“For there is not a just man upon earth,
that doeth good, and sinneth not.”
I remember memorizing this verse in fourth grade. It’s a good verse to memorize, has a way of humbling a guy.
As much as I am for memorizing verses, one problem I see now in my “old age,” looking back at a youth spent being made to memorize verses, is that most of these verses are memorized completely out of context.
Now, just because I learned Romans 6:23 and Romans 3:23 out of context doesn’t mean the verses don’t mean what they say. They do, I just wish I had some context.
Perhaps a new term I will invent instead of memorizing verses is “memorizing context.” I will ban all learning of verses without context. If the context is a chapter long, well, memorize the chapter then!
Again, it’s not that a single verse can’t necessarily be understood by itself or used by itself, but we miss so much when we blow the context. Take the verse that began this post from Ecclesiastes.
OK, great, everyone sins. Now what? What was his point in bringing that up? The point I always heard is this proves how much people need the Gospel because everyone sins.
That point is valid, but it wasn’t the point in Ecclesiastes! Here is the context of the verse in Ecclesiastes. Allow the context to give you an application. Go ahead, click here and read it.
Seems to me the context is like this:
Everyone sins, so don’t get too high and mighty about how righteous you are.
Everyone sins, but don’t go crazy into ridiculous amounts of it.
Everyone sins, so don’t listen to everything people say about you.
I wonder how comes when I was in fourth grade memorizing “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” no one taught me the context?!
The Bible has a lot of editors; very few followers.