When we think about the Bible, what the Bible is and where it comes from, the Hebrews writer gives a very descriptive reference to help us think about it in the right way.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:12–13, NKJV)
First, he says it is a living word. It is the message of God’s word that living in that it never looses its relevance and effectiveness in its proper application. The apostle Peter refers to the “incorruptible” word of God (1 Peter 1:23-24; cf. Isaiah 40:8). The word for “incorruptible” means “uncorrupted, not liable to corruption or decay, imperishable: of things” (Thayer’s). The word of God is ever-relevant and will never “decay” or “perish” in its effectiveness to save our souls and make us the kind of people God would have us to be. Jesus said heaven and earth would pass away but His word would never pass away (Matthew 24:35). The word of God will continue beyond time into eternity. It abides forever and will never be “outdated” or “irrelevant,” EVER!
Second, he says it is a powerful word. Just as it is a living word that will never loose its relevance, it will never loose its power to do what it was given to do. It will always have the power to accomplish God’s will (Isaiah 55:10-11).
The word of God is where the “power of God to salvation” is contained (Romans 1:16-17). It has the power to bring us to salvation and to keep us in God’s salvation if we will allow it to be the guide for our lives that God gave it to be, “for in [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed.” It has the power to bring about the new birth (1 Peter 1:22-23). If the new birth comes by the word of God then that means whatever a person claims they did to be saved must be found in the word of God. If you can’t find what you did to be saved in the Bible, then you haven’t been born again by the power of God’s word! (cf. James 1:18). When considering the power of God’s word, we learn that it “works” (1 Thessalonians 2:13), “builds” (Acts 20:32), and makes “complete” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).
The Hebrews writer illustrates the powerful word of God as “sharper than any two-edged sword.” The apostles Paul refers to the word of God as “the sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17). The prophet Jeremiah likens the word of God to powerful fire and powerful hammer (Jeremiah 23:29). The powerful “two-edged sword” that is the word of God divides “soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow.” Gareth Reese said of this, the powerful word of God “can distinguish between the person who lives in the realm of the spiritual…and the person who lives only in the realm of the physical…” That is, the Bible distinguishes between spiritually minded people and worldly minded people. It discerns and reveals a man for what he really is (cf. Acts 2:36-37; 5:33; 7:54).
Are you allowing the powerful word of God to work in your life? It is the only thing that can make you a Christian – born again in Christ – and guide you in living a life pleasing to God. If you would like a free Bible Correspondence Course by mail or would like to arrange a personal Bible study with me, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Norm Fields is the minister for the Church of Christ Northside meeting at 1101 Hogansville Road in LaGrange. He may be reached at 706-812-9950 or [email protected]