Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 9, 1959

The Word Of God


Jack L. Holt, Cullman, Alabama

There are many passages in the Bible that set forth features of the Word of God, but perhaps none more so than the following: "For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and laid bare before the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." (Heb. 4:12-13)

The first feature concerning the Word set forth in these verses is the one that states that it is the "Word of God." This immediately places it on a plane far above men. The Bible is "God's word." It is what God has to say to man. Its words are as far above man's words as God is above man. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways saith Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isa. 55:8-9.) Because it is the word of God, men are forbidden to tamper with its sacred precepts. "The word that I have spoken, ye shall not diminish therefrom, nor add thereto." (Deut. 4:2.) One who preaches another gospel is accursed. (Gal. 1:6-9) The same divine word that brings life and light to men, protects itself from human additions by enjoining men to alter not its teachings.

These verses also teach that the "Word of God is Living." In this world of ruin, corruption and decay, here is something that abides. Peter says "It abides forever." (1 Pet. 1:25.) Because it is living it is able to impart life. It never reaches the age where it will be barren. It will always bring forth fruit when obeyed. Jesus said: "the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life." (John 6:63) In the parable of the sower we are taught that the "seed of the kingdom is the word of God." (Lk. 8:11.) No seed can produce unless it has life in itself. Thus the Word of God, the seed of the kingdom, the living word, is able to produce life. It is a known fact, a truth revealed in the beginning by Jehovah that "everything brings forth after its kind." The Bible having life is able to produce a creature pleasing to the Lord.

The Word of God is also active. It is not a dead letter as some suppose and teach. Paul said, Who made us sufficient as ministers of the New Covenant, not of the letter, but of the spirit, for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." (2 Cor. 3:6.) James exhorts us to "receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save our souls." (Jas. 1:21.) This word is to be preached. "The prophet that bath a dream, let him dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully.

What is the straw to the wheat saith Jehovah?" And to show the power of this supposed "dead letter," Jehovah asked the prophet: "Is not my word like a fire. . . And like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" (Jer. 23:28-29) No wonder Paul could exclaim: ". . . . It is the power of God unto salvation." (Rom. 1:16.)

The Word of God is sharp. Many have felt the sting of its rebukes, or the lash of the law. When the Word of God, God's pruning knife is used skillfully there is "fearing and trembling," and some trimming must take place. Whenever and wherever the Word of God is preached it will cause some pruning. Men will either cut or prune the Word to try to make it fit their opinions, or they will trim themselves to fit the Word. To "take from" or "add to," the Word of God is a sin that will result in eternal misery if not checked. (Rev. 22:19.) Men need to be shaping their lives by the Word, cast into its mould, rather than trying to change the Word to fit their whims. We cannot really change God's Word. It will stand forever. We cannot really "break the law," it too will stand. We can only break ourselves against it, and bring upon us swift, sure and eternal destruction. We can, however, change our lives, and if we are in sin, following the prince of darkness, we must change in order to live with God. God's pruning knife, the Word, shall whack off every unfruitful branch, and men shall gather then and cast them into the fire to be burned. The Word of God is a two-edged sword. As the colored preacher described it, "it cuts a kimmin' and a guine'."

The word of God is a searcher. It delves into the innermost recesses of our hearts. It takes a sounding of our lives. In moments of meditation it causes us, or should, to search our souls and see if there are any secret faults. "Search me, 0 God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psa. 139:22-23.) The Word will find us no matter how we may try to hide. Let us never so harden our heart that this sword will not cut. "Let every man be swift to hear. (Jas. 1:19.) We need the spirit of the psalmist: "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee 0 God." (Psa. 42:1.) And let us never hate the Word of God though it may expose us and condemn us. There is no friend more valuable than one who will tell you the truth. In speaking the Word, we are to "deal truly in love." (Eph. 4:15 ASV FT. Nt.) Some deal from the "bottom of the deck" in preaching, and thus the Word does not search us as it can when truly preached.

The Word of God is a "critic," or a "judge." So meaneth the word, "discerner." It sits in judgment on our intentions and thoughts. It alone is a perfect standard of right and wrong. It reveals sin as it is, and for what it is. I had not known sin, but by the law. . . " We need to have good intentions, actions and thoughts. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think of these things." (Phil. 4:8.)

Finally, brethren, in view of the eternal sentence (Mt. 25:46) and the eternity that follows, and especially in view of the fact that this searching word will search us in that day, let us hear and obey it. "He that rejecteth me and receiveth not my word hath one that judgeth him, the word that I have spoken the same shall judge him in the last day." (John 12:48.) And remember that whatever we may be able to hide here, there is one before whom all are naked and open. "For God shall bring every work into judgment along with every secret thing," and "He shall judge the secrets of men by my gospel." (Ecc. 12:13; Rom. 2:16.) Whatever secret things we do, let them be good so that in that day we shall not be put to shame. Let us so live that when Jesus comes to be glorified in His saints that we shall be "glorified with Him." All this may be possible through the eternal and ever blessed Word of God, that lives and abides forever, and concerning which the Lord said: I watch over my word to perform it." (Jer. 1:12.)