Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 14, 1957

The Word Of God

Gordon Wilson, Blythe, California

From the creation, God has always communicated his will unto man. Man was not created only to be isolated from his Creator, with no knowledge of God, or of his purposes for man. God has kept in constant touch with mankind.

The process of communication is revelation. The vehicle of communication is the Word. If we are interested in knowing what has been revealed, we ought to be concerned with learning as many facts as possible about the Word of God.

Historically, God's Word has been delivered to man in two forms: oral and written. There are recorded occasions when God spake personally to certain select men. But to the majority he has spoken through human agents. It is important that we understand this point.

In Old Testament days the Lord sent the Holy Spirit to the prophets inspiring them to deliver his Word to the people. (II Peter 1:21.) These prophets gave the Word to man in oral form. Many prophets were also inspired to commit the Word of God to writing, thus we have the Old Testament scriptures.

In New Testament times God's agents were the apostles, prophets, and evangelists. (Eph. 4:11.) Those men preached God's Word, and some were chosen to write it. This accounts for the existence of the New Testament scriptures. The New Testament is the last revelation of God to man.

The Perfect Word

We are using the word "perfect" in the way the Bible uses it; to mean complete. The Word of God is the only collection of writings in the world to which the word perfect can be applied. Tolstoy, one of the great novelists of all time, is said to have spent a fortune in his old age publishing tracts and books in an effort to offset "War and Peace," which he had written in his youth. One man will write a letter in anger to a friend, and regret it even before it is posted; But the inspired letters to the churches, penned by Paul, still have an application to churches today. God's Word does not require revision. It does not need addition. It does not permit subtraction.

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (II Tim. 3:16, 17.)

Do we need teaching? We have the inerrant Word of God. Do we need reproof or correction? We have the scripture divinely inspired. And this same scripture is profitable for instructing us as to the righteous will of God. Truly the servant of God has been given a perfect guidebook.

A little friend of mine has a Boy Scout manual. He informs me that to be perfect in the ways of scouting he must follow the manual. Any shortcomings which he may have as a Boy Scout is due to his failure to "stick to the book." Even so, the only reason the man of God fails to be perfect is that he does not live up to the standards and teaching of God's Book. The Book itself is not at fault.

Jude refers to the Word of God when he writes of "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." This asserts the completeness of God's Word, in that it has been delivered one time for all time. There is certainly no room for continuous, progressive revelations today. Strange it is that so many systems of religion are based upon the claim that God continues to reveal his desires in a manner separate from the written Word. These religions must be false. The Word of God is perfect and final.

The Powerful Word

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

The Word of God is not a dead instrument incapable of producing conviction. It is living and active. The power resident in the Word is the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit were not in the Word, it would not live. Infidels, religious and profane, have attempted to destroy God's Word, and, if possible, to destroy the Book itself. But their attempts have never succeeded. The Word cannot be killed because the Holy Spirit cannot be killed... The Spirit operates by, with, in, and through the written Word.

Paul told the Ephesians (5:18) to "be filled with the Spirit." The parallel text is Colossians 3:16, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly." The Spirit and the Word are so connected that for one to let the Word dwell in him is to be filled with the Spirit.

The Word of God is powerful in influence. It is powerful in comfort. It is powerful in producing a new birth in us. It is the "power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth."