Reader Question: Are You Using Scripture Out of Context?

Dear Jennifer,

I am one of the women’s ministry leaders at our church and am now facilitating the Missing Pieces Bible study. God has totally met us in this study! Every week people come up to me and share (and they are sharing in the study as well) how God has been revealing Himself to them. It’s so awesome to see people changed before your eyes and truths being revealed. God is incredible! Thank you so much for letting God use you in this way. The way God has gifted you to teach his word—it’s gentle and kind, yet firm in His absolute truths. (I hope that makes sense.) It’s like we are sitting at a table together every week, drinking our coffee and talking, and like a true friend does, you gently challenge us on some things in God’s Word. Love it!

I have a question about the Matthew 18:20 verse that you referenced on Week 3, Day 5 (pg.74). I am taking an Edwards class right now with my pastor and we are learning to be careful not to take things out of context in the Bible. [We are taught to] read the verses before the one verse we are looking at, and if appropriate, after, also, so we can understand the context of what is being said. In the Matthew 18:20 verse, isn’t this in the context of church discipline? God is omnipresent, so He is with me all the time and also when I’m with my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ. Am I misunderstanding this? I guess I’m not sure what you mean by using this verse.  Could you help me to understand?

Thank you again for being such a faithful servant of God!

Blessings and Grace,


Jennifer’s Answer: