Hebrews: The Word Of God

For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Hebrews 4:12-13

Friends, there is a reason we call the Bible “the Word of God.”  Paul wrote that “all Scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16).  Peter referred to the Scriptures as “the prophetic Word” and stated “that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.  For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:19-21).  Paul wrote, “If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37).  To the Thessalonian church he wrote, “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the Word of God, which is at work in you believers” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

The Son of God is called “the Word” (John 1:1, 14).  “The Word” comes from the Greek term logos, which has to do with the ideas and reasoning that are found in the mind which are then communicated through speech.  Jesus is the source of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration of the writers of Scripture (John 16:12-15), and Jesus himself – “the Word,” logos – communicates the thoughts of his Father in heaven (John 12:49-50).  We can therefore we be confident that we are in fact reading the thoughts and viewpoints of God when we read the inspired Scriptures. 

The inspired writer of the book of Hebrews gives insight into “the Word of God” (Hebrews 4:12).  He called it “living and active.”  Peter also referred to “the Word of God” as “living and abiding,” citing Isaiah’s comparison of “the word of the Lord (which) remains forever” to perishable human flesh which is like withering grass (1 Peter 1:23-25; cf. Isaiah 40:6, 8).  Moses had warned Israel that God’s Word “is no empty word for you, but your very life” (Deuteronomy 32:47).  The Bible is not a dead letter.  It should not be trifled with.  It is the living and abiding Word of Deity.

The Hebrew author also called God’s Word “sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit” (v. 12).  David said that the Lord, the source of God’s Word, “searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought” (1 Chronicles 28:9).  He also wrote, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me!…You discern my thoughts from afar.  You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether” (Psalm 139:1-4).  So we should not be surprised that God’s Word “discern(s) the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).  Scripture has a way of cutting in every direction, penetrating and laying open how man really is.  The more I study the Bible, the more I learn about myself.

What gives me pause is what the Hebrew author said next:  “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).  Moses’ warning to Reuben and Gad comes to mind: “…be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).  I’m also reminded of what Paul said to Timothy, “The sins of some men and conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later” (1 Timothy 5:24).  Friends, it is possible, albeit unlikely in many cases, that we can always keep some of our sins from the knowledge of others…but we can never hide them from God.  God knows our innermost thoughts, and he “will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiasts 12:14). 

We must remember that, and repent accordingly.

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