Alive, Active and Sharp    

By Jon W. Quinn

It is living; it is active; it is sharp. What is it?

We find the answer in a Biblical text. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12).

It is the word of God that is alive, active and sharp. Here are some facts about the Word of the Lord:
a. The word of God fully furnishes us with all we need to know (2 Peter 1:3; 10,11).
b. The word of God is God's final revelation to man (Matthew 24:35, Galatians 1:8-9, and Jude 3).
c. The word of God is inspired (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
d. The word of God is able to save souls (James 1:21).
e. The word of God is what we are to be judged by (John 12:48).

Anytime in which we focus a lesson on the word of God we must acknowledge the importance of deep reverence for that word. To approach it with anything less than sincere devotion and utmost respect is to place ourselves in jeopardy. Listen! The word of God is not threatened by man's failures to properly regard it. It is eternal. It is man who suffers for his disregard. So often people today wrongly believe the Scriptures of God; especially the moral teachings found within, are out of date or obsolete. Do not swallow the lie! How can something be “obsolete” as long as we are this side of the day of judgment and when we get there, we will be judged by those same Scriptures and thus our eternal destinies will have been determined by our responses that we have made to them?

The Word of God is Alive

The Bible is “alive”. This simply means that the Bible is not a dead letter. It is very much alive and able to bring life. That was true in the first century, and it is true today. The word is alive and the word brings life. (John 6:63; 67,68). The word of God lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23-25).

The Bible holds within its pages promises of blessings now and blessings yet to come. Jesus described these as “abundant life” (John 10:10).

So, what effects can the word have on me now? It can give us hope and confidence. It can help us be better husbands and wives and parents and children neighbors and friends. It can fill us with joy and courage. We have assurance of ultimate and complete victory, and hold confidently onto this living hope even in the dark day of evil (Philippians 4:4; 6-8; 13).
The word of God is alive because of what it can do that nothing else can. Through it, by the mercy and grace of God, I can experience eternal victory (Revelation 21:3-7; 22:7-9; 1 John 5:3-5; 9-12 ).

The Word of God is Active
The influence and power of God's word is described in several ways:

The word of God is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). Don't leave home without it in your heart!

The word of God is so active that it brings faith (Romans 10:17). God instills faith in searching and receptive human hearts through the word of the gospel.

Not only this, but the Word of God continues to be at work in the lives of the faithful. The word of God changes lives (Colossians 1:3-5; 9-11). This building up of godly attributes in the lives of God's children accompanies the prospect of an eternal inheritance (Acts 20:32)

The Word of God is Sharper Than Any Two-edged Sword
The word of God is a sword. To describe the sharpness of the sword the Hebrew writer says in our text: “…piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow…” . This sword pierces not to do harm but to ultimately bring wondrous blessings. It must be sharp to cut deep so as to bring healing and forgiveness. (Romans 10:8-11; Acts 2:37).
Any sharp blade can cut open a man to show his physical heart, but only the word of God can reveal the thoughts and intentions that are hidden in the heart. It can be painful, but necessary to bring about faith, sorrow, repentance, followed by obedience, joy, love and eternal life.

The sword of the Spirit is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). While this sword penetrates to do good for us, it is also our weapon of choice in resisting Satan. “Engarde!” The word of God can be so effective that the devil tries to keep if from being spread, lest it thwart his purpose of destroying you and me (2 Corinthians 4:4-5). The word of God is so powerful it chased off the devil (Matthew 4:8-11; James 4:7). Use the sword to change the roars of the prowling beast of darkness into whimpers of a fleeing foe. Don't be content with just delivering a flesh wound when you can incapacitate him!

The Word of God Reveals Our Thoughts and Intentions
God already knows our thoughts and intentions without the involvement of the word. The Word does not reveal anything to God. Note the next verse; “ And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.“ (Hebrews 4:13). We use the word of God and examine ourselves to reveal our thoughts and intentions (2 Corinthians 13:5 and James 1:23-25). When one hears the word of God they have a choice to obey or reject it (James 1:22).

Our reaction to God's word, or lack thereof, reveals our thoughts and intentions. It tells us what we really think about God; about how much we may really love, or not love, God. Not only when we first hear it, but disciples learn much about themselves through the word and how they handle it throughout their walks of faith (1 John 2:4-6; 24).
What does your reaction to the word of God say about you? Have you submitted to the will of the Lord? Do you trust Him and love Him? Can you be counted on to continue to follow the word of the Lord? God has spoken, and we all need to hear Him. When you look into the word of God do you find you need to make changes? The word of God is alive; active, and sharp. Will you react to it as you probably already know that you should? That will be seen in the choices we make each day.


From The Bradley Banner 3/5/2006
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway
Bradley, IL 60915


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