Spot the Conjunctions
As you study the scriptures, noting the conjunctions (linking words like “and, for, therefore, so”) within the text can be useful in seeing the flow and themes of the passages.
Spotting the conjunctions help us tie passages together, prevent us looking at passages in isolation and understand them in their given context.
A good question to ask is “what is the ‘therefore’ there for?”. Whenever you see a ‘therefore’ or similar conjunction, ask what this next passage/sentence has to do with the previous one.
A good example of this is:
“And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”2 Corinthians 5:15-17
Many of us are familiar with 2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”. We reference this verse quite a lot, but it starts with a conjunction and so is clearly meant to link to something before it. Paul now says this because he has just said something else, but what?
Well Paul says this in reference to what he has just said in verse 15, “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again”. Our being ‘new creations’ is in reference to God’s intention that we should no longer live for ourselves but for him who died. So there is a purpose to our being ‘new creations’ then, that we are now able to live for God!
Making note of the conjunction here and reading it in context gives a fresh light to the normal self-focused interpretation we normally give this verse.