It pays to read the surrounding-scripture of a verse to understand its context

Good mornin to you. My case in point for this article is Acts 20.21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”    (An almost identical scenario is Acts 17.30).

Anyway, I’ve heard this verse used in a way that wants the hearer to believe that this verse is saying that repentance of behavioral sins is a component in salvation. A verse just plucked out of scripture, standing alone, for that purpose. But what was missing, was the full story behind this verse.

In chapter 20, verse 17, we are told that it was the elders of the church at Ephesus that Paul was addressing here. And more specifically to the issue, in chapter 19, verses 23-35, we are told of the problem that was going on in Ephesus…the worship of the goddess Diana, and the silver shrines built for worshipping her. Paul’s teaching caused a huge uproar among the people there who felt that his teaching threatened their worship of Diana.

So what is actually being said here is this…Turn away from believing in false gods, and turn to the One True God, by placing one’s faith in Christ.

Later in verse 29, Paul said, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.”

And that warning is always applicable isn’t it? But our defense against religious wolves is to know the word of God for ourselves, and to not accept any teaching without diligently scrutinizing what we hear against scripture, (including my own).

So many blessings to you my friend.

For the way of salvation, click here

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