“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Philippians 4:23)
In contemporary times, if anyone is still writing a letter, we generally close it by saying, “Sincerely yours,” or “Yours in Christ,” or if it’s an informal letter, “Love” and our names. Generally, our letters are intended for one person, but Paul wrote to churches, with the intent that all should hear what he said.
We know this because of how he ends his letter to the church at Philippi–decreeing the unmerited favor of Christ be with us all.
Now, the beauty of Paul’s letters is that even though they were written with specific instructions and encouragements to each church, they all shared the letters and understood, for the most part, that the intent was meant for every established church who proclaimed the name of Jesus. This is one of the reasons why he did not have to repeat things and this is also why none of us should ever be foolish enough to say, “What was said in one letter (or segment of scripture) has nothing to do with the rest of us.”
What he wrote, guided by Holy Spirit, to the church in Rome applies to every church–then and now.
What he wrote to the church in Ephesus, applies to every church–then and now.
What he wrote to the church in Colosse, applies to every church–then and now.
What he wrote to the church in Corinth, applies to every church, then and now.
What he wrote to the church in Galatia, applies to every church, then and now.
What he wrote to the church in Thessalonica, applies to every church, then and now.
What he wrote, as instructions to Timothy, applies to everyone in ministry, then and now.
What he wrote, to Titus, applies to everyone in ministry, then and now.
What he wrote, to Philemon, applies to every Born-Again Believer, then and now.
What John wrote in all of his letters, including the Revelation given to him, applies to everyone, now–just as it did then.
So, how can we say, “What God said in one passage of the Bible” does not apply to all of us, now?
Is it because we choose not to understand the “history” of how God worked in the lives of those who believed Him and how He is still working?
The Old Testament–those writings before Jesus ascended to heaven–were written that we might know He is the same God, yesterday, today and forever.
When we understand His intent–for both then and now–we can truly receive His grace and know that it is for all who Believe and receive His love. His grace–favor we could not earn–is for all who dare to have a relationship with Him through Holy Spirit, but we cannot have a right-relationship with Him until we are willing to understand His Word. “Study to show yourself approved unto to God, knowing how to rightly explain and instruct others in The Word” and how it applies to all of us, right now!