Word: Living & Powerful
Part 1 - Hebrews 4:12
I recently read the true story of a Christian attorney who, after meditating on several scripture passages, decided to cancel the debts of all his clients that had owed him money for more than 6 months.
He drafted a letter explaining his decision and its biblical basis and sent 17 debt canceling letters via certified mail. One by one, the letters began to return, unsigned and undelivered.
Perhaps a couple people had moved away, though not likely. 16 of the 17 letters came back to him because the clients refused to sign for and open the envelopes fearing that this attorney was suing them for their debts.
How profound! We owe a debt for our sin and God is willing to cancel it, but too many people will not even open the letter that explains that. That letter, of course, is the Word of God.
There are many verses in the Bible about the Bible. Nearly all of the 119 Psalm is about the benefits of learning and applying the Word to our lives. One passage assures us that it was inspired by God. One verse tells us it's the Sword of the Spirit. Another passage instructs those who have an ear to hear, to hear the Word of God. The Bible tells us that the Word of the Lord is settled in heaven and that it endures forever.
But you might be surprised to know that in many church member's homes, the Bible is the dustiest book in the house. Why is that a problem? It's a problem because the condition of our Bibles reveals the condition of our hearts. Someone once said this: "These hath God married and no man shall part: dust on the Bible and drought in the heart."
If your spiritual life is tumbleweed-dry, it can almost certainly be traced back to an unused Bible. A heart that is full of life and fully alive is a heart that pores over the pages of Scripture in search for answers to life's dilemmas. A believer who appreciates the Word of God is one whose Bible is stained with the tears of grief, is marked-up with the joy of discovery, is worn and torn with use, and is highlighted with the hope of promises claimed.
Hear it loud, hear it clear, and hear it plain: the Bible is not the book of the month, it is not the book of the year. The Bible is the Book of the ages. It stands forever. No dictator can dictate its destruction. No president can preside over its demise; and no emperor can decree its extermination. The Word of God is here to stay. Empires have risen and fallen, centuries have come and gone. Science has pushed back the frontiers of knowledge. And God's Word still remains. It endures forever! Why? Because the Bible is settled in heaven and no cynic, no atheist, no agnostic, no skeptic, no liberal, and no politician, can change one iota of Scripture. It's a God-thing.
I want you to consider with me one of the most profound passages in the Bible: Hebrews 4:12.
As we blow the dust off of an oft overlooked verse tucked away in the back pages of the greatest Book of them all, we find a passage that is shimmering with significance. It begins with "the Word of God." That phrase translated here refers to the written Word of God. In Hebrews 13:7, this same phrase is translated as the spoken word of God.
Whether it's written or spoken, there are specifics about it we need to know. Before we consider those, let's ask the Father to drive home His truths today.
Let's first consider
I. Three Characteristics of The Word
A. Living - The first characteristic we see here is that it is living. Living is an especially significant adjective because there truly is no other book about which this can be said. Some antonyms are: dead, rotting, lifeless, boring, and dull; words that could never describe the Bible.
The word living comes from a word that means alive and quick. It means that God's Word is living and dynamic, not static or dead. And not only is it quick, it is quickening; it excites our diligence and enthuses our attentiveness to the things of God.
" It is living
because it is life-changing.
" It is living because it originates from God.
" It is living because it is indwelt and administered by the Holy Spirit.
Because it is living, it seizes the conscience of the sinner. If we doubt that, then why do we avoid it like the plague when we're living in sin? The Word of God will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Word of God. It's because it is living that we're sometimes reluctant to dive in to it. Even though we appreciate the comfort, we sometimes cringe at the conviction. If you doubt that, see what happens the next time you read it.
" When we're
sad, it comforts us.
" When we're glad, it encourages us to rejoice.
" When we've lost our way, it gives direction.
" When we're at wits end, it gives instruction.
" When we're wrong, it offers correction.
" When we're frustrated, it gives guidance.
" When we're hopeless, it gives hope.
" When we're lost, it reveals the source of salvation.
" When we're living in sin, it brings conviction.
It's because it is alive that it addresses every need that we have. It is living because it is the Word of God. We'll look at the next installment in this series soon..
What We Believe!
- Bible -
We believe the Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God.
- God -
We believe God exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe that all people are lost, face the judgment of God, and will find salvation only in Jesus Christ.
- Jesus -
We believe Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, led a sinless life, took on Himself all our sins, died and rose again, is seated at the right hand of the Father as mediator and advocate, and will come again.
- Sin -
We believe that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We find forgiveness for our sins in Jesus alone.
- Holy Living-
We believe in holy Christian living that results in concern for others.
We believe that we must dedicate ourselves anew to the service of our Lord and to His authority over us.
We believe in using every modern means of communication to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.