God’s Word is Living and Powerful

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.

— Hebrews 4:12 —

The Bible is an old book—a really old book. As such, some might wonder how a book that was compiled almost 2000 years ago can be relevant to today. Times have changed, right?

In the first century AD, Jesus said to His fellow Jews about Moses’ Law:

“Whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, And teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of Heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19)

The Law of Moses was a 1400 year old document. And yet Jesus expected the people of God to adhere to it, for it was God’s law for the Jewish nation. They were amenable to Moses’ Law until it was abrogated by Jesus’ death on the cross.

At that point, the Law of Christ became active. And it remains God’s law for humanity to this day; and will remain God’s law for humanity until the return of Christ.

The Hebrew writer tells us that God’s word is living and powerful. Is it old? Yes, it is. Is it outdated? No, not at all. It is as relevant to the individual who wants to serve God today as it was to those in the first century. It is pertinent to all people, for the word of God will be used to judge all in the last day (John 12:47-48).

Further, the writer tells us that God’s word is “sharper than any two-edged sword.” The Scriptures can hurt—like a knife, they can cut. Not physically, but to the heart. In Acts 2:37, the people who were listening to the apostles on the day of Pentecost “…were cut to the heart…” Based on the word of the apostles, they realized they had put to death their Messiah! Distraught, they sought a solution.

In Acts 7, the Jewish leaders listened to a scathing rebuke from Stephen about their wickedness. Verse 54 tells us “they were cut to the heart.” However, in this case, rather than repentance and a pursuit of a solution, they stopped listening to Stephen, gnashed their teeth at him, and soon thereafter killed him.

When you put your hand on a hot stove, the pain is a warning. Get your hand off there!! When we hear God’s word, the gospel of Christ, it is a warning, and it causes pain. Some will respond to it with sorrow for sin and repentance; some will respond to it with anger and lash out at the messenger.

The Hebrew writer says God’s word is a “…discerning of the thought and intents of the heart.” The Scriptures will expose our heart –it will reveal who we are. Paul wrote about the Gentiles in time past

…who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them. (Romans 2:15)

Though they were not Jews subject to the Law of Moses, they did good and right things before God and by comparing their conduct to God’s will, the integrity of their hearts was revealed. The Scriptures will reveal whether we are virtuous or vile, whether we live for the Lord or for ourselves. It will be exposed in the here and now, though some may be skilled at fooling others. But we cannot fool God. He see and knows, and ultimately in the final judgment, if not before then, the wicked will be exposed and condemned for their evil works. In fact, the writer says in verse 13:

…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 4:13)

Friends, may we respect the word of God. By following His word we will please the Lord, we will conduct ourselves in an upright and holy manner, and prepare ourselves for eternal life.

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