Finding Scripture that Applies to Us

Justin Johnson

The Bible can be boring. For an example try reading 1 Chronicles 1-3 for your devotional this week. There is little room for personal application from the God-inspired words in 1 Chron 1:2.

“Kenan, Mahaleel, Jered”

This text is informational, but it does not exactly give you divine insight into the everyday decisions of your life.

Likewise there are passages of the Bible that are apparently not addressed to anyone on the planet today.

“I have called Bezaleel the son of Uri… to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, … to work in all manner of workmanship.” – Exodus 31:1-5

I am confident that after reading this verse Bezaleel would come away with a clear sense of God’s purpose for his life. Now what about the rest of us?

Proper application of scripture requires us to determine if we fit in the audience of the passage. There are parts of the Bible that are not addressed to us.

This is normal.

Reading these sections is like reading someone else’s mail. We can learn things about God and his purpose for people in that context but not about his purpose directed to us.

Jesus told his disciples at one time “Go not into the way of the Gentiles” (Mat 10:6). If Christians tried to apply this to their lives they would be catching the first flight to Jerusalem!
It would be wise not to apply these words to your ministerial plans.

If you are looking to save some time by finding the passages in the Bible addressed to you then you need to start with Paul.

The Lord gave Paul the office of Apostle of the Gentiles (Rom 11:13). Paul wrote letters to Gentiles about his dispensation from Jesus Christ which included salvation, service to God, and the nature of ‘this present evil world’.

1 Chronicles 1 is addressed to people for whom national genealogy is of religious significance. It is not addressed to us.

If you are looking for verses to apply to your life that are not addressed to a law-keeping, temple-building, pork-abstaining, nation of Israelites then look first to Paul’s writings.

As C.I. Scofield put it, “In his writings alone we find the doctrine, position, walk, and destiny of the church.”

As Paul himself put it, “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things” ( 2 Tim 2:7).

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Published: May 30, 2009
Last Modified: June 11, 2016
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