Misinterpreted #2 – I can do all things

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By George Rassovsky

INTRO

Context is extremely important for any literary work. However, when it comes to the Word of God, it is vital! A verse, or a part of one, taken out of context, can have enormous and eternal consequences. Despite this being the case, the fact is that the Bible is perhaps the most misinterpreted book. Below are some of the most commonly misinterpreted and misunderstood verses of the Bible.


#2 – I can do all things!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13 [NKJV]
This is arguably one of the most tattooed verses from the Bible, but also one of the most used-out-of-context. In pop-Christian culture it is synonymous with the motivational “I can achieve anything I set my mind to,” which resembles the New Age “law of attraction,” rather than Biblical Christianity.
 
The context of the verse is quite important, of course. In the previous verses, the apostle Paul talks about how he learned the secret of being inwardly content in Christ regardless of the external circumstances which he finds himself in (and if you are familiar with 2 Corinthians 11:16-33, you would know that he didn’t have it easy). Here is our verse along with the previous two verses:
 
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”
 
Phil. 4: 11-13 [NKJV]
 
The “strengthening” spoken of here is not the strength to “fulfil your dreams,” but the strength not to murmur or complain, and the ability to live with the peace of God in your heart at all times, regardless of external circumstances.


Next – #3 – Jesus at the door – Revelation 3:20

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