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I Follow

WHAT REALLY MATTERS:

I follow Jesus by making a conscious effort to pattern my behavior after His. What does that look like? Well, after following Jesus for a very long time, John, His beloved apostle, wrote: “….Jesus laid down His life for us, so we should be laying down our lives for our sister and brothers. Let’s say a person has worldly wealth and sees that his brother has a need, but then refuses to help him. How can God’s love stay in that person? Children, we should love, not by paying lip service, but with actions and sincerity.” (1 Jn. 3:16-18) I want this remarkable love to be the defining feature of everything I am and everything I do. So I study and obey Jesus’ rule of life. It’s not hard to do, John says, “because anyone born from God is a world-conqueror. In fact, it’s our faith that’s given us the power to conquer the world. So, who’s the world-conqueror? Isn’t he the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 Jn. 5:3-5) That's me. I follow Jesus.

BIBLICAL HERMENEUTICS I FOLLOW:

I want to determine what the text’s author meant to convey to his original readership. This involves a multi-step process:

  1. Making an accurate translation from the source language, so that semantic, grammatical and syntactic equivalences are achieved in the target language.

  2. Seeking the plain and literal reading of the text, unless the figure of speech or genre of writing suggests otherwise.

  3. Examining the text’s:

a) Immediate context, specifically, that which is written immediately before and after.

b) Broader literary context: other texts, both from the same book & by the same author, and other New & Old Testament texts.

c) Theological context: how the text may contribute to a more complete understanding of a particular aspect of revealed truth.

d) "Redemptive movement" context: how the text may illuminate a progressive development of revealed truth, such as slavery, from its cultural entrenchment in the Old Testament to its abolition in the 19th Century.

e) Socio-cultural context: how the text may be better grasped by understanding the social customs of the readership.

f) Historical context: how events that happened before the text was written, as well as the author’s expectations regarding future events, may help to elucidate the text.

I embrace these presuppositions:

Scripture is:

A. God-inspired in its source languages, and presents a sweeping overview of God’s interactions with and designs for humanity. Scripture is humanity’s authoritative moral code and is without error in its entirety.

B. God’s Message to humanity, so that all who engage in studying Scripture must do so correctly and reverently.

C. Transformative, so that correct interpretation of Scripture, combined with faith in Jesus as Saviour and Ultimate Ruler, leads to right thinking and right conduct.

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