How the Bible Interprets Itself
To Whom the Word is Written
Part I

Living Abundantly 
According to God's Word Series

Read Time: 10 Minutes

Another very important, I would say critical, biblical research key to understanding the Bible would be to know to whom the Word is written. When I first heard this it was an astounding realization. I thought everything that was written in the Bible was directed to me. When I was shown this key it unlocked a grandiose door of understanding. When we start reading the Word of God we must understand to whom that book or section is written to. Otherwise, the scriptures appear to be contradictory and confusing.

A good question would be, "To whom could the Word be written?" God tells us; imagine that.

I Corinthians 10
:32 Give none offence,
    neither to the Jews
    nor to the Gentiles,
    nor to the church of God.

God tells us that there are three categories of people, Jews or Judeans: those who are of the lineage of Israel, the Gentiles: those who are not descendants of Israel (strangers & foreigners) and the church of God, which we learn in the Epistles, are those that are born-again of God's Spirit,  Believers and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Galatians 3
:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, 
    that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, 
        shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, 
            [to guide us until Christ came to fulfill the law]
    that we might be justified by faith.
:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. [no longer under the law]
:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. [Romans 10:9 & 10]
:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, 
        there is neither bond nor free, 
        there is neither male nor female: 
    for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, 
        and heirs according to the promise.

Once you make Jesus Christ lord in your life and believe that God raised him from the dead you are saved, made whole, and part of the Church of God. You are made righteous, redeemed, justified and sanctified and have been given the ministry of reconciliation. It doesn't matter what you are as a natural man, bond or free, male or female you are a part of the Church of God, the Body of Christ. This wasn't available until the day of Pentecost. No one could receive holy spirit as sonship, incorruptible seed, until it was given on the day of Pentecost. 

When we look at to whom the scripture is written it falls into these three categories: Jew, Gentile or Church of God.

Another question, "Who am I?" I am of the Church of God, born again. Those who are not convinced of the Word yet are either Jew or Gentile and the Word has sections specifically addressed to them so that they become part of the Church of God. See Romans 9-11, a parenthetical phrase, which is written to Israel, the Jews, and includes the Gentiles (chapter 11) and contains the instruction on how to become part of the Church of God.. So, how do I treat sections of the Word of God that are not written to me? 

Romans 15
:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, 
    that we through patience 
        and comfort of the scriptures 
    might have hope.

All through Romans,  a Doctrinal Epistle, God is explaining our new roles as members of the Church of God, as children of God and joint-heirs. The aforetime refers to anytime before Pentecost when the Church of God was made available. So the Old Testament, including the Gospels are written for our learning. 

In the Gospels the law is still in force, Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law.

Romans 15
:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, 
    to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:

 Jesus Christ was a minister to the circumcision. I am not of the circumcision. At times the Gospel is directed to the Gentiles. No where in the Gospels is it written to the Church of God because it wasn't available yet.  

The same truth is established in I Corinthians 10. The context is the forefathers, the Israelites in the Old Testament.

I Corinthians 10
:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: 
    and they are written for our admonition, 
    upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Can we learn from the records in the Old Testament? Oh yes!! There is tremendous knowledge there on believing and walking by the spirit. There are great records about the power of God in people's lives. There is much to learn in the Old Testament but we must remember to whom it is written. Consequently the law is not written to us. We are free from the law (Romans 8:2). The 10 Commandments are not written to us. Can we learn from them? Yes. If the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts than we will not transgress the 10 Commandments.

Understanding to whom the Word is written is the difference between truth and error, between rightly dividing the Word of Truth and not having the Word of Truth. 

What is written to the Church of God?

I Corinthians 1
:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, 
    to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, 
        called to be saints, 
    with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, 
        both theirs and ours:

The Pauline Epistles are letters written to the churches. When the church at Corinth was done reading the letter they would pass it along to other churches so that all may know. I Corinthians is written to the Church of God, those that are sanctified and called saints. 

Ephesians 1
:1 Paul, 
        an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, 
    to the saints which are at Ephesus, 
    and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Ephesians is written to the saints, who are the saints? The saints are the born-again ones, the Church of God. Ephesians is written to the Church of God.

What is written to the Church of God? Romans (less chapters 9-11), I & II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and I & II Thessalonians. The personal epistles of I & II Timothy, Titus and Philemon are also written to the Church of God,  more specifically to leaders in the Church. James is written to specific segment of the Church of God, to those that are born-again Jews but are still zealous of the law. 

James 1
:1 James, 
        a servant of God 
        and of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
    to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, 

These twelve tribes are Jews which oftentimes were zealous of the law:

Acts 21
:21 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, 
    and said unto him, 
        Thou seest, brother, 
        how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; 
        and they are all zealous of the law:

Hebrews doesn't specifically say to whom it is written. By the context and Paul's reference to the "brethren" it appears to be written to Judean Believers that are zealous of the law also. I & II Peter is written to Believers that are scattered throughout Asia Minor. I John is written to new Believers, II and II John are personal epistles written to leaders. Jude is written to Believers.

The Gospels are not written to us and do not apply to the Church of God. Can we learn from the Gospels? Yes.

Where is the Lord's Prayer?  In the Gospels. Is this prayer for the Church of God to pray then? No. Why? It is not written to us. Let us look at some details in it. 

Jesus Christ is talking to his disciples. They are still subject to the law, Jesus Christ has not ascended.

Matthew 6
:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: 
        Our Father which art in heaven, 
            Hallowed be thy name.
:10   Thy kingdom come. 
        Thy will be done in earth, 
            as it is in heaven.
:11   Give us this day our daily bread.
:12   And forgive us our debts, [sins]
            as we forgive our debtors.
:13   And lead us not into temptation, 
        but deliver us from evil: 
        For thine is the kingdom, 
            and the power, 
            and the glory, 
            for ever. 

What is the contradiction here? 

:11   Give us this day our daily bread.

God has already supplied our need.

Philippians 4
:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Our daily bread is part of our needs and it is already supplied. We don't have to ask God to supply it, He already has.

Matthew 6
:12   And forgive us our debts, [sins]
            as we forgive our debtors.

Is our forgiveness dependent upon us forgiving others? 

Colossians 2
:13 And you, being dead in your sins 
        and the uncircumcision of your flesh, 
    hath he quickened together with him, 
        having forgiven you all trespasses;

Romans 3
25 Whom [Jesus Christ] God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, 
    to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past
        through the forbearance of God;

Ephesians 1
:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, 
        the forgiveness of sins
    according to the riches of his grace;

Our trespasses, our sins have already been forgiven, it is not conditional upon us forgiving others but on getting saved.

Matthew 6
:13   And lead us not into temptation, 
        but deliver us from evil . . .

We have been delivered from evil by Jesus Christ. 

Galatians 1
:4 Who [Jesus Christ] gave himself for our sins, 
    that he might deliver us from this present evil world, 
    according to the will of God and our Father:

Jesus Christ did die for us and we are delivered. We are now greater than the devils and they fear us.

Ephesians 1
:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
        the Father of glory, 
    may give unto you the spirit of wisdom 
        and revelation 
    in the knowledge of him:
:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; 
    that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, 
    and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, 
        according to the working of his mighty power, [this power is to usward and it is mighty]
:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, 
    and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
:21 Far above all principality, 
        and power, 
        and might, 
        and dominion, 
        and every name that is named, 
            not only in this world, 
            but also in that which is to come:
:22 And hath put all things under his feet, 
    and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
:23 Which is his body, 
        the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

James 2
:19 Thou believest that there is one God; 
        thou doest well: 
    the devils also believe, and tremble.

We are a part of the Body of Christ and are set over all the principalities and powers. We have dominion. We have been delivered we need to stand forth believe it and act on it.

In order to rightly divide the Word of Truth we need to know to whom the Word if written. This way we can walk victoriously.

To Be Continued . . .