Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Uniqueness of God's Word

Unlike any other book, the Bible is unique, since it is the Word of God. Let’s look at some of the unique characteristics that make the Word of God different from all others.

As our main text, let's consider Hebrews 4:12-13, which says: “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”

It is Living and Active
First, we know that “the Word of God is living and active” (Heb 4:12). Here are some examples of what it means for the Word to be living and active.

It is alive! The words of men are merely dead words, whether they are found in a newspaper, history book, political speech, comic book, or legal contract. They are not alive. But the Word of God is alive. It is called “the word of life” (1 Joh 1:1).

It speaks. It is not just black words on white pages. It actually speaks. It comes forth from God’s mouth. Jesus said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'" (Mat 4:4).

It is what God says, not only what He once said. It remains in the present tense, so that thousands of years after it was spoken, it is still speaking to us today.

“He again fixes a certain day, Today,’ saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, ‘Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.’ (Heb 4:7)

It convicts, judges and penetrates deep within us “…piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

It bears fruit after its own kind, just as any organic seed or organism does. Jesus said, "Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God.” (Luk 8:11). He said, "The sower sows the word…And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold." (Mar 4:14,20).

If you want to have good fruit in your life, then read lots of Scripture, believe it, and put it into practice. When you do that, the very things you read in Scripture will be seen coming forth in your life. Whatever you put into your mind and your heart, that is what you are going to become. The seed of the Word that you heard will take root inside of you and bear good fruit.

The Word is the seed by which we have been born again. In our natural birth we were conceived from human, perishable seed. But in the second birth, the seed is the imperishable Word of God. While natural seed may perish, this seed will never pass away. Peter said, “For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1Pe 1:23)

It does not return to Him empty, void, or without results. God spoke through the prophet Isaiah saying, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it  without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Is 55:10-11, NIV). It accomplishes God’s desires and achieves His glorious purpose.

It is eternal. “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.” (Ps 119:89, NIV). Peter quoted the prophet Isaiah saying, “For all flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the word which was preached to you” (1Pe 1:24-25).

It gives light. The psalmist said, “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path…The unfolding of Your words gives light.” (Psa 119:105,130a). Peter wrote, “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” (2Pe 1:19)

It generates faith. Paul said, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Rom 10:17).

It originates from God. Speaking of the Scriptures, Peter wrote, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (2Pe 1:20-21). The inspired writers of Scripture spoke from God as the Holy Spirit carried them along.

It IS God. The Scripture is very clear about this. It’s an indisputable fact.” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (Joh 1:1). It cannot be denied that the Word is God.

The Word is a divine Person, not merely a set of letters and punctuation arranged together and printed on a page. That is why the Scripture refers to the Word as “He.” It says, “He was in the beginning with God…And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Joh 1:2,14).

Therefore, the Word of God is interactive. These days interactive websites and software are very popular, because we like to interact with what we are seeing and reading. Likewise, we can interact with the Word. God speaks and we respond, and this process continues back and forth between us through His Word and by the Spirit.

The Word is God’s Son. As I have just quoted, John said, “as of the only begotten from the Father” (Joh 1:14). The apostle Paul wrote, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” (Heb 1:1-2). While God spoke through the prophets in the past, now the Word has come to us through His own Son.

The Word sustains and upholds all things. “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…” (Heb 1:3)

These examples I have just cited illustrate how the Word is living and active, making it one of a kind.

It is Sharp!
Secondly, we know that “the Word of God is… sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow…” (Heb 4:12). Here are some examples of what it means for the Word to be sharper than any two-edged sword.

It penetrates right through anything. A two-edged sword is sharpened on both sides of the blade, and a sharp one can easily cut through a person’s flesh. But even the sharpest two-edged sword cannot pass through everything. For example, it cannot penetrate through steel or thick rock. Yet the Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword. It divides soul from spirit, and joints from marrow.

When a surgeon uses a sharp scalpel to cut a patient open, he can do open heart surgery with it, whereby the chest is opened and a saw is used to cut the breast bone, so that the heart can be operated on. But even the sharpest scalpel cannot divide the human soul from the spirit. This is something that only the Word of God can do, cutting easily through even those things that are invisible.

We know to be careful when handling sharp knives, such as those used in the kitchen, because we respect sharp knives and understand they can easily cut us badly. However, the Word of God must be handled even more carefully that any sharp knife.

“For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.” (Heb 2:1)

“See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven.” (Heb 12:25)

Total Exposure
Finally, since the Word of God is living, active, and very sharp, it exposes everything. Nothing is hidden from it. “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” (Heb 4:13). It doesn’t matter if you go to the bottom of a deep mine shaft and hide there, God will still know every thought you have and every word you speak, as well as the motives and intentions of your heart. In other words, He even knows the attitude behind your thoughts and words.

“For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths.” (Pro 5:21, NIV).

Putting it All Together
Based on what we have learned from Scripture about the Word of God, we know it is alive! It speaks. It convicts, judges and penetrates deep within us. The Word is the seed by which we have been born again. It bears fruit after its own kind. It does not return to Him empty, void, or without results, but accomplishes God’s desires and achieves His glorious purpose. It is eternal. It gives light. It generates faith. It originates from God. It IS God. It cannot be denied that the Word is God. The Word is a divine Person. The Word of God is interactive. The Word is God’s Son. The Word sustains and upholds all things. It is so sharp that it penetrates right through anything, dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow. The Word of God exposes everything. In light of all these wonderful, unique characteristics of the Word, it is truly unlike any other word or message or book. Therefore, it must be handled even more carefully that any sharp knife.

When you open the Bible to read it, pray first and ask the Lord to speak to you through it, and expect Him to do so. As you read, listen to what He is saying to you, believing and accepting it. Interact with Him, praising Him for what He says to you, responding to Him, claiming His promises to you, and repenting for sin whenever He exposes it to you.. May we once again have a reverence for the Word of God, instead of treating it so casually as is so common these days. Let's humble ourselves and tremble at His Word. The Lord declares, "But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word." (Isa 66:2b).

Attributions: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. Other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the other posts in this blog available through the Home page, such as The Bible is the Word of God, Read the Bible for All Its Worth!, All Scripture must be fulfilled and The Bible Never Fails. You may also access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.


Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

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