"THE WORD OF GOD."
Intro. Last week we established that the Bible is the word of God, and as such, we should give the more earnest heed to the things that we have heard, for in the Bible, the eternal God the Creator is speaking to His creation.
I. THE WORD OF GOD IS ALIVE.
A. In John 6:63
Jesus said, "It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you, they are Spirit and they are life."
1. The Bible is often referred to as the living Word.
2. In Luke 8
Jesus gave a parable of the sower whose seed fell on different types of soil with the varied results. In His explanation of the parable He said, "Now the seed is the word of God."
3. So He has likened the Word of God to a seed.
a. We know that a seed has life.
b. A seed has the potential to create.
c. The seed contains the DNA code to reproduce the original tree, or flower or shrub.
d. The seed of a giant Sequoia tree is just a speck when held in the palm of the hand. It is staggering to hold one in your hand when you stand at the base of the tree from which the seed dropped.
e. All that is necessary is to place the seed in fertile soil, and in 2000 years you could have another giant tree standing 280 feet tall.
4. The word of God is as a seed, within it is the code that can reproduce the original in you. Planted in the fertile soil of your heart, it will reproduce the nature of Christ in you.
5. There came a time in the ministry of Jesus when those who were attracted by the supernatural found His teaching to straight, and they began to depart. Jesus said to His disciples, "Are you going to depart, too?" and Peter answered, "To whom shall we go, Lord? You have the words of eternal life."
6. Not only are they the words of eternal life, but they bring life to those who will obey them. David said,
This [is] my comfort in my affliction: for your word has made me alive.
I will never forget your precepts: for with them you have made me alive.
B. It is powerful.
1. I think of the awesome power of the word of God.
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
a. In Genesis we read, "And God said, "Let there be light and there was light."
b. God spoke the universe into existence.
2. I look at the power of the word to transform lives.
a. I see societies castoffs, men and women who were considered hopeless, I see them as they have become leaders in the community, as their lives were transformed by the power of the word of God.
b. I stand in utter astonishment, and joy as I watch Raul, and Mike, and Joe Focht, Bil Galatin, Skip Heitzig, Jeff Johnson, and Greg Laurie, Bob Coy, and the scores of others whose lives are being used so mightily by God today, as they pastor some of the largest churches in the world. I realize that the road they once travelled was leading them to destruction, and I praise God for the power of His word, that has given them new life.
c. Oh, the power of the word.
3. There is a passage in the Psalms that says, "He sent His word and healed them."
4. Writing to the Thessalonians Paul said,
For this cause also we thank God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not[as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
a. It can work effectually in you.
b. It can transform your life.
c. It can lift you out of the mire, and set your foot on the solid Rock.
C. It is sharper than a two-edged sword.
1. The two-edged sword was perfected by the Romans, and was the weapon that allowed them to conquer the world.
2. The ability to cut when swung from either direction.
II. THE POWER OF THE WORD TO CUT.
A. Between the soul and the spirit.
1. Man is a threefold being, body, soul and spirit.
2. Yet we are so integrated that it is almost impossible to divide the parts.
a. Whatever affects you physically, will also affect you emotionally, and ultimately spiritually.
1. A person with a prolonged painful illness often becomes depressed.
2. They sometimes begin to question if God loves them.
b. Whatever affects you emotionally will affect you physically. Research shows how attitudes can create chemicals in your body that can be beneficial or harmful.
1. "A merry heart doeth good as a medicine but a broken spirit drieth the bones."
2. By the sorrow of the heart, the spirit is broken."
c. Whatever affects you spiritually will also affect you emotionally and physically.
1. I have seen the countenance of people so changed after coming to Jesus Christ that I did not recognize them. The lines made by sin were erased, and God gave them a new countenance.
2. I see also the great emotional changes when a person comes to Jesus Christ and their spirit is made alive.
3. There is such an integration of the soul and spirit of man that many deny the existence of the spirit, but declare that the soul and spirit are synonymous.
a. Many people have great emotional experiences that they think are spiritual experiences.
b. They are not able to discern the difference between the soul and the spirit.
c. It takes the word of God to make the distinction, the word of God feeds the spirit of man.
B. Between the joints and ligaments.
1. The ligaments are so attached to the joints that they seem to grow out of the bone.
2. No knife is sharp enough to cut between the two, the ligament is usually scraped from the joint.
III. IT IS A DISCERNER OF THE THOUGHTS AND THE INTENT OF THE HEART.
A. I believe that it was Socrates that cried, "Man, know thyself."
1. Self knowledge is some of the most difficult knowledge to gain.
2. And when once gained is perhaps some of the most painful.
3. David said, "O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known [me]. You know when I sit down and when I stand up, You understand my thoughts before I think them, You are acquainted with all of my ways. There is not a word that I speak, but you know it completely. Such knowledge is too awesome for me, it is high I cannot attain it.
4. What knowledge? Self knowledge.
B. It is difficult to know the motives of why I do things.
1. Difficult because the Bible says that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.
2. David said, "Search me O God and know my thoughts, try me know my heart, and see if there be any wickedness in me."
C. How many times the scriptures have revealed to me the true motive of my heart.
1. That is why it is so important for us to be in the scriptures.
2. To gain an understanding of the scriptures is to gain truth.
a. The truth about God.
b. The truth about myself.
3. To gain a knowledge of the scriptures is to gain life, for they are Spirit, and they are life.