Sharper than Any Sword!

heb412cChristians have been known as people of the book. Hebrews 4:12-13 explains why.

God’s Word is a living sword. It accomplishes its purpose. It is living because it is the Word of the living God. Though Christians are sometimes accused of having a static or dead Bible, it does not return to him empty or void. It has an impact, either converting and building up or increasing condemnation, Jeremiah 23:29. As you seek to live your life to the glory of God, his Word is alive and active (the term from which we get energy). It changes hearts. It shapes your life.

God’s Word pierces your own heart. It is sharper than any double-edged sword. It does not simply cut into two, but divides again and again. Nothing is beyond its reach. It slices open the whole person. Even the thoughts and attitudes of the heart are revealed.

Submit to the judging of God’s Word. You must give account to God. God uses his Word to evaluate you. No created thing, no aspect of God’s creation can avoid that judgment. You cannot compartmentalize some aspect of your life to keep it away from God.

Instead, everything is laid bare. You are stripped of your armor, defenseless before the Word of God. It has a strangle hold on you. God’s Word, like God himself, is heart-knowing, Acts 1:24; 15:8. Beware if there is unbelief hidden in your heart, as it was in the hearts of Israel in the dessert. God’s Word exposes rebellion.

But there is comfort here as well. God’s Word diagnoses your life. The Word is like exploratory surgery. It locates and exposes sin. But it does more than expose it—the Word cuts it out. It is the primary tool the Holy Spirit uses to bring about positive change in the lives of God’s people. As it judges your sin, it drives you from all self-righteousness. It focuses your attention on your great high priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is not God ignoring sin. Rather, the sin the Word exposes God places on the great high priest, who has made atonement by his death and resurrection.

As the Word slices into your heart, what does it find? Sin that you are trying to hide, or the helplessness that makes you turn to the Savior? The same Word that shows you your sin invites you to approach the throne of grace with confidence!

 

“The Word of God is a great deep; the commandment is exceeding broad; and so we cannot by merely occasional, hurried and perfunctory use of it understand its meaning and power.”

“Painstaking study of the Bible is indispensable to our own thought and practice. Life is very complex and we are constantly beset with baffling questions. New situations daily confront us. If the situations are not entirely new, old situations take on new colour and new settings. We need to know anew what is the right thing to think and what is the right thing to do. If we are to meet these situations, we must be armed with the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, and we must be equipped with the knowledge of the Word that we shall derive from it the needed direction and strength.”

“In all our study and application of the Word of God, we must appreciate a divinely-fixed co-ordination. It is that of the Word of God and the Spirit of God. ‘Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.’ God has not left us to our own resources in the study of his Word. There is the never-failing promise and the ever-present ministry of the Holy Spirit. He is the author of the Word and it is his peculiar prerogative to illumine the Scripture and to seal its truth upon our hearts. These are the two pillars of faith and life—the whole organism of Scripture revelation and the promise of the Spirit to guide us into all the truth. The Spirit honours and seals his own Word, and the Word assures us that ‘if ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?’”

(Collected Writings of John Murray, “The Study of the Bible,” Vol. 1, pp. 3, 6, and 8).

About jwm

I serve as pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Newberg, Oregon.
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