the Holy Spirit.
God’s love for us is great!
Ephesians 2:4-5 reveals God’s great love for each of us:
“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved!”
Let’s look at the context of this verse so we can discover the depths of God’s great love.
Ephesians 2:1-3 says,
“As for you, you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you used to walk when you conformed to the ways of this world and of the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit who is now at work in the sons of disobedience.
"Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he has understanding, and knows me, that I am the LORD who exercises loving kindness, justice, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight," says the LORD.(Jeremiah 9:23-24).
God delights in exercising or demonstrating loving kindness on the earth.
His heart is for his loving kindness to flow all over the earth.
The Story of the Good Samaritan, found in
Luke 10:25-37, is often taught by Pastors and Bible teachers to motivate their
church to “Love your neighbor as yourself” by doing good deeds as the Good
In teaching this, they totally miss the context of the story and
the reason Jesus told the story.
purpose in telling this story was not to get the average church member to do
His purpose was to confront the self-righteousness of an expert in
the law, most likely a Pharisee, who asked him a question.
Many of us are familiar with the verse in 2 Corinthians which says:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 2:9)
To understand this verse more deeply, let’s study it in context.
The context of this verse begins with 2 Corinthians 10:1 and goes through 2 Corinthians 12:13.
In these verses, as well as other verses in 2 Corinthians and even 1 Corinthians, Paul is verbally attacked and slandered.